High School & College Prep
Prepared for Success in Life
If a school can be measured by the success of its graduates, Heilicher has clearly earned its outstanding reputation. Our graduates represent a diverse group of people who are life-long learners, creative thinkers, and leaders engaged in strengthening their communities in a fast-changing world. They’ve continued to distinguish themselves—and make their school and families proud—through continued engagement in Jewish life and an assortment of educational, personal, and professional achievements.
More than 500 students have graduated from Heilicher since 1984. You can find our graduates at high schools such as St. Louis Park High School, Hopkins High School, Minnetonka High School, Wayzata High School, Southwest High School, The Blake School, and St. Paul Academy and Summit School.
HMJDS set me up for success in high school and, by extension, college. Thank you, HMJDS!
Heilicher graduates have attended many of the country’s and the world's top institutions in a variety of disciplines. Some of these include:
Arizona State University
Berklee College of Music
Carnegie Mellon University
College of Wooster
George Washington University
Israeli Defense Forces
Iowa State University
Johns Hopkins University
Lewis & Clark College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Minnesota School of Cosmetology
New York University
Normandale Community College
Ohio State University
St. John’s University-New York
St. Olaf College
Tel Aviv University
University of Arizona
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Kansas
University of Maryland
University of Miami
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou)
University of Southern California
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Washington University in St. Louis
Winona State University
Work Hard, Have Fun
Daniel Vinitsky Learned the Right Balance at HMJDS
Walking onto campus brought back a flood of memories for HMJDS alumnus Daniel Vinitsky. Daniel graduated from eighth grade at HMJDS in 2005 but has since spent many hours on campus assisting with the HMJDS play as well as acting in local community performances. He now makes a living performing in plays throughout the Twin Cities area and working for the National Theater for Children, helping to schedule tours of educational shows.
Many people at HMJDS helped shaped the man he has become, Daniel said. A smile appeared on his face as reflected on a particular teacher who had a lasting impact on him as a person.
“Mr. Adler was my science teacher in seventh and eighth grade at HMJDS,” Daniel explained. “He was always very passionate about [the] subject he taught, and he set the bar high. But he was also very friendly and open. He was able to create a friendship with his students and helped me see that you can be very serious about your work but also have fun with it.”
Daniel didn’t find his passion for theater right away. He attended the University of Minnesota for theater but shifted focus to accounting and economics. The passion, however, just wasn’t there for him. Remembering what he learned from Mr. Adler, that success should be based on hard work and having fun, Daniel made the big decision to transfer to a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin to pursue his passion.
Daniel offered this for advice for current HMJDS students: “Students should remember to work hard at whatever they decide to do. No matter what it is that you choose, put focused time and effort into it. Whether it is sports, arts, schoolwork, friendships, etc., always dedicate yourself 110 percent.”
Vinitsky is proud of his HMJDS education and hopes that all students will find their passion, work hard, and have fun while pursuing it.
What I Learned at the Day School
by Matan Appelbaum
This spring I graduated college and, for the first time in many years, had no immediate obligations, projects, or work of any kind. Reflecting back on all of the experiences leading up to graduation from Princeton, there were a few parts of my time at HMJDS (then known as MJDS) that proved critical in my growth as a student, leader, and community member.
One of my fondest memories from the day school was a semi-regular occurrence in Mr. Portnoe’s math and Judaica classes, where the structured part of a lesson would end and we would have an open question-and-answer session. Students chose the questions. We might ask to review a difficult concept or inquire about a new, advanced topic. This gave us practice in coming up with the right questions, not just the right answers. Years later, as a mathematics major, I would often work on problems where progress was best made by challenging the questions, or looking to see how far I could push the concepts I learned in class.
The teachers at HMJDS were all extremely supportive of me as a student and encouraged me to engage deeply in what I was learning. They also encouraged me to study the subjects that interested me most, which at the time were math and sciences. My decision to major in mathematics and minor in computer science came partially from the confidence I received from my teachers that I would be successful.
Between day school and Princeton I attended St. Louis Park High School. I went in with a group of friends from HMJDS and remained connected to the HMJDS community and the Jewish community as a whole. The support and connections I had at HMJDS taught me the value of finding a strong community and being an engaged member. At Princeton I sought out communities of value and took on leadership roles in the communities I joined. The volunteer involvement at HMJDS taught me how to connect my volunteer and leadership activities to the needs of the community.
In October I started working as a software engineer at Facebook. I quickly learned my new surroundings and selected a team to join. I am certain the experiences and lessons learned from HMJDS will help guide me as I go forward.