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Did you know that Anne Frank attended Montessori School in Amsterdam?  You can see her in both her Casa and Elementary classrooms at the end of this newsletter.

March 1st, 2015

In This Issue: 

  1. On Being an MJDS Parent and a Member of a Growing Movement

  2. Montessori Education Week with Ruach!

  3. Adar is Here: The Joy of Preparing for Purim

  4. Purim Carnival

  5. MJDS Film Festival Fundraiser

  6. Zimriyah

  7. Mazal Tov to the Glina Family

  8. MJDS Upcoming Events

On Being an MJDS Parent and a Member of a Growing Movement


Do you know how many Jewish Montessori schools there are worldwide?   In addition to the 21 in the USA and the two in Canada (MJDS and Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool in Ottawa) there is one in Amsterdam, one in Cologne, Germany, two in London, two in Mexico City, 

there's even a Chabad-run Montessori through sixth grade in Beijing and we are excited to tell you that there is an Israeli Montessori Association


MJDS Judaic Studies teachers attended the Northeast Regional Jewish Montessori Conference with the theme: Celebrating the Intersection Between Jewish and Montessori.  They participated in and contributed to sessions on enhancing Hebrew language learning and were inspired by discussions on new ways of infusing lessons with Jewish meaning.  Sarit will share more details from the MJDS perspective in a forthcoming issue, today you can read about it here.  

Montessori Education Week with Ruach!


This week we celebrated Montessori Education Week along with thousands of other Montessori schools around the world. One of the things that makes MJDS such a special place for your child to learn is our double program of Judaic Studies and Montessori education led by adults who are passionate and dedicated and are inspired to make this a seamless integrated experience for the children.

Our younger children learned about Maria Montessori and how she developed her approach to education 108 years ago through observing children and using trial and error to create the wonderful materials your children use every day. MJDS teachers also connected Montessori with Jewish spirit and values through emphasizing Montessori's vision of Peace Education and linking it to the prayer for peace and wholeness.


Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu, V'al kol Yisrael, V'imru, amen.


May He who brings peace to His universe bring peace to us and to all the people of Israel.  


On Friday, after t'filah the children continued the discussion about what peacefulness means to them, some children responded with 'quiet, respect, sharing, kindness'.


Students in Kita Magen David were intrigued by details of Dr. Montessori's life and enjoyed seeing pictures of the first "Casa dei Bambini" in Italy.   They were also quite delighted to use the brand new Montessori classified cards about Purim in Hebrew. These were a timely addition to the class!


In the older classes students researched Rome as the birthplace of the Montessori movement and here the Jewish component was historical. They heard of Maria Montessori's friendship with Anna Freud and how one of the first schools outside of Rome was opened in Vienna by a group of Jewish women. Children in upper elementary and middle school have an extraordinary sense of justice and are developing their moral selves. For this reason we shared stories about how the Nazis burnt Maria Montessori's effigy and books in Berlin in 1933.   This stands in stark contrast with the fact that that Dr. Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 3 times.

Adar is Here: The Joy of Preparing for Purim


"When Adar arrives, we increase our joy." MJDS children have been preparing for Purim in multiple and creative ways.  Rimon, Shalhevet and Magen David students are using the new Montessori classified cards in Hebrew to learn more about Purim and the Megillah.  They know the origin of the name... Did

you know that the word Purim literally means "lots" in reference to the story?  And they made gorgeous and unique masks in Art class with Dorona.  Casa children have also made masks and are enriching their knowledge of the symbols of the holiday.  For the past week the school has been enlivened by Purim music and song. 


As a Jewish Montessori school it is important to highlight the Jewish values and the Mitzvot that connect to each holiday. Purim is about dressing up and being merry - and so much more! There are other meaningful ways to celebrate and convey the deeper message of Purim. Throughout Thursday MJDS children will experience and fulfill the four Mitzvot of Purim: 

  • Mikra Megillah - Reading of the Megillah by the older children
  • Seudat Purim - Enjoying a festive meal
  • Mishloach Manot - Preparing and giving each other gifts
  • Matanot l'Eevyonim - please send tzedaka money with your children  

Kita Magen David will go to the Bernard Betel Centre to "gladden the heart" of visiting seniors- according to the Shulchan Aruch, this is the most important mitzvah of Purim.   

Purim Carnival


Friday March 6th from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm.


The children are welcome to dress in costume and to enjoy the Purim Carnival that will be led by the Shinshinim. The reason we dress up for Purim alludes to Queen Ester's secret identity.  This is always a highlight of the year for children and adults alike, and we are so happy to celebrate together!


The morning will end with Kabbalat Shabbat.


Talk to your child about dressing up for Purim: a simple and comfortable costume is the best. Please remember that the toddlers and Casa children have a heightened sense of order that demands familiarity; consequently they can be very frightened by disguise.


This year we are introducing...

MJDS Film Festival Fundraiser


Valerie Weiss has very kindly organized a one-of-a-kind movie event in the afternoon. The movies are made by the MJDS after-school film club and are truly wonderful. It is a perfect end to a day of high-jinks and merry-making. Thank you Valerie.


The festival begins at 12.00 pm and ends at 3.   Funds raised will benefit MJDS children.


For questions regarding the event, please contact Valerie Weiss at: timepie@rogers.com



Rehearsals are in full swing with Eyal Bitton, and the music is sounding wonderful. Remember to buy your tickets early as only a small amount, if any, will be sold at the door on March 15th. MJDS will be performing in the afternoon beginning at 2:30pm. Hope to see you there as our students raise their voices in song!

Mazal Tov to the Glina Family!


MJDS is delighted to welcome a new baby girl to our ever growing community. 

She is sister to Lielle in Kita Zohar. Congratulations and Mazal Tov to parents Amy and Barry!

Anne Frank in her Casa Classroom. She appears in the top to the right, in a white dress.

Anne Frank in her Elementary classroom. She appears near the middle of the photo.

MJDS Upcoming Events

March 4 - Beth David Purim Extravaganza - See flyer here


March 6 - Purim Carnival and everyone wears a costume!   Noon Dismissal


March 6 - MJDS Film Festival Noon - 3:00 pm - Registration due March 5th


March 11 
Concert by the renowned Interfaith group Diwan Saz presented to MJDS students in conjunction with Ashkenaz and the Aga Khan Foundation.

Please look for the Video Presentation of MJDS Upper Elementary students' visit to the Aga Khan Museum coming to our Facebook page this week!

March 15 - Zimriyah - Adath Israel Congregation


March 16, 17, 18 - Casa Parent Teacher Interviews (Mazal and Gefen)


March 26 - Casa Event 9:30 am at Beth David