Inclusivity and Empathy

The past week has been filled with anguish for our community as we have watched protests and riots unfold in cities throughout North America. Affirmed by our Mission, Vision and Values, Paul Penna DJDS opposes racism and discrimination in all forms. We work diligently to ensure that messages of inclusivity and empathy are shared authentically […]

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The Lockdown Challah

May 15, 2020 Do you remember March?  I mean the part of March before we went into lockdown. It seems so long ago. Tonight will mark our ninth Shabbat in isolation. For eight of those weeks I have baked my own challah, and it has become one of my most fulfilling new weekly rituals.  As […]

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Senior Kindergarten Literacy – Balanced, Customized, Strong

June 7, 2019 With Shavuot beginning at the end of Shabbat, we invited our incoming class of SK students into their new classroom for an ice cream social.  The children and parents got to be together, meet some of the teachers, hear a story and sing songs together. It was a wonderful taste of Kindergarten with […]

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Grade 6 Leadership

May 24, 2019 Yesterday our school had a blast both on the field and in the gym.  Led by the Grade Six class, our students participated in a Lag B’Omer field day. The Omer is the period between Passover and Shavuot, which historically has been a time of mourning where haircuts, weddings and live music […]

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Putting Books in Children’s Hands

May 17, 2019 Our little library, the academic heart of this sweet and special school, was transformed into a beautiful bookstore this week.  Our students, upon first visit, gushed over the fresh new books. The hard covers, soft covers, graphic novels, picture books, non-fiction and activity books delighted our young readers.   The central focus […]

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The Power of Moments

April 12, 2019 Last week I finished The Power of Moments by Chip Heath.  I was mesmerized by this book from the first chapter and amazed by the simple way it made sense of things I knew to be true, but couldn’t quite articulate myself. The author talks about the magic of turning ordinary experiences […]

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Ring of Peace

March 29, 2019 November 4, 2018 was a Shabbat I cannot forget.  As I approached my shul that rainy morning, I was greeted by a number of Muslim families: adults, teenagers and children, holding signs of peace and solidarity and welcoming me into my own shul. In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, multi-faith […]

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Fixing the Light

November 23, 2018 We are approaching the Winter Solstice, our shortest day of the year.  Both mornings and evenings are dark and it just feels like there is not enough daylight  – it must be time for Chanukah! On Chanukah, we are commanded to kindle the lights of the chanukiah.  We are given the opportunity […]

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The Power of Education to Change the World

November 9, 2018 Nelson Mandela, the first elected democratic president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Each day, I watch the world being changed as I see our children learning lessons big and small, enabling them […]

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Focus on Strength and Solidarity

November 2, 2018 The events on Saturday in Pittsburgh leave our collective Jewish lives shaken.  Here at Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School, we have worked with the MNjcc, CIJA, our faculty and our students to ensure that security protocols remain strong and that our older children have had a safe space in their classroom to […]

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