Ma Koreh?
What’s Happening?
January Newsletter
Welcome to the Newsletter! The Ma Koreh provides a brief overview into "what's happening" at CJDS. This month's issue features:

  • D'var Kesher, A message of connection, from our Head of School, Rachel Arcus-Goldberg
  • Bringing Light into our Community
  • Alumni Spotilght: Jake Beech
  • Photo Highlights
  • What's Coming Up
  • Community Milestones
D’var Kesher from Head of School
Rachel Arcus-Goldberg
January 3, 2020/ 6 Tevet 5780
Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27
D'var Kesher

On December 11th, at 7:30pm, a Great Miracle Happened in Columbus! CJDS won #1 Private School in Columbus!!! Earlier this year, as part of the “CBus Top Picks” contest for the Dispatch, we were nominated to be one of the top 5 private schools in Columbus. We were the smallest school of the 5, and given that the contest winners are determined by the number of votes, we were honored to make it to that stage. Well, just like the small group of Maccabees was able to defeat the giant Greek army, despite the odds being against us - we won! 

This comparison of our win against much bigger schools to the H anukkah miracle of the Maccabees defeating the Greeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “the little guy.” In many ways, children are “the little guys” throughout the world. One of the things that I love about CJDS is that we give our little guys a voice. Our Tzedakah Club students are empowered to write grants to get a dishwasher to make CJDS more environmentally conscious. Our 3rd-6th Graders get up each week to run our Yachad community meeting. As early as Kindergarten our students are encouraged to participate in class discussions thoughtfully and openly - to find their voice. In little and big ways, our children understand what it means to bring light into the world. 

The most well known of the miracles that we celebrate on H anukkah is that with just a small amount of oil, the Israelites were able to light the Menorah in the Temple for 8 days. Why is this such a big deal? Well, the Menorah in the Temple was supposed to be lit continuously - a ner tamid. Many of you may be familiar with Ner Tamid in your synagogues, or in our Anim Zemirot Tefillah and Music space here at CJDS. A Ner Tamid is not supposed to provide enough light for us to read or do work. Rather, it shines at all hours to remind us that we are not alone. 
After the battle between the Greeks and the Maccabees, the Israelites found the Holy Temple in disrepair. The Menorah Ner Tamid had been extinguished and the only oil that could be used to light it was specially made, particularly pure olive oil. Olive oil that takes 8 days to make correctly. Only a small container of this special oil was found intact in the Temple. I imagine that in the months of siege where the Israelites had to hide their learning, their prayers, their faith - they may have been feeling pretty alone. After winning this incredible battle that allowed them to reestablish their culture, their practices and their temple - a battle that felt miraculous - like it was assisted by God. Relighting that Menorah - shouting to the community “we are not alone” - must have felt momentous. 

In today’s society, we talk about people bringing light into the world through their actions, their words, their philanthropy, their ability to help people feel connected. I believe that this concept comes from the Ner Tamid. It is very easy to feel alone in the world. Most stories about people bringing light, are about helping people feel that they aren’t alone. That they aren’t alone personally, that they aren’t alone in the causes that they are trying to pursue, they aren’t alone in trying to make a difference.
Bringing Light into our Community
At our H anukkah party on December 15th, we honored three people who have brought light to our community both through their actions and through their work with our children. 

Intellectual Sophistication Award : Sheri Gittins

Sheri has been a long time partner of CJDS. Bringing her across the CJDS/JCC atrium to be a teacher for us has been a gift. Sheri quickly established herself as a master teacher and as a leader among her colleagues. Even before she officially held the title of department chair, she was leading the General Studies department.

Sheri's work highlights all of the ideals of Intellectual Sophistication that we at CJDS are working to impart to our students. Integrated lessons that help students connect the concepts they are learning across multiple disciplines and academic subjects. Critical and creative thinking that allows students to come up with new and interesting understandings and solutions to the problems in front of them. 

Thank you Sheri for all that you do to bring light to the CJDS community. 
Social Responsibility Award : Sharon Barr Skolnik

In everything Sharon does, her first thought is how to help others. As the co-president of Kesher (our parent organization), Sharon has made sure to make every faculty and staff member feel appreciated and celebrated - whether on their birthday or just on a long day of work. As the Program Director for the Wexner Service Corps, Sharon led teenagers in the pursuit of serving their community, helping them grow into the next generation of difference makers.

Sharon's greatest accomplishment, in our opinion, is that her children embody the same passion and commitment to Social Responsibility. Dafna, Liav and Hadar have created lemonade stands to raise money for tzedakah club, led peers in a movement to raise funds to add more swings to the playground in order for everyone to have the chance to swing when they want to, and continuously shown kindness to younger students in the school. 

Thank you Sharon for all that you do to bring light to the CJDS community. 
Personal Authenticity Award : Dr. Tali Zelkowicz

Tali came to CJDS as the Maccabees came to the Temple after the battle with the Greeks. There was a lot of work to do to rebuild, to reestablish confidence, and to make sure people knew they were not alone. 

Over the three years that Tali served as Head of School, she established a leadership team, launched a re-branding and marketing campaign, and strengthened the school’s curriculum. In addition, Tali was able to work with the board to secure major gifts from the Wexner Family and to launch the Hadesh Yamenu Campaign, raising unprecedented funds for the school and reengaging donors, founders and alumni families. Tali worked tirelessly to establish relationships with community leaders, to network with other day school leaders, and to lead the school into a place of strength. 
CJDS would not be where we are now if it were not for her hard work and incredible passion for Jewish education, for Jewish life and for the future of the Jewish people. Tali inspired many families to choose CJDS for their children. And most importantly, she helped CJDS find its authentic voice. 

Thank you Tali for all that you do to bring light to the CJDS community. 
Alumni Spotlight: Jake Beech
Jake Beech is a Columbus Jewish Day School alumnus who graduated from CJDS in 2003, attended Bexley schools, then moved to Boston to attend Harvard.

Whenever Jake thinks about CJDS, he feels such a warm glow. "What stands out to me most is how holistic my experience was. Every single one of my teachers was a role model of bringing mind, heart, and spirit together in one space. What a rare and valuable treasure!" Jake recalls. 

Jake shares how CJDS developed his love of learning across all subjects, "I was so interested in everything, I had a hard time choosing what to major in! I ultimately decided on the film department, where I worked mostly on documentary projects, including one about Walden Pond."
For the past five years, Jake has been working as a tutor in Northern California. He teaches all levels of high-school math and also helps students prepare for the SAT and ACT. He works one-on-one and in small groups thus getting to build personal relationships with his students and providing a nurturing space for them. "Just like I received at CJDS," Jake shared.

Jake feels a deep gratitude to Columbus Jewish Day School for helping to foster his love for Earth and nature. "I have fond memories of our field trips to farms, wetlands, and Franklin Park Conservatory, where we all adopted pet caterpillars and raised them into butterflies. Nature and spirituality are so interwoven for me, and I think that has a lot to do with those early experiences."
A few of Jake's favorite CJDS memories include the fourth grade sleepover, complete with a scavenger hunt. During this evening, he recalls seeing Saturn through a telescope for the first time. He also has fond memories of cooking in class, and loved learning to make latkes and hamantaschen.

Reflecting back on his years at the day school, Jake shared that he learned a lot at CJDS: "What stays with me the most is how the teachers made me feel so loved. I still think about them and my classmates all the time!"

Are you or is someone you know a CJDS Alumnus or Alumna who is giving back to the community? Would you like to be featured in our monthly Alumni Spotlight? Reply to this email and let us know.
Photo Highlights
What's Coming Up
Fri., 1/17 - 1:40-2:20 p.m. - MLK & AJH All School Kabbalat Shabbat
Fri., 1/31 - 1:40-2:20 p.m. - All School Kabbalat Shabbat - 5th and 6th Grade Led
Community Milestones
Mazel Tov!

Mazel Tov to proud grandparents Brad and Holly Kastan on the birth of their grandson. Mazel tov to parents Jake and Jenna Kastan , and great grandmother Lenore Schottenstein and great aunt and uncle, Julie and Yoaz Saar.

Mazel Tov to Columbus Jewish Day School for being voted the #1 Best Private School in Columbus! Way to go CJDS Faculty, Staff, Students, Board and Lay Leaders. Thank you Columbus!
Mi Sh'Berach

We wish CJDS friend and Lunch Coordinator Paul Zeigler a speedy recovery.

We wish CJDS grandparent and alumni parent David Lippy a speedy recovery.

We wish Naomi Kayne (longtime friends and supporters of CJDS) a speedy recovery.

We wish CJDS friend and Lunch Helper Steve Shkolnik a speed recovery.
May Their Memory be a Blessing

We extend our condolences to the Moses family on the passing of Diane Moses Sandock , sister of Larry Moses.

We extend our condolences to the Stanley family on the passing of Blanche Young grandmother to Julie Tilson-Stanley, and great-grandmother to CJDS students Jack and Charlie.

We extend our condolences to the Bitton family on the passing of Malca Ramon , father of Natalie Bitton, and Grandfather of Noah and Leo (CJDS Alumni)

Baruch Dayan Ha’emet.
Hakarat Hatov

To CJDS parent organization, Kesher , for creating the crafts and working the stations for the CJDS H anukkah Party.

To Jenny Glick for her hard work organizing the CJDS H anukkah Party.

To Chabad New Albany for presenting and sharing the Olive Oil Press Station. We loved learning how to make olive oil from real olives.
Thank you for voting Columbus Jewish Day School as the #1 Best Private School in Columbus.  Over 400,000 total votes were cast. There are more than 30,000 area businesses and tens of thousands of organizations in Columbus... CJDS was voted #1.

Thank you Columbus  for choosing  us .