From Our Head of School

ממנהלת בית הספר

Dear Community,

Welcome and thank you for learning more about JCDS.

I believe that the goal of a Jewish day school education must be to enhance students' ability to live in this world as the best versions of themselves.

Excellent innovative education takes place when children can bring their full selves to learning every day. This can only happen when students experience a profound sense of belonging and shared purpose where individual identities are celebrated within a context of membership in a larger collective. That deep sense of belonging is what JCDS is all about.

An academically excellent, intentionally pluralistic Jewish day school which is also an engaged global citizen must also be committed to equity. It must strive to not only accommodate but cherish differentiated learning, so that its students can each thrive. An equitable institution must go hand in hand with a pluralistic institution.

In the spirit of pluralism, and recognizing our increasingly complex connected world, I believe that we must educate our students to be informed and engaged in the wider spaces of our local, regional and global communities. It is the role of JCDS to provide students and faculty with opportunities, through content choices, partnership programs, and current events curricula to develop a stronger sense of global citizenship. Our students can be educated to apply Jewish wisdom in the pursuit of a humane citizenry and to carry a commitment towards Tikkun Olam (healing our world). Using the World as text, and overlaying it with a Jewish ethos, our students increasingly recognize the relevance of their studies and merge their education with their broader experience outside of school.

At JCDS, the process of teaching and learning is student-centered and rigorous. We believe in the pedagogical triad of:

● social and emotional engagement,
● intellectual and academic excellence, and
● ethical reflection through a Jewish lens.

Social and emotional engagement is developmentally appropriate, and woven seamlessly through curricula and teaching methods. Students feel that their school fosters a sense of curiosity and inquiry. Flexible thinking and perspective taking are essential Habits of Mind and Heart needed to build skills for the 21st century learner. Jewish and Hebrew studies provide a solid foundation in the language and frameworks of our rich tradition, and are conducted in a joyful environment that cultivates an indelible positive association with Jewish learning, culture, and history.

Our school is committed to the ongoing nurturing and support of its varied communities. Teachers have been and will always be at the heart of our success. At JCDS, we support this sacred work and fuel teachers with authentic learning experiences for their classroom and for themselves personally. The parent community is an ongoing witness and contributor to the culture of the school. In greater partnership, we achieve greater success.

Our capacity to provide opportunities for our students to learn how to think, to build strong moral characters and to develop the capacities to engage with difference distinguishes JCDS from other schools.

I welcome you to walk through our school online or in person so you can fully appreciate this warm and vibrant community that nurtures and challenges our children to happily grow each day.

B'ruchim ha'baim (welcome) to JCDS!

Shira Deener, Head of School

Learn more about Shira