This week, during moments both solemn and jubilant, students at Mirowitz experienced one of the many gifts of a Jewish day school education.
It’s a gift they get to unwrap every year of their learning, and that becomes their culminating classroom for two weeks in 8th grade.
Yes, I’m speaking about Israel!
At Mirowitz, this gift, Israel, is an integral part of who we are. As part of a national iNfuse project, we are very intentional in our efforts to teach Israel to our students. They learn Hebrew language daily with lessons rich in Israeli poetry, stories and songs. They dive into social studies lessons that help them understand the significance of the land and the country to our people. They have Israeli friends, know the taste of hummus and shakshuka, and learn each week from our Israeli shlichot (emissaries) who teach at Mirowitz as part of their national service to Israel.
During this week of every year, they hear the siren that sparks a poignant moment of silence on Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), and understand that moving from the sadness of memorial day to the joy of independence day is uniquely Israeli. As we celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut at the J with other day schools (more about that below), our 8th graders were feeling the energy of collective celebration. (Read their blog here.)
Connecting with Israel is an integral part of who we are, but Mirowitz students also understand that loving Israel comes with nuance, just as loving America does. We encourage them to grapple with current affairs, to understand Israel’s complexities, and to know that their connection to Israel is not a political issue. We want them to be leaders who can confidently stand up for Israel, and add their knowledge and voices to the American conversation about Israel.
This week, all of those objectives came to an apex. We unwrapped the gift of Jewish day school education with our celebrations, ceremonies and songs. Our hearts are filled with pride in our heritage and in our students…and a hope for a bright future.