My MJDS Story: Rebecca Hart
Dear MJDS Friends and Family,
"I hope you remember that MJDS was the best place and how sad you were when you left." Those were the words I wrote in a note to myself in 2008. I read them for the second time in spring of 2012 - right before my high school graduation - when I returned to MJDS with the rest of my class to open the time capsules we made in eighth grade. Reading my notation, notes from my classmates, and laughing at a CD I burned entitled "Top Songs of 2008," I got a little emotional.
Of all the great memories from my time at MJDS, perhaps my favorite is the eighth grade Israel Trip. Our graduating class was fortunate to be the first class to take this life-changing pilgrimage home to Eretz Yisrael. I still remember the excitement we felt when we were told we would be travelling to Israel with all of our friends and Adon King, Adon Katz, Geveret Wolfson and Geveret Bachar. Spending two weeks traveling across the holy land, sleeping in youth hostels and Bedouin tents, I felt at one with my Jewish identity and MJDS community. The Israel trip was the culmination of years of Hebrew and Jewish Studies classes, Israel Fairs, and letters exchanged with our pen pals from our sister school in the kibbutz on the Kinneret.
The Israel trip brought home what I already knew. MJDS was more than just my school, it was an extension of my family. The feeling that one gets when one walks through the doors at MJDS is what separates this institution from others. It is the abiding feeling that overcame me as an eighth grader, sad to leave the community I loved so much, and it is above all else what I recall now. The warm and loving guidance of teachers like Geveret Minash, Adon King and many others instilled in me the confidence and life skills to strive to be a leader in my community. It was with this confidence that, after leaving MJDS, I took on leadership positions as captain of my high school hockey and golf teams, executive director of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fundraiser at the University of Michigan and Vice President of the Jewish Law Student Association in law school at the University of Wisconsin.
Along with my parents and grandparents, I credit MJDS with helping to shape me into the woman I am today. I know that my exposure to Jewish education and culture during those ten years has helped formulate many of my values and the decisions I make as an adult. MJDS builds a foundation in each of its students, teaching them what it means to be a mensch - to be respectful to both friends and strangers - and to always be open-minded and receptive to other diverse viewpoints. My MJDS teachers and my Jewish education instilled in me an appreciation for the opportunities I have been given in life and the importance of tikkun olam(giving to others).
I am always grateful for my parents' decision to enroll me in MJDS, and I will forever cherish the memories and friendships I made there. MJDS is a special place, and in no small measure is part of who I am today. I am so proud to be an MJDS alum.
Mazal tov on reaching double chai!
In celebration of the 36th anniversary of MJDS, we are excited to present MJDS Stories, a series of narratives told in first person by different voices of our MJDS community. Parents, teachers, alumni, alumni-parents, students and friends share how MJDS has made an impact on their children, their Jewish identity and their lives. MJDS Stories deepens the meaning of our mission and amplifies the excitement of our 36 milestone.