Dear MJDS Friends,
It's hard to overstate the impact that MJDS has had on my life. I entered K-4 there 36 years ago, but the happy memories are still remarkably fresh. I recall being four years old and cuddling on Geveret Wolkenstein's lap when it was my turn to read from Dick and Jane. I can remember the proud look on Geveret Eisenberg's face when shocked parents peaked into her classroom to find us kindergarteners confidently performing Hebrew skits and songs.
Over the years, MJDS also gave me countless skills. I learned (among other things) to organize a binder, play recorder, lead Hallel, write calligraphy, and sing the multiplication tables for threes and sixes – all the aforementioned having come in handy just within the past year.
Beyond these specific skills, MJDS has had a profound impact on my life's path. I am a teacher today because of my many outstanding MJDS teachers who made learning magical and made theirs look like the best job in the world. I'm now in my 14th year of teaching, first as a Hebrew and Spanish teacher at a Jewish high school and for the past decade as a Spanish instructor at Stanford University. Another of my professional joys has been to lead weekly Tot Shabbat services at my synagogue. For the past ten years, I've gotten to lead a "Shabbat Sing" inspired experience for a new generation of young children.
Both professionally and personally life seems to have come full circle. My husband and I are parents of two sons, ages 8 and 12, who attend our local Jewish day school. My kids know that every once in a while we may run into Geveret Wolkenstein or Geveret Eisenberg at the airport as everyone flies cross country to visit family. At these moments, there will be lots of hugging - and seeing my teachers hug my children will make me happier than I can describe.
MJDS then and now
I started at the Day School in 1981, predating fruits and nuts (FAN) fundraisers. Kindergarten handouts I've saved bear the faded purple ink of mimeographs. A few years later I learned math using colored grids called "mini computers" (and can still remember the satisfaction of getting called to the front of the room to click the magnetic checker onto the appropriate square).
But while some things have changed at MJDS over the past 36 years, many of my fond memories are still recognizable to my young cousins, Nina and Sidra Iskandarsjach, who are part of the current generation of MJDS students. We can reminisce about folk fairs and art fairs, Shabbat sing and school musicals. I stop by MJDS when I'm in town to find that many of my former teachers are still working there, passionate as ever and seemingly impervious to the passage of time. Thirty-six years later, MJDS is still what it always has been - a warm, bright school filled with incredible staff, engaged students and dedicated families. It remains, as ever, a place of creativity, learning, and lots of yiddishkeit.
Mazel Tov on this accomplishment!