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In the basement of Chevy Chase’s Ohr Kodesh Congregation, seven Jewish children started school as the first class of what would someday become the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

  • The Solomon
  • Schechter School
  • Opens its Doors

Acting on a recommendation by the American Association of Jewish Education, the UJAF moved to establish a Jewish community junior-senior high school.

  • The Jewish Day
  • School is Formed

Extracurricular involvement is started on campus as a group of jocks form the first basketball team and an ensemble of thespians put on the School’s first ever production show.

  • The 1st B-ball Game is
  • Played And the 1st
  • Musical is Performed

The Jewish Day School builds its first permanent home, a $2.7 million facility located on a 10-acre site at the corner of East Jefferson Street and Montrose Road.

  • Students and Staff
  • Move to East
  • Jefferson Street

Twelve years after its inception, commencement is held for a group of six seniors who became the first class ever to receive a diploma from the Jewish Day School of Greater Washington.

  • 1st Class Graduates
  • After Returning
  • from 1st Israel Trip

On November 9, 1980, convocation was held to officially rename the School after the philanthropist’s extraordinary contribution in supporting the Jewish Day School and making it a reality.

  • School Becomes
  • the Charles E. Smith
  • Jewish Day School

A member of the CESJDS staff since 1973, the beloved Assistant Principal and former Director of Guidance Services and Counselor was named the school’s new headmaster.

  • Dr. Shulamith Reich
  • Elster appointed
  • to Headmaster

Girls browse through prom dresses for the first time at CESJDS as the exciting winter fantasy, the Senior Prom, gives many the opportunity to bid farewell to the Class of 1984.

  • A Night to Remember:
  • The School Holds
  • its 1st Prom

1.5 million pennies were collected to purchase a Sefer Torah in memory of the children of the Holocaust. The ceremony served as the fulfillment of a promise “never to forget.”

  • New Torah
  • Dedicated in
  • Historic Ceremony

Upper school students and staff attended the first school-wide Kabbalat Shabbat, held in the multi-purpose room and auditorium on Friday, September 12, 1986.

  • School institutes
  • Kabbalat Shabbat

Noted Soviet dissident and proclaimed hero of the Jewish people Natan Sharansky and President of Israel Chaim Herzog both battle major snowstorms to pay the School a visit.

  • Natan Sharansky
  • and Chaim Herzog
  • visit CESJDS

“If we don't teach our children who they are and what their history is, how can we expect them to grow up to be part of the community?” - Jack Kay, Jewish Communal Leader

  • CESJDS Celebrates
  • Its 25th Anniversary

One of the most exciting days for the Israel community, Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), is celebrated with the first ever school-wide singing and dancing competition.

  • The Hebrew
  • Department Hosts
  • 1st Zimriyah

To get students to feel and connect with the history of their people, the School organizes a trip to Poland (as a prelude to the Israel trip), for seniors to visit sites of the Holocaust.

  • School Implements
  • 1st Senior Trip
  • To Poland

One campus becomes two as The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Upper School finishes construction and welcomes students into its doors for the first time.

  • CESJDS Opens a
  • 2nd Campus for
  • its Upper School

After serving as the Head of School at Carmel Jewish Day School, accomplished teacher and educational leader Jonathan Cannon was selected to lead the School and its many constituents.

  • Jonathan Cannon
  • Appointed to
  • Headmaster

As part of the school’s mission of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, classmates gathered on June 5th to participate in the first ever Students in Action Day, taking place all over the metropolitan DC area.

  • CESJDS Gives
  • Back with Students
  • in Action Day

March 26, 2010 was a night filled with art, music, singing, photography, acting and dancing as Arts Chai-Lights showcased nearly a whole year of CESJDS art into one magical evening.

  • Creativity is
  • Sparked with 1st
  • Arts Chai-Lights

Students, teachers and administrators take a break from their studies twice a week to come together to foster community and build positive relationships as part of the new Kehillah program.

  • Students Bond
  • Across Grades
  • With Kehillah

Bringing with him a long and rich history with Jewish education, Rabbi Mitchel Malkus was appointed to carry the School into the future and pave the way for continued growth and achievement.

  • CESJDS Names Head
  • of School, Rabbi
  • Mitchel Malkus

Fifty years since its inception, CESJDS marks the occasion with a year-long celebration as it looks back on its past and sets the course for the next 50 years of growth and development.

  • CESJDS Celebrates
  • its 50th Anniversary

Today, CESJDS is thriving with ~1,000 students. Students have the opportunity to participate in 26 clubs and 39 sports teams while broadening their education with the STEM innovation lab.

  • CESJDS Today:
  • Building Our Future