Our Stories

Traditions and Core Values

June 16, 2016 by Adina Kanefield (Faculty and Staff)

Traditions abound at JPDS-NC. As I hear the students practicing speeches for graduation, I see how longstanding JPDS-NC traditions stand out and deeply shape our students’ overall experience. TEVA, the New York trip, Chagigat HaSiddur, historic site guides and kindergarten self-portraits have become a part of the anthology of the JPDS-NC experience.

Like these great student traditions, the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Lecture has emerged as a beloved community-wide rite of passage for all of us — parents, alumni, grandparents, special friends, and our older students. It is also a beautiful way for JPDS-NC to give back to the broader community and to join together with friends across the city who are committed to engaging and learning together.

Most significantly, the Rabin Lecture Series represents the tradition of creativity, ingenuity and parent involvement at JPDS-NC. The genesis of the lecture series began with Jeffrey Colman, JPDS-NC Board President during our first years in our North Campus. A deep lover of Israel and an advocate of the school’s core value of Ayin L’tzion (Looking Toward Zion), Jeff consulted with the Rabin family to find a way to honor Yitzhak Rabin and his quest for peace, and to bring the study of Rabin’s life into our student curriculum. Through books, words, ideas, curricula, creative programming and community outreach, Jeff sought to create a permanent legacy at JPDS-NC. We dedicated our school library to Rabin, launched a tradition of our lecture series, and developed a course of study for our students throughout the grades of our school. The tradition that Jeff Colman began remains a beloved one at the school. Leon Wieseltier and David Brooks lent their considerable talents to JPDS-NC in nurturing this series and creating the in-depth and personal dialogues on peacemaking that are signatures of this program, and this year that tradition continues with Charles Lane.  Numerous chairs, including most recently Steve Rabinowitz, have ensured the success of the event. And so, the tradition continues….

In the nation’s capital, where we remain committed to a life of activism, learning, and responsible citizenship, we hope you will join the community in our longstanding tradition of celebrating the pursuit of peace and learning together.