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.
CESJDS Links BLog
A guest blog sharing the voices, wisdom, and insights of the CESJDS community.
Contribute to CESJDS Links! If you are interested in authoring a blog post, please submit the form.
A lot has changed about CESJDS recently, but I’m going to explain something that has remained constant since my high school days at JDS until my return this year as a math teacher. (And, no, I don’t mean the fantastic cafeteria cookies. That’s an article for another time.)
As a parent and educator I am constantly thinking about what the appropriate balance of authority is with my children and students and how to strike that balance. After all, my children at home and in school are human beings with their own experiences, worldviews, interests, and concerns.
Arts Chai-lights is fast approaching; the time where all of our students’ arts accomplishments take center stage. It is an evening celebrating arts education and the capacity for creation and artistic innovation within our students. Though once the evening is over, how do we talk about the arts with our students? What do we say when our students show us a piece on which they have been working or after a performance?
I work at a Jewish organization, Charles E. Smith Life Communities, and on my first day, I felt especially fortunate when I saw mezuzahs in doorposts throughout campus.
I am traveling in Israel with the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School group on the JWRP trip. We arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday. As I walked to my hotel room and saw the mezuzahs in all the rooms, it hit me: I am in Israel!
Rabbi Malkus, Head of School, and Dan Mendelson, President of the Board, recently introduced the Portrait of a CESJDS Graduate to our community. In their introductory email, they indicated that the Portrait represents both our current curriculum and our aspirations for our graduates.
Each morning at the Lower School, we recite this teaching from rabbinic tradition as a kavanah/statement of intent for the activity of our school day.
Yesterday we remembered the millions of innocent lives lost and destroyed during the senseless atrocity of the Shoah/Holocaust. Today we also make a point of giving those who survived, their children, and their grandchildren space and time to share their memories and grief with us.
I spent 13 years at JDS from kindergarten through 12th grade. Like many students, I didn't realize at the time how much it would prepare me for the rest of my life.
The cover article of the March 5-18 issue of New York Magazine is titled “How to Raise a Boy,” a topic that I was immediately drawn to, since I have one of those creatures living under my roof who I love very much. The author, Will Leitch writes: “Like any parent, I would do anything for my children, and like any parent...I want my kids to have a better life than I did. “
In their final year of high school, our students complete their coursework in January and graduate in February. From late in February to late in May, most of them participate in our culminating trip to Israel and Eastern Europe. Even for those who have been to Israel previously, the profundity of this trip cannot be overstated.
March 14, 2018 was a remarkable day in our Middle School and it was not only because it was Pi day! On Wednesday, each one of our grades was involved in both planful and spontaneous experiential learning.
In my last Principal's Perspective article, I described the important role that professional development plays in school improvement and shared information about the incredible consultants and trainers we have worked with this year to support students the areas of executive functioning, anxiety, and challenging behaviors.
When my now 24-year old daughter was in elementary school, I watched her sing and sign with American Sign Language (ASL) in the school’s aptly named “Fabulous Flying Fingers” chorus. At the time, I was teaching t’filah here at CESJDS as well as at my synagogue. As I watched her and her fellow students (most of whom were not hearing impaired) perform with such enthusiasm, I knew that, somehow, “hands” had a place in prayer learning.
One of the main goals we have at CESJDS is to help our students grow their inner mensch. During the Middle School years this can be particularly challenging given the number of hurdles early adolescents must navigate, such as hormonal and physical changes, cognitive changes, and the shift from focusing on child-adult relationships to peer-peer relationships.
This month marks the 10th 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.
I had the privilege of addressing the Class of 2018 at their Siyyum last Friday. Following is the message I shared with them: I'm reading a book titled How, written by a man named Dov Seidman. Seidman's message, which I absolutely positively agree with, is this: While what you do is important, how you do it is equally important, if not more important.
In my 40 years at CESJDS, I have worked with many classes and each group definitely has had a distinct personality. So, how do I see you, the Class of 2018? You are wonderful, accomplished individuals but what defines you as a group? Trying to find the answer to this question was a challenge. So, I turned to you for your input. I asked you how you would characterize your class.
Class of 2018, it is such a tremendous honor to be representing my esteemed colleagues at your Siyyum today. I have been fortunate enough to have taught virtually all of you in the graduating class, and I couldn’t think of a better way to send you off than to give you some life advice one last time. So, on that short note, I will do my best to answer the impossible – the age-old question – what is the secret to success?
Thank you Rabbi Malkus, Dean Landy, Mrs. Kaplan, for inviting me today. It truly is an honor to be here on behalf of the alumni community. And it’s wonderful to see so many familiar faces.
When I was asked to speak a few months ago, the first thing I did was turn to my wife, Leah, who graduated with me in the class of 2004, and said, ‘What should I talk about?’