Ma Koreh?
What’s Happening?
December Newsletter
This month's issue features:

  • D'var Kesher
  • Highlights this Month
  • Campaign Update
  • Celebrating CJDS Alumni Featuring Maya Cohen
  • Photo Highlights
  • Community Milestones
  • CJDS Calendar & Community Events
D’var Kesher from Head of School
Rachel Arcus-Goldberg
December 4, 2020 / 18 Kislev 5781
Genesis 32:4 - 36:43
D'var Kesher

Every Monday since June, I have the privilege of meeting with a group of truly remarkable people. The CJDS COVID Taskforce is made up of 12 brilliant committee members who bring their perspective as high level professionals, as parents, as friends of CJDS to help ensure that we are making the best possible decisions during the pandemic. I have come to look forward to these meetings for the incredible discussions that ensue - whether we are responding to changes, or proactively analyzing what may come to pass.

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayishlach, Jacob is preparing to meet his brother Esav. Previously, Jacob tricked his brother and obtained the birthright blessings from their father, Isaac, and Jacob had to run away from Esav’s anger. Now, years later, Jacob prepares to meet Esav again. 

Not knowing how the encounter would go, Jacob prepared in several different ways. In case Esav’s anger could be assuaged through material gain, Jacob prepared many gifts to present as a first line to his brother. In case there was a violent assault on their party, Jacob arranged his caravan so that the women and children were hidden and protected. And finally, Jacob also prayed and asked for the support of God in this encounter. 

In talking earlier this week about this parsha with Eran Rosenberg, our Director of Jewish Life and Learning, Eran pointed out that CJDS’s preparations for instruction this year mirrored the preparations of Jacob for his encounter with his brother. The pandemic has been a fearsome and unpredictable enemy. In case we could be in-person, we made many changes to our building and classrooms and schedule. In case we might have to learn completely online, we bought more computers so that there would be enough for every child and worked to make our curriculum more flexible with a project based learning structure. And in case we were able to be in person, but some students needed to learn from home, we made sure that each classroom was set up with extra cameras and computers, that all of our materials were available in the google classrooms and that all of the links for classes were readily available for the students to log in at any time. 

Realizing the parallels that existed between our preparations for the year and this week’s parsha, I continued to read more deeply and was reminded of another important moment that Jacob experiences in preparation to meet Esav. Just before he sets out to meet his brother, Jacob is alone in his camp and ends up wrestling with an angel in the night. As the day breaks and the fight is ending, Jacob asks the angel for a blessing and is given a new name - Israel.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, z”l, writes in Covenant & Conversation, his weekly analysis of the parsha, that to understand the new name that Jacob is given, it is important to remember that through Jacob’s early years, he was constantly envious of his twin brother, Esav, arguably to the point of wanting to “be” his brother and stealing his identity and inheritance. As he prepared to meet Esav, and wrestled, perhaps with himself rather than an angel, Jacob let go of the desire to be someone else and became content to be himself. To approach his brother, Jacob had to resolve the conflict and tension in himself. He had to “Be Himself.”

CJDS has small classes, an emphasis on the outdoors, an integrated teaching model and a strong community. We did not need to try to compare ourselves to other schools or change anything about what we do best in order to face the pandemic. Instead, we had to embrace these aspects as strengths and go proudly and contentedly into the year ready and flexible for whichever scenario we needed. 

It is December and we are still conducting school in person. Our students are learning, are growing, and are bringing light into the community. Just like each child, CJDS is finding our voice, our personal authenticity, writing the story of our creation. And just like Jacob, we are emerging with confidence and strength to be ourselves.

Shabbat Shalom,
Highlights this Month
Ohio History Connection Interview with 5th Grade
CJDS fifth graders were interviewed by a staff member at the Ohio History Connection about their project on keeping or taking down the Christopher Columbus statue at the State House.

The interview will hopefully be part of an article that will be published in the Echoes Magazine.
A New Humash Ceremony for Third Grade
CJDS third grade students experienced an important milestone in their life: the Humash Ceremony, marking the formal beginning of Torah study as a discipline.

Historically, our Humash Ceremony takes place in our gymnasium, but this year, we shared this special occasion in our butterfly garden, surrounded by parents and grandparents.

While our students study Torah stories in earlier grades, in the third grade they begin to study from the text itself, and begin their serious exploration of the many facets of Torah study using classic rabbinic methods for meaning making.
Narrative Writing in Kindergarten
Kindergarteners published their first narrative writing this week.

They thought of a time they got a boo boo. Each story has a beginning page, middle page, and an and page, along with titles and covers created independently by each kindergarten student.
Fourth Grade is "Still Learning" at CJDS
For the final project of the unit "More to Explore" fourth grade students created special symbols for CJDS after an exploration of the history of the school, as well as discussions about what the school means to them. They created individual crests, a school flag, and a school song.

Enjoy a video clip of the 4th graders singing "I'm Still Learning" (Based on “I'm Still Standing” by Elton John). The words were written by the students who recorded themselves singing individually. With the help of our talented music teacher, Mr. Angelo Dunlap, who put the video together, and Ms. Kerry adding the subtitles, this video comes to life!
Third Grade Scientific Journaling
In a lesson on Scientific Journaling in nature, 3rd grade students learned about microscopy, journaling like a scientist and shared “this is the life!” while in the tires drawing the Norway Spruce.
This past month, CJDS third graders also have been learning about The First Thanksgiving. Students researched the Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower, settlement, and the Wampanoags, and shared stories from different perspectives.

You can watch their short play here.
Grandparents Day 2020
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we hosted the first ever CJDS Virtual Grandparent and Special Friends Day. We had over 200 special friends gather together virtually for this special day. Our students and Grandparents were so glad we could all be together as a community in the classroom.

As many of our community members know, our Special Friends Day event usually takes place in person, with doing something kind to help our community.

Due to COVID, we decided to take our program online for the first time and fully highlight our students who are in the classroom every day.
We had our biggest group ever, with special friends joining us from around the World.
Campaign Update
Thank you to all of our #GivingTuesday2020 donors! We wanted to share that we raised over $5,000 on December 1, from GivingTuesday.

This school year, we have received very kind donations to help our school offset the additional costs due to the COVID pandemic. In the beginning of the school year, we held our first ever "CJDSReadytoLearn" fundraiser. Before Thanksgiving, we virtually hosted Grandparents at our school for the first time, and raised money through our Grandparents Campaign. In-between these campaigns, we received many tributes "in honor of" and "in memory of" members of our community.

For the first half of the school year, we have raised a record amount from our very generous community members, families, alumni, staff and faculty, and grandparents. THANK YOU to the Columbus Community and beyond. We are so grateful!

If you are interested in making a year end gift to CJDS, please click here. We hope you will join us in securing the future of a CJDS education.
Join Us for a Virtual Preschool Playdate
Last month, preschool families joined in on a virtual playdate where we learned about ponds, and talked about our very own pond at CJDS. Our next kit is Hanukkah themed and will be sent out to preschool families that sign up below.

Please reach out to our Director of Enrollment Management, Jenny Glick, to sign up for one of our free kits and participate in a fun virtual preschool playdate, or if you would like to chat about how your family might feel at home in our school community. We hope you will join us for our next CJDS get together!
Check out the fun kits below from our last virtual event!
Celebrating CJDS Alumni
Featuring Maya Cohen
Our alum spotlight student this month is Maya Cohen. Maya recently reconnected with the school when she made a donation through her B'nai Tzedek Fund. Maya shares, "As I am moving on to a new chapter in life, I wanted to give back as a 'thank you' to the places that brought me to where I am now."

After CJDS, Maya transferred to Marburn Academy and graduated from Bexley High School. As a high school senior, she was the President of USY and a Senior Leadership Cohort member of Wexner Service Corps.

Maya recalls her favorite part about CJDS was "the weekly Kabbalat Shabbat and holiday celebrations. I really enjoyed the supportive community and memories made over the years."
"As the President of USY, I was able to connect with Jewish teens in Columbus and the midwest. I created programs and events to engage Jewish teens in the community. I was able to go on two trips with the Wexner Service Corps. During my Junior year, I traveled to Houston to help clean up Hurricane Harvey. Throughout each year I attended monthly volunteering events within Columbus that were tied to Jewish learning."
Maya is currently attending Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts and majoring in Social Work.

"I am still very involved in Jewish life through their Hillel. I am new to Hillel but I have made a lot of friends virtually already. I am excited to get more involved when I get on campus!"

Thank you Maya for using your B'nai Tzedek Fund to make a donation to CJDS. We hope you keep in touch!
We want to FEATURE YOU in our next newsletter and on our social media channels.

Are you a CJDS alum who recently graduated high school or college? We want to know your next steps! We want to hear about your professional accomplishments, and how CJDS has impacted your educational and Jewish journey. 

Reach out to our Alumni Coordinator here. We want to hear from you!
Photo Highlights
Buddy Scavenger Hunt with second and fifth graders.
Kindergarteners enjoying music class with Mr. Angelo.
Fourth grader Eytan teaching his classmates during math class.
Second grade students wrote about how the day looked and felt from their Sit Spots. One student wrote, “I am free from Covid here at my Sit Spot.”
CJDS fourth graders presenting their Phantom Tollbooth book reports.
During Science Class, first graders investigated phases of the moon.
Kindergarteners learning to set up their chrome books.
In early November, Second graders went fishing and new CJDS student Mulu caught his first fish.
First graders were so excited to get their new Hebrew Workbooks, and to share their new Hebrew words with Ariot. Students even earned a yo-yo from Ariot for all of their hard work!
Community Milestones
Mazel Tov!
Mazel Tov to Ben Schottenstein (CJDS class of 2005) on his engagement to Nicole Hurwitz. Mazel Tov to proud parents Amy and Larry Schottenstein.

Mazel Tov to Frank Joseph (CJDS class of 2004) and Ariel Joseph on the birth of a baby boy! We also extend a "Mazel Tov" to proud grandparents Rob & Elaine Joseph. 

Mazel Tov to Brett Kaufman, Kaufman Development, on winning the 2020 CEO of the Year Award.
Mi Sh'Berach

We wish Naomi Kayne (longtime friend and supporter of CJDS) a speedy recovery.

We wish Steve Wasserman, Hebrew Name: Ysrael Ben Mindel (close friend to Annelyn Baron) a speedy recovery.

We wish Sandy Grossman Dworkin (close friend to Annelyn Baron) a speedy recovery.

We extend our prayers to any family in our community who may be impacted by coronavirus.
CJDS Community Events
  • Friday, 12/11 - 1:40-2:20pm - Virtual Hanukkah Kabbalat Hag

*This event is open to the community. If you are interested in joining our virtual events, please email Amanda Chernyak for the Google Meet Link.
Learning for Life
JewishColumbus shares:

"We are proud to work with an education institution that fosters personal authenticity in every one of their students. On our blog, read the story of how CJDS endured and innovated in a year fraught with unprecedented challenges."

To learn more about CJDS, and We Shine Together, click here:
JewishColumbus Community Relief Fund
During the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, CJDS applied for a Community Response Fund made possible by JewishColumbus.

As a school, we knew we needed items to keep our students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, including items like masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, an app to track students' symptoms each morning (ParentLocker), tents for outdoor classes, and chrome books for virtual learning.

Through this funding, we've been able to hire additional maintenance to help keep our facility clean throughout the day, order clear masks for hearing impaired students, and provide walkie-talkies for every Teacher to help stagger students during dismissal and communicate with all classes as we are constantly in and out of the building.

"As we were planning for reopening, I never had to worry if we would be able to afford the best possible materials for the precautions we wanted to take, because I knew JewishColumbus would support us. Thank you to JewishColumbus for their continuous support in keeping our students safe." - Rachel Arcus-Goldberg, CJDS Head of School
Life and Legacy at CJDS
The Life and Legacy program promotes after-lifetime giving in order to sustain valued organizations and vibrant Jewish communities.

Year 1 of Life and Legacy is ending soon -- assure your Jewish tomorrow TODAY.

Contact, 614-939-5311, or click here for more information.
Community Events this Month
Join Women's Philanthropy's POWER OF WOMEN (POW) for their inaugural event, a virtual tour of the:
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Exhibit
Monday, December 7
On Zoom
A private, docent-led, virtual tour of the Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
Feel free to invite your adult daughters and friends to attend this exclusive event!
CJDS is a proud partner of: