What is Happenings?
Welcome to the second issue of SDJA's Happenings ! This will be 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
Our robotics students haven't slowed down since transitioning to remote learning. Our middle school robotics class (6th and 7th graders) is experiencing a long-term project called, "Designing for Disability."  The students began by researching and defining these 4 types of disabilities: physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, hearing impairments, and vision impairments. The  class has been coming up with questions to ask our guest speakers that are centered in their experience as a child, teen and adult. The students have been incredibly meaningful, respectful and sensitive. They will take part in 4 guest speakers so that all 4 focus groups above are represented. The purpose is to gain insight, build empathy, and have more information.  The next step of their robotics/engineering work will be designing a physical prototype to improve the daily experiences for one of their researched focus groups above.

Check out these photos to see what they came up with below!
Students designed and presented solutions for public transportation accessibility. They created solutions for a student who needed to go from La Jolla to Downtown San Diego on the trolley to meet with their friends for dinner. They chose an engineering design solution for one of the 4 focus groups.
Students heard from one guest speaker last week, who lives with a hearing impairment and  will hear from another guest speaker, who has a vision impairment.
Students built at-home prototypes for people with disabilities from household objects. Then researched and presented to the class on how to support a student with a disability.

Students are building models for playground  accessibility. They chose one of the 4 focus groups. Students are now creating a 3D design in a new program they are learning called   Tinkercad .

During MUS Kabbalat Shabbat, Rabbi David Frank asked his students to reflect on the following questions: What makes you sad? What brings you peace? What do you love about Israel?  What brings you  Shalom Bayit, peace in your home?

Students shared their answers in the Zoom chat as a way of fostering group conversation. Our very own MUS Jewish Life Director, Yvonne Webber, has been turning their answers into WordArt.
Please enjoy their beautiful expression!
Remote Learning With Our Littlest Lions!

This week, our Early Childhood Center students received a virtual hello in the form of this beautiful picture from our amazing ECC staff and faculty!
VideosVideos of the Week

Chef Giselle Wellman Teaches Us All About Seeds

CheckItOutCheck It Out
SDJA HomeTalks Podcast

Welcome to our new podcast called SDJA HomeTalks. Every week we will bring you segments created and performed by SDJA students. We will share music, opinions, news and more for your listening pleasure. 

Episode 4: 
Check out our current contest with Amazon Gift Cards to the winner! That's right Za Et Ha Kul SDJA's very own version of The Voice!  We will be collecting audio audition recordings from anyone - student, staff, faculty that would like to enter this talent search.  You have a week left to enter, it will take just a few minutes. 

You can get more details on the contest and check out all four episodes  here!
Senior Spotlight Seniors
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!  
Gaby Wellman

Favorite SDJA memory:
 My favorite memory at SDJA is the first time I put on the Lion's Suit. It was at the football homecoming game in Freshman year and I remember being so nervous before. As soon as I put it on it felt right and I knew that I couldn't let anyone else be the mascot other than me.

Teacher Shoutout I don't have one, it's like asking to pick a favorite movie... there are too many good choices to just single out one. All of my teachers and administrators have played such an important role in my time at SDJA and I am appreciative of each one of them.

What I will miss most about school Everything. SDJA is like home for me and everyone in it is like my family. The relationships that I have formed here are so special, and the people who I have formed them with are who I will miss the most.

Favorite Covid-19 activity: 
I have been learning new songs on my ukulele and on the guitar. Just having fun without an overwhelming amount of things to do.

Plans for next year:  I am going to be attending Boston University's School of Education
Ilan Leisorek

Favorite SDJA memory:  Making it to the Football finals for the first time ever.

Teacher Shoutout:  Mrs. Falkiewicz , Mrs. Webber and Coach Trotta

What I will miss most about school Seeing all of the faculty and my friends every day.

Favorite Covid-19 activity: Cooking

Plans for next year:  Take a gap year in Israel and then go to Northeastern
Maiya Hirschhorn
Favorite SDJA memory:  8th grade overnight
Teacher Shoutout: 
Miss Nebo
What I will miss most about school: 
My peers and friends
Favorite Covid-19 activity: Drawing
Plans for next year: 
Going to Pratt Institute (NY)
Karla Vainer
Favorite SDJA memory:  Winning Powderpuff
Teacher Shoutout:  Dr. Eisen
What I will miss most about school: The people and community
Favorite Covid-19 activity: Tanning
Plans for next year:  USC
Sofia Kucinski
Favorite SDJA memory: Winning powderpuff junior year
Teacher Shoutout: Mrs. Falkiewicz
What I will miss most about school: Our grade
Favorite Covid-19 activity: Baking
Plans for next year: Culinary school: Johnson and Wales University

Deryn Klein
Favorite SDJA memory: Going on all of the grade trips
Teacher Shoutout: Mrs. Hansen
What I will miss most about school: The community that has been built over the years.
Favorite Covid-19 activity: Watching Netflix
Plans for next year: Loyola Marymount University (LMU)

SGNSome Good News
SDJA Moot Beit Din Team Brings Home Victory in First Ever Zoom Competition
Wishing a mazal tov to all three of SDJA's Middle School Moot Beit Din teams. Our students have spent months studying Jewish texts, preparing halachic arguments, and rehearsing oral presentations about this year's case-- Whether someone with a blood-clotting disorder is obligated, according to Jewish law, to donate bone marrow to a woman who is dying of cancer. 

On April 26th the teams competed in the first ever Zoom Beit Din. After four rounds of competition and machloket l'shem shamayim (holy debate) with students from Pressman Academy, the judges chose the winning team: Julia Nieberg, Eliana Pons, Spencer Foss, and Sam Land! 

We are so proud of you and all your hard work. All our students received glowing feedback from the judges, Congratulations to all our 2020 Moot Beit Din participants: 
Kayla Scott,  Ari Rosenthal,  Sarah Datnow,  Hannah Gutman,  Alex Lerner,  Jack Silberstein,  Julia Nieberg,  Eliana Pons,  Sam Land,  Spencer Foss and, of course, our  fearless leaders, Rabbi Jacobson and Mrs. Tenenbaum.

Here are a few screenshots of our winners!

DivisionsDivision Updates
GMLS Update
By Kelley King, Head of Lower School
We know that keeping students engaged can be a real challenge when they are doing school remotely. Here are five tips on how to keep your child motivated:
  • Movement: Kids need to move their bodies frequently throughout the day. Encourage your child to get moving during their breaks and after school is finished. Make the physical activity a family affair. 
  • Screen time: Minimize or eliminate your child's use of devices outside of school work. Non-school time should be spent engaged in outdoor activities, physical activity, imaginative play, working on hobbies, and the like.
  • Reduce distractions: Have your student work in a place that minimizes distractions, such as background noise and family members walking through.
  • Adjust the schedule as needed: Every child is a little different. Listen to your child and make sure that he/she isn't getting too tired or frustrated. Afternoon enrichment activities may work well one day, but not the next. At the same time, balance that flexibility with maintaining the important routines such as bed times, waking times and school start times.
  • Visual checklists: Many students benefit by having their schedule printed off for them so that they can see what is coming up and can check things off as they go. This also helps to build the child's independence.
To create a little excitement for the students, we have some fun days coming up:
  • May 12th: Lag Ba'omer Sports Day & Virtual Jogathon - check your email for all the details.
  • May 18th: Pajama Day
  • June 8th: Crazy Hair Day 
Thank you for your continued partnership. We miss you and hope to see you very soon.
Please fill out the Class Placement Input Survey!
Every spring, we send out a survey to gather information that you would like us to give special consideration to as we develop class lists for next year. Please fill out this  short survey  by Friday, May 15th.
MUS Update
By Steve Kahn ,  Dean of Academics/College Counselor
When SDJA pivoted to continuing our students' education through virtual classes on Zoom, the college counseling class was no exception. Since the middle of March, the juniors and I have soldiered on in our online environment, discussing college essays and activities lists and addressing questions about standardized testing and how applications for the coming year's cycle will be different, and will be read differently, than ever before, perhaps in the entire history of college admissions.

Most recently, the juniors had the opportunity to interact in their Zoom college classroom with admissions representatives from campuses large and small on both the east and west coasts. The representatives led lengthy sessions in how applications are actually read in admissions committee environments-and role played with the students to put them in the position of functioning as admissions officers who had to make and justify admissions decisions on three fictional applicants (whose applications were informed by real student data from past application seasons). I was so impressed by our juniors' poise and sophistication in these sessions-several of them even made a point of extending their contact time with the representatives 10 and 15 and 20 minutes beyond my announcing that class had ended for the period.

Next year, with whatever challenges it may bring, is going to be just fine for our juniors; they're well prepared to take next steps.

College Representatives who attended the SDJA event:
Tulane University
College of Charleston
University of Redlands
Reed College
University of Puget Sound
Lewis and Clark College
Dennison University
University of CO at Boulder
Chapman University

5/12 Schedule in separate email  GMLS and Preschool Virtual Jog-A-Thon and Sports Day. All details and Zoom link sent in separate email. 
5/12 10:00-10:40am How to Create your Parenting Mission Statement with Amy Scher- Exploring Jewish Values and Personal Characteristic development to prioritize your intentions in parenting.
5/13 6:45pm Virtual Hebrew Ulpan- Beginner level taught by Morah Shira. Intermediate level taught by Noam Shmueli. Please RSVP to Karen Breziner to confirm your participation.
5/14 4pm SDJA Virtual Challah Bake- Please join us on Zoom for a family baking night led by our very own, Chef Giselle Wellman and Rabbi David Frank. 
5/19 8:00-8:40am Mindful and Conscious Parenting

Please join us for a night of challah baking as a family! 

We will bake together via Zoom led by our very own, Chef Giselle Wellman, Rabbi David Frank and Shani Zamir. 

Here are the ingredients you will need:
1 tablespoon dry yeast (or 1 package) 
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
4 cups flour 1 egg
½ cup oil
Extra flour as needed to shape the challah 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
Any toppings of your preference (sesame, poppy seed, chocolate chips ) 
A Moment of Gratitude 
What are SDJA parents saying about remote learning?
"We are writing to let you know how pleased we have been with SDJA's response to COVID-19 and all of its unfortunate aftereffects. We are thankful that the administration took action early, which undoubtedly prevented students/families from becoming infected with the virus and allowed the teachers to transition quickly and smoothly to online learning. Many schools have limited class time, along with limited teacher availability. This has wreaked havoc on students' schedules, learning, motivation, and in many cases, family dynamics. We are so appreciative that SDJA has maintained a full academic schedule to provide structure to my child's days. Each school day allows for a predictable routine. After readying himself each morning for the day ahead, he reports that his remote, live classes begin with teachers who are clearly still focused on the students learning.  He "sees" and interacts with his friends during class, and he knows his teachers are still available if he should need extra help. While he misses being on campus and is itching to return, he feels school is going well. This is not what we hear from most of the students we work with or know at other schools." 
"Navigating the college process is stressful. Going through the college process during COVID-19, when so much is unknown and quickly changing, is just plain anxiety provoking. You have not missed a beat, and, as always, are there to help answer our questions, direct us, and calm our nerves. We thank you, the administration, the teachers, and staff. I have always been grateful to have my child at SDJA, and this experience has only reinforced that we made the right decision in sending him to SDJA where he is supported and challenged academically, and supported in his social and emotional growth. We are deeply grateful."
Support Our SDJA Community
Helping SDJA Family-Owned Businesses

During these uncertain times, what remains steadfast is our love for, and commitment to, our SDJA community. In an effort to support each other in what can be challenging times for businesses, we are going to regularly feature local businesses owned by SDJA families. 

If you are a business that is still open and providing services or goods while following the guidelines for social distancing during this pandemic, please let us know. We are putting together a special communication that will be emailed out regularly to our entire community, and we will also share on social media in the hopes that your SDJA community can help support you. Please submit your information in this form or reach out to us at marketing@sdja.com.
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
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