LJDS a well-kept secret
I was happy to read that more Louisville parents want a Jewish day school education for their children (“Parents ponder establishing new Jewish day school in Louisville,” December 22, 2017). If a group of parents want to start a school from the ground up, I applaud their commitment and dedication.
That being said, my son is a student at the Louisville Jewish Day School (LJDS). It appears to be one of the best kept secrets in Louisville. When the Coast Guard transferred my husband to this area three years ago, we looked long and hard, and found LJDS.
Our family is a member of Temple Shalom. My family was warmly welcomed at the LJDS. We have been very pleased with the teachers and curriculum at the school. True, it is an extremely small school. In my son’s mixed grade class there are only four students. This allows my son to get a much more personalized learning experience than with a bigger school. All of his teachers know him very well. They know his strengths and weaknesses, and can give him any personalized attention that he needs. The student body at LJDS includes children from all parts of the Jewish community, including those who are unaffiliated with any synagogue.
I would encourage any parents or clergy interested in Jewish day school education to attend the upcoming open house on February 26 from 2 to 3:30 pm.
Is a Christmas tree a big deal?
Regarding Ruth Greenberg’s December 12 blog, “Grandparenting in the age of Chrismukah,” as a grandparent, I often think about the transmission of traditions and transformations of Judaism that are taking place today and how they will be passed on by my adult children to theirs.
Certainly, the incorporation of a symbol such as a non-religious Christmas tree into my children’s winter holiday fun may not on the face of it seem like a big deal. In a free society, being friendly with and, in most cases, fully accepted by Christians and others who aren’t Jewish, connects us socially, professionally and romantically in ways our parents and grandparents would not have imagined.
But if there is a Christmas tree once a year, then caring grandparents must also ask if the observance of Shabbat and Passover and their meanings, which are tied to being stewards of creation, to social justice (tikkun olam), and to redeeming the stranger who is oppressed, also are being incorporated into their lives. Are Jewish texts and concepts being learned on an adult level (not just cobbling together for a bat/bar mitzvah)? Is Jewish culture — the arts, theatre, film, humor, literature, music and museums — a regular part of enhancing their lives? What new Jewish foods are they cooking for their families and enjoying throughout the year? How much is known about the roots of being Jewish, ongoing Jewish and Israeli history, and the continued rise of anti-Semitism?
Ultimately, how deeply are life’s meanings as seen through the lens of spiritual wonder taught by Judaism transmitted to their children and grandchildren?
The survival of the Jewish people is dependent on an active and spirited engagement with the multifarious riches that provide a unique identity, collective strength, deep faith and stories that inspire us.
So, if once a year there is a tree in our children’s houses, be they in mixed marriages or not, and they are positively engaged in what it means to be part of the Jewish people — then, yes, it isn’t such a big deal.
Vaccine for HPV-related cancer available
I read your article charting the course of Mr. Jason Mendelsohn and his HPV-related cancer (“Jewish businessman, survivor of deadly cancer, goes nationwide with story,” December 22).
As a pediatrician, I wish you had taken the opportunity to emphasize that HPV vaccination is preventing people from having this and other HPV related cancers in the future.
Dr. David Katz
The author is a physician who practices with Kaplan Barron Pediatric Group.