Administration and Staff

Dean Goldfein, Head of School

As founding Head of School at CCJDS, Mr. Goldfein has earned widespread respect from colleagues, students, and parents. He possesses extensive experience in curriculum development, faculty hiring and evaluation, student assessment, fundraising and working with parent groups and governing boards as well as an extraordinary passion and commitment to education of Jewish youth. Mr. Goldfein serves as a Board Member of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). He served as Dean of Students and history teacher at Sacred Heart Preparatory and taught English at Brandeis Hillel Day School. MEd Administration, SFSU; MA, University of Virginia; BA History, UC Berkeley. Joined CCJDS in 2000 as the first Head of School.

Andrea Hess, Dean of Faculty, Curriculum and Instruction

Ms. Hess brings 25 years of teaching, curriculum, and administration experience to CCJDS. She has taught in classrooms ranging from pre-K through sixth grade in public and independent schools across the country. In the Bay Area, she taught lower elementary grades and chaired the professional development committee and social and emotional learning committee for 10 years at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito. In 2017-18, Ms. Hess was the Assistant Head of School, then Interim Head of School at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito. For the past two years (2019-21), she taught third grade at Bentley School. Ms. Hess also served as a literacy consultant, instructional coach, student teacher supervisor and mentor teacher for BATTI (Bay Area Teacher Training Institute). Ms. Hess founded Balanced Literacy Consulting in 2010 to help schools implement literacy curicula effectively and thoughtfully.

Ms. Hess holds a BA in Clinical Psychology from Tufts University, and a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching with a focus on literacy from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Joined in CCJDS 2021.

Eden Allswang Bruner, Assistant Principal for Advancement and Operations

Ms. Bruner brings to CCJDS her extensive experience in public service, community leadership, marketing and fundraising.  Prior to joining CCJDS, she was the Director of Development and Marketing at Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Ms. Bruner has also worked as a diplomat with the United States Department of State in Washington D.C. and the former Soviet Union. MA, International Relations and Economics, Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies; BA, Soviet and Russian Studies, Harvard University.  Joined CCJDS in 2011.

WeisbaumLauren Weisbaum, Director of Lower School

Ms. Weisbaum brings abundant warmth, creativity, and wisdom – as well over 15 years of experience – to her vital work as our Kindergarten General Studies teacher and Lower School Director.  Prior to joining CCJDS, Ms. Weisbaum taught in Chicago, IL and in El Paso, TX. She also has served as a Literacy Coach at the Chicago Public Schools, and has taught at the University of Texas, El Paso. She has her B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and her M.Ed. as a Reading Specialist from the University of Texas, El Paso.  Joined CCJDS in 2019.

Hadas Rave, Jewish Life Resource Specialist

In 1997 Ms. Rave moved from the United States to Israel and taught for nine years at the alternative Meitar School on Kibbutz Bet Oren, before coming to CCJDS. A 2017 recipient of the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, Ms. Rave has taught Judaic studies, coordinated the SHIR HaLev service learning program and led the Israel education program at CCJDS. This year she is a consultant to the school, supporting the leaders who are taking on the roles she has overseen. Studied Communications at Drury University; BA, Elementary Education, Warren Wilson College, North Carolina. MA in Jewish Education, Hebrew Union College.  Joined CCJDS in 2008.

Dorit Hetz-Crane, Director of Admissions

Joined CCJDS in 2022.

Pamela Mitchell, Business Manager

Joined CCJDS in 2016.

Jeanie Goldeen Conneran, Librarian

Ms. Conneran has been involved with CCJDS since its opening in 2001.  Her younger son, David, was a third grader that first year.  Ms. Conneran began creating our library by purchasing books for the school. For the last five years, Ms. Conneran has been busy automating the library collection.  There are now over 7,000 books in the collection, with the entire catalog available online.  Ms. Conneran, a fully credentialed teacher, has a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature and completed the Reading Specialist program at California State University at Hayward.  She has been successfully teaching reading for more than 20 years.

Michael Brent, Operations and Office Support

Mr. Brent joined the CCJDS staff in 2012. Previously, he was an active volunteer at the school as his children attended CCJDS from kindergarten through 8th grade. Mr. Brent served as Co-President of the CCJDS Parents’ Association for five years. He has a BA in Economics from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Economics from UC Davis. He has taught at the University of the Pacific, University of Phoenix, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and most recently in the Contra Costa Community College District at Los Medanos and Diablo Valley Colleges.