“I travelled the world and the seven seas…” Eurythmics
I was born in Ethiopia, and lived in ten (10) countries throughout my life. My family then relocated to the United States in 2002 when I was in my 30’s. Although transition became common to me, I know that it is ALWAYS difficult.
I have worked in Jewish Days schools for 20 years and I am a parent of three children (now adults) who were educated through Jewish Day Schools, both locally and abroad. As a result, I can firmly say that I am an advocate for Donna Klein Jewish Academy. My parent lens has helped me as the director of admissions to see that I can give true credit to the Jewish institutions to which I had entrusted my children. This created in my children well educated adults with a love and a passion for the values of Judaism.
Looking at the natural data of how a day is built, 1/3 children sleep, 1/3 they spend under the parents responsibility (whether it be at sports events, with friends or at home) and the most important 1/3 of their day at school. Therefore, the school we choose for our children had a very large impact on who they become as adults.
I know that as a prospective parent and student, when we tour a prospective school, each school will share its unique story and value proposition. I want to make the case for Jewish day-school education in general. I am passionate about this because the research is undeniable: Jewish day schools make a difference in the lives of students, families, the Jewish community and the larger society. I am both blessed and proud of the people my children and the graduates of Donna Klein Jewish Academy have become!
The value of Jewish day school is significant, making it an outstanding choice for anyone considering it for their children. While we recognize this, it is a difficult financial decision for families to make. In North America, Jewish day schools are expensive and this is an area with which all day-schools have struggled in Admissions. When we as parents opt for a Jewish day school such as DKJA for our children, we are also looking for a school that will speak to us as a family. Parents who choose Jewish day schools are not only looking for academic excellence, an environment that fosters leadership, but also for what the school has to offer their entire family. Families are looking for community and meaning in their lives. Although the academic curriculum meets the highest levels of excellence, it is the total community experience that separates Jewish day schools from their public and private counterparts — this is something other schools simply cannot offer.
We know that Jewish day-school students receive an exceptional general education that prepares them for success at a broad range of colleges and universities, and their alumni demonstrate the highest levels of academic confidence and success. This is the case because both the general studies curriculum as well and the Hebrew and Judaics curricula in day schools emphasize critical thinking skills, questioning and second-language instruction. These skills promote strong leaders as they move into their college careers and beyond.
While outstanding academics and leadership skills are meaningful to the case for a Jewish day-school education, the largest argument for choosing a Jewish day school is the religious benefits. The foundation for a meaningful Jewish life is based on knowledge of Jewish history, texts, and culture, a strong connection to Israel, the ability to speak, read, and write Hebrew, and an inclination to apply Jewish values in their lives. We are creating positive leaders for the future who will live by strong Jewish values.
Jewish day schools are about building the Jewish future, but they are also about the current vitality and health of our community. When families choose a day school, such as Donna Klein Jewish Academy, we are making an investment in our children, as well as the future of the Jewish people.