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1st Place in Birmingham: McWane's Celebrate Science!
    Our school was one of eleven local schools to participate in the McWane Center's Celebrate Science Competition, and our students' "Brilliant Buoyancy" exhibit prototype earned first place. Their prototype will be on display at the McWane Center, and the NEMJDS earned $1,500 in prize money.
   To kick off the program, the students visited the McWane Center early in the year to learn what makes a successful exhibit. Students then began to brainstorm their own exhibit concepts. As a class, students came up with three different ideas, buoyancy, sound vibrations, and lightning and cre ated  display boards for each idea as a preliminary step in the design process.  Elizabeth Gargus, McWane education specialist, visited our school to hear about the three ideas. In groups, our students presented the ideas, and Ms. Gargus gave feedback where she emphasized the teamwork aspect of scientific research. Students then set up all three displays for our Grandparent and VIP Day and took notes about which exhibit drew the most attention. Students then narrowed in on "Brilliant  Buoyancy " and began constructing their final prototype.
     For the final "Brilliant Buoyancy" prototype students used recycled materials found around the school and worked together to create the ideal design. They had to solve the problems they encountered during the initial display, such as how to retrieve marbles from the water and how to get air in the water bottle submarines. Rather than use water in the final model, the teams took pictures of the activities and then used their creativity to make a final model of the exhibit. They used water bottles, a plastic aquarium, blue felt and yarn, and blue beads to represent the water. Another challenge for the students was to explain the activities using engaging diagrams and as few words as possible. 
    Each student had a critical role in this process, and we are so impressed by our students' problem solving, creativity, and teamwork!
A Favorite NEMJDS Tradition: Matan Siddur- Prayers for Our Community
         One of our favorite events throughout the year happened in May--first grade Matan Siddur! Our first graders received their very own prayer books in front of their families and classmates. Each siddur was presented to our students by their family, and as a suprise, each student's family had written them a note in their siddur. 
       Our students also shared their own prayers with the group. From Liberty's prayer for clean water to Bina's prayer that people's hearts keep glowing, each student's prayer was unique and special.  This emphasis on family tradition and meaningful prayers for the world around us make us who we are at the NEMJDS.
Social Justice, Civil Rights, and Leadership Trip With New Friends
         Our sixth graders had a packed and meaningful social justice and civil rights tour of our state with the Rochester Hillel Community Day School! They visited the Equal Justice Initiative, Southern Poverty Law Center, Rosa Parks Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, and different sites throughout Selma.  Students started the trip by playing a game to explore the relationship between Judaism and social justice and then spent the next three long, fulfilling days asking questions, meeting people, and visiting historic sites. Not only did our students make lifelong friends with the Rochester students, but also they learned lifelong lessons in courage and tolerance. 
A Math Lesson in Urban Planning, Design, Teamwork, and Creativity

     This year our fourth and fifth graders received a letter from the "Geometrocity City Council." This letter charged them with the task of creating a (model) city from scratch. Students had to use their geometry, design, and of course, problem solving and teamwork skills to ensure they had a successful city. Students started their project by applying for permits. To acquire a permit students had to pass a vocabulary test and a proficiency test using tools like a compass, protractor, geotool, and ruler. All of these skills evaluated in the permit phase ensured that the construction and design phases would be carried out accurately. During the design phase, students worked together to brainstorm what makes a city successful, from commercial zones to types of suburban and urban living. Students then solidified their design and submitted it to the "council" (Ms. Gresham), and they began with the construction. Read the full story here.
Monthly Tzedekah Decision- Fourth and Fifth Graders Research and Allocate Our School's Tzedekah!
      Each month our NEMJDS students decide where to donate our school's tzedekah. Through this process, our students not only develop the daily habit of giving tzedekah, but also they learn how to make educated philanthropic decisions. For example, in April our fourth and fifth graders went home and discussed nonprofits with their families. Students then came back with various ideas such as Heifer International, Birmingham Humane Society, UAB Hospital, and Habitat for Humanity. Students then presented their ideas to the class and discussed the merits of each organization. The fourth and fifth graders ended up selecting Hannah G.'s suggestion of Habitat for Humanity. We are so pleased that our students engaged in meaningful discussions around tzedekah with their classmates and families.
A Land Where One Person Can Make A Difference: 
A Lesson from Savta Margaret 

        The NEMJDS is a family school where we value the stories of our students' families, our community, and our global community. Our second and third graders were lucky enough to have a guest speaker,  Margaret  Duvdevani, the  savta  of Ori, Lia, and Adam, tell her story in honor of Israel's 69th birthday! Many years ago, after visiting Greece and making a stop in Israel,  Margaret  fell in love with Israel. She explained to our students that she fell in love with Israel because she felt like in Israel one person can make a difference! She eventually made aliyah (moved to Israel) and has lived there for over forty years!
      Not only was this a story about  Margaret's journey to Israel, but also this was a lesson in agriculture and security technologies.  Margaret  explained her life on the moshav, an agricultural community, to our students. She told the class about why her moshav switched from farming flowers to fruit. She talked about what farming flowers entailed and explained that farming papaya, pineapple, and passion fruit makes them feel like they are making Israel special. She also explained to our students how the Iron Dome system keeps Israel safe.  When asked about her  savta 's visit,  Lia explained that "I think my  savta  was happy to tell us about Israel!" 

Better Together Names, Not Numbers©- History, Identity, and Tolerance

      Through the Better Together Names, Not Numbers© program, our students had the opportunity to document the teachings of the Holocaust and address questions about an individual's responsibility to humanity.
      As the capstone of the project, students interviewed local Holocaust survivors, Max Herzel and Robert May, and two second-generation survivors, Sheryl Perlstein, the daughter of Aisic Hirsch (of blessed memory,) and Jessica Roskin, daughter of Ingrid Roskin. Prior to the interviews, students engaged in lessons on history, filmmaking, and interviewing. These lessons were taught by Ann Mollengarden, Birmingham Holocaust Education Center Vice-President Education Coordinator, Michelle Forman, documentary filmmaker and Director of UAB Media Studies Program, and Saul Sudin, New York filmmaker. Additionally, our students studied the civil rights history of Birmingham with Reverend Gwendolyn Webb, a leader in the Children's March in Birmingham in the 1960s. Community member Joel Rotenstreich also spoke to our students about the Anne Frank Memorial in Kelly Ingram Park.
       The Names, Not Numbers© project was created 13 years ago by Tova Rosenberg and is in its first year at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School.  This project is the first of its kind to be done in Alabama and with students as young as sixth grade, and we are honored and proud of our students. This year, we have seen our students grow as critical thinkers, communicators, and Jewish leaders as they embarked on this journey. The movie illustrated our students' growth and understanding as they heard from local Holocaust survivors, community leaders, and each other.
The Better Together Names, Not Numbers© NEMJDS 2016-17 documentary will be included in the archives of The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, and Yeshiva University's Gottesman Library.
      The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School gratefully acknowledges the Better  Together Names, Not Numbers© Program which has taught our students about the Holocaust through the accounts of eyewitnesses, provided them with interviewing, filming, and editing skills, and, most importantly, enabled meaningful relationships to be forged between the survivors and our students.
       We are also deeply grateful to the Abroms Center for Lifetime Learning, the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, the State of Alabama Holocaust Commission, the Florence & Laurence Spungen Family Foundation, the Birmingham Jewish Federation, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, and the Homewood Public Library for their support. Thank you to all who made this program possible.

*The Better Together Names, Not Numbers© project, an interactive, multi-media Holocaust project created by educator Tova Fish Rosenberg is generously supported by a prominent national foundation.


Thank you to all who supported the NEMJDS 
Wig & Stache Bash Gala! 

Visit Our School

Interested in learning more about our program or touring state-of-the art learning environment?  It would be our pleasure to give you a personalized tour!  Contact us.

Support Our School 

Did you know that every box top collected brings in ten cents to the NEMJDS?
Click here  for the list of products with Box Tops and start clipping!

Click here and choose N.E. Miles Jewish Day School as the organization you'd like to support and a portion of your purchase will go straight to the school! 

When you shop at Publix and use a Publix Partners NEMJDS swipe card, our school earns a donation.  Please your swipe cards when you check out at Publix. If you need a swipe card, please stop by the school office. 

To Make a Donation:
Call Lynn Raviv, Development Director at 879-1068 or
Sally Friedman, Birmingham Jewish Foundation at 803-1519.
To donate online, go to nemjds.org/giving.

About Our School
For the last 44 years, the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School has been committed to a warm, safe, and positive atmosphere in which children from diverse levels of religious observance are inspired to grow and celebrate Jewishly and embrace life-long learning. With a strong basis in academics, Jewish education, sense of community, development of leadership and menschlichkeit, our school is an integral part of our community and works to make it even better.  Learn more about what it means to be a part of our school family. 
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N.E. Miles Jewish Day School
4000 Montclair Road   Birmingham AL 35213
205/879.1068   nemjds.org