With Pesach/Passover around the corner, I find myself thinking about the community oriented focus of the Torah and Judaism. One of the most important values of Pesach, and in my experience one of the pillars of the Jewish people, is that no one should be alone for seder.
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During February, I had the privilege of representing BBYO at the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) Conference, along with over one hundred passionate members of the Jewish community dedicated to making our country a more inclusive place for all.
In my February Principal’s Perspective I wrote about college admission and included my interview of Sue Rexford, Director of College Guidance. Near the end, I wrote the following: When we consider education to be a means of self-development and self-discovery, of broadening our perspectives and developing the confidence and the tools to tackle a myriad of life’s problems, then I believe we can rise above our culture’s prodding to somehow link our self-worth with the name of the college we attend.
This past Sunday, eleven of us flew down to Atlanta, GA to join over 1,100 other Jewish educators from all over the globe for the 2019 Prizmah Conference. There we were encouraged to dream together. Several of our faculty members presented the phenomenal work that they are doing at CESJDS and how they and CESJDS are leaders in the field of Jewish Day School education.
Story Grammar Marker® is a manipulative and multi-sensory tool for narrative development that helps students develop reading, writing and speaking skills that are essential for academic and social success. Our learning specialists were fortunate enough to attend a training this summer with founder and creator, Maryellen Rooney Moreau.
We know that college education, graduate education, and the nature of paid work are different today vs. years ago. Nearly 20% into the 21st Century, high school education now prepares students for a less predictable, less-defined, and more dynamic future. Given this landscape, some argue that for high school education, content is no longer king--emphasis should be on development of thinking and communication skills that can be applied in any context, including contexts that none of us have yet envisioned.
Six members of the CESJDS Class of 2019 will join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) this summer. The IDF, צה״ל in Hebrew, defends the existence of the State of Israel, its independence, and the security of the citizens and residents of the state. National military service is required for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18.
In today’s world, teachers have to teach about race and racism in our country, delving into the complexities of race relations throughout American history, the progress that has been made, and the areas in which growth and change need to occur. As a classroom teacher in a Jewish day school, I have embraced the challenges that come with teaching about race in a predominantly homogeneous class. Prior to teaching any unit centered on race, I consider several key questions.
In the Middle School we approach supporting our students through a holistic lens. One way in which we do this is through the strong partnership we have created between our Educational Supports Services (ESS) Learning Specialists and our School Counselors. Each week, the two teams meet together with Middle School administrators to review how students are doing, evaluate student growth over time, identify potential red flags, look for overarching patterns, and determine clear action items that we believe will help contribute to a student’s success.
Members of the Class of 2019, it is a sincere pleasure to have been chosen by your particular class as faculty speaker. As a grade, you are beloved by the teachers at JDS for qualities you possess that make you very special. You have always been an easy group to teach. You are an incredibly talented grade, as we’ll hear more about today and Sunday.
This month marks the 11th anniversary of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Jewish communal organizations across the country are participating in this month to raise awareness for the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Picture this: You graduate from JDS. You travel to Israel with all your friends. You are in your freshman year at college, and you land your first summer internship. Summer is here, and it’s your first day on the job, somewhere in Virginia. You’re late because you don’t know where you’re going. You find the place, you are rushing to get there somewhat on time.
Change is hard. I have been a student at CESJDS since kindergarten, and the thought of leaving is, for lack of a better word, weird. In my life I have a routine: I go to school, hang out with friends, participate in a variety of after-school activities, and spend time with my family.
In Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers, it’s said that we have three names in our lives: The name we are given by our parents. The name we come to be known by. For you, Class of 2019, maybe this is what’s on the back of your senior jersey. The third name is much more than a name. It’s the essence of who we are, what emanates from us out into the world. It really can’t be encapsulated with just one name or one word. I have some thoughts about how to develop this third name that I’ll share with you now.
It is always a privilege for me to speak to the senior class at their graduation ceremony, but, because of who you are, this is an especially meaningful year for me. You, Class of 2019, entered the high school with a reputation that made all of us excited to welcome you to the ninth grade. Your lower and middle school teachers spoke about your kindness, your accepting nature, and your willingness to look out for one another. You had opinions and you were not shy about sharing them, but you always did so with respect and an open mind.
A recent Washington Post article about colleges’ early admission programs highlighted two of our soon-to-be graduates, Henry and Kate Sosland. Henry and Kate found success via early admission, yet, “They didn’t flaunt it. They knew the numbers for many schools were brutal.”
The Jewish community's voice has always been strong, particularly when it comes to Tikkun Olam and helping others in need. Also, legislative and grassroots advocacy have always been important too.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education is all the rage in the United States and beyond as schools work to prepare children for a rapidly changing and developing world and for jobs that have not yet been invented/created.
The CESJDS Middle School is committed to offering an exceptional program where innovation meets tradition. This past summer our Middle School team took a serious look at our Health and Sex education curriculum. We believed it was time to find new and better ways to engage our students in an important conversation with considerable consequences.