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Ya’aleh v’yavo, Rise Up and Aim Higher!

Dear CJDS Community,

Bruchim Ha'bayim, Welcome, to the 2018-2019 school year, 5778-5779!

The year began as four busloads of students, students arriving by car, as well as walkers and bicyclists, entered the doors of CJDS on Wednesday morning, August 29th. Students and parents alike were greeted by administrators and faculty through an entry depicting our school-wide theme of Ya’aleh v’yavo, Rise Up and Aim Higher!

Together, with the quotation from Harriet Tubman, “Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world,” our students walked through a starlit walkway on their way to their first day of class.

Thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, and our committed administration, along with our brand-new facilities, Wednesday proved to be our best opening day ever!

This year’s picnic was one of the most well-attended first day picnics in our history! It was so heartwarming to watch our community coming together on the first day, hosted on our very own sports field. It takes a village to organize events such as our first-day picnic. Special thanks to our Parent Committee Co-Chairs, Brooke Herszage and Cara Gutstein, for spearheading the efforts. If you would like to help and become more involved in the Parent Committee, I know they are always looking for volunteers. Please contact Brooke or Cara and let them know if you are interested.

We are currently in the Hebrew month of Elul where we sound the shofar each morning, which is in line with Jewish tradition during this month. The tradition of sounding the shofar each day of Elul was created by our rabbis as a way for us to begin preparing for the Yamim noraiim– our high holidays. Sounding the shofar is like hearing an alarm clock that will wake us up and remind us to reflect upon our values, our actions, and how we behave as human beings. We encourage our students and our faculty and staff to take just a moment each day and think about ways they could do better in the coming year. If your family owns a shofar, feel free to send shofarot to school with your child(ren). We will help them learn to blow shofar if they don’t already know.

All-School Curriculum Night and our State of the School Meeting is coming up on Thursday evening, September 13th. Please plan to attend. Curriculum night really affords a unique opportunity for all parents to meet with all of your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year and hear about the grade-specific curriculum as well as their plans and expectations. 

In addition, parents can turn in forms that might have slipped by, meet any new parents in your child’s class (if you are a new parent, meet returning parents in your child’s class), and pick up information you might still need. You will also hear from the Board leadership and Head of School at the State of the School meeting.

Please note that the JUF Annual Meeting and Luncheon is also scheduled for Thursday, September 13th. A special shout out to our very own CJDS Parent, Irene Lehrer Sandalow (Eli, Grade 7; Abe, Grade 4 and Henry) as she will be receiving the 31st annual Samuel A. Goldsmith Young Professional Award, honoring Jewish professionals whose exemplary performance in their work at a Jewish agency in the Chicago area has benefited the entire Jewish community. We encourage any and all adults in our CJDS community to RSVP and attend to support JUF and Irene. We are making a CJDS table(s) and would love to host a strong showing. Our Grade 8 students are invited annually as well along with a number of other day school students in order for them to begin to see and experience the importance of this central Jewish agency.

We would like to especially thank our first Kabbalat Shabbat guest, Rabbi Steve Lowenstein of Am Shalom for honoring us as our first Kabbalat Shabbat guest of the 2018-2019 school year. We hope this will become an annual gig for Rabbi Lowenstein. We thank him for taking the time to visit during this busy High Holiday preparation season!!

Lastly, I want to offer the schecheyanu prayer of thanksgiving for bringing us to this new campus facility for our first full year. We greatly appreciate the following individuals/organizations for helping us to reach this day. It's truly a milestone for Chicago Jewish Day School.

  • Our major donors who made this possible
  • The Jewish Federation of Greater Metropolitan Chicago
  • The grant organizations
  • Annual and capital giving contributors
  • CJDS lay leadership and professional staff
  • CJDS faculty, staff, and administration
  • CJDS parents, grandparents and friends
  • CJDS Rabbinic Advisory Group

If you know anyone who might help us reach the end of our capital campaign so that we can complete our project, please contact our Director of Institutional Advancement, Naomi Shapiro.

Wishing a L’shanah Tova Tikateyvu to one and all, and please enjoy a happy Labor Day weekend.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. J (Judy)