Federation Hosts MoCo Jewish Preschool Fair

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Strategically scheduled for that golden hour before the onset of lunchtime, naptime, and other parenting perils, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s Montgomery County Jewish Preschool Fair on June 2 gave families the opportunity to meet representatives from local Jewish preschools. The event, which was free to all and hosted at Federation’s offices in Rockville, Maryland, also featured entertainment for children. A whopping 20 schools participated, and 125 people (representing 53 families) came to explore what the schools have to offer.

CESJDS Receives Accolade for Blended Learning

Written by Kami Troy on . Posted in Features

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) in Rockville, Maryland, was recognized as number six in study.com’s list of the top 50 blended learning high schools in the country. According to Daniel Brown at study.com, “Blended learning acknowledges the importance of digital literacy and 21st century skills while still maintaining the most important elements of in-person interaction offered by the traditional classroom approach.”

LBJA Hosts Annual Art and Music Show

Written by Ariel Levy on . Posted in Features

One of the highlights of the school year, the annual Music and Arts show at the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts (LBJA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, was full of energy, individuality, and charm.

On the way in to the auditorium, visitors passed through hallways adorned with student art, each piece with its own unique take on shared themes. This set the mood for the show itself, a colorful explosion of movement, music, and song.

LBJA offers many afterschool clubs, including dance club, and a range of students from kindergarten through 5th grade shared their talents in a variety of inspired dances. LBJA’s music teacher Nakisa Karimian, a professional symphony violinist, wowed the audience with her dynamic performance.

The evening concluded with all of the students singing four songs. The final song, Yaakov Shweky’s “We Are a Miracle,” was particularly moving.

The song’s lyrics tell the history of the Jewish people and vividly describe the persecutions they have faced. That we are still around, thriving and blossoming, was poignantly brought to life in an accompanying music video. Portraying the story of a child in the Holocaust who miraculously survives the terror and death, the video depicts his immigration to Israel. As a young man, he joins the Israeli army and in the crucial battle finds himself alone, facing a wave of enemy tanks. He raises his hand to his eyes to say Shema. The song concludes with this elderly man, visiting his grandson who is putting on tefillin.

The moving video played in the background while the students earnestly sang; voices filled with life, hope, and dreams.

By Ariel Levy


Ariel Levy is a homeschool father of four living in Kemp Mill, Maryland. He gives private lessons in many subjects, including math, early literacy, and piano. Ariel can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Gesher Students Celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut at Home and Abroad

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Students at Gesher Jewish Day School (Gesher JDS) in Fairfax, Virginia, had a blast celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut. There was the annual Falafel Frenzy lunch (pictured left and center), Israeli dancing performed by each grade, and team games and crafts focused on Israeli geography, food, and people. 

Six CESJDS Seniors Share Their Reasons for Joining the IDF

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Six members of the Class of 2019 at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) in Rockville, Maryland, will join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) this summer. National military service is required for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18; but every year, people from countries around the world voluntarily commit two to three years of their lives to the IDF. Some attain Israeli citizenship at the start or after completion of their service.

Overnight Adventure With Ashreinu

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Schools mark the close of the year in different ways, and Kehillat Ashreinu Montessori School in Silver Spring, Maryland, took the challenge to the Great Outdoors with an overnight camping trip for elementary students during the last week in May.

Germany’s Jewish Identity in 2019

Written by Natalia Paley Whitman on . Posted in Features

I’ve never truly thought about Germany’s Jewish community. I know, from the basic Holocaust education I’ve received combined with some knowledge of European Judaism, that the Jewish community was devastated in the 1940s and is slowing rebuilding. And yet, seeing German-Jewish teens doing things that I do at home in the United States is something that has never crossed my mind; things like celebrating holidays, eating Shabbat dinner with family each week, gathering at weekend seminars, and attending synagogue.

YGW – Tiferes Gedaliah Student Wins Holocaust Writing and Art Competition

Written by Rabbi Scott Hillman on . Posted in Features

Local student Yoeli Margolis won first place in the Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center’s (HERC) Holocaust Writing & Art Contest. An 11th grade student at Yeshiva of Greater Washington – Tiferes Gedaliah in Silver Spring, Maryland, Margolis submitted “The Good Name,” a film that tells the story of Silver Spring resident and Holocaust survivor Lew Sosnowik. HERC, a program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, engages and serves middle and high school students as well as college students and adults through educational programs and Holocaust survivor testimonials.

Lights in the Darkness of Yom HaShoah

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As Yom HaShoah commenced on May 1 in Herndon, Virginia, Rabbi Michelle Goldsmith assisted students from K-7 classes at Congregation Beth Emeth's Religious School to light six special yellow Yizkor candles to commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The students lighting the candles belonged to families directly affected by the Holocaust. (Photo credit: Susan Berger)

Celebrating Israel’s 71st Birthday at Shomrai Preschool

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At Shomrai Preschool in Silver Spring, Maryland, this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration featured a “plane ride” to Israel (including customs and security), a festive parade, and a visit to a homemade Kotel (Western Wall). Of course, falafel and Israeli salad were on the menu! The children prepared all week by discussing and learning about Israel’s geography, food, special places, songs, and the many components involved in flying overseas.