Harwitz is the director of leadership and innovation for Day Schools at the Jewish Education Project in New York. He will become Weber’s third head of school, succeeding Simcha Pearl, who in May announced his intention to retire. Harwitz’s appointment concludes a national search process to identify Weber’s next generation of leadership that began more than eight months ago. Voting unanimously in support of his appointment during its January board meeting, the board endorses Harwitz’s candidacy.
“Ed is the ideal person to lead The Weber School; he brings a deep appreciation for our past and present and an inspired eye for our future,” said search committee Co-Chair and past board President Lori Kagan Schwarz. “He possesses great energy and passion for Weber’s pluralistic mission.”
Harwitz, an accomplished and visionary educational leader, fully embraces Weber’s mission, culture and values. His career spans nearly 25 years devoted to Jewish education. He served as the founding head of school for two Jewish high schools, including the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco and the Jewish High School of Connecticut in Woodbridge.
Harwitz also held several leadership positions at the Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, including director of student affairs and director of Israel programs. Earlier in his career, he served as the assistant dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University and the director of Camp Alonim in Los Angeles.
Harwitz received his bachelor’s degree in history from The George Washington University and his master’s degree in Hebrew letters from the University of Judaism. After studying extensively at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem, he went on to earn his master’s degree and to obtain his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Harwitz is enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead Weber.
“During the past 18 years, The Weber School has built a reputation as a flagship Jewish community high school in North America, a high school characterized by a dynamic and creative academic environment that celebrates a diverse Jewish community and honors and engages every student,” he said. “I’m excited to work with Weber’s distinguished faculty and staff; dedicated board of trustees; motivated, warm student body and supportive parents to advance Weber’s mission in the months and years to come. It is a particular privilege to build on the visionary and inspired leadership of Weber’s head of school and my friend, Sim Pearl.”
Pearl, who has spent 18 years as Weber’s head, will be honored March 16 during Weber’s 18th anniversary celebration at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.