Tuesday, August 25, 2015

History meets Identity

One of the challenges of maintaining this blog is the sheer amount of "stuff" that happens at Davis on a daily basis. The goal of this blog isn't simply to capture the grand moments, but also the small moments of Menschlichkeit. Moments that might go completely unacknowledged were it not for being in the right place and right time. For example...

Today I overheard that our registrar, Tish Simard, was going to be a guest in our 8th grade Jewish Studies elective course on Jewish History. The topic: the early history of Jews and Christians, specifically around the time that Christianity became a religion. Though Tish knows quite a bit of Hebrew from being at Davis for so many years she isn't Jewish. Instead, her presence in class was one of the many ways that we make sure our students experience the religious diversity of our school and of the world. I asked Tish about her experience and she wrote the following...

I had the wonderful experience of being the “Christian representative” today in Ms. Schwartz’s History of Judaism class.  It was amazing to see how passionate Ms. Schwartz is about the subject matter she is teaching!  The vast knowledge she has about the subject is remarkable. The class lesson for the day centered around the time in history when the Jews and Christians parted ways, beginning with the crucifixion of Jesus.  The students were very engaged and inquisitive, and asked such deep, thoughtful questions.  Questions that they didn’t even think had an answer, but alas they did!  It was great to be able to share with the children and discuss our faiths in such an open, safe, respectful environment.  Along with the facts they needed to know for the quiz, it is my hope that they also understood that people of different faiths can (and do) come together, discuss, and respect each other’s beliefs.  The class made me think of a quote from Ghandi, “The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions.”  I am truly blessed to be part of The Davis Academy family where we not only teach these values, but live them. 

Sometimes we struggle to explain how diverse The Davis Academy actually is. Small moments like these remind us all that looks can be deceiving. The Davis Academy Kehillah is a rich tapestry of stories, backgrounds, and points of view.

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