Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cafe Europa 2016

On Monday, 11/7/16, 29 Davis Academy middle school students traveled to Beth Jacob Synagogue to participate in Cafe Europa. The students, all members of our middle school singing ensemble, The Davis Decibelles, brought their inspirational and life affirming musical message to Cafe Europa for the 3rd consecutive year all under the direction of the wonderful Kendrick Phillips, Davis Academy's Director of Visual and Performing Arts. And, as in past years, every person in the room experienced a moment of profound transformation.

Cafe Europa is a very special gathering facilitated by JF&CS. It brings together members of the Atlanta Jewish community who are Holocaust Survivors for a monthly luncheon and program. For the last 3 years, The Davis Decibelles have offered a beautiful musical performance. But even more important than the performance is the luncheon that creates an opportunity for sacred conversation between Davis students and Cafe Europa members.

Inevitably, when the time comes for our students to board the bus back to Davis there are protests from all parties. No one really wants the experience to end. This year, one of the elders in the room said (somewhat lightheartedly), "Why are you taking these children away from us?" The question really struck me and it led me to a new appreciation for what The Davis Academy's participation in Cafe Europa truly represents. It represents the fact that those 29 students (and all our Davis Academy students) don't belong only to The Davis Academy or to their parents and grandparents. They belong to the Jewish people. That's because they represent the collective hopes, dreams, struggles, promise, and potential of the Jewish people. The loving bonds that magically and instantly form at Cafe Europa reveal this deep truth of the Jewish community. Our Jewish children belong to all of us, just like our Jewish elders belong to all of us. Our Jewish suffering, our Jewish joy, our Jewish worries, and our Jewish hopes--- while they might be experienced by individuals--- belong to all of us. There is a bond that transcends the generations and the particularities of our individual stories. It is a bond of life, a bond of love, and a bond of faith. If you've experienced it, you know what I mean.

Below are some of the many wonderful pictures that symbolize this bond as well as as snippet of video that captures our Head of School, Amy Shafron, speaking to our students before they set out from school that day.

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