Ma Koreh   /What’s Happening?
Weekly CJDS Newsletter
D’var Kesher from Ms. Joanna Vilensky
5th Grade General Studies Teacher
February 14, 2019 / 9 Adar I, 5779
Parashat Tetzavah, Exodus/ Shemot 27:20-30:10

"Going Above and Beyond"
We should be nicer than we have to be. We should exceed our expectations for kind behavior and really think about the needs of other people. For fifth grade, I decided our new class motto would be, “Kinder than necessary.” I wanted to show the students the importance of going beyond basic considerations of one another. After a fruitful discussion where we analyzed different scenarios, we decided to keep a running tally of all the times we were kinder than necessary to each other. The kids loved this idea and now tell me every time their friends get their books or pick up their fallen pencils. Every day we have almost the entire class listed on the “kinder than necessary” board.

The idea of going above and beyond permeates everything we do and learn about here at CJDS. In math class, I have multiple sheets printed for students to work ahead. It is a source of pride for students to complete the required work and do the extra sheets. They want to challenge themselves. They want to go beyond the basic requirements.

We also study people who go above and beyond, especially in their ability to be kinder than necessary. We are currently reading The Heart of a Samurai, which is a Newbury Honor Book, based on a true story of a 14 year-old Japanese fisherman whose boat gets thrown off course and is rescued by a whaling ship. The captain of the ship is an incredibly considerate person who wants Manjiro and his friends to be safe and comfortable. We discuss how his kindness is what allows Manjiro to blossom.  

This ties in nicely with our essential question for fifth grade, “How does leadership affect a culture?” [for a list of CJDS Essential Questions for each grade, click here.] Captain Whitfield is the perfect example of a positive role model who elicits successful results. But we wonder, are all leaders positive role models? Are they all kinder than necessary? And what happens when they are not? In social studies, we recently studied the difference between democracies, monarchies and dictatorships and the students began to understand that some leaders do not bother to consider their citizens at all. Some leaders care only about themselves and that has grave consequences for a culture.

It is my hope that as my students venture outside of CJDS, they take these lessons of kindness as part of a larger life practice of going above and beyond and apply it to all scenarios they encounter. I hope they always challenge themselves not just to be kind, but to show everyone what it looks like to go above and beyond in all that they do. And the pride they feel when they exceed expectations leads them (and all of us) to want to keep stretching, again and again.

Shabbat Shalom,
2019-2020 Update!
Re-enrollment contracts for the 2019-20 school year will be mailed and emailed to all current families in grades K-5 on March 1.

Families who are interested in tuition assistance, please submit your SSS application no later than February 15. Don’t wait until the last minute. You can access it now and get it done early. We have aligned the schedule of deadlines so that families can see financial aid decisions reflected on their contracts.

We are currently accepting applications. Interested families can begin the application process now by visiting the "APPLY" tab on our website:
Friday, February 15: President’s Weekend NO SCHOOL
Monday, February 18: President’s Day NO SCHOOL
Friday, February 22: All School Kabbalat Shabbat (1st Grade Leading) 1:40 p.m.-2:20 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27: Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 28: Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Monday, March 11: Faculty Work Day NO STUDENTS
Thursday, March 14: 1st Grade H agigat Hasefer 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Friday, March 15: All School Kabbalat Shabbat (2nd Grade Leading) 1:40 p.m.-2:20 p.m.
Thursday, March 21: Purim Parade and Megillah Reading 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Friday, March 29: All School Kabbalat Shabbat (Music Theme) 1:30 p.m.-2:20 p.m.
Missed The Chronicles last week?
דִבְרֵי הַיָמִים
CLICK on the image below to read our student newspaper!
Lunch & Recess Clubs
  • MONDAY RECESS: Dance Club with Ms. AG & Katie Feldstein
  • TUESDAY LUNCH: Israel/Hebrew Club with Lin Raveh - Israeli Shlicha
  • WEDNESDAY LUNCH: Tzedakah Club with Susan Couden & Rabbi Sharon Barr Skolnik
  • THURSDAY RECESS: Journalism Club with Dr. Denae D'Arcy
  • FRIDAY RECESS: Choir with Angelo Dunlap
CJDS's Tzedakah Club is excited to be starting a new project, collecting Pennies for Patients!

We are raising funds to help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fund life-saving research. You can help our efforts by donating today. Send your change to school, and change someones life.

The Pennies for Patients program is a service learning, character education and philanthropy program where students gain the unique experience of helping thousands of children and adults in their fight against blood cancers like leukemia. Pennies for Patients helps students see firsthand how their involvement can make a difference!
MONDAY: Theater Club with Giselle Siegel, Artistic Director of the JCC Gallery Players
TUESDAY: Tennis for students 10 and Under (K-5th grade)

NEW DATES: January 8– February 26 (No Class 2/19)
 7 weeks of fun!
LIFECYCLES In our community, at every point, our families are perpetually entering new stages in their lives. In keeping with the tradition of living Jewishly, CJDS acknowledges, honors, and celebrates these moments: Births, B’nei Mitzvah, graduations, marriages, and in moments of illness, healing and loss.
Mazal tov to CJDS alumna Leah Bates (2013) on her acceptance to Kent State University, School of Nursing .
Mazal tov to CJDS alumna, Leah Dobres (2013) on her acceptance to Boston University .
Mazal tov to CJDS grandparent, Mordy Feinberg , Ari Feinberg's (2023) saba (grandfather) on his second Bar Mitzvah and to Mickey Feinberg , Ari's savta (grandmother) on her special birthday! What a special treat it was for Ari to celebrate with them this past weekend.
Mazal tov to CJDS grandparent, and alumni parent, Pam Lippy on her induction into the JCC Sports Hall of Fame . Pam (pictured here, lower left, with her husband, David Lippy , sister and granddaughter, Marleigh) is grandmother to CJDS kindergarten student Marleigh Calhoun (2025) , and mother to Adam Lippy (2014) and Harrison Lippy (2011) .
The Hebrew term for gratitude is הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב (Hakarat HaTov), which means "recognizing the good."

To Angelo Dunlap for all his amazing time and dedication given toward the third and fourth grade class in preparation for the Kabbalat Shabbat performance.

To Angelo Dunlap for his positivity and willingness to encourage others. It was inspiring to see his hard work and direction of the 3rd and 4th graders for their Kabbalat Shabbat performance.

To Susan Couden for all her efforts in creating beautiful artwork with our third and fourth grade students for their Kabbalat Shabbat performance .

To Paul and Polly Zeigler , for their dedication and time devoted to streamlining the CJDS hot lunch program.

To Yehudit Kanfer , Ari Scheier and Sharon Barr Skolnik for assisting and covering classes for Eran Rosenberg while he was in New Jersey, attending a Tal Am conference.
MI SH'BERACH When a member of the CJDS family is ill or in need of healing, the entire community lends its support and its prayers for a full and complete recovery. 

We are so happy that the surgery of Yaacov Ramon, grandfather of Noah (2020) and Leo (2024) Bitton, went smoothly, and we continue to wish him a full and speedy recovery.

We wish our dear CJDS friend Community Shlicha Lin Raveh, a speedy recovery.

We wish Dr. Malcolm Robbins, grandfather of Max Glick (2007) and Sam Glick (2013), a speedy recovery.

We wish our dear CJDS friend and community volunteer, Steve Shkolnik, a speedy recovery.
KESHER: CJDS Parent Organization
As in the past, we are so grateful to all the help from the community members - grandparents, friends, parents, and others – on whom we rely to serve hot lunch to our students. Our volunteers bring such a warmth and love to our students and we love having all of you! In order to make this sign-up process even more smooth this year, we would love each family (any family member or friend) to sign up for two dates during the whole year to serve lunch. It can be a parent, a grandparent, a special friend - anyone who is interested in spending time with our wonderful students and serving them food.
CJDS is proud to have a Parent Organization called Kesher (Hebrew for "connection"). Kesher has a team of grade representatives led by a president.

Kesher is responsible for the CJDS Hot Lunch program, social gatherings outside of school, teacher appreciation, the CJDS Chesed committee and more! To get involved, please be in touch HERE.
Hot Lunch server responsibilities include:

11:15 a.m.: Arrive at CJDS
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Set out the plates and assemble lunches
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m.: Students arrive for lunch at 12:00 p.m. and we help serve the lunch to those who have ordered.
Help with cleaning up and conclude by 1:00 p.m.