What is Happenings?
Welcome to issue #6 of SDJA's Happenings ! This is a weekly roundup of feel-good stories and visuals about our families, students, academics and community.  We also want to hear from you! If you would like to contribute a story, picture or other media to a future issue of Happenings , please reach out to our marketing team at  Marketing@sdja.com

In this issue:
  • This Week In Remote Learning
  • Videos of the Week
  • Stay Connected!
  • Division Updates 
  • Check It Out
  • A Moment of Gratitude
  • Class of 2020 Senior Spotlight
  • Upcoming Events
This Week In Remote Learning
As part of their nervous system unit, the 5th  graders went on a virtual field trip with the help of Dr. Kobi Koffler, who has been showing our 5th graders the inner workings of his Neuroscience Lab for the past five years. This year, the students conducted their tour through Zoom. They were able to see neuron images under magnification and real specimens. Dr. Koffler answered questions about clinical trials, scientists helping injured veterans and the ethics of animal testing.

Please enjoy this artwork from our 5th graders! 

Every week, SDJA HomeTalks Podcast brings you segments created and performed by SDJA students. The podcast features music, opinions, news and more. It's  the brainchild of the theatre classes, as well as all of Mr. Tommy Collins music classes. Each week the classes work to produce the project, researching the process, producing the music, editing the segments, writing copy, and recording. The result is the work of about 20 students. This proud group of students hopes this project will keep evolving, even as we return to campus.

Check out all episodes  here!
Remote Learning With Our Littlest Lions 
Landon and Bennett reading and playing together in their comfortable pajamas. Thanks for sharing your photos with us and send our love to your older brother.
Grant made a delicious blueberry milkshake with his grandma.

Oliver has been gardening, strawberry picking and seashell collecting. Our future environmentalist!
Nicole having a wonderful time outdoors. Your hike looks fun!
Today Ms. Limora and Ms. Laela teach you how to make waves in a bottle. This sensory bottle gives a visual on how waves work. 
Videos of the Week
SDJA Lions Awards (2019-2020)
SDJA Lions Awards (2019-2020)

Middle School Math Town Hall Meeting 5.26.2020
Middle School Math Town Hall Meeting 5. 26. 2020

High School Math Town Hall Meeting 5.26.2020
High School Math Town Hall Meeting 5.26.2020
Stay Connected!
If you're missing SDJA during this remote learning time, there are a few ways you can connect with us from the comfort (and safety) of your home!
SDJA On Social Media 

Follow us on  Instagram and  Facebook to get updates and fun pictures. 

Division Updates 
By Kelley King, Head of the Lower School

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
If you are like me, you have struggled to find the words to describe what we have experienced this spring. Ironically, Dickens' words from 161 years ago seem to capture it perfectly, as though he was right here with us. 
During this time of trials and tribulations, we have each grown wiser. We have questioned what is foolish and what is not. We have grown stronger in our convictions and beliefs. Incredulous is what I still feel every day - do you? We experienced light (family time together, our virtual gatherings) and darkness (job loss, stress, illness). There is hope for positive change in the world and despair for those who continue to suffer.
This past school year was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Through the worst of times, we came to value more deeply our relationships with one another, our friendships, long-lost hugs and the anchor that a teacher provides in a child's life. We have grown in love for our school community. We have grown in appreciation for the partnership between a teacher and a parent.
Through the worst of times, we came to know the best of times. Perhaps the best of times have always been right here with us - and that the worst of times simply reminded us of that.
Thank you, parents, for being the source of light and hope for your children and the teachers this spring. We are so thankful for your kind support, your invaluable insights, your patience, your encouragement and, most of all, for joining hands with teachers to give your children our collective best. May we all never lose sight of the gratitude and perspective we have gained during this Dickens-worthy time.
I hold you all in my heart and can't wait to see you in person!
Registration is now open to enroll in our SDJA Summer Kickstart Program for grades P4/PK- Fifth Grade. Four one-week camps will be offered during the weeks of July 6 th , July 13 th , July 20 th , and July 27 th . Students will be able to sign up for one, two, three, or four weeks. The Summer Kickstart Program is a remote-learning camp that will run from 9:00-11:30 daily. Geared towards helping students strengthen their reading, writing, and math skills during the summer months, students will engage in various activities that target essential skills while pushing them to think critically and creatively. Students will also participate in different STEM, drama, art and music lessons to highlight the week's unique themes. In order to ensure a quality experience for all students, we will limit the class sizes. If your child's class is full, please register for the waitlist and you will be contacted when space becomes available.
NEW ADDITION! We are excited to add a 6th Grade Math Camp to our Summer Kickstart Program! Rising 6th-Graders are invited to join this one-week math exploration during the week of July 27th, to review key concepts, foster creative problem solving and encourage deep thinking.
Student Recognition

As we end every academic year, the MUS faculty recognizes and celebrates the outstanding accomplishments and performances by students in the upper school. In our annual Lions Award ceremony, academic excellence, leadership and character award recipients are named. Athletic performance and character, in both individual and team sports, are celebrated at the Athletic Awards ceremony. The full list of the 2019-20 Lions and Athletic awards recipients are listed below. Congratulations to all students who were recognized this year for their performances and contributions to the MUS community.
2019- 2020 Lions Awards
Humanities - English
Middle School: Hannah Gutman, Julia Nieberg, Ofel Mosessco
High School: Kayla Swartzberg, Leya Shaw, Jessie Gan, Rebecca Mannor
Humanities - History
Middle School: Victoria Sabol, Gabi Rafii, Ofel Mosessco
High School: Jimmy Cohen, Jack Hanlon, Kayla Swartzberg, Gabi Acks
Middle School: Cami Traub, Spencer Foss, Kayla Scott
High School: Nataly Cohen, Yosi Galicot, Jed Edelstein, Jessie Gan
Middle School: Andrew Abeles, Gabrielle Rafii, Spencer Foss
High School: Dalia Gerson, Sammi Weiss, Wenduo Yin, Jessie Gan
Yehudit Sherman z"l Science Fair Award:  Maya Zagurksy
Middle School: Sophia Williams, Natalia Galicot, Spencer Foss
High School: Rikki Dorfan, Fania Pupko-Ginsberg, Gabrielle Acks, Rebecca Manor
Visual and Performing Arts/Arts and Music
Middle School: Hannah Gutman, Max Pollak, Rayna Williams
High School: Nathaniel Manor, Isabelle Flores, Devin Marcus, Yuval Hamond
Practical Arts
High School: Gali Laska, Ilan Leisorek, Gabriela Wellman
Middle School: Mattan Cruz, Samuel Ross
High School: Rena Novom, Alejandro Waiss, Joshua Miller, Diego Kohan
Judaic Studies
Middle School: Hannah Gutman, Gabi Rafii, Kayla Scott
High School: Kayla Swartzberg, Jessie Gan, Sharni Marcus, Eitan Breziner

Ariela Moel
Hui Zhu
Gali Laska
Rosie Alchalel
Maya Silberstein
Eitan Breziner
Kayla Swartzberg
Gabriela Wellman and Ilan Leisorek
Maya Silberstein
The SDJA Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking
Kwaku Anning
Chris Hill
Alicia Johal
6th grade - Hayley Copans
7th grade -  Kayla Scott
8th grade - Gabrielle Rafi
9th grade - Sharni Marcus
10th grade - Kate Aizin
11th grade -Brannigan Stone
12th grade -  Evan Kohn
2019.20 Athletic Awards
Iron Lion Award Winners: Mia Hansen, Ilan Leisorek, Gabriel Dorenbaum
Golden Lion Award Winners: Ella Diamond, Ella Gutman, Lia Gabai ,Samuel Trakman, Joseph Galicot, Jordan Sherr, Jonathan Cohen, Jayden Youngleson, Jack Hanlon, Brenan Klein, Jesse Katz, Benny Lombroso, Hannah Velazquez, Jimmy Lai, Brendan Marx, Noa Rosenbaum , Sivan Gabai
Male HS Athlete of The Year: Gabriel Dorenbaum
Female HS Athlete of The Year: Mia Hansen
SDJA Athletic Leadership AwardEvan Kohn
Performance of The Year: Liora Langman & Kate Aizin
Perseverance Award: Brannigan Stone
Lions Pride Award: Gabriela Wellman
Best Team: 2019 Varsity Football
High School All League Honorees:

Alexander Russo- 1st Team Offense Citrus League
Gabriel Simpser- 1st Team Offense Citrus League
Ilan Leisorek- 1st Team Offense Citrus League
Jaime Cohen- 2nd Team Offense Citrus League
Benny Lombroso- 2nd Team Offense Citrus League
Jayden Youngleson- 1st Team Defense Citrus League
Gabriel Dorenbaum- 1st Team Defense Citrus League, Defensive Player of The
Alejandro Waiss- 2nd Team Defense Citrus League
Jonathan Cohen- 2nd Team Defense Citrus League

Karla Vainer 1st Team Ocean League
Galia Cohen 2nd Team Ocean League

Mia Hansen- 1st Team Ocean League & Co-Player of The Year
Joana Zaga Michan- 1st Team Ocean League
Natalie Artenstein- 2nd Team Ocean League
Karla Vainer- 2nd Team Ocean League

Eitan Breziner- 1st Team Pacific League
Evan Kohn- 1st Team Pacific League
Devin Marcus- 1st Team Pacific League
Jayden Youngleson- 1st Team Pacific League & Player of The Year
Gabriel Dorenbaum- 2nd Team Pacific League
Ilan Leisorek- 2nd Team Pacific League
Gabriel Simpser- 2nd Team Pacific League

Josh Posnock- 2nd Team Ocean League
No Place For Hate
By  Sarah Greenstein,  School Counselor

At San Diego Jewish Academy, our commitment runs deep to creating a campus environment and culture that is resoundingly, No Place for Hate, and to provide meaningful anti-bias education for our faculty and students that impacts the world outside our campus
community. This moment in our nation's history demands that we act definitively and purposefully. As we wrap up this school year, we are proud to announce that San Diego Jewish Academy Lower and Upper Schools have earned our 2019-2020 designation as an ADL No Place for Hate School. We commit to diving deeper into our anti-bias education for the 2020-2021 school year by expanding our No Place for Hate education and advocacy programs school wide. 

In the past few months, as we pivoted to provide our full educational program via the virtual platform during the current global pandemic, the need to offer creative pathways for human connection, community building and collective compassion became increasingly more important.  As our young people navigate their academic, recreational and social worlds almost exclusively online, the No Place for Hate program gives us relevant and meaningful  avenues for exploring how we treat each other both in person and on the screen. It helps us to shine a critical flashlight on the power of words, images, and all sorts of media in contributing to an online culture of caring and acceptance rather than hate or negativity. 

In GMLS, our student leaders from the Kindness Committee helped envision and plan a powerful campaign entitled "The Kind Words Project- What Words Can Do." This initiative kicked-off with a Modeh Ani assembly virtual introduction to the responsibility we carry to use our words to make the world a better place rather than to hurt others. Student leaders Avi (1st grade) and Emunah (5th grade) McCurdy; Ari Gimbel (1st grade), Gabriel Shuster and Savannah Becker (2nd grade), showcased their sample posters, demonstrating the choice to use (or not use) certain language to heal and unite rather than to hurt. In the following week, students attended virtual guidance lessons focused on the power of words, with a specific emphasis on how young people use their words online. Students created their own posters and contributed to a meaningful video highlighting SDJA's commitment to kind words. 

In the upper school, students engaged in two separate virtual No Place for Hate events, as a follow-up to our high school "All Words Matter" campaign. Through these programs, students explored the use of stereotypes, slurs and hurtful jokes. Students were invited to share their observations through a communal virtual journal slideshow.  
Check It Out
The Room (Zoom) Where It Happens 
Monday, June 8th at 7:30PM

SDJA is proud to participate in the 2nd Annual "The Room Where It Happens" the teen portion of the acclaimed San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. Students from the MUS Art, music and Theatre classes are appearing in this Zoom presentation.

Patrons interested in viewing can send an email to trwih2020@gmail.com for the link and password.

We hope you can join us to celebrate our students' hard work, dedication and talent!
Kicking off this year's festival on Monday, June 8th at 7:30 PM is "The Room Where It Happens." The 2nd annual teen performance showcase will take place through the magic of the internet, with prerecorded and live performances by uniquely talented teens from all over San Diego. These young artists will come together virtually as a community to perform music, theatre, dance and much more!  The online event will feature teens from San Diego Jewish Academy, Temple Solel and Congregation Beth Israel along with individual performers from all over San Diego. A donation in recognition of the night's performances will be made to the high school arts program in San Diego's sister city: Shar Ha-Negev. This program is directed by Rebecca Myers and is in partnership with the San Diego Jewish Academy.
Pandemic Parenting Webinar

If you weren't able to join WeCare San Diego for Pandemic Parenting, a webinar led by parenting expert and bestselling author, Rachel Simmons, y ou can access the recording here Please use this password: PP2020. 
A Moment of Gratitude 
Michael Jeser, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County, and father of Eleanore, a student in the San Diego Jewish Academy Early Childhood Center, shares his thoughts. 

"I just want to recognize and acknowledge the SDJA ECC preschool and San Diego Jewish Academy for their efforts to engage students and families during this pandemic. From the perch of an ECC parent, my wife Laura Jeser and I are so thankful that the class continues to 'get together' via zoom each and every day. The teachers are amazing as they sing, read books, and keep the class engaged. We are grateful to the teachers for the activities they send to us to do with our daughter, which is such a treat and so fun to do. These efforts also help our kids maintain their friendships with each other, which we know is so valuable. Laura and I want to call out Director, Yael Edelstein as well as our sister teachers Limora and Laela Lazarus - and thank them for the constant and consistent efforts they deploy to enrich our daughter's and our family's life. As the CEO of Federation, I'm so proud that this jewel of an institution exists in our community."
Senior Spotlight
Each week we will feature a few of our amazing seniors from the Class of 2020! Mazel Tov to them and their accomplishments. We are so proud of you and can't wait to see all the wonderful things your next journey brings!  
Sharon Cohen
Favorite SDJA memory:   The grade trips, from Arkansas to San Francisco, we always bonded the most during these field trips.
Teacher Shoutout:  SER BEAR!!!!! (Mr. Sered) 
What I will miss most about school:  The community and the teachers. 
Favorite Covid-19 activity:   Sleeping
Plans for next year:   I'm making aliyah to Israel in July and enlisting in the IDF around December/November.
Alice Vilenski
Favorite SDJA memory:  Our trip to Boston in 10th grade.
Teacher Shoutout:   Dr. C
What I will miss most about school:  S eeing my friends' faces everyday.
Favorite Covid-19 activity:  Spending time with my brothers.
Plans for next year:   Northeastern University
Victoria Cohen
Favorite SDJA memory:  Our first Kabshab as seniors when we began hugging during a Hebrew song and then everyone else joined in the hug and sang together.
Teacher Shoutout:   Dr. C and Dr. Eisen
What I will miss most about school:   The teachers, our friends, and battle of the bands.
Favorite Covid-19 activity:   Baking
Plans for next year:   University of Michigan
Ariela Tepperman

Favorite SDJA memory:  When I covered a wall in the art room of tinfoil for one of my portfolio pieces for college. Doing that project just reminded and got me excited for my future and love for art.
Teacher Shoutout:  Ms. Nebo, Dr. C and Rabbi Frank 
What I will miss most about school:   Belonging to the special community that is SDJA and feeling a sense of home every time I walked through the school gates.
Favorite Covid-19 activity:  Painting
Plans for next year:   Parsons

L'Chaim: An SDJA Virtual Celebration
Save the Date: Step-Up Ceremony  (Zoom link will be sent as we get closer to the event).
Get to know incoming Head of School, Zvi Weiss, during a Zoom fireside chat hosted by SDJA Board Chair, Heidi Gantwerk. RSVP to   aberkstein@sdja.com. 
Support Our SDJA Community
Support San Diego Jewish Academy while you shop!  

Simply click the links to several retailers below and SDJA will earn up to 5% of your purchase as a charitable donation. If you do not see your favorite stores, please let us know and we will be sure to add them for you!
Macy's     Nordstrom     Target     Expedia      Wine.com       Neiman Marcus      Amazon Smile
SDJA FAQ's During COVID- 19
Stay Connected