Head of School Search

The Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School, now in its 39th year, conducted a nationwide search for its next Head of School. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Dan Ahlstrom will become our Head of School beginning in July 2022. Thank you to our Search Committee, Board of Trustees, parents, faculty, staff, students, and community members who participated in the search process. Please read the announcement and more about Dan below.

Head of School announcement

about Dr. Dan Ahlstrom


Search Consultant

One of the most important roles of the Board of Trustees is the hiring and support of the Head of School. The Board engaged Jane Armstrong of Independent Thinking (IT), who has partnered with independent schools on leadership searches since 2000 and has worked with many schools throughout the country.

Independent Thinking

Search Committee

With the guidance of our search consultant, the Board formed a Search Committee of volunteers to work on behalf of the entire Heilicher community. The Committee interviewed and vetted candidates and ultimately made a hiring recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Members are:

Esther Goldberg-Davis, Co-Chair
Michele Kaplan Clinard, Co-Chair
Mark Appelbaum
Sarah Gollust
Rose Horovitz
Benjie Kaplan
Elena Levitt
Robyn Schein
Becka Steinberg
Michael Zis

Read Search Committee member bios here.


Community Involvement

The search for Heilicher's next Head of School was an inclusive process that took into account our community’s hopes and dreams for the school while identifying and preserving all that is unique and special to Heilicher. Initiatives included:

  • Community-wide survey. An anonymous survey was shared with the Heilicher community via email with the goal to collect feedback from stakeholders. Responses were aggregated by Independent Thinking and shared with the Search Committee.
  • Stakeholder meetings. Search Consultant Jane Armstrong conducted virtual listening sessions with stakeholders, including parents, students, faculty, staff, leadership, and community members. 
  • Dedicated email address. Community members provided feedback and asked questions by sending email to
  • Dedicated webpage. This webpage was regularly updated with pertinent information.

Past Communications

january 4, 2022 Information about parent listening sessions, an online survey, and FAQs.

december 21, 2021 Update on Search Committee formation and search firm selection.

December 8, 2021 Announcement of Head of School transition.


Search Committee Co-Chairs
Esther Goldberg-Davis
Michele Kaplan Clinard

Search Consultant
Jane Armstrong