A JK-12 pluralistic school that engages students in an exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish education.

CESJDS Links BLog

A guest blog sharing the voices, wisdom, and insights of the CESJDS community.

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Tell Me Your Story!
Sharon Metro, Director of Development

Experts forecast that approximately $40 trillion will change generational hands over the next fifty years, making it the greatest transfer of wealth in history. Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School is looking to the future and keeping this in mind. One way that organizations achieve long-term sustainability and take advantage of the tremendous wealth transfer that is beginning to take place, is through planned giving.

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Challah is Key
Orna Siegel, Director of Enrollment and Tuition Assistance

The magic of challah begins by combining a few humble ingredients. You can smell the yeast as it bubbles. Using your whole body to knead the dough offers an opportunity to practice mindfulness and offer gratitude for the food you are creating (from your own two hands!).

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D'var Torah
Rebecca Weiss (Grade 11)

This week’s Shabbat is a special shabbat because it happens in the middle of Sukkot. In the torah portion, we read a section of Shemot, where God tells Moshe that the land of Canaan will be for the Jewish people.

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Dvar Torah - Ki Tavo - Eli, Lena, and Shevi Lerner ('16, '18, '22) Kabbalat Shabbat
Addie Bard, Sophia Sadikman, Noah Kuperberg (Grade 12)

As the student council grade representatives of the senior class, we want to welcome you to our first Kabbalat Shabbat of the year! More excitingly, welcome to your first friday of the year! 

You might be wondering what we have been up to, or if we have been up to anything at all. We got the water bottle filter installed, and we’ve worked hard to create a science lab that is new this year, similar to math or writing lab. Now back to the approved program.

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CESJDS STEM Teachers Attend Teacher Maker Institute for Educational Technology
Cassandra Ly

This summer, Director of Instructional Technology Ginger Thornton, Upper School STEM Coordinator Cassandra Ly, and teachers Terrilynn Platt and Rabbi Marci Aronchick attended a week long Teacher Maker Institute for Educational Technology in Palo Alto where they were immersed in STEM and the Maker Movement. Cassandra Ly has written a blog post about the experience to share the inner workings of the Institute.

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Principals Perspective (June) - Rabbi Matthew Bellas
Rabbi Matthew Bellas

Unplugging for the Summer: The first year I went to sleepaway camp was before my third grade year and I really didn’t know what exactly to expect.  I knew that I was going to a Jewish overnight camp somewhere near Seattle, WA, that it would take about five hours to get there by bus, and that there would be lots and lots of different outdoor activities for me to enjoy all day long.  While I was a very active child in a variety of sports, I also was a big television and movie kid.

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5th Grade Siyyum Address - Rabbi Matthew Bellas
Rabbi Matthew Bellas

Last Thursday night, the Greater Washington, DC community experienced a momentous event.  After 43 years as a franchise in the National Hockey League, the Washington Capitals went into Las Vegas, were able to win their 16th playoff game of the year, and earned the right to raise the Stanley Cup and call themselves champions.  As a native born and bred Canadian from Vancouver, watching the final minutes of the game, I was fully aware of what that victorious moment meant for the team, the fans, and this community.  My hometown Vancouver Canucks were founded four years before the Caps in 1970, have reached the Cup Finals three times - all in my lifetime while twice playing a game 7 - but have yet to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup.

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Dvar Torah - Parshat Shelach
Alexis Bell and Rayna Armon (Grade 11)

Welcome to the last KabShab of the year! Congratulations to everyone for completing (or almost completing) another full year of school. 

This week’s parsha is Parashat Shelach. God tells Moshe to send 12 spies to Canaan to scout out the land. They return with an abundance of fruit and report that the land is bountiful. However, ten of the spies also claim that the land is filled with giants and cannot be conquered. Only Caleb and Joshua say that Bnai Yisrael should do as God said and conquer the land. 

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Principal's Perspective (June) - Dr. Marc Lindner
Dr. Marc Lindner

Have you ever worked hard to solve a problem, struggled and persisted mightily, only to have a  solution arise when you diverted your attention away from the problem? Or have you ever worked on a piece of writing, reached a point at which you lost your "flow," set the task aside for a while, and then returned to it and made quick progress?  I suspect most of us, if not all of us, have had one or both of these experiences.

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Mentoring Lower School Girls in Coding
Aliza Rabinovitz (Grade 11)

Only twelve percent of engineers are female, according to computerscience.org. Statistics like this are the reason why it’s not just important to bring more women into STEM fields, but to get them excited about it.

The goal of CoderGals, a national organization founded in 2015, is to start this interest young. CoderGals clubs are all-girl environments so that girls can feel confident with themselves and never feel that they are alone in liking computer science. The clubs are also for students of various grades, which fosters bonds between the girls and contributes to the feeling of a powerful female community.

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Principals Perspective (May) - Rabbi Matthew Bellas
Rabbi Matthew Bellas

In my first Principal's Perspective article that appeared during the first term, I wrote about the concept of "Whole Child Education" and how it manifests in our school.  We take seriously the importance of focusing our teaching and learning not only on excellence in academics, but also in the social-emotional, spiritual, and physical domains.

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Principal's Perspective (May) - Dr. Marc Lindner
Dr. Marc Lindner

Last month, with contributions from several of our outstanding faculty, I wrote about the alignment of current CESJDS extracurricular activities with our Portrait of a CESJDS Graduate.  It stands to reason that we think a lot about the education of our students in the present for the sake of their futures, and The Portrait is an inherently forward looking document.

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