Minds churn as children wonder about how the government can connect to everyday life. The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School is very proud of the values that they try to teach their students. The values include honor and respect for others, academic excellence, social justice, and a community of kindness. These values have helped many classes through experiences and lessons of their own. For example, when our third and fourth graders learned about the government, they did an activity in which they wrote their own laws and related it to the school’s values. One of the fourth graders, Eli, told the school news team, “We learned about democracy, we learned about the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of the government. In class, we did an activity in which we wrote our own laws and then had to relate it to some of the school’s values. My law talked about having class representatives, and it related to the value of building a community or having a community of kindness.”
Furthermore, the NEMJDS has given many classes opportunities to talk to Civil Right activists and to meet first and second-generation Holocaust survivors. Thankfully, I have gotten to experience both of these events. For instance, in sixth grade, I got to be a part of Names, Not Numbers©, a Holocaust project preserving Holocaust survivors’ stories. When talking to the Holocaust survivors shock and disbelief ran through our minds as we learned about the horrors of the Holocaust. We had a chance to make a film about the survivors, and we had a chance to have hands-on experience working with a professional film camera. Throughout the project, the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade of 2015 learned how to look at the world through a Jewish lens. We learned how to do this very thing by connecting everyday experiences to Jewish values. Brandon, one of the eighth graders this year, told the school news team, “I learned that even through very very difficult times people still had hope, and I hope to have that same hope through difficult times too.” Names, Not Numbers© helped me understand the importance of having honor and respect for others because having honor and respect for each other should be given to everyone no matter who they are. The skills that the students learn at the NEMJDS are skills that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. The impact of the experiences that the students will have make them more tolerant and accepting of all types of people. At least, that is the case for me as I move on to high school.