Dear FJA Community,
Though only five months have elapsed since March 13, when we closed physically and opened virtually, we could not have imagined how much change was yet to come. Our students, staff, and teachers rose to the occasion, met the challenges head on, and we came to understand both the possibilities and the limitations of distance learning. Our investments in technology and training allowed our school to quickly transition and gave our students a unique platform to learn and grow. Technology provided us with an opportunity for connection during a time when we were grappling with the challenges of social distancing and self quarantine. It also became apparent that nothing, despite the tremendous effort and dedication of those involved, could fully replace the very real benefit of face-to-face human contact and real time communication. The bonds of place, people, and community that make FJA so very special are only partially possible through FJA’s very successful distance learning.  
We take our responsibility for preparing our students for their future as something sacred; an undertaking of the utmost importance. Nurturing the type of critical and creative thinking, compassion for others, dedication to Jewish tradition, values and peoplehood, and fostering relationships that we so value at FJA, are not the same when attempted remotely. Love of learning and opportunities to lead present themselves in social settings in and beyond the classroom, far more organically than they might in a virtual setting. Through the thoughtful implementation of measures intended to limit and eliminate transmission and exposure for our students and staff, we hope to be able to once again engage students in learning opportunities that capitalize on the many strengths of our school.  Moreover, with an eye to a future where COVID no longer dominates the national and international news cycles, we hope to again be able to offer more robust opportunities for our students to engage in the world beyond the classroom, God willing, in the very near future.
In the meantime, our revised schedule, and health and safety procedures, will help ensure that there are multiple layers of intervention to safeguard our school community and prevent the spread of COVID-19 while students and staff are in the building. At the same time, we will seek to offer real-time streaming of classroom instruction where students will be able to engage with teachers while attending their scheduled classes virtually.  
This plan, the result of countless hours of planning and preparation, consultation with faculty and staff, and input from parents, will help ensure that we are able to safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We recognize that, despite hours, days, and weeks of planning and troubleshooting, there will be challenges and unanticipated situations that will require understanding, patience, and flexibility. While school will look and feel different, we remain committed to providing a superior learning environment that is engaging, nurturing, and supportive for all our students. We greatly appreciate your partnership and cooperation and look forward to welcoming you back for the 2020-21 school year!
Rabbi Azaryah Cohen
Head of School
Mr. Randy Gawel
*Please be aware that the plans and details outlined in the Return to Learn plan are subject to change as the situation evolves and as we implement additional recommendations and requirements in accordance with the Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap, the CDC, and local medical professionals. We will be updating this website and other printed materials as needed.
Important Contacts

Head of School: Rabbi Azaryah Cohen

Distance Learning and Academics: Randy Gawel, Principal

Financial, Facilities & Sanitation: Cindy Baker, COO

Communications: Shana Kantor, Director of Advancement

IT Support for Distance Learning: Dan Bourdeau, Director of Innovation & Technology


Everyone's situation is different and you may have very
specific questions about how this plan affects your FJA student.

Please feel free to contact us - we are here to help. 

Contact Us