Our Stories

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayechi

December 23, 2015 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yaakov blesses his sons on his deathbed and asks them to bury him in Canaan. Many of us know the story of the blind patriarch who, ostensibly due to his lack of sight, gives the younger son the blessing of the firstborn and vice versa. Of course, this scenario describes Yitzchak’s blessings of […]


Study of Ancient History Reveals Universal Realities: Sixth Grade Students Invest their Own Learning with Meaning

December 17, 2015 by Lisa Schopf (Faculty and Staff)

At our school, we have been exploring a seemingly obvious notion that actually has profound implications. When I first began to explore the concept that “Children are competent/capable,” I thought, “Of course, what’s so new about that insight? I have always believed children are capable, and I support them to see themselves that way….” But […]


Colonial History Comes to Life at JPDS-NC

December 16, 2015 by Adina S (’17) (Students)

The Fifth Graders at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital have just finished their Colonial History unit. For a few months, the students learn about the founding of the colonies and about famous figures such as John Winthrop, John Smith, and the Kings of England. Then, each student chooses a colonial profession […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Vayigash

December 16, 2015 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers, prompting the entire family to move to Egypt, where Yosef reunites with his father, Yaakov. Yaakov’s story comes full circle in chapter 46, verses 2-4, a passage with many intriguing parallels to a text that we read five weeks ago, about Yaakov starting out on […]


Celebrating the Light Within at Rabin Ceremony

December 15, 2015 by Sharon Freundel (Community) Shoshana Sfarzada (Faculty and Staff)

On the last day of Chanukah, the whole school gathered for a powerful, light-filled ceremony marking the culmination of the Rabin Curriculum on Conflict Resolution. The program centered on the idea of “light” and the “light within” each person. We built a large artistic chanukiah that filled the back wall of the stage. Each grade, from […]


Effective Altruism, Emotion, and Twenty Million Dollars

December 10, 2015 by Adina Kanefield (Faculty and Staff)

Chanukah evokes images of sanctity and strength, renewal and dedication. It also brings to the fore the value of giving. This has been a big year of giving at JPDS-NC… and continues to be. From last weekend’s article in The New York Times contrasting the movement of “effective altruism” with emotional and empathetic roots of […]


Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Federowicz

December 10, 2015 by Vered Asta (Faculty and Staff)

Rachel (Levitt) Federowicz can be dubbed a woman of firsts. During the week, she is often the first one in the JPDS-NC South Campus carpool line to pick up her son, David. On Fridays, she is one of the first faces many staff members and students see as she sorts and delivers challahs to the classrooms. […]


Torah Talk for Parashat Miketz

December 9, 2015 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Yosef interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and is appointed to implement Egypt’s anti-famine plan, which brings him into contact with his brothers again, as they come to Egypt to buy food. Within three verses, we encounter two different cases of hapax legomenon, a word which occurs only once within a written context – in this case, […]


Volunteer Spotlight: Steven Aftergood

December 8, 2015 by Sharon Samber (Community)

JPDS-NC’s strength is due, in part, to the dedication of a cadre of talented and energetic parent volunteers. To learn first-hand about what motivates and inspires our volunteers, read the interview with parent Steven Aftergood. What is your volunteer role? Steven: I have volunteered with the JPDS-NC Ru’ach Campaign, which raises funds to help cover the school’s […]


Learning and Building Connections with iBuddies

December 3, 2015 by Anna W (’16) (Students) Gabriel B (’16) (Students) Rochelle B (’16) (Students) Samantha F (’16) (Students)

The Sixth Grade and Kindergarten classes at JPDS-NC participate in a program called iBuddies. Every Kindergartener is assigned to a Sixth Grade buddy who uses technology to help them research the projects they work on in class. On their last visit, buddy teams worked on finding and creating patterns for the Kindergarten math unit, and […]


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