No Day School Background?

What is the Akiva Program?

Students at The Leffell High School enroll from more than a dozen different middle schools each year. The Akiva program is geared specifically toward students who have not previously attended a Jewish day school, or who have not attended a Jewish day school in the past five years. These students take specially tailored courses in Judaic studies and Hebrew language that are appropriate to their background, while participating fully in the standard offerings in all other academic areas.
Application Instructions
The Akiva Merit Scholarship application is supplemental to the Leffell School Admissions application. To apply for a merit scholarship, applicants are asked to submit a supplemental essay stating why they are interested in attending The Leffell School and why they should receive an Akiva Merit Scholarship. Applicants should also submit an additional reference from an adult. Both can be submitted to

Akiva Merit Scholarship

The Akiva Merit Scholarships enable students who are new to Jewish schools to benefit from a Leffell School education.

  • Scholarships are available to students entering the High School who have not previously attended a Jewish school or who have been out of Jewish schools for at least five years. 
  • Multiple scholarships are available and are typically awarded in excess of $10,000 per year.
  • Each scholarship grant is issued for four years of high school. 
  • Recipients may still qualify for additional financial aid.
  • Applications are due on February 1, 2023.
For more information on The Leffell School, the High School Akiva program, and the Akiva Merit Scholarship application process, please contact

How Does Akiva Work?

High School  Akiva students are in separate Hebrew, Tanakh (Bible), and Talmud (Rabbinic Literature) classes.

Students remain in the Akiva program for as long as it serves their needs. Some students integrate into regular classes quickly; others continue to benefit for a longer period. We do what works for each student.

Please contact Lisa Bennett, Akiva coordinator, for additional information about the program.

Families of students entering grades K-8 should please contact Director of Lower School Admissions Diana Schutt Franklin or Director of Upper School Admissions Jackie Grosser to learn about integrating Lower School and Middle School students with no day school background.

Emily '19

This year, I didn’t just change schools and make new friends, I was able to step outside my comfort zone and have such a great outcome of a school year. I am so happy that I found a deeper connection to my religion that can only continue to flourish as the years go on.

Annie '21

After my first year as an Akiva student, my perspective completely changed, and I truly found out the meaning of being Jewish. Being Jewish challenges us to be more spiritual, and more compassionate people.
Lower School Campus (K-5)
30 Dellwood Road
White Plains, NY 10605
Upper School Campus (6-12)
555 West Hartsdale Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530