Our Stories

Meet the 2018 Purim Ball Honorees

March 6, 2018 by Laurie Brumberg (Faculty and Staff)

Each year at Purim Ball, we honor MILTON parents and others for their devoted leadership and service to the school. This year we recognize Kimby and Lawrence Berger; Kimberly and John Hasenberg; Cinthia and Horacio Rozanski; Sandy and Ted Schulman; and Sharon Freundel. Learn about these remarkable people, their commitment and service to our school, and their answer to the question: “What makes a hero?”

Kimby and Lawrence Berger

Kimby and Lawrence Berger believe in leading by example, and they’ve done just that in their eleven years at MILTON. When looking at schools for their oldest son, Aden, Jewish day school wasn’t specifically on their radar, but JPDS was a natural place to look coming from the Gan HaYeled at Adas Israel. Little did they know how JPDS would change their lives. Kimby says they were “blown away” the first time they visited. The halls were alive with energy, and what she saw was deep and joyful learning as kids followed their curiosity and engaged actively in everything around them. Kimby knew it was the right place for their family.

Today, both Aden and his brother Micah are at Sidwell, in Grades 10 and 8; Ollie is a MILTON fourth grader. Kimby talks about how well prepared her older boys were for middle school, and how grounded they are in Judaism. “They have a sense of history, and of who their people are.” For Kimby and Lawrence, MILTON is a school that educates the mind and the heart. Kids learn to make evidence-based arguments and to be serious in their pursuits. They also learn to be kind, open and nurturing. Says Kimby, “MILTON has played an incredibly important role in our family and I am always eager to help the school in any way that I can.” Read more >

What does it mean to be a hero?

A hero helps, and puts other people ahead of themselves.

Kimberly and John Hasenberg

As Kimberly and John Hasenberg tell it, their love for JPDS (MILTON) developed not over months or years, but instantaneously. John recalls leaning over to Kimberly at their first Back to School Night back in 2009 and saying, “I never thought my kids would go to a school like this, and I never imagined how happy I’d be about it.” Those pinch-me moments became almost commonplace over the nearly ten years that their kids, Ellie (’16) and Benny (’20), were at the school, and continue now even as the Hasenbergs have joined the ranks of alumni families.

Kimberly and John speak movingly about a journey they have shared with the school. They reminisce on Benny’s enthusiasm when, as a Kindergartener, he and his classmates played the part of entrepreneurs, bringing the famous Cuties to life. They recall the moment not all that long ago when Ellie stood confidently on the bimah at Adas Israel for her bat mitzvah, a culmination of years of learning and developing a strong Jewish identity at the school. And they describe with awe and gratitude how fortunate they are to have joined the school at a time of tremendous growth and success. John describes with a gleam in his eye the feeling of being involved as the school has matured and come into its own – “it’s like catching a wave, you’ve got to be there!” Read more >

What does it mean to be a hero?

A hero inspires and leads by example. A hero has a good soul and uses it to do good.

Cinthia and Horacio Rozanski

Cinthia and Horacio Rozanski wanted a Jewish day school, but they were surprised and especially drawn by what they found the first time they walked into JPDS. Spread across the floor of the lobby was a group of children working on an art project. The kids were busy, relaxed, and pouring their imaginations into their work and chatter. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The school reminded Cinthia of the day school she attended in Argentina – that likeness helped her feel at home, and signaled a broad perspective that she and Horacio both value. When they met with Head of School Naomi Reem and discovered a common Buenos Aires history, it was as if the stars had aligned.

Reflecting on their years at the school, the Rozanskis stress the value of experiential learning. Their daughters Miriam (‘16) and Sammi (‘21) have both developed a strong sense of Jewish identity, and their connection to Israel is rooted in attachments to people and stories of everyday life. Cinthia and Horacio talk about the sense of empowerment they see in their girls and other JPDS/MILTON kids. Sammi has turned a passion for reading into a fundraising force, participating in read-a-thons to benefit from numerous causes. After Hurricane Sandy, Miriam was encouraged to turn concern into action and organized her third-grade class to raise money for relief. Both girls have been able to make a difference and feel part of something larger than themselves and the classroom. As Horacio puts it, the school’s focus on tikkun olam – transforming the world – and personal leadership is an important foundation for citizenship. Read more >

What does it mean to be a hero?

Look no farther than MILTON teachers. The teachers are heroes because they care, they attend to every child as an individual, and they consistently reach above and beyond. That’s not just teaching, it’s educating.

Sandy and Ted Schulman

Many people describe the strong personal relationships and sense of community at JPDS/MILTON. For Sandy and Ted Schulman, it’s a particularly sweet truth. One of their first dates was to a teachers’ party at Susan Koss’s house. When Ted and Sandy got married, Sandy’s students and JPDS families surrounded them under the chuppah.

Sandy has been part of JPDS since 1997 when she came to check out the “little day school at the synagogue” and accepted a job teaching first grade. The school was at Adas Israel in those days, and Sandy likes to say she has worked on every campus and through every name change. Read more >

What does it mean to be a hero?

Heroes send positive energy throughout the world, lifting others up and spreading good vibes. A hero is a mensch, in both large and small ways.

Sharon Freundel

Sharon Freundel was Director of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at JPDS-NC for ten years and has been Director of Jewish Life for two. In her twelve years of service, she oversaw the development of a robust Hebrew and Judaic Studies curriculum, created professional standards and benchmarks for teaching TaNaKH, and has been committed to staff development and collaboration. She has filled many shoes over the years, supplementing her position with roles as school nurse, adult education coordinator, support services provider, and point person for community outreach and Chesed. She has also been a true friend to our MILTON/JPDS students.

Sharon came to the school after years of teaching high school and then completing a Masters in Jewish Education at Baltimore Hebrew University. When she walked through the JPDS doors, she fell in love. The school, as she puts it, was teeming with joy, and everything about it was “by, about, or for the children.” Read more >

What will Sharon take with her from her years at JPDS/MILTON?

In addition to the memories, love, and joy of the children, MILTON has been a testing ground for compassionate listening and given her a sense of best practices. She has also learned that nothing is static – we change as our children change.