About

History

The Story

of de Toledo High School is not unlike the founding of other Jewish institutions. It began as a dream in the mid-1990’s, and by 2000, community leaders had joined forces to create a high school committed to Jewish education in the San Fernando Valley. A dedicated core group selected a name—New Community Jewish High School—and hired Dr. Bruce Powell as the first Head of School. A five-year business plan was developed and a scholarship fund established by board members and other donors. The San Fernando Valley would soon have its own Jewish community high school!
Under the leadership of Dr. Powell, the new school opened its doors on September 3, 2002, in rented space at the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus in West Hills.
Forty ninth-grade students from Jewish day schools, public schools, home schools, private schools, and schools in other countries applied and were accepted, forming the largest first class of any Jewish community high school in United States history. Within weeks, the original students began to affectionately call the school “New Jew” and adopted the Jaguar as their mascot.

NCJHS rapidly outgrew its temporary home at the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus, also the home of the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation. The school moved to an interim campus on the grounds of Shomrei Torah Synagogue, quickly expanding to become the second largest Jewish community high school in the nation and extending its range of academic, extracurricular, and co-curricular offerings.

In 2006, the 47 students in the school’s pioneering class graduated from NCJHS. Since then, over 1000 graduates have assumed leadership positions on college campuses and professional positions at prestigious companies. Others have pursued advanced degrees in medicine, law, design, film and entertainment, international relations, business, education, Jewish communal work, and more. Still others have served in the U.S. and Israeli militaries, and/or participated in post-high school programs in Israel. Annually, more than 200 outstanding colleges and universities accept our graduates.

In early 2010, NCJHS received provisional membership in the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). In the fall of 2010, NCJHS purchased the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus in West Hills from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. In June 2012, NCJHS became fully accredited by CAIS and re-accredited by WASC and BJE. In July 2012, NCJHS closed escrow on its permanent home and began a multi-year renovation process. On August 29, 2013, NCJHS opened its new campus.
On April 7, 2014, Alyce and Philip de Toledo approached our Board to offer an exceptionally generous gift. The Board accepted the gift and voted to change the school’s name from New Community Jewish High School to de Toledo High School, effective July 1, 2015.
The de Toledo family traces its roots back to the Golden Age of Spain and the rich intellectual life that is a hallmark of Jewish history. This transformational gift gives dTHS financial security, allows the school to expand curricular and co-curricular offerings, and enables us to continue to seek out and support exceptional students and talented educators. Most importantly, dTHS is able to provide an education that illuminates the minds, hearts, and souls of each of our students.

After nearly two decades of exemplary leadership, Dr. Bruce Powell announced his decision to retire. Subsequently, the Board of Directors appointed Mark Shpall as the new Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. Building upon the foundation laid by Dr. Powell, Mr. Shpall brings important qualities to the position, including an impressive formal education and passionate dedication to the school’s values and mission. He is a founding faculty member who has held several key positions at dTHS—including Dean of Students—living the school’s culture and helping define the dTHS story. A dynamic and capable leader, Mr. Shpall will extend Dr. Powell’s legacy, one that has shaped dTHS as a model for Jewish education in North America.
Located in the San Fernando Valley portion of the City of Los Angeles in Northern Los Angeles County. de Toledo High School is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and Builders of Jewish Education (BJE,) and financially supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation.