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This essential wisdom, lived at MJDS every day is echoed by John Steinbeck.....


And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes.  

November 30th, 2014

In This Issue:

  1. Montessori and Judaism
  2. On Being an MJDS Parent: Neuroscience and the Adult Brain...
  3. Kita Magen David's Lentil Soup for Parasha Toldot
  4. What Professional Development Means To Us
  5. Happy Birthday and Thank You!
  6. MJDS Upcoming Events 

Montessori and Judaism


This week's feature article, Judaism and Montessori, by Miriam Coates focuses on the connections between Montessori and Judaism and why they work so well together.


Jewish schools of varying affiliations and denominations are looking to improve and revive programming and a growing number are looking to Montessori pedagogy. "Based on education that follows the child, Montessori focuses on respect, independence, and preparing an environment that nurtures a child's natural desire for discovery.... Montessori meshes well with core principles of Jewish faith and culture, such as care for the environment, self-sufficiency, independence, and justice." 


Read more here.


Please note that this article appeared, not in a Jewish publication, but in the Montessori Life magazine.


And there is more.......


Lessons From Montessori For Jewish Schools

Research shows that Jewish knowledge and awareness comes more naturally and powerfully from activities at home and at school, rather than through scripted lessons. An integrated Judaic Montessori classroom provides this experience ... creating a lifelong learner eager to find his or her Jewish identity and foster a love for Judaism. Although this concept seems to be simple, the implementation of the model and the true integration of a Judaic curriculum in a Montessori classroom is complex..... 


Read more here.


This article, by Debra Kita appeared in Hayidion, the Journal for Ravsak: The Jewish Community Day School Network.


On Being an MJDS Parent: Neuroscience and the Adult Brain...


How often do you find yourself in a stressful situation? What is your response to other people?  To your spouse/family/children?


Neuroscience in the past five years has revealed many startling facts about stress and we have come to understand how the chemicals in the brain work.  What may not have changed in decades, are the techniques to relieve stress as we interact with others.  We are happy to share the "nine magic words" for working with people, especially in stressful situations.


 Kita Magen David's Lentil Soup for Parasha Toldot


"It was really fun to make this soup in the classroom with all my classmates." - Alexandra

Lower Elementary Children Preparing Onions for Lentil Soup
Yael, Avigal, Ori and Shea Prepare Onions

"I enjoyed working with a team." - Shea

"I love this soup. It seems like all the Kita Magen David students enjoy this fun activity." - Samuel


The children in Kita Magen David were learning Parasha "Toldot" and discovered that Aisav (Esau) sold his first-born blessing to Kavok in exchange for lentil soup. When they heard this, the children in Kita Gimmel decided to make their own lentil soup with Sarit's help. First they prepared all the of the ingredients; cooking began with the onions, which quickly filled the school with a delicious smell. Other ingredients were lentils, paprika, cumin and salt. This healthy soup is a perfect fit with this year's theme of Sports and Health and was delicious too! When the soup was ready the children served it to their classmates in Kita Alef and Kita Bet.

What Professional Development Means To Us


For teachers PD Days are just as busy if not busier than regular school days as we step out of our classrooms to focus on the big picture and commit to re-evaluating and exploring our program. It is so important to ensure that we are providing the highest quality Jewish Montessori experience in a seamless program across all levels of learning.


On November 7th, MJDS teachers benefitted from different opportunities.


At school the Judaic Studies Teachers and the Shinshinim met to work out details for upcoming events; they also worked together on creative means to bring Israel and tradition to the classroom and inspire each other. They prepared for Chanukah by making new materials and developed plans for the new and very different format for our Annual Chanukah party.


As a group working in the unique environment of MJDS, the Judaic Studies team believe that it is our duty and passion to keep ourselves informed and make sure that our children are engaged and benefit from our program.


At the CAMT Conference, Upper Elementary and Middle School teachers Catherine and Simon attended a workshop on conflict-resolution strategies called "Restitution" presented by Grace Kidney of Clanmore Montessori School. Grace gave us new language and clear strategies to help children resolve their conflicts.


If a problem occurs in her school the children hold up their hands and pointing to each finger say... 

Restitution Steps

No blame, No shame, No excuses, No apology, FIX IT!


When they put their hands down they add, "But an apology goes a long way towards fixing it." The goal is to help the children really resolve rather than blame others for the problem. As a class we also define the values we live by and what we believe in. Both the "Classroom Beliefs" and the "Problem Solving" parts are supported in Shalhevet with discussions on Jewish values, particularly when Yaniv reads the "Parasha." We will write more on this topic as the children become more familiar with the program in the classroom and we thank you for your support.


More information on MJDS Professional Development in the next issue.



Happy Birthday and Thank You!


Echoage Logo


       Thank you and Mazal Tov to Samual Sharrett, Dani Gurvich and Aaron Kranc for          supporting MJDS through the EchoAge birthday program.




MJDS Upcoming Events


December 1 - Annual Giving Campaign begins as we celebrate the Year of Sports and Health and                                 plan exciting enhancements to our programs.

December 11 - Last Day for Winter After School Special Programs Registration

                            - PD Day Camp Registration is Due for January 5

th PD Day

December 17 - Chanukah Party - Join us for a whole new way for the MJDS Community to                                                                                       celebrate Chanukah    6:00 pm Beth David

December 22 - January 2 - Winter Break

January 5 - Professional Development Day - School Closed

                       PD Day Camp: In the Kitchen with Dinah: your children will love it!

January 22 - Protective Behaviours Parent Night (changed from Jan 29)