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At School

CESJDS is a premier JK-12 Jewish day school with an international reputation for academic excellence and a vibrant pluralistic community guided by Jewish values.
70 CESJDS students qualified for the Global Seal of Biliteracy in Hebrew.
CESJDS students earned 22 gold medals, 16 silver medals, 8 bronze medals, and 4 honor certificates in the National Spanish Examination.
CESJDS was once again selected as a recipient of the 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award.
CESJDS received an A+ WellEducated School rating for promoting a healthy school community, earning a $2,500 scholarship award by the AIMS Health Plan WellEducated Wellness Program.
The CESJDS Lower School launched a Coding Initiative where all students grade 1-5 learned coding weekly.
Sulam@JDS, a three-year pilot program for students with diverse needs, welcomed its first cohort of 6 students.

Rigorous Academics

It's so amazing how deeply we can dive into topics and how by doing our own research, we can see how everything we are learning has a purpose.

Jonah Gross '23

Critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and dual-language communication skills are CESJDS’s core objectives for each student. Our unique approach of emphasizing inquiry, logical reasoning, and interpersonal relationships is adapted from Jewish learning from thousands of years ago, i.e. Midrash, Talmud, Hevruta/partner learning, and interpretation, and is combined with 21st-century learning. No matter where a CESJDS student is on their JK-12 journey, he or she is inspired to make connections across the curriculum in fun and engaging ways.

A few highlights include:

  • 5th grade students worked with Bomani Armana, Story Tapestries Artist in Residence, to research a person in history, identify a pivotal moment in their life, and create a performance showcasing their research at the annual Wax Museum event.
  • Students participated in the 7th Grade Climate Summit, where they deliberated over the effects of climate change and drafted a resolution that best meets environmental, socio-economic, and political needs of their country and the Global South.
  • 10th grade students created Wellness presentations in Hebrew. The projects emphasized each student's unique voice on a wellness topic of their choice and incorporated skills such as creativity, problem solving, communication, information literacy, and critical thinking.
Our students are being invited to try new ways to solve common problems, leveraging technology differently, and learning from their trial and error. Our children come home excited to share their new strategies, and beam with pride at their ability to creatively overcome obstacles.

Yael Nagler
Parent of Eli (Class of 2031) and Meirav (Class of 2029)

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JDS offers so many ways to explore your musical passions. From performing at Kab Shab and the school musical to writing my own songs and competing in national theater competitions, I have so much fun learning and feel so supported by my teachers and friends.

Shiri Cohen (Class of 2024)

Our faculty translates the Arts into subject areas including science, literary arts, prayer, identity, and history.  Art and design education value the transformative impact art can have on learning.  
Faculty members maintain active professional involvement with the latest research in art education--collaboration, discussion/critique, initiative/self-motivation, focus, leadership, preparedness, polish and craftsmanship, and risk taking.  
I love seeing [students] embrace the creative journey, and I really believe passionately that art is an important part of life. I'm very happy to have a chance to facilitate a meaningful artistic journey.

Jessie Nathans, Middle School Visual Arts Teacher
via The Lion's Tale on the 2023 Arts Chai Lights Celebration

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Winning the private school state championship is super exciting for the team. It's great because it's not just based on one racer. All of us contributed to this win.

Yedidya Milner-Gillers (Class of 2025)
via The Lion's Tale on the 2022 Cross Country State Championship

Our Upper School Athletic Program bounced back stronger than ever after retuning to pre-COVID schedules. We had an incredibly successful year with many of our teams sweeping the PVAC Championships in fall, winter, and spring sports.
Students in grades 6-12 participate in athletics across 31 teams, spanning 16 sports at the Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity levels. CESJDS participates in the PVAC with 13 other independent schools in the Washington Metro area. Our students also compete in the Independent School Boys Volleyball League (ISBVL), and the Maryland Private School State Championship Series for many of our sports.
[Being on the team] is one of the most fun things I have ever done in my entire life. We are so energetic and we all love each other.

Hannah Shank (Class of 2024) via The Lion's Tale on the Spring 2023 Softball Season

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From tennis to the newspaper, to the Health and Wellness Committee, every day I get to explore things that I'm passionate about.

Lily Rulnick (Class of 2025)

Lower and Upper School students are proactive in participating in after-school activities, some affiliated with CESJDS, some not. Theater, publication, club, and community service activities help develop confident, compassionate thinkers who engage the world through Jewish values. 
The Joan and Marvin Rosenberg High School Musical, Hello Dolly!, paid homage to classic musical comedy. 
The Barbara and Allan Topol Middle School Musical, Matilda, JR. was a high energy and joyful production.

The Lion's Tale student newspaper was one of 16 hybrid news magazines to receive the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Gold Crown, one of the highest scholastic journalism awards in the country.

The JDS Dimensions yearbook was featured in the Jostens Look Book, a publication that showcases the best yearbook design work from schools across the country.

Over 60 clubs were offered in the High School this year.

The Middle School established a Jewish Life Club, where students helped plan and organize Jewish celebrations in school.

The CESJDS Lower School Cubs Club competed for spirit and performance awards as they celebrated their love for CESJDS. 

It is truly a joy to see our children encouraged to explore, learn, and go above and beyond the curriculum to pursue their interests. 

Wendi and Jeff Sager 
Parents of Danny (Class of 2025) and Josh '20

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Jewish Life

JDS is more than a school; it is a community which reflects and instills the values of the Jewish tradition with authenticity and joy.

Rabbi Jordan and Shulamit Hersh
Parents of Edden (Class of 2037)  and Ziv (Class of 2034)

Jewish Life at CESJDS provides infinite opportunities for our students to live the School’s core values. We celebrate tradition, spirituality, and community. Students on both campuses come together to commemorate holidays and other important days on the Jewish calendar. Each student is encouraged to create their own Jewish journey, and develop an individualized relationship with tradition and practice. 
Lower School students participated in a division-wide monthly Kabbalat Shabbat, led by Rabbi Bellas and select 5th grade students, including song, dance, recognizing of holidays, and more. 
The Middle School created a Jewish Life Club, where students could contribute to the planning and organizing of Jewish holiday celebrations. The club helped plan a "sukkah shake" for Sukkot, a STEM inspired sukkah building challenge, advised on the Purim spiel, and much more.
Each High School class spent time together on their grade-wide Shabbatons. From communal prayer, songs, and meals to enjoying class bonding time, games, and discussions, students created lasting memories with their k'hillah/community to shape their spiritual growth and Jewish identity. 
The Jewish values, t'fillah, Torah study, and Hebrew add a dimension that helps make the kids multi-dimensional, modern, and dynamic. 

Lorena and Larry Memberg
Parents of Daniella (Class of 2032) and Benjamin (Class of 2034) 

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Faculty & Staff

CESJDS has a dedicated faculty and staff who are passionate about teaching and learning. Our daughter is excited to go to school to see her friends, experience the warm community, and nourish her thirst for learning.

Corey Cines '07
Parent of Bailey (Class of 2035)

Several faculty and staff reached important milestones in services to CESJDS. We thank them for their commitment, dedication, and the many ways they provide support to our students, parents, and the entire CESJDS community:
30 Years: Mazal Birnstein
25 Years: Kimberly Agzigian, Thomas F. Worden
20 Years: Aileen Goldstein, Reuben Silberman, David Solomon, Amy Strong, Ginger Thornton, Rubir Vega-Ruano
15 Years: Silvia G. Ares, Victoria Ball, Lenore Layman, Jillian Pedone, Terrilyn Platt
10 Years: Hani Abo Awad, Gloriabelen Lizama, Mitchel Malkus, Ethan Merlin, Karen A. Pang, Alexis Soffler, Rachel Van Gorden

5 Years: Sarah Fradkin, Marjorie Kane, Mirele Kessous, Rustom Meyer, Jennifer Newfeld, Hadley Steelman, Erica Stein, Emma Whitaker, Debra White-Dilworth
1 Year: Andrew Aronoff, Moran Azar, Anna Band, Elianna Bernstein, Gersh Chervinskiy, Meital Chookrun, Cami Cohen, Wendy Cohen, Rachel Cowan, Oshri Drori, Josephine Edery, Ryan Eskow, Comlan Gnatiko, Samantha Gregg, Erin Holmes, Caitlin Horwitz, Samuel Itseghosime, Sarah Jarvis, Jada Johnson, Alexander Kirsch, Jill Krause, Marnie Lang, Avital Levi, Shani Levy, Santos Maldonado, Kimberly O'Donnell, Cynthia M. Sheppard, Samantha Singman, Julie Steenberge, Suzie Thompson, Nelson Vasquez, Samuel Zaremba
The teachers are the best of the best! No matter the subject, our kids love school because the teachers make each day interesting, engaging, challenging, and fun. Our children have truly become life-long learners because of the influence of each CESJDS teacher.

Alanna and Jared Kotler
Parents of Benjamin (Class of 2026) and Lev (Class of 2030)

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