"Know from where you come, and you will know where to go."
This motto explains why Judaism is the most important facet of my life. Growing up as a Zionist, making aliyah to Israel and eventually teaching children at MJDS about how they can live as proud Jews describes the timeline of my life.
MJDS has been a part of my life for years as a teacher, and as a parent for 10 of those years. When I came back in 1985, the office staff consisted of founding director Doris Shneidman and office manager Barb Friedman. There were approximately 70 students, the oldest of which were in 4th grade (then known as "the Big Kids").
During my first year, I helped anywhere needed - cleaning the water table in K4, reading with a group of 3rd graders in Geveret Nancy Greenman's (z"l) class, setting up snack buckets, reading Hebrew with Geveret Stisha Steigman's students, putting up bulletin boards with Geveret Sandy Morgan, taking kids out to recess and cleaning the art/lunchroom tables in what we called the "ulam." Both the staff and parents had a pioneering spirit as this new school was beginning to grow. I loved the warm, accepting Jewish environment that permeated the building, as I had just come back from Israel and was in culture shock here in the United States. MJDS provided an atmosphere of Zionism, Hebrew and Judaism that I craved.
Then I fell in love with teaching. I experienced the joy of the children as they realized how wonderful our heritage and language could be. I delighted in watching the light bulbs go on as they read words they recognized in Hebrew. I saw the sparks fly as they realized just how wonderful being Jewish can be. I realized I could make a difference and was inspired. Thus began the next 33 years of teaching Hebrew and Jewish studies.
As parents, my husband and I have loved the solid educational foundations our daughters, Dani and Lee'at, have been given. Their love for their heritage and culture was nurtured at MJDS by the wonderful staff. Personally, I love the friendships I have gained from my amazing, professional colleagues. The depth of these friendships continues to grow today.
MJDS has evolved over the years, with the changing of students and staff, curriculum and innovation, and the balance of keeping some old and also creating new customs and traditions.
I am proud to say that each year brings its own excitement! With the innovation and technology of 2017-18, I like to call us: The new MJDS - MJDS 2.0.