In the Scholars Forum at the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation›s Capital (MILTON), guest speakers in various fields share real-world knowledge with the students, and then faculty and students connect the learning to our ancient texts. The Scholars Forum is designed to ignite students’ interests, expand their intellectual breadth, stimulate inquiry and lively debate, and inspire students to service and leadership.
At its latest annual Math Night, Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts (LBJA) put students’ and parents’ math prowess to the test with puzzles and plenty of hands-on activities. LBJA offers a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum, with students receiving intensive visual arts training and music lessons in addition to the usual elementary school staples like math, science, and English. Math Night and other events throughout the year allow participants to get a taste of LBJA’s well-rounded educational opportunities.
MILTON kindergarten teacher Lisa Davis recently won a mini-grant from Jane Goodall’s youth organization, Roots & Shoots. The grant money will go toward materials to build a migratory butterfly garden at the South Campus. The students will learn about the native butterflies of Rock Creek, including the endangered monarch butterfly, then design, construct, and plant a garden to feed monarchs and other local butterflies.
Early Sunday morning, Nov. 5, eight Berman Hebrew Academy students and their advisors, Rabbi Yudi Riesel and Jonel Hector, road-tripped to Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson, just outside New York City, to attend a rigorous two-day conference. This conference, known as the Jewish Unity Mentoring Program (JUMP), was sponsored by NCSY. The conference was the beginning of a five-month program in which the Berman students will compete with other teams to create programs in their communities with the goal of fostering connections with Jewish teens.
Gurim students focused on cause and effect in building and engineering through a "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"-themed building activity. Kindergarteners did projects relating to scale, proportion, and quantity while first graders focused on patterns. Second graders explored structure and function through a teepee-building challenge, and third graders studied cause and effect through Rube Goldberg chain reactions. The fourth graders learned about stability and change with balloon rockets and zip lines, and the fifth graders dove into systems and models by examining the components of electrical systems and relationships between them. (Photos courtesy of CESJDS)
Like many American Jews today, I grew up with stories of Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel joining Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to march in Selma; Rabbi Joachim Prinz’s speech at the March on Washington; and the brutal murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. My own grandfather tells stories of his participation in the March on Washington with other Baltimore-area clergy, and the relationships that were built as a result.
On Nov. 8, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland, held a showing of “Screenagers,” a documentary about the struggles between parents and kids over our most prized and controversial possessions — our smartphones.
Everybody has their own Thanksgiving traditions. For alumni at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS), it is participating in the Paul Blank Invitational football game. A lot has changed since the first game in 1998. What originated as a casual Thanksgiving Day football game has now expanded into a reunion of CESJDS alumni that raises money for charitable causes.
Young Israel Shomrai Emunah (YISE) hosted a technology café for seniors and teens Nov. 19 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Teens from Berman Hebrew Academy, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS), Yeshiva of Greater Washington High School, and local public schools eagerly coached seniors on how to use devices from smartphones to laptops to iPads. Co-sponsored by Kemp Mill Synagogue (KMS) and Tech Café, the Sunday morning event drew 65 participants. (Photos courtesy of Miriam Friedman)
Now in its 18th year, ALYN Hospital’s Wheels of Love bills itself as “the world’s premier charity bike ride.” Participants in the five-day riding experience this month in Israel raised over $2.6 million dollars for ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, a world leader in the rehabilitation of infants, children, and young adults who were severely injured or born with significant physical challenges.
For three days at the end of October, 13 students from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore and five students from Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville attended the AIPAC Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Northern Virginia.
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