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Middle School Community

Our middle school is a community which learns and celebrates together in rich, diverse, and meaningful ways. In addition to our academic classes, we purposefully and thoughtfully create opportunities for the community to grow together and support one another. We mark hard work, growth, ritual, holidays, and milestones with a joyful, immersive, and accepting spirit.


Advisory offers students a consistent, dependable opportunity to get to know themselves and each other through intellectually challenging games, activities, and discussions. We use this time to specifically address the social and emotional issues of young adolescents as well as developing good study habits. Students are divided into groups of 12 and remain with the same advisory teacher for the three years of middle school. 

Tefillah (Prayer)

Jewish prayer, the central spiritual practice of the Jewish People, is a significant part of one's individual relationship to the Divine and a powerful way to build community. Chicago Jewish Day School is committed to developing daily prayer services that are both educationally and spiritually meaningful. We model diverse visions of tefillah where students and teachers of different backgrounds, commitments, and beliefs can fulfill their religious obligations and/or nurture their minds and souls in ways that are compelling to them.

B'nei Mitzvah

We celebrate each and every student’s bar or bat mitzvah in school and with them in their home communities. Students take great pride in leading services at school and demonstrating their proficiency with Torah reading and writing a D’var Torah (homily), and we take great pride in supporting them. These celebrations represent the best of CJDS: confident student leaders, joyful and supportive participants, and an inclusive community, including family and friends of the bar or bat mitzvah.

Chagim (Holliday Celebrations)

Our students learn the key concepts and historical background of each holiday. They learn the customs and mitzvot (commandments), special b'rachot (blessings) and liturgy for Shabbat and the Jewish holidays as they celebrate them with their class and with the school community. Middle School students partner with staff to create meaningful, joyful celebrations for themselves and younger students.

Tikun Olam (Repairing the World)

We weave values of tikun olam into every aspect of the school experience. Throughout the school day, students learn about their communities and the world's needs and are challenged to respond to those needs through ahava habriut (love of God's creations), tzedek (justice) and chesed (righteousness). Middle School students have created and implemented successful fundraisers, community drives, visited the elderly and volunteered in local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Grade Eight Israel Trip

From the moment our students begin their journey at CJDS, they connect with Israel. They learn about the land, the diversity of the people, the history, and the politics of the country. This learning culminates in a two-week trip to Israel in Grade Eight. Teachers who have taught our students accompany them for this first-hand experience. While in Israel, students explore their own Jewish identities, their relationship to the State of Israel, and their connections with the people living in the state by engaging in activities that help them think critically and fall in love with it.

Experience the Grade Eight Israel Trip

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