PHDS History

The Peoria Hebrew Day School was established in 1971 and has served the Reform, Conservative, and Traditional communities of the greater Peoria area for over 50 years. We have also served countless other families in the community, regardless of their religious or other affiliation. PHDS is the only Jewish Day School in downstate Illinois. Our Board of Directors includes professional representatives from the local Jewish community interested in providing academic excellence in an elementary setting. PHDS is a community day school maintained by tuition, generous allocations from the Jewish Federation of Peoria, support from Congregation Anshai Emeth and Agudas Achim, and contributions from many supportive families and individuals, and businesses.

Our Mission

The Peoria Hebrew Day School mission is to create a community of learners who value lifelong study, respect human diversity, and feel positive about themselves.

We do this by:

  • Providing a stimulating and nurturing environment.
  • Encouraging our students to feel positive about themselves.
  • Preparing our students to be knowledgeable, caring, and contributing members of society.

Values and Ethics

At every age, children are faced with ethical dilemmas, forcing them to make choices about how they treat and value themselves and others. Whether a simple issue, like sharing, or a complex one, like deciding to whom and how much tzedakah, or charity, to give, our students are taught how to evaluate situations and apply Jewish values and ethics to make good choices for their own behavior.

Parent Anonymous

I love this school and so do my kids. It’s a very small school. All the kids know each other and interact with each other, the older ones helping the younger ones. The kids are really nice and well behaved. Of course they are not perfect, they are kids, but I have no worry about bad influence for my kids. The teachers are excellent not only in academics but also as positive influence on our kids. The ambiance is very family like and relax without lowering the quality of learning. I definitely recommend this school, even if you are not Jewish, as long as you are open to Jewish life learning.

Parent Anonymous

Wonderful academic program and a close-knit family environment. Exactly the sort of nurturing environment that we want for our children!

Jessica Lynn

PHDS is not simply an amazing school; it’s a family. Each child is encouraged to be his/her own person and allow individuality and creativity to flourish. The staff are like none other in regard to how they care for their students and strive to help each one succeed. I am beyond grateful that I stumbled upon this amazing school for my children! I highly recommend checking it out and all are welcome, no matter religious affiliation! ❤

Fequently Ask Questions

What if my family isn’t Jewish?

PHDS welcomes students of all faiths and cultures! While our curriculum does include Hebrew and Jewish Studies (history, culture, morals, values), we do not proselytize.

Fun Fact: Approximately 40% of our students are not Jewish.

What ages / grades does PHDS serve?

PHDS accepts preschool students as young as 3 years old (once potty trained) through 8th grade!

How can I, as a parent, be involved in my child’s education?

PHDS is a not-for-profit institution that relies on school community involvement through various volunteer opportunities. If you’re transitioning from homeschooling and still want to be involved in your child’s education, then there is ample opportunity!

What do small classes mean for my child(ren)?

It means that each student receives generous one-on-one time with their teacher(s). It also means that we have the luxury of catering to specific and varying student needs and tailoring our program to meet our students’ specific learning styles and capabilities – acceleration or material review.

What makes Peoria Hebrew Day School Unique?

PHDS is a multilingual educational institution with mixed-grade classrooms that foster independence, acceptance, growth, leadership, team building, and social interaction among peers with significant age spans.

What is the student / faculty ratio?

PHDS has approximately 5 students / 1 faculty.