Repairing the World
Tikkun Olam. That’s the Hebrew term for repairing the world. The term carries with it a set of ideas and values specific to the Jewish people. They are values that unite us to all God’s creations and instill in us a sense of responsibility.
On Being Green
Every day is Earth Day at KSDS. We are a certified Maryland Green School. So we practice the three “R’s”: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! Our Lower School Green Club and Middle Schoo Environmental Club help keep us on track. The Grade 6 Teva Trip breeds a class of environmental stewards brimming with ideas for improving the planet’s climate and making people more conscious about how they use the Earth’s natural resources. Students do their part by collecting paper, cans, and bottles for recycling each week. In the last two years, our students have helped create a butterfly garden and an herb garden on the school grounds.
Our children are burdened with reversing climate change and reducing our dependence on oil. It’s our job to give them the intellectual tools to figure it all out!
Community Service (Hesed)
Judaism is steeped in appreciation for all God has given us. That’s why we say blessings for the rooster that wakes us up, for different types of food, for the gift of Torah. Because we’ve gotten so much, it is our duty to give back. Community service is a good deed (mitzvah). We do it because it serves God, brightens our mood, helps others and makes the world a better place.
In Middle School, KSDS students commit to performing 40 hours of community service. Email Robyn Blum to find out about upcoming community service opportunities. We’re always looking for volunteers!
Through the generous donation of Bonnie and Neil Katz, KSDS has the ongoing opportunity to nominate three students each year for the prestigious Carson Scholarship. Founded by Dr. Ben and Candy Carson, this scholarship is awarded to students who exemplify high academic achievement and a commitment to community service beyond the school’s requirement. The mission of this scholarship matches our desire to promote high levels of student achievement and ongoing acts of caring and kindness (Gemilut Hasidim).
We teach our students the value of Tzedakah as an integral part of Jewish religious and communal life and responsibility. Tzedakah is collected school-wide every Friday. The students are active in helping decide where Tzedakah goes. During Monday morning minyan in the Lower School, the school invites representatives of the recipient charity to share with the student body how the money will be used to help others. Students learn the value of sharing and caring. They also see first-hand that they make a difference.
Our Tzedakah money goes to a variety of worthwhile projects in our community and in Israel. We also conduct a toy drive at Hanukkah time, a food drive at Sukkot and Pesach, and other community service activities. The school has conducted a special project where each child is asked to bring an extra lunch to donate to Manna House, a soup kitchen in Baltimore.
In addition, we encourage students to identify causes that are personally meaningful, raise awareness among their classmates and collect donations. In past years, one of students created a DVD for Alzheimer’s patients. Students danced, told stories, and sang for each of the DVD’s short segments. Proceeds from the sale of the DVD and from donations from friends and family were presented to the Alzheimer’s Association. We encourage all students to pursue these sorts of projects.