Matters of Taste: What Really Matters on Friday, May 6, was an unprecedented celebration, as never before have we had our entire student body join our supporters and extended JCDS community of friends and family for our signature fundraising event.

The Book of Proverbs, also known as Mishlei, in the Third Book of the Tanach, describes through imagery and poetry what it takes to build a house. Or we can think of it as “community.”

Proverbs 24:3-6 בְּ֭חׇכְמָה יִבָּ֣נֶה בָּ֑יִת וּ֝בִתְבוּנָ֗ה יִתְכּוֹנָֽן׃ וּ֭בְדַעַת חֲדָרִ֣ים יִמָּלְא֑וּ כׇּל־ה֖וֹן יָקָ֣ר וְנָעִֽים׃

A house is built by wisdom, and is established by understanding; by knowledge are its rooms filled with all precious and beautiful things.

Our sages must have been writing about JCDS—they just didn’t quite know it yet. A house, our special JCDS community, is built by understanding and wisdom passed down to your children and grandchildren in partnership with you and our extraordinary faculty and staff.

For wisdom and understanding to truly flourish, not only do you need effective teaching, but you also need an environment in which you know you truly belong. Imagine coming to school every day zipping up who you really are in order to fit in and feel a sense of belonging. That expends a lot of energy that could be spent on much better things. Our students deserve better. Our students walk through those doors every day and know that all of us truly see them. That is the magic. And it is also a necessary condition in order for their understanding and wisdom to flourish.

At this year’s Matters of Taste, we wanted to find a way to demonstrate that very special ingredient, the special sauce that is so JCDS.

If you want to come into the school on any day, you are welcome to peek into our classrooms to get a taste of our academic rigor, the interdisciplinary points of connection, the pedagogical approaches which place students at the center so we hear more of their voices than our own as they develop their critical thinking skills. You will hear Hebrew spoken throughout the day and feel how joyful Judaism can be expressed and lived authentically. You’ll understand just how it is that we have students who win essay contests, rank nationally on the Math Kangaroo contest, and come in first place for the Chidon HaTanach.

But that still doesn’t get to the core of who we are as a community. I’m talking about the very thing that you know and feel when you think about our school. That special ingredient is what this year’s version of Matters of Taste was all about.

In an effort to help demonstrate what that special sauce is, we created an unscripted documentary-style film where faculty, staff, students, and an alumni tried to capture what fills our rooms with such beautiful and precious things.

Thank you to our community for your generosity and philanthropy that helps sustain us from year to year. Thank you to everyone who helped bring us to this moment.

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