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"The growth of Jewish Montessori education stands to benefit both Jewish schools and the secular Montessori community, as both share the goal of developing capable, confident, and spiritually awakened children."        - Miriam Coates


Miriam Coates is a Montessori directress, educational consultant, curriculum designer, and writer.

February 1st, 2015

In This Issue: 

  1. On Being an MJDS Parent: Connective Words and Listening Skills

  2. Creative Hebrew Writing in Kita Magen David

  3. Why Do We Celebrate Tu Bishvat?

  4. Moving Up from Casa to Lower Elementary

  5. MJDS Community Havdallah

  6. Zimriyah 2015

  7. Welcome to a New MJDS Family!

  8. MJDS Upcoming Events

On Being an MJDS Parent: Connective Words and Listening Skills


We know there are times when communication with your children seems impossible, and that no matter what you say, they just can't hear you. Knowing how to change the way we speak with children can open up the lines of communication even in the most difficult situations. Below are some examples by Lori Petro, Parent Advocate, Mother, and Educator. See more here. 





On the other hand, perhaps in our adult desire for "communication " we may be unintentionally telling children how NOT to listen; here are six ways in which we may be doing this by Amanda Morgan:


Amanda Morgan  is an advocate for "Intentional whole child development", she  has many parenting articles on her website : Not Just Cute, Intentional Child Development

Creative Hebrew Writing in Kita Magen David


The children in Kita Magen David have enjoyed writing and illustrating their own stories in Hebrew. After reading many books in Hebrew the children were invited to create an original story, paying attention to all of the writing rules, and to design a cover page that connects to the story and catches the reader's attention. Some students decided to create a Tu Bishvat themed story while others were drawn to other themes that interested them. The project ended with students proudly presenting their stories to their classmates and other students throughout the school. Their finished work is on display in the foyer for your reading pleasure. Enjoy these images of our capable, confident and joyful young authors and artists.

Creative Hebrew Writing

Why Do We Celebrate Tu Bishvat?


Tu Bishvat is a holiday honoring trees, the environment and the land of Israel. The connection between tress, Jews and the land of Israel traces all the way back to the Bible. "when you enter this land, you shall plant fruit -bearing trees" (Leviticus 19:23).


Tu Bishvat, as we know it today, started in the late 1800's. In 1884, on Tu Bishvat, the Halutzim (early pioneers) held the first public tree planting ceremony in Israel. Together, they planted hundreds of trees including almost 800 etrog trees. Almost 25 years later, the Israel Teachers' Union decided to dedicate the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Sh'vat for students to plant trees. Since then, Tu Bishvat has become the "tree planting holiday".


At MJDS we thread Jewish and universal values into our lives and for Tu Bishvat we talked with the children about a value called בל תשחית Bal Tashhit; not destroying trees and the environment. You can continue this conversation with your children on what it means to "not destroy the trees or the environment". How can they help guard the earth and the environment?  


Things you can do as a family:

  • In honor of Tu Bishvat, purchase a tree through JNF.
  • Visit a grocery store with your children and buy fruits that grow on trees in Israel. Talk with your children about how each one looks? Tastes? Feels?  And tell them that at this time of year, when we celebrate the birthday of the trees and eat these fruits, we think about Israel, a special place for the Jewish people.
  • Start an indoors planting project that you can transfer outdoors in the Spring.

Check in next week for more MJDS Tu Bishvat activities.

Moving Up from Casa to Lower Elementary


Have you ever wondered what the future holds for your child?  A Montessori program for the Elementary years is the right choice!  Here are two articles that highlight the benefits of both a Jewish Montessori education and an Elementary Montessori environment.


The first article is written by Miriam Coates entitled Judaism and Montessori.


Please read about the Transition from Casa to Lower Elementary. With thanks to our friends at Clanmore Montessori School. 


MJDS Community Havdallah



Saturday evening, after a day of rest and relaxation, it is time to say good bye to the Shabbat. When three stars can be seen in the sky, the Havdalah, a ceremony of separation begins.


A special braided candle is lit; wine is sipped; and we breathe in the fragrance of spices, bringing the sweetness of the Shabbat into the week.


Please join us as a community to celebrate the Havdalah together Saturday February 7th at 6:45pm.


Blessing, songs, art and craft activities will follow and a light snack and hot chocolate will be served.

Zimriyah 2015


On Sunday, March 15, 2015 at Adath Israel Congregation our elementary children, together with those of the Jewish Day Schools will raise their voices in song and celebration at Zimriyah 2015. Cantor and Composer Eyal Bitton will lead our choir as her also leads the program for his sixth year in a row.


Tickets can be purchased online for $10.00 per ticket commencing February 2, 2015.   


Please note - On the day of the performance a limited number of tickets (if available) will be sold at the door - $15.00 CASH ONLY.


MJDS performance is in the afternoon at 2:30. Download the schedule here.

Our Capable Upper Elementary and Middle School Students Travelling on the Subway

Welcome to a New MJDS Family!


We are delighted to welcome the Issenberg family.


Orr is our new student in  Shalhevet and her younger brother Ron has joined Magen David.  We send a warm Canadian welcome (cold land - warm hearts) to parents Ella and Shalom Issenberg who have just moved here from Israel. We are actually very much looking forward to showing off our wonderful city and school and know we will have a great year.


MJDS Upcoming Events

Saturday February 7 - MJDS Family Havdallah

Thursday February 12 - Professional Development Day - School Closed
PD Day Camp Available - Pottery with Shayne and Susie
Registration due February 3rd

February 13 - 16 - Mid-Winter Break/Family Day - School Closed