My MJDS Story: Sue Carneol
Dear MJDS Friends,
Twenty-five years ago, I walked through the Star Door of Milwaukee Jewish Day School for the first time. Our oldest daughter, Deb, was 4-years-old and her dad, Allan, and I were debating what to do about her Junior Kindergarten year. We lived in Mequon and they did not have a K4 program at that time. Deb was more than ready to begin her formal schooling. After visiting MJDS in the spring, we still were not sure if it was the right fit for us. There was a waiting list to enroll in the school, so we signed Deb up, thinking it would only be for her K4 year. Sixteen years later, as a graduating parent, I stood before the students and parents of the class of 2008 to deliver a speech. I recounted how our family experienced all the projects, programs, fairs, field trips, bike trips, fundraisers, etc. times 3, and that each of our children, Deborah ('02), Haley ('05) and Sam ('08) were proud MJDS Rockets (team name at that time). Of all the projects that the Carneol children did in each of their ten years at MJDS, the eighth-grade time capsule was among their favorites. With Sam's graduation upon us, I realized that our entire house was an MJDS time capsule. I walked from room to room and noted the framed art projects, personalized haggadot, challah covers, homemade mezzuzot, haiku poetry with paper flower art, videos from school musicals, decorative tins from past Fruit and Nut sales, and remnants from the "ritzy-ditzy" condos the kids had from their second-grade Refrigerator Box Community. There were file cabinets bulging with folders and paperwork from serving on the Board and various committees, including the Fruit and Nut chair.
While these are all wonderful things by which to remember MJDS, I realize they are only things. It is the intangibles that will stay with my family forever: proud Jewish identities, strong commitment to community, appreciation for the rhythm our lives take as we celebrate the Jewish Holidays, love of Israel, and keen responsibility for tikkun olam - repairing the world. These were difficult pieces to fit into a cardboard box time capsule. Instead I watched as each of my children grew up and became the mensches we had hoped for, as each exited the Star Door as MJDS alumni.
A quarter of a century has passed since Allan and I had to make a decision that would change our family for the best. We are positive Milwaukee Jewish Day School was the perfect fit for us.
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.