MJDS Jewish Journey


We believe Judaism must be meaningful, relevant, and accessible. We live in a world where what we do and how we act is becoming more important than simply what we know. Judaism is no different: teaching our students how to be a mensch -- how to apply the Jewish knowledge and skills that they have learned -- is paramount. At MJDS we inspire not only Jewish learning but a daily life guided by Jewish values and ethics. As such, MJDS has identified ten Jewish values around which our entire curriculum and mission coalesces. At each grade level students are deeply immersed in a Jewish value. These values are developmentally appropriate and are woven into all of the content areas. At the end of a student's ten-year journey, a deep understanding of the values set forth in our tradition is in each child's heart and soul. Through this journey students nurture their own Jewish identities and set the moral and ethical grounding to lead purpose-driven lives. This is how MJDS students think differently and become better leaders that make a positive change in their communities and the world.

JK

Kindness

חסד

Hesed

SK

Wonder

יראה

Yir'ah

1st

Mindfulness
כוונה
Kavvanah

2nd

Community
קהילה
Kehillah

3rd

Empathy
דרך ארץ
Derekh Eretz

4th

Origins
דע מאין באת
Da me'ayin ba-ta

5th

Holiness
קדושה
Kedushah

6th

Purpose
אחדות
Ahdut

7th

Repair the World
תיקון עולם
Tikkun olam

8th

Pioneer
לך לך
Lekh Lekha

Integrating and practicing kindness

The great sage Hillel taught that the most important precept in Judaism is kindness (in Hillel's words: do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you). Students begin to appreciate and internalize kindness through the lens of the Torah and our ancestors, and learn to practice kindness toward others and themselves.

Experiencing the world with wonder and awe

Students look at the world with wonder and awe. Curiosity inspires questions, and joy follows exploration and learning. Students learn how our ancestors experienced wonder and awe in their relationships with God and discovery of the world, and then how to apply these lessons in their daily lives.

Acting mindfully and purposefully

Judaism commands us to focus and direct our minds and hearts on what we are doing. Our Jewish tradition offers us guidelines and role models for acting with kavvanah. Our students find purpose in their daily explorations and view them through a mindful lens. Students gain a better understanding of themselves in relation to the people in their lives and have the opportunity to practice mindfulness in their relationships and the world around them.

Creating community and fostering citizenship

The world is one large community, comprised of many smaller communities. How we live in them, adjust to them, interact with them and influence them defines each of us as individuals and as Jews. Students learn what our tradition teaches us about community and actively participate in developing communities locally and abroad.

Treating others with common decency

We interact with diverse communities -- our home, our city, our country, our global world, and our Jewish world. Each community has its own set of norms and values. Judaism commands us to treat others with common decency and strive to use our Jewish teachings and heritage to positively impact our communities and the world.

Understanding and appreciating our origins

To understand what course we want to chart for our lives, we must understand and appreciate from where we have come -- our origins. We seek to appreciate the origin of the world, the origin of the State of Wisconsin, the origin of the Israelite people and the origin of the modern State of Israel. Our past is a direct link to our present and an indispensable part of our future.

Seeing holiness within and around us

According to the Torah, every person is created in God's image. Recognizing the holiness in everyone impacts how we treat each other. The Holiness Code in the Torah and U.S. history inform our daily behavior and guide us to view ourselves and others as intrinsically holy and to act in a way that elevates one another's holiness.

Acting as one for a common purpose

We live in a world of interdependence. We partner with and are accountable to each other, our world and God. Our Torah teachings, our study of early humans, and our reading of contemporary literature all help us understand our interdependence and guide us to act as a unified, purposeful people.

Repair the world

Our responsibility, as Jews and as people, is to make the world a better place. Our tradition -- from the early precepts of the Torah through the rabbinic literature to today -- students explore what it means to repair the world. Led through the "Voice of the Children" program, our students actualize this core Jewish principle and do their part to repair the world.

Owning their Jewish Journey

Throughout this journey, our students have endeavored to learn about themselves, their Jewish identity and their community. Their life and education are about to take bold and exciting turns -- from an 80 mile bike trip, to an immersive adventure in Israel, and finally, the transition to high school. Students explore our Jewish tradition and heritage, United States history and their own lives, which will guide and inspire them as they pioneer forward defining their own path.