MONDAY/TUESDAY: Bar Mitzvah Celebration, Lighting Candles at JUF, Grade Five Field Trip to Selfhelp Home
On Monday morning, we celebrated the upcoming Bar Mitzvah of Jack and reminded our students to bring in their contributions for both our Care for Real Project and the Make a Wish Foundation. On Monday evening, our Grade Four students traveled to the JUF building after school to lead the candle lighting and sing a few songs. Joined by the JUF staff and ambassadors from various countries, our students represented our school beautifully.
On Tuesday, our Grade Five students took their annual field trip to the Selfhelp Home to entertain and interact with the senior residents. Yasher Koach to the entire Grade Five and all of their teachers for spearheading all of our tzedakah projects this holiday season. As a school community, we collected a tremendous number of items needed for Care for Real and raised funds for the Make a Wish Foundation. The efforts and leadership of Grade Five are very much appreciated.
Namaste: Yoga Classes in P.E.
We also want to give a shout out to alumni parent and talented yoga instructor, Mara MacNeill-Zimmerman, who joined our Athletics department, offering a multi-week yoga experience for our students during P.E. It was wonderful to have Mara on campus. I know our students enjoyed their P.E. classes!
WEDNESDAY: Wexner Reunion at CJDS
Our school hosted the Wexner Heritage Foundation Alumni Reunion on Wednesday evening. We welcomed over 60 Wexner alumni, including members of the current class, some of whom are CJDS current and alumni parents. It was a very special and poignant evening, as the creation of Chicago Jewish Day School really emerged as a result of Wexner participants who felt inspired and empowered by the Jewish education and experience of the Wexner program.
Thank you to our CJDS Founding Board President, Wendy Platt Newberger and the Wexner Reunion Committee for hosting this incredible event at CJDS:
Cortney Stark Cope, Jacob Cytryn, Peter Friedman, Anat Geva, Daniel Gorlin, Hilary Greenberg, Maxine Handelman, Nina Harris, Ethan Kahn, Ann Luban, Scott Newberger, Michele Sackheim-Wein, Bill Silverstein, and Sara Crown Star
President of the Wexner Foundation, Rabbi Elka B. Abrahamson, flew in from Ohio for the event and led a wonderful educational component of the evening entitled Leading with Light, Piercing the Darkness. She underscored how important it is to bring light into this word, particularly in these times. She shared a beautiful and inspiring poem, A Wondrous World. Please take a moment to read it if you want to be inspired.
THURSDAY: Bar Mitzvah Celebration and Grade Four Poetry Pals
On Thursday we celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of Eli. Later that morning, we welcomed our Grade Four Poetry Pal guests. Watching Jewish and Muslim students gathered around the Torah as Morah Tamar Cytryn spoke with them was a breathtaking moment. As I was speaking to Sarah, one of the students’ chaperone parents from the Islamic school, we talked about how similar the chanting of the Koran is to the trope we use to read the Torah and the similarities in eating of food, that halal meat is very similar to kosher and that they don’t traditionally eat pork as well. This mom, Sarah, said to me, “Doesn’t this give you hope that these kids will grow up respecting their neighbors understanding that we have more in common than we do have differences?” It was a beautiful moment.
THURSDAY EVENING: Grade One Violin Recital and Hanukkah Celebration
On Thursday evening, we rounded up the week with a stunning musical Hanukkah program which highlighted the work of our music department. Grade One students participated in an 8-week unit learning how to play both the violin and stringed instruments using the Orff method.
The violin piece was the brainchild of one of our former faculty members and current CJDS parent, Elana Hiller, who is a talented teacher and musician herself. When Elana was teaching at CJDS she also conducted our after-school glee club and always wanted to bring more music and arts into CJDS. Together with our talented and dedicated music specialist, Rachel Jaffe, Elana volunteered her expertise and time as an investment in the future of our music program.
Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom,
Ms. J (Judy)