Shalom, welcome to Columbus Jewish Day School!
We are so happy to have you visiting us and learning about the incredible community that we have here at CJDS. Let me take you on a virtual tour...
We start in the bright, sunny atrium where we can look out on to the CJDS butterfly garden, our rehabilitated wetlands and pond, and to the beautiful sculpture of “Leap” by Alfred Tibor basking in the dappled sunlight.
In the garden we see evidence of student connection to the bigger world around them. The bird feeders that are lovingly filled by the Kindergarteners, the tea garden that is tended to by the 3rd Graders and then harvested and dried to be shared with our community, and the compost bin where our students live the ideals that we teach towards environmental and food sustainability.
Down the hall and through the Kindergarten doors, we walk into the big, bright, classroom bustling with the energy and activity of 5 year-olds at work and play. The students are focused on their fabulous teachers, drinking in everything they say and expanding their knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world. Around the room evidence of their progress can be seen in the advancement of their writing, their drawing, the depth and complexity of their thoughts on paper.
Next, we pass the Art installation of the 44 initial CJDS students, reminding us daily of where we have come from and why the practice of teaching and learning is so important to the continuity of Jewish identity, thought and education. We witness the power of the dream of community leaders bringing to fruition the reality of a pluralistic Jewish Day School in Columbus. A school which, in the tradition of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, strives to create more than students who can memorize and regurgitate information from textbooks, but people who embody what they learn and feel and know it in their heads, hands, and hearts.
As we continue, we see students who walk with clear voices and heads up high. Students who are confident and excited to share with visitors everything they know about hydroponic tower gardens, the importance of each animal’s role in the community formed on Noah’s Ark, or how to write stories in an active or passive voice. Students who feel comfortable talking with adults, defending their opinions, asking for what they need and trying multiple ways to solve a problem.
Every time I have the opportunity to look at CJDS through new eyes I think to myself “Wow. I am so lucky.” I feel lucky to work at a school that I am proud to lead and represent. I feel lucky to have found a school where children can grow, learn and become self-actualized, whole people. I feel lucky to have found a school where the faculty are invested in learning and growing in their craft. I feel lucky to have found a school where parents, teachers, students, alumni, and others care about each other and invest in building a strong, vibrant, lasting Jewish community in Columbus and in the world.
If someone asks me “Why CJDS?” my answer is simple. Everyday at CJDS is a gift. It is the best gift I have ever given to my children and I am so proud to be leading this incredible institution.