When five-year-old Transitional Kindergarten student Mika Roth walked through our front doors this fall, she did not realize she was making Hausner history.
Mika is the first L’dor Vador student at Hausner, since our founding 32 years ago. She is the daughter of Hausner Alum Max Roth, who graduated from Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School (MPJCDS) in 2001– the first year that included an eighth-grade class. For those who are wondering, Hausner used to be named MPJCDS, and the school served students through grade five.
Max shares that coming home and hearing Mika singing in an Israeli accent brought back fond childhood memories. Max particularly remembers the field trips, including the fourth-grade gold rush trip.
Max’s closest friends to this day are those he made at Hausner. As Hausner played such a strong role in building Max’s identity, having Mika attend our school was important to the family.
According to Mika’s mom Rachel Tennant, “As someone who learned Judaism in her 20’s, I wanted Mika to feel at home in the Jewish community and understand Judaism, and to feel [a sense of] belonging.”
Rachel and Max met as undergraduate students at UCLA. After living on the east coast for two years while Rachel studied library science at UNC, the couple moved back to the Bay Area to be near family, and so that Max could pursue a Masters degree in Statistics at San Jose State. Now, surrounded by long-time Hausner friends and family, Rachel, Max, and Mika are also building a welcoming new community.
“It has been really nice getting to meet new friends, and being in this community again,” says Max.
Although Hausner has moved to a new campus since the MPJCDS days, Max says some things remain the same. “I see the DNA. It’s the same Kabbalat Shabbat… the same activities.”
One person on the Hausner scene who has not changed is Aviv Matzkin, who was Max’s fourth-grade teacher. According to Max, Aviv “has not aged at all!”
“It’s cool that Max went here, and that Mika could go here,” says Rachel. “We wanted a school focused on the whole person, and the spiritual side… which is harder to find. There is freedom to develop all aspects of a child at Hausner.”