Chicago Jewish Day School

New CJDS Campus

Celebrating Our New Home!

Posted On: 6/7/2018 2:36 PM
On Sunday, June 3rd, Chicago Jewish Day School welcomed over 500 guests to celebrate the opening of our New Campus. We are grateful that so many members of our community came to share our joy. Guests included current families and students, alumni families, founding board members, donors, neighbors, colleagues, CJDS faculty and staff, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago board members and professionals. We were honored to hear from Dr. Steven B. Nasatir, President of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago as well as 33rd Ward Alderman Deb Mell. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Illinois State Representative Jaime AndradeAlderman Harry Osterman, and Deputy Consul General Itay Milner joined us as well. 
In addition to hearing from CJDS lay leaders, Judy Finkelstein-Taff shared her reflections on the school’s motto “educating our children in the richness of their past, the diversity of their present and the possibilities for their future.” The beautiful day was topped off with a blessing from our Rabbinical Advisory Board and our students’ voices joined together in song. 
In honor of the event and the opening of the school’s new campus, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, mayor of the City of Chicago, proclaimed June 3, 2018, is Chicago Jewish Day School Day in ChicagoYou can see the proclamation here.
Thank you to board members- past and present, parent committee chairs, parents, and so many more who have helped Chicago Jewish Day School reach this milestone in its history. While there is more work to be done in completing the project, we are grateful to have a permanent home – one that matches the incredible education we offer our students. 
Learn more about our Capital Campaign and Annual Campaign!

Save the Date to Celebrate!

Posted On: 5/7/2018 10:16 AM
Join us for this community-wide celebrate!! RSVP to Naomi Shapiro! 


Israel Independence Day Celebration!

Posted On: 5/7/2018 9:58 AM
Celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel's 70th birthday with a Tekes Maavar, Grade 8 daglanut flag ceremony, and Israel themed interactive activities!! From Israeli dancing and playing a popular Israeli sport, matkot, to creating Eilat sand castles and visiting the Bedouin tents and Shuk, the day was filled with ruach (spirit) and love of Israel!! 

Hachnassat Sefer Torah Ceremony at the New Campus!

Posted On: 5/7/2018 9:45 AM
Bringing in our sacred Torah to our new home! The dream of a multi-denominational Jewish day school committed to both excellence in General Studies and a serious Jewish education has been realized. Although the buildings and grounds bring us to a new level of operation, it is the students who brought on our tears of joy. It is our students’ knowledge, engagement and participation that took out breath away. HaTikvah means “The Hope.” Hope was so alive in that room, in our Beit Midrash, that it was palpable in a way that was refreshing to all of the adults in the room.

First Day at the New Campus!

Posted On: 4/10/2018 8:56 AM

The excitement at Chicago Jewish Day School was palpable as students arrived to our brand new, 2.6 acre campus for the first time!

After a beautiful welcoming celebration during Havdallah and tours of their new space, classrooms came alive as students and teachers took advantage of the state-of-the-art technology and thoughtfully organized classrooms that enhance our educational philosophy to continue the meaningful learning that happens each day at CJDS.

CJDS Move Week!

Posted On: 4/10/2018 9:00 AM
Excitement is in the Air! CJDS Faculty and Staff have officially moved their classrooms and offices to the New Campus! This week has been so incredible to watch the campus come to life with the beautiful classrooms, flexible breakout spaces, and halls filled with student-artwork. Our faculty and staff learned how to use the new technology for the classrooms, trained in new security procedures and protocols for every aspect of the day. Our faculty and staff are working hard to ensure that when the students arrive, they are welcomed to a warm, state-of-the-art, innovative campus and ready to hit the ground running! 

Middle School Visits New Campus!

Posted On: 4/10/2018 8:53 AM
Our middle school students had the special treat of visiting our new campus for a sneak peek! Excitement was bursting through the hallways as the students toured the new campus, tested out the new furniture and jumped with joy about their new home. Our Grade 8 students will be escorting the lower school students to their classrooms on the first day of school. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to get a feel of the new campus.

New Furniture for Breakout Space!

Posted On: 3/13/2018 8:42 AM
"The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interactions. At Chicago Jewish Day School children learn with and from one another in a caring community in both social as well as academic learning. Interdependence counts at least as much as independence. We help learners engage with ideas and drive each other’s thinking — to build knowledge, to care and to act." -CJDS Educational Philosophy Statement
When building our new campus, designing the space to reflect our Mission and Vision and Educational Philosophy was a high priority. The inclusion of the Mercaz (Welcome Center), collaboration spaces, breakout spaces outside the classrooms and furniture designed for movement reflects how this new campus will enhance learning while also building a sense of community.

Cover Story of Chicago Jewish News!

Posted On: 3/5/2018 11:03 AM
Hot Off the Press! CJDS is the COVER story of this week's Chicago Jewish News issue featuring our new campus, our history, and our one-of-a-kind progressive, multi-denominational Jewish day school! 
"HOME AT LAST: After 15 years of wandering, Chicago Jewish Day School is moving into its new state of the art campus!

For its almost 15 years of existence, Chicago Jewish Day School has moved from one location to the next, making do as best it could in a variety of settings.

All that will change when the school moves into its spacious, state-of-the-art new quarters. On April 9, the school will be in its new, and permanent, home on a 2.6-acre campus in the Irving Park neighborhood.

The school opened in Sept. 2003 with seven students. Over the years, it added a grade at a time, and now with 223 students, it’s ready to move into a retrofitted five buildings on the new site, able to accommodate 350 students...."

New Campus Mezuzah Art Workshop

Posted On: 3/5/2018 10:56 AM
Our students had the unique opportunity to create and design their own mezzuzot for our new campus! Over the course of two days, students in Kindergarten through Grade 7 (and even faculty, staff and Ms. J!) worked with artist, Abby Meir and our CJDS Art Specialist, Rachel Treister, on creating beautiful mezuzzot that will be affixed to the doorposts in our new campus. Mezzuzot reminds our community that we are always connected to G-d and our Jewish heritage. The mezzuzot will be dispersed all over the new campus in Phase I, and the remaining will be hung in Phase II.
Students were buzzing with excitement knowing that their art will be all over the new campus! We can't wait to see the finished products!

First Furniture Delivery at the New Campus!

Posted On: 2/11/2018 9:41 PM
This week we wanted to share with you some pictures of the new furniture that was delivered to our new campus! This new furniture was selected with a lot of thought about how students learn best.
At CJDS, we have always believed in the importance of the learning environment. The term the “Third Teacher” was coined by educators and adopted by architects like ours, to underscore the valuable asset a facility, furnishings, and general physical environment can provide for and enrich learning.
Please check out some highlights of the new types of furniture:
  • Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten have new comfortable and cozy chairs, couches and bean bags in their classrooms and even in our beautiful CJDS blue color! In addition, they will be using all wooden chairs and tables.
  • Grades 1 through 5 are using Mien BFF leg chairs (not pictured), "a staple in energetic collaborative classroom environments."
  • Middle School students are using Steelcase Node Chairs, which are great for an active learning environment. These chairs are on all wheels and even include a storage unit underneath the seat. Studies show the benefits of how well these chairs make a positive impact inside the classroom.
  • In the collaboration areas and breakout spaces, students will enjoy a new model of their favorite ottoman seats used for group discussions, advisory meetings, and collaborative learning. Our new ottomans allow for movement and can be height adjusted as well.

Check out the New Technology Installed at the New Campus!

Posted On: 2/11/2018 9:38 PM
The goal of technology education is to develop in learners an understanding of technology skills and concepts, as well as the importance and connection to everyday life. We are excited to enhance our technology inside and outside the classrooms at the new campus.
Every classroom has a:
  • Projector (and some even have interactive projectors!)
  • Fully-equipped Document Cameras, also known as visual presenters, are real-time image capture devices for displaying an object to a large audience.
Throughout the building, great new features include:
  • Full-blanket Wi-Fi, so students and teachers can collaborate all over the building.
  • State-of-the-art projection screen in the Beit Midrash “House of Learning”
  • PA system to be utilized for full campus communication and carpool
  • Connected Bell System on the Middle School 2nd floor to transition students from class to class

CJDS Faculty and Staff Celebrating our Move Announcement at the New Campus! ‚Äč

Posted On: 2/11/2018 9:34 PM
“It’s a beautiful facility! It was so nice to see it at this stage. Then, we’ll come back to see it with furniture and continue to develop and layout our future classroom and utilize all the new space that we have. It’s wonderful that we will all be together [middle school and lower school] again as a community because that is what CJDS stands for!”
“I feel the sense of excitement in the air as we shared a first look at the new campus together."
“This community is so appreciative of this space.”
“A dream come true! Dreamy; can’t believe we are finally here!”

“I feel a sense of pride in what I do and where I work--such an energizing feeling!”

“The new building was much larger than what I imagined. Lots of light and absolutely gorgeous! And there are sinks in the lab!!”

“Beautiful, stunning, brought tears to my eyes! Beautiful space.”

“I want to move tomorrow. I don’t care that it’s not finished. It’s amazing.”

CJDS is Moving to its NEW CAMPUS!!

Posted On: 1/22/2018 1:16 PM

Chicago Jewish Day School proudly announces its move to the New CJDS Campus - April 2018! Fifteen years and several locations later—and with over 220 students currently enrolled—the multi-denominational, progressive Jewish day school is officially moving to a home of their own in the Irving Park neighborhood.


The campus is a 2.6-acre property that includes multiple buildings with state-of-the-art classrooms, central worship and learning space, a gymnasium, and outdoor athletic and recreational facilities–all designed to enhance the school’s commitment to academic excellence and foster continued growth.


Nestled in a tree-lined urban neighborhood in a growing family-friendly community, the new campus will have easy access to both downtown and suburban living. With an environmentally friendly project in mind, CJDS consciously chose to repurpose an existing property while updating the interior to fit the educational style of our Mission and Vision and Educational Philosophy.


“Chicago Jewish Day School is the next big idea in Jewish education. Moving to our new campus will not only be a place to call home, but the incredible space will enhance the education that we already provide on a daily basis. We are excited to enter this new chapter and can’t wait to share our new campus with the Chicago Jewish community.” Judy Finkelstein-Taff, head of school.


With students in junior kindergarten through grade eight, Chicago Jewish Day School has an  extraordinary commitment to engaging and educating the next generation of Jewish learners and leaders. Through its integrated and experiential learning curriculum, CJDS is recognized for both its academic excellence and meaningful approach to Judaic Studies and Hebrew. Together, CJDS creates a meaningful and engaging curriculum that develops a child’s capacity for critical and analytical thinking and a strong moral compass. 95% of CJDS graduates gain acceptance to their first-choice high school, including Chicago’s competitive selective enrollment and private schools, where they become leaders in their schools and communities.


On behalf of the CJDS Board of Trustees, President Anat S. Geva remarks, “We are humbled by the support we have received from our parents, donors, and greater community, especially the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Completing Phase I of the construction project has enabled us to move to our New Campus. We are eager to complete the work necessary in order to utilize the entire campus.”


When asked about the capital campaign, Geva proudly stated, “With over $23 million raised, we still have exciting naming opportunities available and continue to meet with prospective donors. We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and cannot wait to share a finished campus with our community.”


Information about a community-wide grand opening, prospective parent open houses, tours, and opportunities to get involved in the capital campaign will be forthcoming.


Read More

CJDS Throws Holiday Party for New Campus Construction Team

Posted On: 1/9/2018 12:50 PM
CJDS organized a holiday party for over 50 dedicated and hard-working construction workers, Reed Construction, at the New Campus. Electricians, communications installers, carpet and tile layers, mill workers, carpenters, bricklayers and fillers, plumbers, and more gathered together in our new Beit Midrash and heard a little bit about the school they are building. We told the story of Chicago Jewish Day School and how we teach our students about our heritage. We also informed them how we integrate into our neighborhood with projects and relationships with public schools and other parochial schools. We encourage our students to participate in the community and caring about their neighbors and others in our community that might need our help.
Wendy Kline and Ms. J were overwhelmed by the response of the workers:
  • They not only thanked them for providing the holiday lunch but told us they felt an extra sense of pride after hearing about our school and thought the values we are teaching are so important.
  • Individuals came to us and thanked us for teaching our students about service to the community and caring about the sick and elderly.
  • We were also moved by the workers who thanked us for hiring union workers, ensuring fair pay for a day's work.
Talk about sacred work. . .these men and one woman, with their work belts and hard hats, are truly demonstrating scared work building Chicago Jewish Day School. It seemed to us at this holiday lunch that they truly felt that sacredness and felt appreciated by our school for their contributions to our new facility.

New Campus Construction Pictures

Posted On: 10/27/2017 11:40 AM
CJDS’s New Campus project is moving along nicely! Cement for the new circle drive has been laid, the new entrance is set, and frames of the classrooms and breakout spaces are up. The new entrance on the North side of the California building, an addition to the existing structure, will be our main entrance and include a security vestibule and the 
mercaz, or community center – an area for parents and visitors. Enjoy some pictures of the progress our hard-working construction crew is making.

CJDS Celebrates New Campus Construction!

Posted On: 9/11/2017 3:04 PM
The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago published an article about our Construction Celebration in the JUF News Express!

CJDS New Campus Construction Celebration!

Posted On: 8/14/2017 9:55 AM
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 4:30 PM
RSVP to Naomi Shapiro at 773-271-2700 today! 

Construction Begins!

Posted On: 6/14/2017 3:19 PM

We are thrilled to announce that construction is beginning for our New Campus Project! Current progress on our capital campaign enables us to start building while still working toward our $30 million goal. With demolition completed last month, we are positioned to start work effective immediately. Look on our social media pages for pictures of the construction process throughout the summer! 


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