What more fitting topic for the 100th post to The Davis Academy's Menschlichkeit Values blog than an attempt to articulate what this blog is, why it's important, and why everyone interested in Judaism, education, character education, and core values should read it?
A few years ago, The Davis Academy, Atlanta's Reform Jewish Day School, decided it was time to reinvent our core values (what we, at Davis, call our menschlichkeit values). After completing a profoundly rewarding and engaging process that you can read about here, the question became one of living our values rather than defining them. That's when this blog was born.
As the school rabbi and Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies I feel uniquely situated to capture snapshots of how The Davis Academy lives our menschlichkeit values: chochmah (wisdom), ruach (spirit), kavod (respect), tzedek (righteousness), and kehillah (community). Davis is a large and diverse community that includes not only current students but thousands of alumni, hundreds of faculty and staff, parents, grandparents, and also community stakeholders such as congregational rabbis, board members, and more. There's no way to comprehensively document how this community lives out its values, but this blog is intended to be a place for collecting stories, grand and small, that show how we do.
Sometimes the posts that appear here are posts that I intentionally seek out, other times they're anecdotes that are reported to me. Sometimes they're small moments of radical amazement I stumble upon while walking the halls, other times they're grand tales of our annual 8th grade trip to Israel. The categories on the side of the page are there to guide the reader to specific topics that might be of interest.
If you're reading this post or this blog more generally and you're a Davis "insider" please know that you needn't be only a reader of the menschlichkeit values blog. You can also be (and likely are) an author. You are a part of this community, a community that has confidently embraced these core values and said to the world: "This is who we are." Feel free to share these posts with family and friends, and to think about your own stories that capture the ruach of The Davis Academy.
If you're encountering The Davis Academy for the first time through this blog please reach out to me or to the school more generally. Post a comment, send a note, let us know how you discovered this blog and what you've found here that speaks to you.
Rabbi Micah Lapidus