BJE Builder Dr. Debora Parks - Harkham GAON

For Dr. Debora Parks, being a leader of a small day school means wearing many different hats. Dr. Parks indeed does that, as she is a flexible, dynamic leader, one who assumes a variety of roles in her school. She is always giving of her expertise, thoughts, and time, constantly adapting to an ever-changing environment, and, thus, sustaining Harkham-GAON Academy (HGA) with never-ending positive energy. Harkham-GAON Academy is grateful to Dr. Parks for being instrumental in building what Rabbi Moises Benzaquen dreamed of: an affordable, inclusive, modern Orthodox Jewish day school. 


From organizing schedules, to designing programs; from applying for grants, to communicating with teachers, students, and parents, Dr. Parks is the heart and soul of HGA. She is a guidance counselor to her students, mentor to her faculty, and a godsend to the parents. It is often that you hear the students talking enthusiastically about the school and their teachers. This shows the impact and the magnitude of Dr. Parks’ influence on the culture and morale of the student body. A Principal is rarely seen single-handedly doing so much for her school, while simultaneously being so loved by her students and staff. Dr. Parks actually has changed the way her school community views Principals!


As a Builder of Jewish education, Dr. Parks has devoted much thought into ascertaining what Judaism means to her students, while encouraging them to understand and connect with their own Jewish values. She has designed a personalized learning environment that allows these concepts to thrive. A champion for robust community involvement and unyielding student advocacy, she has created a diverse community of educators, students, and parents, all of whom are committed to the shared ideas of promoting Jewish values and who remain non-judgmental, caring, tolerant, and inclusive. Most importantly, Dr. Parks sees her students as having limitless potential and has created the right environment to help cultivate the next generation of leaders, innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs to help lead our community and our world.


Dr. Parks was recognized at BJE's Out of the Box Gala on February 5, 2021. For more information about Harkham GAON, please visit their website by clicking here.