It is without question that I firmly believe that going to Denver Jewish Day School from kindergarten through senior year of high school strongly impacted the person I am today. While many people may think that growing up with only 20 people per class would not prepare me for the so-called “real-world,” I believe it is quite the opposite.
It was because of this unique experience that I was able to find myself, all due to the fact that I attended an intimate school with a small nurturing environment.
The individual relationships I was able to create with my teachers allowed me the confidence to approach professors in college, even those who taught large lecture classes. I learned how to speak up, and that my opinion mattered. I learned that at the end of the day, life is all about relationships and connections.
You know what they say – 2 Jews, 3 opinions. So, while I may not have had exposure to the same quantity of people in my 13 years growing up as compared to someone in public school, I most definitely was exposed to many opinions that differed from my own. I learned the value of listening to others and constructively debating opinions,I gained the skills and the ability to have open conversations with people of all Jewish backgrounds, which was constantly reinforced in my small environment- all because we prioritized the lesson that everyone’s opinions mattered.
I was a big fish in a small pond. I took on leadership positions like Student Council President which led me to eventually become Emory Hillel President in college. I wasn’t afraid to go after what I wanted and I had the confidence to take all necessary measures to successfully achieve anything I set my mind to.
As a Jewish professional, I am not sure I would be where I am without my Jewish day school education. My Jewish day school experience provided me with a strong foundation in Jewish community, inspiring me to continue elevating our peoplehood in any way that I can.
Denver Jewish Day School was the first step in my Jewish life. I will forever be thankful for my 13 year experience at Denver Jewish Day School. I would not be the person I am today without it, nor have the lifelong relationships that I created there. As I grow up and begin my own family one day, I have no doubt that I will be sending my kids to Jewish day school, so that they too can build the same foundation that I was lucky enough to receive myself.