Biweekly e-newsletter of Community Day School

27 April 2017

30 Nisan 5777

Issue #15

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Be sure to visit the beautiful all-weather mural on the lower playground created in IGNITE over the past several months by our 1st Grade students and artist-in-residence Saihou Omar Njie

In this issue:

Weekly Torah Portion:


Light Shabbat candles - 7:31 p.m.

Shabbat ends - 8:40 p.m. 

  • If your child does not usually buy lunch on Fridays and would like to have the hot dog lunch on Lag B’Omer Field Day, sponsored by Kidz and Company, on Friday, May 12, please click here to order. The cost is $5.50.

New on the calendar:

  • Complete this transportation form by Monday, May 1 so we know how your children will be getting home on Friday, May 5 after noon dismissal on Grandparent & Special Friend Day. Please note there is no Extended Day, lunch, or bus transportation on that afternoon.

  • Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week kicks off Monday, May 1 as we shower our Camptastic teachers and staff with camp-inspired treats and games! Parent volunteers (sign up here) are needed all week, and we also invite you to share your favorite CDS teacher stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Post your appreciation next week for a teacher with the hashtag #CDSTeachersRock or fill out a Kol HaKavod form to share your gratitude.

Head of School Message
By Avi Baran Munro, Ed.M.

This week, on the occasion of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) we had the privilege and moral imperative to listen to stories here at Community Day School. As you’ll read below, four Holocaust survivors—among them CDS grandmother Blima Mitre and my own father, Moshe Baran—shared their testimonies with our 8th Grade students and scholars from the Higher Achievement Pittsburgh after-school program. During our Yom HaShoah commemoration, we heard voices from the Shoah poignantly interpreted in music, words, and prayer by our Middle School students and teachers. And students in Grades 5-8 learned the stories of child victims of the Holocaust, painting a ceramic butterfly to honor their memories in the Butterfly Project of the Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh.

On Yom HaShoah, CDS parents also shared their family narratives from the Holocaust on social media and with each other, including our Kindergarten Hebrew and Jewish Studies teacher Michal Schachter, who has shared her story below. Like the story of my own family, there is loss, trauma, and grief. And there will be more stories on Yom Hazikaron on Sunday night and Monday, when we honor the memory of Israel’s fallen in war and terror. And, yet, as always, the horrors of our past coalesce into an enduring story of strength and hope. Next Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Jewish community will gather on our field on Yom Ha’atzmaut as Jewish hip-hop artist Matisyahu performs in celebration of the establishment of the State of Israel 69 years ago. What seemed impossible in the middle of the last century is our reality today. We were. We are. We will be. Strong. Proud. Jewish. This is the hope.

From Michal Schachter:

As many of you know, I was born and raised in Israel. My father was born in Israel, and my mom came from Yemen; growing up, I didn’t have a family connection to the Holocaust, and what I knew about it came from learning about it in school and from a class visit to Yad Vashem in 7th Grade. But my husband’s parents, Carl and Bella Schachter, are both survivors from Romania. My father-in-law has very strong and difficult memories from during the Holocaust, and recently, has begun to paint to help process this experience and his emotions; two of his paintings were accepted for display in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. To honor his achievement, our family traveled from Israel to Poland last July to visit the Warsaw Ghetto sites and Auschwitz with my in-laws and son, Ben, an 8th grader at CDS. Despite everything I’ve learned all of my life, nothing prepared me to step into this place. The hardest part for me was to see all of the normal life that surrounded the site—homes, restaurants, stores; everything is in bright colors and so peaceful. It didn’t make sense to me.

As I walked on the dirt path and the stones at Birkenau, wearing comfortable, expensive shoes, I thought of the innocent Jews who walked that very trail, frozen in the winter months, barefoot and dressed in rags. Everything became very real suddenly, and Ben understandably had to step away at one point from our tour. I will never forget the way he embraced his 84-year-old grandfather when Carl came out of the crematorium a short time later. While I have a very good life here in the United States, for me, Israel will always be home, and I was never happier to land in Israel than that day when we flew back from Poland.

In Kindergarten, we spend time at the Keeping Tabs Sculpture and talk about the word “upstander.” Our journey to Poland renewed my conviction in why it is so important to continue with Jewish education and to start early. We must give our children the roots to know and love who they are—and never be ashamed—of their Jewish identity. That’s why what I do everyday in kindergarten matters so much, and although it was harrowing, I’m a stronger teacher because of my trip.

Watch this video of the CDS Yom HaShoah commemoration

Up Ahead At CDS

Yom Hazikaron: April 30

Yom Hazikaron is the Day of Remembrance on which we remember all the soldiers who gave up their lives for the State of Israel and victims of terrorist attacks. We invite you to join the community and some of our students this Sunday, April 30, when the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will hold a candle-lighting commemoration of Yom Hazikaron at the JCC Pittsburgh at 8 p.m.

Spring Band Concert

The Community Day Instrumental Music Spring Concert is almost here! The concert will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 in the Ulam Sport, and all are welcome to attend.

In addition to Music as part of our curriculum, students in Grades 3-8 may also participate in Band (Instrumental Music) with Julie Harris. Come enjoy some beautiful music and the culmination of a year of hard work for these students! 

CDS Grandparent & Special Friend Day

RSVP here

Note: The 1st Grade Siddur Ceremony begins that morning at 8:30 a.m. in the Ulam Sport

Lion’s Pride Open Hours

Short sleeves and shorts are here at last! The Lion's Pride Used Uniform shop will be open from 2-3 p.m. on Friday, April 28 and May 12, 19, and 26 so you can stock up on clothes for the warmer weather. As always, donated items can be dropped off in the school lobby. Thank you for supporting your CDS Parent Association!

Walk to Remember at CDS

This Sunday, April 30 from 9:30-11:30 a.m., the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and Community Day School are proud to co-sponsor the Walk to Remember, which will bring together Holocaust survivors and their families, honor the survivors, and educate the public about their legacies.

Participants will walk the perimeter around CDS six times to memorialize the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The walk will end at the site of the Keeping Tabs Sculpture. This is a family-friendly event, and light refreshments will be served. Proceeds will help fund Holocaust education at CDS and the Holocaust Center. To register, visit jfedpgh.org/walk-to-remember.

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Yom Ha’Atzmaut at CDS

Come celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) at CDS with Jewish American reggae/hip hop star Matisyahu live and acoustic on our athletic field on Tuesday, May 2. This free concert sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will begin at 6:30 p.m., with games, dancing, singing, and fun for families starting at 4 p.m.

If the concert is held indoors at Pittsburgh Allderdice due to weather, and you did not pre-register, you still can join on a first-come, first-served basis. Please stand in the line labeled “Community Line.”

That morning, from 8:45-9:30 a.m., our entire student body will celebrate together with a joyous flagpole ceremony. Parents are welcome, and students have a blue-and-white dress-down day; wear blue bottoms (jeans are fine) with a white CDS T-shirt or any solid white shirt.

Yearbook Now For Sale

The 2016-2017 Community Day School yearbook is at press and available for online purchase, filled with pages and pages of never-before-seen photos of students in every grade. Order your copy today, and you’re on your way to preserving all of this year’s priceless CDS memories for a lifetime.

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Squirrel Hill Clean-Up

Kol HaKavod to the CDS families who helped with the Squirrel Hill Clean-Up last Sunday and to Middle School teacher Lin St. Clair for rallying a team of 33 students to participate. Your hard work in cleaning up trash throughout Squirrel Hill helped to make our neighborhood cleaner, greener, more beautiful, and more livable! Also, Mazel Tov to the two 5th graders―Talia G. and Kylee S.―honored at the event for winning the “Save the Earth” mug design contest sponsored by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Litter Patrol.

Special thanks also to the Green Team volunteers (parents and students) who cleaned and scrubbed the new Mirpeset (outdoor classroom) on the Annex porch. This beautiful space is now ready for spring use!

The hardworking volunteers at the Squirrel Hill Clean-Up got a visit from Murray the Squirrel

IGNITE Expo: The Spark That Inspires

At CDS, our teachers believe that we must nurture, challenge, and value the natural curiosity and creativity of every child. That belief truly came alive this week at IGNITE Expo. Our IGNITE experiential learning program takes a process-based (rather than product-based) approach to learning and creation. Still, our students’ impressive work and their accomplishments during IGNITE were showcased beautifully on Thursday night—and we know they were rightfully proud to share them with their families and friends!

Excitement, surprise, and gratification permeated our halls that night. A fiction reading in the library and a comic performance of The Three Little Pigs in the Annex Chapel had a standing-room-only crowd. The Pre-K Wonder Fair gave us insight into the creative, flexible, and inquiring minds of our youngest learners. The Archery demonstration showed the focus, skill, and strength of our Intermediate School students. The Intermediate School jewelry IGNITE group dazzled, and they were even doing actual blood-typing of visitors to the anatomy and physiology group in Ms. Grosso’s Science Lab. 2nd Grade showed us what the holiday of Sukkot has to do with states such as Florida, North Carolina, and more, as they put their research, discussion, problem-solving, and compromise skills to the test in their “Sukkot in the States” project. The 3rd graders had their “identities” on display in beautiful shadow boxes. And a true highlight was the stunning mural (see the banner above) created over several months by 1st Grade together with artist-in-residence Saihou Omar Njie in a project funded by the CDS Parent Association GRANTED! Program. Be sure to stop by the Lower Playground if you didn’t get a chance to see their masterpiece.

IGNITE Expo truly was a celebration of everything wonderful about our students and their unique creative gifts and their unlimited capacity as learners, makers, and doers. Special thanks to the parent and community volunteers who made IGNITE even more rich and meaningful this year, as well as our extraordinary teachers for inspiring our students to follow their passions.

CDS came alive tonight with passion-driven learning at IGNITE Expo

First-Ever Pittsburgh Jewish Day School Odyssey of the Mind Competition Coming to CDS

On Sunday, May 21, more than 50 students from CDS, Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, and Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh will put their creative problem-solving skills to the test in the first-ever Pittsburgh Jewish Day School Odyssey of the Mind Competition.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. For example, Odyssey problems have challenged students to design mechanical dinosaurs, invent new factory machinery, build working vehicles, write a new chapter to Moby Dick, put a twist on classic artworks, turn Pandora’s Box into a video game, and so much more.

During the competition, a dozen trained judges from Odyssey of the Mind, as well as four judges from the Pittsburgh Jewish community, will evaluate 10 teams from the three Pittsburgh day schools. The students will compete in solving spontaneous verbal and hands-on problems, as well as present the solutions to long-term problems they have been working on throughout the year. One CDS Middle School Odyssey team has been developing a “time machine” to solve the long-term problem of creating “an original performance about time travelers looking to discover the inspiration for great works of art.” The Intermediate School team has been designing and building a 3-D model of a car chase for the long-term problem called “Catch Us If You Can.”

This exciting event has been organized by CDS Odyssey of the Mind coach and Language Arts teacher Becky Williams, who has been joined this year by CDS teachers Kyle Ison and Elke Cedarholm. Support for the competition came from the CDS Parent Association GRANTED! Program, and official trophies await the winners. “It sounds cliche, but kids in Odyssey of the Mind truly learn to ‘think out of the box,’” says Becky Williams. “Most importantly, they learn to work together and to listen to each other’s ideas. And I see those connections they make at Odyssey translated into the classroom.”

Everyone in the CDS community is encouraged to stop by during the Sunday competition from 2-6:30 p.m. to watch our Odyssey students go beyond conventional thinking and tap into their inner creativity. “Come check it out,” Williams says. “It’s going to be amazing!”

Mark your calendars to stop by CDS on Sunday, May 21 anytime from 2-6:30 p.m., the first-ever Pittsburgh Jewish Day School Odyssey of the Mind competition

Reggio-Inspired Reflections

Under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 31 educators representing all nine nine Pittsburgh JECEI and Bonim Beyachad: Growing Together early childhood education programs from across our region attended a two-day professional development seminar in Washington, D.C. and in Maryland this week. Participating CDS teachers included Jessica Pindzola, Miriam Brostoff, and Sarah Glascom Morris, who visited Early Childhood Education centers in the D.C. area and met with fellow educators.

Pre-K teacher Jessica Pindzola said the trip helped her to see greater possibilities within her classroom, such as how to better problem solve with students to bring their passions into projects and how faculty can work together to bring their vision for their school closer to becoming a reality. Morah Miriam from the 3-year-old room said, “
Going to these schools was like walking through a museum, yet I was inspired to create my own museum here at CDS. Seeing documentation through the children’s eyes was enlightening. I find that in Reggio Emilia-inspired schools, there is a lot of love and trust to go around between students as well as teachers. This is a feeling that is not present in every school, but when I walk into one of these classrooms, the feeling is overwhelming. I hope our classroom feels this way to others, as it does to me.”  

Early Childhood Co-Director and Lead 3-Year-Old Teacher Sarah Glascom Morris said, “One key component of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is that the process of learning and constructing meaning is visible through documentation. At the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital (JPDS-NC), they use the Design Thinking model to visually organize the steps they take to solve a problem or answer a question, highlighting the research and prototyping as reflective tools. In each instance, they looked at the problem or question in the context of their own community with respect to the identity and values of the school, and collaborated over long periods of time to come to a solution, or even better, a new question to explore. It was a wonderful professional development experience, and I look forward to continuing the discussion here at CDS.”

Opening This Week

By Lindsey Shope, Pre-K Lead Teacher and Early Childhood Co-Director

IGNITE Expo week is here and, in the Pre-K room, it’s very much like opening a Broadway show. We have final touches to work on, broken pieces to repair, and dress rehearsal (or previews) to run through. The class has had an electrifying week of preparation, changing schedules, and furniture moving.

How do you get ready for IGNITE? Maayan explained, “I had to make my board and stick it on the chair so it can show more than putting it on the ground.” There were changes to the room itself. “We cleaned the room very nice,” Lior pointed out, and Ella noted, “We have to put everything where it goes and move all the chairs and tables to our spots.”

Our IGNITE Previews were filled with visitors, and the air was filled with an exciting energy. Noa was eager to talk about her project, “People came to see our IGNITE projects. We tell them what our IGNITE projects were all about. I taught them a lot about my experiments.” Asher was glad the Preview offered a chance for special visitors, “My mom came! I talked to her about my IGNITE and she never sawed it before.”

Perhaps Ryan said it best, “So I just worked so hard on my animals and I love them. It’s good for the world because it helps people learn about the stuff they want to learn about.”

The Pre-K Wonder Fair is always a highlight at IGNITE Expo

Celebrating Israel

By Michal Schachter, Kindergarten Hebrew and Jewish Studies

The kindergarteners are getting ready to celebrate Israel's birthday in style. A large and colorful map helped show the students different locations throughout the country including cities and landmarks, as well as the desert and seas. We compared the water of the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the sweet water of the Kineret. We talked in length about the Dead Sea and why it has its name, and I explained why people float in the water, which provided the opportunity to integrate a short science experiment. We placed eggs in bowls with increasing amounts of salt, and now we are keeping an eye on our eggs as the water evaporates. Kindergarten hopes to see everyone at Yom Ha’Atzmaut next week!

1st Grade Hebrew Stars
By Tzippy Mazer, Head of Lower School and Hebrew and Jewish Studies

1st Grade is a very exciting time for students, as they start seeing their progression in Language Arts, as well as in math. For our 1st graders, it is especially exciting when they realize that they are actually able to read Hebrew. Our 1st Grade just completed their third book in Hebrew. They are reading short stories, acting out the stories, speaking, and starting to put together all that they have learned. They are visibly excited to complete and take home their third Tal Am book. Mazel Tov to the class!

3rd Grade Dollars and Sense

By Elke Cedarholm, 3rd Grade Teacher

All year long, 3rd Grade has had the opportunity for real-world, authentic learning, from donating supplies for refugees in Pittsburgh through the JF&CS organization to today's lesson all about personal saving. We were thrilled to welcome guests from WesBanco Bank, including CDS alum and personal banker Seth Harris, who came in to teach 3rd graders about dollars and sense! We participated in the Teach Children to Save program, which works with students at a developmentally appropriate level to foster an understanding of personal finance, while incorporating the various disciplines they use everyday in school. Our kids loved making decisions about what they should buy, would like to buy, and could save up for as they built their financial literacy. Special thanks to Seth Harris and the WesBanco team!

3rd Grade learns basic lessons in financial literacy

A Tough Act To Follow

By Mark Minkus, Head of Intermediate School and Middle School

Rumpelstiltskin is having a bad day. As a private investigator, he gets all kinds of clients. However, this time he could never have anticipated that he would be double crossed by the Miller’s daughter and be under arrest for a crime he didn’t commit. Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye, a one-act play that gives a whimsical take on a popular tale, will unfold right before your eyes during the Intermediate School Drama Club Showcase. This special event will take place in the Ulam K’lalee on Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. The students will also present The Wizard of Oz as a one-act play when they perform for students in Grades 2-5, parents, and teachers.

Since early December, 27 Intermediate School students have been honing their acting skills under the guidance of Ms. Elke Cedarholm. This is the third year for IS Drama Club and the first time that the group has been so large that it had to split into two casts. The students have been working hard and having fun memorizing their lines and following their cues. In addition to learning what it takes to pull off a high-quality performance, each member of the IS Drama Club was given a ticket to see James and the Giant Peach Jr. Hopefully, all of the 5th graders will continue their acting careers at CDS by auditioning for the Middle School spring musical just seven months from now.

So, if you want to know how Rumpelstiltskin gets out of the jam mentioned above, or if you just want to see a girl from Kansas skip down the yellow brick road, make plans to join us on Monday afternoon!

The Intermediate School Drama Club showcase takes the stage at 2 p.m. Monday, May 1

Integrating Technology

By Nicole Lewis, IS Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Intermediate School students have many opportunities to develop their 21st-century multimedia and communication skills throughout the school year. Students routinely have keyboarding class and learn coding with Mrs. Pfendler. With her teaching support, they then bring their skills back to the classroom to work on projects that are seamlessly integrated with 4th and 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies content.

Technology integration projects tie in directly with classroom content, as students become more proficient with using Google Docs for assignments and with researching and citing sources and photos. Some projects allow students to showcase their work to a broader audience. Recently, 4th graders were given the task of bringing their textbook to life. Students applied the nonfiction reading skills they have developed in Social Studies with the writing workshop skills they have acquired in Language Arts to research U.S. destinations and landmarks in their textbooks and to write their own podcast scripts. This week, students are using GarageBand to record, edit, and add music to their podcasts. Soon, students will get to listen to one another’s episodes to learn more about the history, geography, and economics of U.S. regions.

One project 5th graders do on an annual basis to hone their research and communication skills is their Native American research project. Students practice researching reliable sources and synthesizing their notes. To culminate their work, students create a Glog (an interactive multimedia poster) showing their understanding and present their project to their class.

Technology infuses our learning in IS Social Studies and Language Arts

Who Tells Your Story?

By Mark Minkus, Head of Intermediate School and Middle School

On Thursday, April 20, the 8th graders experienced an evening that they will never forget. Holocaust survivors Moshe Baran, Albert Farhy, Blima Mitre, and Yolanda Willis shared their stories of loss, survival, and faith in a powerful face-to-face conversation at our annual Holocaust Survivor Dinner.

Moshe Baran, father of CDS Head of School Avi Baran Munro, was born on the 5th day of Chanukah in 1920 in Horodok, Poland. During the Holocaust, he was rounded up and sent to a ghetto for forced labor. He was able to escape the massacre of his shtetl community and then joined the resistance movement as a partisan fighter in the forests and swamps of Poland. Albert Farhy was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and his family was forced to wear the yellow star and concentrated in a ghetto in 1943 until it was liberated by the Russian Red Army. Yolanda Avram Willis was a hidden child during the Holocaust posing as a Christian girl. In 1940, the war came to Greece, and she was hidden on the Greek island of Crete and later in several places in Athens. She remained hidden for three-and-a-half years until Athens was liberated.

For only the second time publicly, Blima Mitre (grandmother of three current CDS students) shared her harrowing and remarkable story. After the slaughter of their entire extended families, mostly at the hands of the Romanians, Blima’s mother, Regina Kirmayer, was put on a train to Treblinka extermination camp. She escaped through a hole with 1-year-old Blima when the train made a stop. Blima survived the rest of the war in hiding with her mother, while her father, Max, survived a forced labor camp. Like many other survivors, the family was denied entry to the U.S. at the time due to quotas, and then emigrated to Bolivia when Blima was 6. To this day, she considers Bolivia her home country, which had a mostly open door policy, welcoming Jews and other refugees at the time. Max and Regina ultimately moved to Israel when they were elderly and are buried there. Blima moved to the U.S., after completing medical school in Bolivia, where she was one of the first women to graduate.

Joining our students that evening was a group of scholars from the Higher Achievement Pittsburgh program center in the Hill District. The Higher Achievement students, who have been studying with CDS teacher and Facing History and Ourselves liaison Jackie Goldblum, also had the opportunity to visit the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture site here at CDS. These scholars will also join the CDS 7th Grade for two days during their trip to Washington, D.C. in June to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Several of the students and faculty in attendance commented about how meaningful it was to them to hear the survivors’ stories first hand in such an intimate setting. This is just one of the culminating events in Mrs. Jackie Goldblum’s “Facing History and Ourselves” curriculum. A special thank-you to our guests, Ms. Carole, and the parent helpers who made this year’s event a night to bear witness and to remember.

CDS 8th Grade students and Higher Achievement scholars came together last week to hear the testimonies of four Holocaust survivors

Building Bridges

By Cara Shuckett, Middle School Language Arts

What do Community Day School and Al Fatih Academy—a private Muslim school in northern Virginia—have in common? Last Friday during Advisory, Middle School students were asked this very question. With identifying features removed, the students were tasked with comparing the mission statements of both Community Day School and Al Fatih Academy as follows:

To deliver a joyful, innovative education that empowers our children to become accomplished learners and compassionate upstanders who are committed to ________ life and to creating a better world.

To cultivate and nurture a thriving American _________ identity that balances religious, academic, and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work. Through an interdisciplinary and integrated programming approach, we strive to create an educational environment that unites students, teachers, family, and community to provide an exceptional learning experience.

One student in Advisory stated, “Both mission statements sound like CDS.” Students listened to a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition about Al Fatih Academy and how the school helps students build a strong Muslim American identity. They next compared our schools and discussed the benefits and challenges of attending a private religious school. Just like CDS, Al Fatih Academy ends at 8th Grade. Students interviewed for the radio segment said that before they go to high school they are given the opportunity to, “learn to be ourselves” and “make my identity here.” She added, “And we go off to public school where we can be ourselves with other people. It gives me the confidence." Sound familiar?  

The more we’re different, the more we’re the same

Memory Lane

By Mark Minkus, Head of Intermediate School and Middle School

As Graduation Day approaches for our 8th graders, it is not unusual to hear them reminiscing about some of their favorite CDS memories. Usually, those conversations are about the D.C. trip or something that happened at recess a few weeks ago. However, when I walked into Mrs. Goldblum’s room a few weeks ago, I saw several students huddled around a yearbook from 2010. What caused this sudden interest in looking at their Yearbook photos from 1st Grade? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…

Earlier that day, Mrs. Goldblum had shown them a beautiful picture that was a real blast from the past. It was given to her at the 1st Grade Siddur Ceremony by the Class of 2017. That’s right, Mrs. Goldblum was the 8th graders’ Hebrew teacher in 1st Grade, and they gave her a keepsake of her year with them. Each student contributed a square upon which was a colorful, original drawing, made with love, for Mrs. Goldblum. On the back of the artwork, written in green Sharpie were these words: “Thank you for teaching us! We love you! Class of 2017!” Mrs. Goldblum kept this treasure all these years, and so it created a spontaneous walk down memory lane all the way back to 1st Grade.

To me, this story is like a snapshot of life at CDS. The past is always connecting to the present in a way that prepares students for the future. The lives of the Class of 2017 have been touched by many teachers, coaches, staff members, and friends. Just like the artwork given to Mrs. Goldblum, all of the little things: conversations, lessons, games, and trips combine to make a whole. In this case, they combine to make a CDS graduate. In a few weeks, the 8th graders will take to the stage, and during their speeches, they will reflect on their time at CDS. Their speeches will differ in many ways, but they will all describe what can happen when passionate people pour themselves into young people over a long period of time. Prepared students. Menschy leaders. Social justice warriors. Listen closely to those speeches. You just might hear someone mention a gift that they gave to a teacher way back in 1st Grade.

8th Grade takes a trip down memory lane as they get ready for the next leg of their life journey

The Home Stretch

By David Thyberg, Assistant Athletic Director and Varsity Coach

It’s hard to believe we are already coming up on the month of May and the home stretch of the spring season at CDS. It’s been a busy year in the athletic department, and these last few weeks hold plenty of exciting events to finish right. The Lions have been hard at work out on the field, taking part in a wide variety of sporting activities. If you’re passing by on Beechwood Boulevard one of these afternoons, there’s a good chance you’ll see one of our many teams immersed in game or practice action.

Just this week, the Ultimate Frisbee team kicked things off with their first official game of the season, hosting Winchester Thurston for the first of a home-and-away series. The disc was flying all over the place as our multi-grade squad took turns subbing in and out of the contest so everyone had a chance to participate. Several more matches are coming up soon with other schools, so make sure to catch one before time runs out! The Lions will be looking their best in their new Ultimate T-shirt jerseys, designed and delivered as a keepsake to the fledgling team, courtesy of the athletic department. Our baseball team also received brand-new ballcaps to trot out around the diamond and keep them cool in the bullpen.

Other programs such as Track and Girls on the Run have been going strong as well. Fitness and camaraderie serve as focal points for these initiatives, and the kids have really embraced the opportunity to be active and work on their physical development. Our coaches continue to give great lessons and hands-on instruction, and we thank them for all their hard work in shaping our student-athletes.

There’s not much time left this school year, so please do take advantage of the few remaining opportunities to come out and cheer on your Lions (schedule here). Also mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 9. The annual Sports Recognition Ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. in honor of all the great achievements of our student athletes this year, highlighted by captains’ awards announcement, as is tradition. Finally, make sure to follow @CDS_Sports for the latest news and updates. Thanks, as always, for the support.

Let’s Go Lions!

Ultimate Frisbee is flying at CDS!

CDS Alum Best Chef in America?

A lot is happening these days in the life of CDS alum and restaurateur/chef Michael Solomonov. On Monday, May 1, the James Beard Foundation will hold its annual awards gala in Chicago, and Solomonov is one of five finalists competing for the title of best chef in the United States. His Philadelphia eatery Zahav is also a contender for the James Beard award in the “outstanding service” category. You can read more about these accomplishments here: Making Gold Out of Falafel: Israeli-American Restaurateur Is Up for 'Best Chef in U.S.' Award. Kol HaKavod, Michael!

Alumni Profile: Jacki Savage Gelernter

We love nothing better than to hear from our alumni! Send news about your whereabouts, families, simchas, and career and education accomplishments to Jenny Jones, Director of Institutional Advancement.

Name: Jacki Savage Gelernter

What year did you graduate?
Attended CDS on Forbes and Denniston for 5th, 6th, and 7th grades (aka “the Bat Mitzvah years”)

What are you doing now?
Created my own business, “A Financial Friend,” helping to solve your financial puzzle!

Favorite CDS memory:
The Zimriah at the end of each school year!

What is the biggest impact from having a CDS education? Knowing and feeling connected to the morning prayers from daily services now, as an adult, in whatever temple and synagogue I attend around the globe!

What do you want to do next as a CDS alum?
Host a successful, 1st annual, WALK TO REMEMBER event this weekend with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh and Community Day School, culminating at the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture!

Amazon Smile

Looking for an easy way to earn “free” money to support Community Day School. Every time you shop on Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to CDS. Make it even more of a “no-brainer” by installing this Google Chrome extension that redirects you from amazon.com to smile.amazon.com, so you have no excuses!

Get Business Tax Credits & Help CDS!

Every year, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh helps us get scholarship money through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC). We are partnering with the Jewish Federation to identify companies willing to participate in this program and we need your help.

If you have a business that pays Pennsylvania taxes, or if you can introduce us to someone who owns such a business, please let Roi Mezare, Senior Manager of Financial Resources Development at the Jewish Federation (and a CDS parent!), know at
 412-992-5230 or rmezare@jfedpgh.org. The business will get up to 90% tax credits, and Community Day School will benefit directly through scholarships for students in need.

Due to the sale of a long-time EITC donor’s business last year and the reduced tax liability for several other donors, there will be decreased EITC dollars available for our three day schools this year. Read more about this issue, the EITC program, and how it helps Pittsburgh’s Jewish day schools in this recent article.

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Kol Hakavod to …

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Want to say Kol HaKavod to an employee at CDS? Fill out this online form.

Jackie Goldblum

You give all of your heart and spirit to your work here at CDS and Higher Achievement Pittsburgh and you are truly a superhero fighting to make our world a better, safer place. Mazel tov on the beautiful Holocaust Survivor Dinner and for empowering our Middle School students to develop a meaningful Yom HaShoah commemoration that was both uniquely theirs and universally relevant.

Kyle Ison
You are a fantastic Science teacher for Middle School

Elke Cedarholm
Thank you for all of the time and effort you have devoted to the Intermediate School Drama Club. Our daughter has loved participating this year and last.

Susan Basinski and Lauren Dunn
Thank you so much for everything you do for my child. You are both changing lives for children every day.

Sarah Glascom Morris, Alison Seaman, and Miriam Brostoff
What an amazing 3’s team! I love watching you in action every day. Thank you so much for making my child a better person every day.

Iton is the Hebrew word for newspaper. Since ours is electronic, we call it an E-ton!

Community Day School
An independent Jewish day school educating children age 3 to Grade 8

6424 Forward Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
412-521-1100 ︱

Watch our new promotional video to Discover CDS!

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To subscribe or unsubscribe to the ETON, send an email to: eton@comday.org