Ma Koreh   /What’s Happening?
Weekly CJDS Newsletter
D’var Kesher from Josh Tranen
CJDS Alumnus (2004)
Editorial Associate, Duke University Academic Press
Graduate of Yale, (2018) B.A., American Studies
February 22, 2019 / 17 Adar I, 5779
Parashat Ki Tisa, Exodus/Shemot 30:11-34:35

"Holding Fast"
The two most vivid memories I have of CJDS are the days I received books. The first book was my siddur, or prayer book, which I personalized with a cloth jacket decorated with fabric paint. I remember feeling especially proud of my design, in particular the neatness with which I had written the word siddur in sparkly metallic silver. The second book was my H umash, a volume of Genesis, the first of the Five Books of Moses. Each book marked a milestone in my Jewish development: the siddur my entrance into prayer rituals, and the H umash my introduction to Jewish scholarship.

The beauty of the siddur and H umash ceremonies were how they combined the entrance to communal Jewish learning through a personal connection with our parents. This emphasis on the personal—on making learning a part of our personal growth—was present in all of my classes at CJDS, from math and science to Hebrew language. This year marks fifteen years since I’ve left CJDS, but these memories, and the commitment to learning that my teachers, classmates and parents imparted to me, has remained.

I love books—I always have and, full disclosure, I work in book publishing. My parents used to joke that Barnes and Noble was my “natural habit,” and I definitely spend too much of each paycheck building up my library. My favorite memories of CJDS may therefore not come as much of a surprise. But what makes these moments stand out in my mind isn’t just the books themselves but how they were given to us: each book had its own ceremony where they were presented to us by our parents.

When I attended CJDS we often sang the song “ Etz Hayim Hi Le’Mahazikim Bah”— “It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it.” The most famous part of the song is, unsurprisingly, the first half, which promises the reward of life and prosperity. But rarely do we spend time lingering on the second half, which clues us into the work that needs to be done to attain the reward: holding fast. 

What does it mean to hold fast? I’d like to think that it looks like the H umash ceremony, where my classmates and I stood together as our parents unfurled and encircled us with an entire Torah scroll, surrounding us with parchment and words. Incidentally, the plural of “ Etz Hayim” also refers to the wooden handles of the Torah scroll. In the literal action of holding fast to the Torah, our parents also modeled what a lifelong holding fast looks like: an investment in learning. 

Shabbat Shalom,
Josh Tranen
ANNOUNCING the first ever CJDS Alumni Award Recognizing Dr. Gina Freeman’s Legacy at CJDS:   

The Gina Freeman
Shomrei HaAdam V’Ha’Adamah Award
Honoring CJDS Alumni, Guardians of Humanity and the Earth.
This award was created to honor the legacy of Gina Freeman Ph.D., founding educator at Columbus Jewish Day School, who taught at the school from 1998-2018, and helped to build CJDS’s unique program that combines Environmental Education and Service Learning. This $500 award recognizes a CJDS alumna or alumnus each year who is engaged social action work that embodies the values and contributions that Gina embedded in the school’s culture and curriculum over many years, and that we wish to continue to bequeath to future generations. The recipient may use the award towards a middle or high school, or post-graduate education or program.

Any student who attended CJDS is eligible to apply for the Shomrei HaAdam v’Ha’Adamah award. The recipient will be a student in middle school, high school, or college, who demonstrates significant passion for serving humanity/Adam and/or contributions to protecting HaAdamah/the earth:

this individual will be someone who initiates important interventions to help make the world a better place through love for the environment and caring for other people.
the recipient must demonstrate significant excellence, passion, and leadership by taking on some responsibility for guarding humanity and the earth through volunteering, making monetary or non-monetary donations, utilizing their talents in any ways that help repair different corners of the world, locally or globally, and/or by
demonstrating strong social-emotional caring of people of all ages that helps bring wholeness and dignity to others.
“My heart is full knowing that this great honor will recognize the deep values of CJDS in our wonderful graduates. The true honor will be reading about the many stories from you, our Alumni, about your important work in your communities and the world. Please take a few moments to share your story and fill our hearts with pride.”
-Dr. Gina Freeman, Founding Director of Environmental Education and Service Learning, and teacher leader for 19 years at Columbus Jewish Day School

Award Presentation will take place: Thursday May 23, 2019, at CJDS Arts Night, 6:30-8pm
Deadline for application: Monday April 15, 2019.
A printable application may be found HERE.
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:
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.
Due to the shortened school week,
our Ma Hadash classroom newsletters will resume next week.
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 the Bodner family, on the birth of a new baby girl:  Dora Simone Bodner . Dora was born on 2/20 at 12:47 pm. weighing 7 lbs 15.3 oz and measuring 18.5 inches long! They are doing well, and (cjds kindergartener) Ariella (2025) is such a proud and excited big sister!
Mazal tov to 3rd grader, Jonah Davis (2022) , whose hard work and practice led him to become the First Place Winner, Elementary Category in the 2019 Women in Music Columbus Young Artists' String Competition! He will perform the 1st movement of the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A minor in the winners' recital to be held in Riley Auditorium, in the Battelle Fine Arts Center at Otterbein University on Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. We are all so proud of you, Jonah!
Mazal tov to CJDS alumna Leah Levin (2018) on becoming a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel on February 9, 2019.
The Hebrew term for gratitude is הַכָּרַת הַטוֹב (Hakarat HaTov), which means "recognizing the good."

To Angelo Dunlap and the Jewish Studies teachers for stepping in while people were out sick this week.

To Julie Ecker for her support with morning fitness this week.
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 our dear CJDS friend and community volunteer, Steve Shkolnik, a speedy recovery.
We are so saddened to lose Dr. Malcolm Robbins, z”l:

Husband of (Marion) Jo Robbins
father of Anne Robbins, Marlene Robbins, Kay (Dan) Ehrenkrantz
Brad (Jenny) Glick and Sharon (Steve) Marmor

Malcolm was the beloved father-in-law to Jenny Glick, Director of Admissions and Marketing, alumni parent, and past board member and Board Chair of CJDS. Malcolm was a devoted stepfather and grandfather to Brad Glick, and CJDS alumni Max (2007) and Sam Glick (2013), and husband of Jo Robbins, who is a long time close friend and strong supporter of CJDS.  

Jenny shares that, as a pediatrician, Malcolm dedicated his life to caring for children, and loved seeing his grandsons thrive at CJDS. Jenny said that one of the best ways to remember Malcolm is to bring some goodness into the world in his memory. As well, the family would be honored by a donation to CJDS or a charity of choice, in Malcolm’s memory. Donations to CJDS may be made here: or by calling the school at: 614-939-5311.

The funeral service took place on Thursday, February 21 at Epstein Memorial Chapel. Shiva will be observed at the home of Bradley & Jenny Glick: 7046 Doran Dr., New Albany, 43054 on Saturday, February 23 after 7:00 p.m. We extend our deepest condolences to Jenny and her whole family, and send our love to them at this difficult time. You may read more about Malcolm's life here
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.