The Epstein School announced Feb. 19 that David Abusch-Magder has signed a contract, officially making him the next head of school.
Abusch-Magder will start July 1 at the Conservative-affiliated day school in Sandy Springs after a cross-country move from the Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco, where he is the head of the middle school and assistant head of campus.
The school announced his selection to replace Head of School Stan Beiner in early January and began contract negotiations.
“I am excited and honored to have been chosen to be your next head of school,” Abusch-Magder wrote in a message to the Epstein community. “My family and I are eager to make Atlanta home and to become part of the Epstein and broader Atlanta Jewish communities. Through the kind acts of many I already feel so welcome; thank you for embracing me with open arms.”
Abusch-Magder is married to Reform Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder. They have two children: Oren, 17, who is graduating from the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and heading to college this year; and Aliza, 14, who will attend the Weber School next year.
Abusch-Magder wrote that he was attracted to Epstein by its warmth and nurturing nature, the engagement of the students and teachers, the quality of the leadership, the depth of Hebrew learning, the commitment to reach a wide range of learners, the thoughtful approach to 21st-century learning, and the respect and collaboration throughout the school.
“As a leader, I am committed to listening, learning, collaborating and building partnerships; this holds true for faculty and staff, volunteer leadership, parents, and students,” he wrote.
Abusch-Magder made a midcareer switch from patent-winning research physicist at Bell Laboratories to Jewish education. Epstein board President Mark Stern said the change was driven by a desire to build a passion for learning and a love of Judaism in the next generation.
“Our search was extensive, attracting candidates from various backgrounds and parts of the country. Dr. D was overwhelmingly embraced not only by the members of our Search Committee, but also by our teachers, administrators and families,” Stern wrote. “We truly believe that he embodies the qualities that our community prioritizes, particularly his ability to articulate an inspiring vision and move us into the future as an academic institution and as a Jewish community.”
Stern thanked the search committee and its chair, Linda Schear, for the successful search.
He also praised Abusch-Magder as a lifelong learner.
“I believe that learning is the most fundamental of human activities and that we need to inspire and prepare our students to be successful contributors to creating a better future,” Abusch-Magder wrote. “To do this, we need to cultivate a supportive learning environment, empower skillful and passionate educators, design thoughtful and rich curriculum, and perhaps, most important of all, engender the passion of our students, teachers, and the community that surrounds them.”
He cited a line from his favorite Shabbat song, “Dror Yikrah”: “Seek knowledge and wisdom for your soul; it will be your crowning glory.”