A School, A Family
Rabbi Meir and Morah Sheindal opened CJDS in 1992 with a small group of students. They envisioned a school that offered “profound hospitality,” a place where children felt love, success, and a high sense of self-worth in an environment that partnered with families. For over three decades, the school has delivered on this promise.
With second-generation students now attending the school and thousands of educators having visited it, the Cutler Jewish Day School model has inspired schools across the country. While the school has earned many accolades and accreditations, the idea of profound hospitality still sustains the daily experience at the Cutler Jewish Day School.
The Four Pillars of CJDS
Academic Rigor with an Emphasis on Inquiry
We believe that young children construct knowledge based on their culture and lived experiences. Through reflecting, raising questions, making hypothesis, and sharing ideas children challenge existing understandings in order to construct new insights. This approach to learning, called constructivism, was founded by luminaries such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Maria Montessori, and Gloria Ladson-Billings. Our teachers plan explorations that incorporate standards, authentically assess each child, and strive to facilitate critical thinkers.
Jewish Life Skills
Speaking, reading and writing Ivrit (Hebrew), our living heritage language, combined with a deep and lasting connection with the land and people of Israel.
Study of the Torah from the text with the commentaries, together with a thorough general knowledge of the history and culture that continues to shape our identities as Jews.
An understanding of the holidays, customs and observances, as well as Jewish Prayer, through a hands-on daily, joyful celebration and practice of the Mitzvot.
The care we provide for each student has been the centerpiece of our school since its inception. However, active nurturing moves beyond love and care. Active nurturing includes respect shown each family as we work as a team. Active nurturing is also recognized by our persistence in tailoring our curriculum to meet each student’s learning style. We are deeply committed to maximizing each student’s cognitive, spiritual, and social emotional development.
Praxis / Social Justice
Praxis means translating an idea into practical action. This can include individual acts of kindness to working on root issues of injustice. We strive to have children recognize that all areas of academic pursuit can provide opportunities for making the world a more Godly place. Facilitating the children’s recognition of these opportunities affords the highest goals of learning.