Teaching our students how they can truly make a difference in their community and the world is integral to the JDS curriculum. It is a thread that is woven from preschool to 8th grade. Here is a sampling of work our students do to make the world a better place.
Jewish Family Service Food Bank - For 17 years, JDS has hosted the eastside JFS Food Bank. As part of their curriculum, students work for JFS once a month packing and sorting grocery bags that are distributed to more than 100 households living in the Crossroads neighborhood. JFS says this component of their Food Bank program assists Jewish elderly singles and couples, mostly refugees.
Mitzvah Day - JDS students have two school days during the year dedicated to learning about and performing mitzvot (good deeds/community service). Past community service day experiences have included working to remove invasive plants from area parks and watersheds, helping at King County's Greenhouse and Marra Farm, serving meals at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission and Operation Sack Lunch, volunteering at Hopelink at sorting food at area food banks. Mitzvah Day helps our students understand that being Jewish and acting Jewish go hand and hand.
Mitzvah Fair - Each spring, teams of 6th and 2nd graders are created to prepare for Mitzvah Day. The teams each work together to select and research a charity, create a presentation and tzedakah box then, on the day of the fair, deliver the presentation to their fellow preschool through 8th grade students who then select which mitzvot and related charitable organization will receive their tzedakah.
Kline Galland Home and The Summit - Each year, various JDS grades visit residents of the Kline Galland Home and The Summit where they perform, share handmade crafts or simply spend time with residents of the Jewish nursing home and retirement community.