The Official Blog of Denver Jewish Day School

Helping Hands and Tikkun (2023-24 School Year)
  • Lower Division
  • Outside the Classroom

On Friday, May 17 at Kabbalat Shabbat, Denver JDS Lower Division students presented checks to representatives of partner organizations within the Helping Hands Service Learning Program. Students spoke about their rewarding experiences with each organization before announcing donated totals. Six local partner organizations received a total of $2,094.90 raised during the 2023-2024 school year. Students also raised funds for sister organizations in Israel, donating $118.00 to each. 

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Helping Hands and Tikkun (2023-24 School Year)
  • Lower Division
  • Outside the Classroom

On Friday, May 17 at Kabbalat Shabbat, Denver JDS Lower Division students presented checks to representatives of partner organizations within the Helping Hands Service Learning Program. Students spoke about their rewarding experiences with each organization before announcing donated totals. Six local partner organizations received a total of $2,094.90 raised during the 2023-2024 school year. Students also raised funds for sister organizations in Israel, donating $118.00 to each. 

Renovations before the Renovations at DJDS!
  • Athletics
  • Outside the Classroom

You may have heard a lot about this summer’s upcoming renovation -- but did you know that there have been many beautifications to campus happening in the past few years?

DJDS Moot Beit Din Team places 2nd in national competition
  • Judaic Studies

“It was so great to see our students bringing back an old Denver JDS tradition through this event," said Director of Judaic Studies, Benjamin Levy. "I’ve always appreciated guiding our students in taking a deeper dive into Jewish texts and cases because they simultaneously discover a deeper appreciation for their Judaism. Having fun being Jewish with other Jewish kids is a beautiful sight to see.”

Back to Back to Back! DJDS District Champs for 3rd Year in a Row
  • Athletics

For the third straight year in a row, the Denver Jewish Day School Varsity Boys Basketball team are District Champions. And for the third straight year, the Tigers defeated Belleview Christian in the district championship game. Saturday night’s game was a thriller, where DJDS secured a 43-40 victory in overtime, off of a three-pointer from senior David Romershteyn with 04.2 seconds left in the game. One of the most clutch shots in DJDS history.

Alumni Profile: Miri Kornfeld (Class of 2007) - an inspiring Denver JDS alum who’s channeled her passion for Israel and Judaism into an impactful and rewarding career with StandWithUs
  • Alumni

Reflecting on her work, Miri said the “superpower” of the Jewish community is, in fact, community. “Community has gotten us through years of persecution. We’re not going anywhere. Despite everything, every time it seems we shouldn’t be around anymore we come together and persevere. I know this is part of why we’re still around.”

Civic Spirit and Students' Passions Brought to Life in DJDS High School Elective
  • Outside the Classroom
  • Upper Division

So Dr. Leshem and Jeannie identified the problem: there was no Holocaust education in the state of Colorado. They passed a bill of legislation into law in 2020 to help fix that. But now they are stuck yet again. Now, Dr. Leshem and Jeannie are in the process of proposing new bills to help fix these issues. They are in the closing stages of finalizing newly drafted legislation to be proposed, but the key was that they were able to show the students the complexities of this entire process, and how much focus and perseverance it requires to enact change.

DJDS Senior Maya Friedlander is named 2023 Cross-Country All-American
  • Athletics

Maya and her team advanced to the 2023 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, where she placed 18th overall in the 17/18 age group category and was named an All-American. This marks the first time in DJDS history that a student has been named an All-American in any sport. Mazel tov Maya on a phenomenal Cross Country career. This is a well-deserved accomplishment and a testament to all of the hard work and dedication she has put in throughout her high school career

To Every Season--A Time for Yes
  • Outside the Classroom

"On October 20 of this year, my boss said, “Yes” and set Denver Jewish Day School on a transformative trajectory. Almost two weeks after the horrific pogrom Hamas inflicted on Israeli citizens, my phone and inbox started filling with people who needed our help."

Meet the new DJDS High School Girls Basketball Head Coach - Spencer Barclay
  • Athletics

“I am excited to build on the achievements of last season, and introduce new ways both mentally and physically to continue our growth and success as a program,” said Coach Spencer. “My main goal as a coach is to help each individual become the best versions of themselves and help instill confidence to grow and build character.”  

DJDS Student D'var Torah - Jonah, 8th Grade (Vayishlach)
  • Weekly D'var Torah

"Every day we can make a choice. A choice to return the bag of Cheez-Its that Otis dropped, instead of taking it for yourself and eating the Cheez-Its. A choice to study math, the least important class of your academic career, or maybe even Talmud, the most important class of your academic career; instead of running Fortnite with Adam. 

There will always be an evil inclination fighting you, and there will always be tough times, especially for us Jews. But perhaps there will always be a way to get out of it or fight it, too. The battle with ourselves is a really difficult one, but it only takes motivation, mindset, and maybe sometimes a dislocated hip."

End of Watch - An Open Letter from Officer Todd to DJDS
  • Outside the Classroom

"I came to Denver Jewish Day School expecting to stay for one year and ended up staying for eight years. I stayed because of the way you made me feel. You made me feel appreciated, cared about, and supported - for that, I thank you!!  Most importantly, however, you trusted me. You trusted me with the safety of your children and yourselves – for that, I am grateful. Standing watch at DJDS was the highest honor of anything I have ever done. I will miss seeing you each day but will think of you often."

Meet the new DJDS Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach - Matan Halzel (Class of 2012)
  • Athletics

The defending state champion Denver Jewish Day School Tigers have hired a new head coach for their varsity boys basketball team. Matan Halzel, who is an alumnus (Class of 2012) and former player will be taking over the program for the 2023-24 season. 

“My first priority is to help prepare and raise fine young Jewish men before they head off into the real world,” said Halzel. “But my second priority is to maintain the success and consistency of this program. I want to keep basketball relevant at DJDS for a very long time.”

'The DJDS Experience'- Mia Wexler's speech from the C5C Breakfast
  • Outside the Classroom

In eighth grade, a class called "Jewish Denver" taught by Channa Schweid became a turning point in my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. We dove deep into Denver's Jewish history, spanning back to the 1800s. While sifting through this rich tapestry, I made a personal discovery: my maternal grandfather once led a local Jewish society dedicated to helping others. Remarkably, this very society was the setting where my paternal great-grandparents met upon their arrival in Denver. Recognizing this legacy of Tikkun Olam in my family, right here in the Denver Jewish community, was profound. It was a reminder of the power of doing good for others and laid a foundation for my ambition to make a positive impact.

DJDS Student D'var Torah - Emmie, 7th Grade (Vayera)
  • Weekly D'var Torah

Never judge a book by its cover. There's always something rewarding out of doing something Abraham didn't know that these people were angels so he still let them into his house and gave him food and a place to feel safe. All we need at the end of the day is a place to feel safe and I think that making people feel like they have a community around them is the best thing that you could give somebody. I really like this partially because I found many things that you could learn lessons from. Shabbat shalom.

Gavin Foonberg makes 1st Team All-Jewish Hoops America
  • Athletics

Foonberg cemented himself as the best athlete in Denver JDS history his senior season, averaging 17.5 PPG, 8.6 APG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.5 SPG. During the 2022-23 season, Foonberg received 1st Team All-District honors, a District Championship, a Class 1A Colorado State Championship, 1st Team All-State Class 1A honors, and Class 1A Colorado Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors. And now to top it all off, voted on the 2022-23 Boys 1st Team All-Jewish Hoops America.

"In light of the recent atrocities that have taken place in Israel, now is as important of a time as ever for the Jewish people to stand together," said Foonberg. "I want Jewish boys and girls to strive to be the best athletes and Jewish people they can be. Recognizing accomplishments like these and being proud of who we are is vital for us. We must stay strong."