This past Thursday, Grade 4 students welcomed their peers from the Sacred Heart school and the Muslim Community Center Academy to our campus. These students participate in Poetry Pals, a program we have been engaged with since 2012. Poetry Pals is a youth organization that uses creative expression to promote understanding, cooperation, and peace in our multi-faith society. The program is a centerpiece of our Grade 4 curriculum, breaking down barriers and promoting empathy by pairing schools from diverse faith communities.
The morning began with a welcoming ceremony led by Poetry Pals staff and a review of participation expectations the students themselves wrote. Director of Jewish Studies and Campus Life Morah Tamar Cytryn gave a presentation about Judaism, introducing Sacred Heart and MCC students to the Torah and explaining its significance.
Grade 4 students then led their guests around the Beit Midrash, offering explanations about the space and its contents and answering questions their peers had about being Jewish. The bulk of the morning, however, was spent in small multi-faith groups where students collaboratively created art in celebration of their combined interests and faiths.
In the next few weeks, Grade 4 students will visit Sacred Heart and MCC where they will learn from the two schools' groups of students about the Christian and Muslim faiths.
Stay tuned for information about the culminating showcase, which will feature the poetry and art that these wonderful students created together!
At CJDS, our commitment to community extends beyond the classroom and school. We build bridges and create connections with local schools, community centers, and neighboring institutions. CJDS role models what we teach our students: to be active and engaged citizens of multiple communities. We are bridge builders and community builders.