Maimonides school transitions to Tamim Academy, joining the nation’s fastest-growing Jewish day school network

The 2023-24 school year will be bringing a change that will catapult the current Maimonides Jewish Day School into a new educational model that has shown rapid growth and success across the country.

To be known as the Tamim Academy of Portland, the school will join a network of other Tamim Jewish schools in Arizona, New York, Vermont, Utah, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas and Ontario.

Tamim Portland will begin with kindergarten through 2nd, with a new grade added in each subsequent year through eighth grade.

“We are not closing,” states school board member Rabbi Shmulik Greenberg. “We are shifting to a new program that has already proven its success in providing top-notch secular and Judaic education while focusing on the individual needs of each student.”

Current Maimonides students going into grades three and above will continue under that banner, he adds.

As part of the Tamim Academy Network, the school will remain independently run, with support and access from Tamim Headquarters that provides curriculum, ongoing teacher training, administrative support, and business coaching.

“I had heard about Tamim before and was very curious. After learning more about it, I’m excited as this will ensure there’s more space for high-quality, individual teaching and learning,” says Chaya Orenstein, who is both a teacher and mom of several students.

“Having a curriculum prepared allows us to put more attention into the needs of every individual student. I also like that they have a scaffolded program, which focuses on all stages of development.”

She continues, “Tamim has a motto; that everyone in the Tamim infrastructure—principals, teachers, students—is constantly learning and growing. I find that very exciting.”

Greenberg sees another benefit. “Joining the Tamim network gives us the ability to focus on the needs of the whole child, both academically and emotionally,” he says.

In fact, that mission is in its very name as “tamim” in Hebrew means “complete” or “whole.”

The Tamim Academy Network was created by veteran educators who realized that Jewish schools – particularly those in smaller communities – were struggling because they had no support and had to take on everything from fundraising to classroom management.

They understood that if they could centralize some of the behind-the-scenes concerns and offer the best education utilizing the latest research, schools could thrive and students could succeed.

Launched in the fall of 2020 with four schools, Tamim has significantly expanded to 13 schools as of this fall and more to come.

Parents whose children were in the first cohort of schools have praised the program. One parent told “They have honed in on who she is, and they are helping her bring out the best in herself academically, socially, Jewishly.”

Annie Isaac, a mom of four children, is eager for Tamim Academy to begin locally, especially as it brings with it a stronger Hebrew-language program and skills-assessment testing.

“I am thrilled our school is implementing Hebrew immersion for half of the school day,” she says. “The new Hebrew reading program has been developed with an internationally recognized reading expert from Yeshiva University. It is a data-driven, phonics-based approach to teach Hebrew reading to English speakers.”

“This strong Hebrew foundation is a lifelong gift to our students,” Isaac continues.

Isaac further explained that “our school and community make sure our students are all thriving in their core academic subjects.In order to better monitor this goal, Tamim does MAP testing, which will be helpful to the school and parents.”

Joining the Tamim Academy Network comes at a perfect time for the local community, as the school relocated to a larger facility on Portland’s Eastside at the start of the 2022-23 school year and opened the Gan Yeladim Preschool.

“Parents on the eastside now have easy access to a Jewish day school, which they’ve never had before,” says Rabbi Chaim Wilhelm, director of Chabad of Northeast Portland. “Relocating here was a major change for the better. The building has more capacity, and with it comes the opportunity to expand and reach families here that we know are interested in an excellent education for their children. Several new families have already joined the Gan Yeladim preschool and we look forward to welcoming more families in the elementary school as well.”

The school’s new direction builds off of the legacy for excellence that was established by the school’s founder and director of many years, Devorah Wilhelm.

Adds Greenberg, “From the beginning, Mrs. Wilhelm’s goal was for children to have an excellent Jewish education and an excellent secular education. By joining the Tamim Academy Network will be able to do just that for years to come.”

Tamim will be hosting an online Open House Wednesday, June 7th, at 7.30 PM. To RSVP please email: