Today, instead of writing about a current happening at MJDS, I am featuring a letter written to MJDS Friends by MJDS alum, Graham Hoffman, Class of 1993. Although he graduated over 25 years ago, the experiences he reflects upon, the lessons he learned, the core values that he describes, are still who we are today. We are pioneers. We are risk takers. We are MJDS.
My MJDS Story: Graham Hoffman
Dear MJDS Friends,
This year will mark 34 years since my first day in Geveret Sandy Morgan’s K-4 class at MJDS. It’s funny that when I reflect back on my first two years at MJDS, (we were housed in the old Temple Emanuel building), my earliest memories of MJDS are of a place that very few others knew or, for those who did, still remember.
The entire school could be assembled in a classroom-sized multi-purpose room where we would sing ‘Avadim Hayinu’ and imagine ourselves as Hebrew slaves building pyramids out of cardboard bricks while Geveret Morgan accompanied us on the piano.
The ‘office’ consisted of a single tiny room staffed by receptionist, Geveret Barb Friedman, and our beloved Dr. Doris Shneidman, both of whom knew each of us by name. My K-4 classroom was a few steps away from the office door, the entrance to the ‘school’ and the door to Geveret Merzy Eisenberg’s classroom where we each sat on donated carpet sample rectangles arranged in a circle on the floor and sang songs like ‘Hashafan Hakatan’ and pretended to catch colds from leaving the door open in the cold and sneezed our brains out. We paid very close attention to Geveret Eisenberg’s wardrobe choices – as it was only on a ‘slacks day’ that we could motivate her through our good behavior and learning to treat us to a headstand.
On reflection, in those early years I think we sang a lot. Baby Beluga in K-4 was accompanied by goldfish crackers, which the girls in our class would savor for hours while the boys ate every morsel before the first verse was through.
(Read the rest of Graham’s story here)