Our Stories

Torah Talk for Parashat Mishpatim

February 21, 2017 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this week’s parasha, Moshe informs the people of numerous ethical and ritual laws and seals the brit (covenant) between the Bnei Yisrael and Hashem. One of the numerous laws in the parasha states (22:20): “Do not wrong a stranger nor oppress him for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Hermann Cohen (1842-1919), […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Yitro

February 16, 2017 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, suggests a system for establishing lower courts to settle disputes; Hashem articulates the Aseret HaDibrot (Ten Commandments) to the Bnei Yisrael amidst fire, smoke, and sounds of the shofar. We often translate Aseret HaDibrot, as I did above, as “The Ten Commandments.” However, they are not really Ten Commandments, because Dibrot means […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Beshalach

February 7, 2017 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

After the Bnei Yisrael cross the Reed sea in safety while Paro’s army drowns, they sing praises to Hashem; in response to their complaints about a lack of food and water, Hashem gives them manna; they are then attacked by Amalek. The TaNaKH contains ten songs. When we look at each song, without even reading […]


JPDS-NC Mourns the Loss of Dr. Robert Schattner

February 3, 2017 by Naomi Reem (Faculty and Staff)

It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of our longtime friend and supporter, Dr. Robert Schattner. From the school’s return to Washington, DC, to its expansion to two campuses, Dr. Schattner’s extraordinary generosity ensured the school’s growth and success through the years. His warmth and charm, often on full display at Veterans […]


Fourth Graders Learn About Asylum Seekers

February 2, 2017 by Vinny Prell (Faculty and Staff)

In the fall, as part of the exploration of communities and cultures around the world, the Fourth Graders began learning about people seeking political asylum. This unit of study provides our children with some insight into regimes and governments around the world. One of its goals is to create empathy for and an understanding of […]


First Grade Open House includes exhibits on Rock Creek Park’s History, Flora, and Fauna and Presentation of Original Hebrew Stories

February 2, 2017 by Caren Szanton (Faculty and Staff)

Last week, First Graders exhibited their expertise and creativity at their first Bayit Patuach (Open House) of the year, showcasing models of historic structures built from recycled materials, curated writing portfolios, multimedia representations of animal habitats, and clay sculptures of various plant species. Throughout the first semester, First Grade students explored the theme “Encounters with […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Bo

February 1, 2017 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

This week’s parasha tells the story of the last three plagues, the preparations that the Bnei Yisrael needed to make in order to leave Mitzrayim, and the actual exodus itself. The first mitzvah mentioned in Sefer Shmot, and in fact, the first mitzvah given to the nation, appears in this parasha [12:2]: “This month shall […]


Fourth Grade Study of Biblical Characters Incorporates Biblical Exegesis, Character Analysis, Poetry and Mixed Media Art

January 25, 2017 by Zahava Bensimon (Faculty and Staff)

Fourth Graders delved into their study of Biblical characters using biblical exegesis, character analysis, mixed media art, and poetry. At JPDS-NC, Third and Fourth graders study Torah with a focus on the Avot (Patriarchs) and Imahot (Matriarchs) as the founders of the Jewish people. Fourth Graders spent the first semester focusing on the characters of […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Vaera

January 25, 2017 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, God brings the first seven plagues upon the Egyptians through Moshe and Aharon, but Pharaoh repeatedly refuses to allow the Bnei Yisrael to leave. Twice in this parasha (6:12 and 30) Moshe says, “I am of uncircumcised lips.” In last week’s parasha, Moshe declared (4:10), “…for I am slow of speech and […]


Pre-K Students Explore Identity

January 19, 2017 by Revital Finkel (Faculty and Staff)

Students in Pre-Kindergarten explored the concept of Identity over the course of the first semester. They began by defining identity as “who you really are.” While acknowledging that we are all constantly changing and growing, our study began by having the children look at the things that currently identify or represent them. We augmented our […]


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