"When One Chapter Closes, Another One Opens"
Today as we look forward to our move, we also pause to reflect on the past 15 years to those leaders and institutions who made it possible for us to continue to grow by leasing space to us. In these cases, transactional actions evolved into cherished relationships.
- We thank Rabbi Marantz (and Rabbi Schaalman, z'l and Rabbi Zedek before him), Synagogue Liaison to CJDS, Glen Spear, Cantor Michelle (Shelley) Friedman, Jessica Katz, and Synagogue President Dan Smolensky for sharing their facilities with us which began as a couple of classrooms and is ending with the use of the entire building.
- Thank you to Father John Kalomas and his staff along with lay leaders Gus Zografopoulos and George Marks, and St. Andrew’s President Terri Mikuzis for opening their church and their hearts to our students, faculty and staff and entire community. The words “Vahavta lareycha kamocha- love your neighbor as you would love yourself” were truly beautifully demonstrated in our relationship at CJDS Darom.
- Alderman Harry Osterman and Chief of Staff Jerry Goodmanwill always have our profound gratitude and thanks. One of our greatest challenges in all of our leased facilities was the lack of a gymnasium. Through the hard work and dedication to his ward, Alderman Osterman helped us to secure the Chicago Armory for our P.E. classes for 14 years.
Over the years, in our efforts to demonstrate our appreciation to Alderman Osterman and the city of Chicago, our athletic department staff ran basketball clinics for the neighborhood at the Armory, we had beach and park cleanup projects, we collected food for the Edgewater pantry and participated some years in the yearly holiday program at Senn High School. Alderman Osterman also hosts meetings periodically for all of the principals and Heads of Schools in his ward, and we participated in that as well.
Alderman Osterman was also pivotal in connecting us to St. Andrew’s when we need to expand our middle school. We thank him from our hearts and know that we will all be back from time to time to play at the beautiful park on the beach. We know we will all miss that beach!!
Lastly, we want to thank Demetris Giannoulis, who one day 14 years ago, answered a knock on the door from the Head of School of Chicago Jewish Day School wondering if he would be interested in leasing his driveway. The next thing Demeris knew that same Head of School wanted to know if we could just open the fence to create a gate in order to have a drive-through for carpool. Knock, knock, knock – what does this woman want now? We heard you were moving to New York, is there any possibility we could lease the whole house? Knock, knock, knock, before you leave is it ok with you that we do a little construction on your built-in shelves and create an ark for our Torah…etc.
Demetris has been the owner extraordinaire, and we can’t wait to tour him and all of the above leaders at our new campus.
As we close this chapter of the history of CJDS, we go with very fond and wonderful memories and for sure shed a few tears. We’ve made wonderful friends in the Edgewater neighborhood, and we are grateful to all of you.
Thank you to the CJDS parents who took time away from their busy lives to join us today for Kabbalat Shabbat.
Ms. J (Judy)