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

Why We Give

Kimberly Hasenberg, Mother to Ellie (Grade 9) and Benny (Grade 7)

My husband and I give to the Ma’ayan Annual Campaign because of our daughter and current 9th grader, Ellie.

Ellie had in her mind for years that she would go to Madeira for high school because she loved horseback riding and she knew at that high school it could be part of her daily curriculum. After a year and a half under her belt at CESJDS, during the winter of eighth grade, I begrudgingly asked Ellie if she wanted me to set up a tour, because we had promised her we would look at Madeira.  She looked at me like I was crazy and yelled, “I am never leaving JDS!” Dayenu!

Last year, when I picked her up on the last day of school, Ellie got into the car crying, and through her broken sobs I heard, “I don’t want school to be over!”  Later that day Ellie said, “I don’t think kids at other schools feel the way my friends and I feel,” and I think she is right.  Dayenu!

In Advanced Geometry this year, Ellie was struggling with a concept and started to talk with her counselor, Melissa Gartner, and her teacher, Reuben Silberman, about the pros and cons of moving down a level.  Brilliantly and with great care, neither of them told Ellie what to do, but spent many hours guiding her through the decision-making process.  Dayenu!

If she switched classes BEFORE the big test, she would go to her new class with a much better grade.  Though very nervous, she decided to give the advanced class one last hurrah, taking a huge risk.  Ellie got home that night and told me a story that still brings tears to my eyes.  She took the test.  Later that afternoon, she was in the locker room dressing for a basketball game.  Melissa ran in and showed Ellie her phone screen - where Ellie saw her score -  A+!  All the players who knew how worried Ellie was about staying in the higher level class started jumping up and down and hugging Ellie.  Dayenu!

Ellie came out of the locker room and there was Reuben waiting for her, and he joined the celebration.  Ellie said, “I know teachers in other schools care about the kids, but I don’t think they care THAT much!”  Dayenu!

I could go on with more stories, but DAYENU!

This is Ellie’s story.  Of course we also love CESJDS for our 7th grade son, Benny.  We give to the Ma’ayan Annual Campaign because we ask ourselves, “If not for CESJDS, where would our children be in school?” and we do not want them anywhere else!  CESJDS - the administration, the teachers, the coaches, and the students - is our partner in raising our kids.  What could be more important than that?  Our contribution to the Ma’ayan Annual Campaign says that we appreciate all of the above that CESJDS gives to us.  We appreciate the CESJDS community that adds so much quality to our lives.  We do not take CESJDS for granted and we feel a deep responsibility to give back to a community which gives so much to our family now, and our hope is that CESJDS will be here for many future generations with stories like Ellie’s.

We recently learned that the Zitelman family made a generous planned giving commitment through a life insurance policy to make an impact on CESJDS well into the future.  With their gift, they challenged the School to record 25 additional planned giving commitments.  Because we care about CESJDS today, and the future of this special school, we have also committed to including CESJDS in our estate planning. Please join us by investing in the Ma’ayan Annual Campaign, as well as making a provision to include CESJDS in your future plans.  

Kimberly Hasenberg

Spouse of John Hasenberg and Mother to Ellie (Grade 9) and Benny (Grade 7)