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Jewish Life & Learning

Students at the 1st Grade Siddur Ceremony

At Community Day School, students do more than learn about Judaism—they live its rhythms and values every day. CDS is a vibrant, inclusive community that celebrates the Jewish diversity of our families while helping our students connect through a common language and shared heritage.

In an inspiring and joyful environment, students study Jewish texts and become knowledgeable about Jewish ritual through hands-on experiences that create cherished memories. Children are always encouraged to ask questions as they begin their personal Jewish journey filled with meaning and value.


Students receive their Siddurim at 1st Grade Siddur Ceremony

Tefillah (prayer)

Tefillah (Jewish prayer) infused with mindfulness is core to the life of our school, and we devote time and space to the spiritual growth of our students. CDS graduates are skilled at participating in and leading daily, Shabbat, and festival prayer services and family celebrations, and they establish meaningful and lifelong connections with those experiences.

Student eats matzah during Passover Seder

Chagim (Shabbat and Holidays)

CDS follows the rhythms of the Jewish calendar. Students shake the lulav and etrog in the Sukkah. They wear costumes on Purim and learn to read Megillah. They study the Haggadah on Pesach. They observe Yom HaZikaron with gratitude and solemnity. And they celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut with Israeli song and dance.  

Students read from Torah

Ivrit (Hebrew Language)

Research supports the powerful impact of learning two languages on a child's cognitive development. Our immersive and engaging Hebrew language program connects students in every grade with their Jewish heritage and prepares them to communicate and work in our 21st-century world.

View our Hebrew curriculum

Student celebrates Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)


Developing an enduring connection to the land of Israel is an integral part of a CDS education. Many Hebrew and Jewish Studies faculty at CDS are Israeli, and we are fortunate each year to welcome Shinshinim (Israeli youth emissaries) who share their love and knowledge of Hebrew language and Israeli culture. As their culminating  experience, the 8th Grade travels to Israel for two weeks.

Student participating in MLK Day Gallery Walk

Facing History & Ourselves

CDS is proud to be the singular Partner School in the Facing History and Ourselves’ Innovative Schools Network in western Pennsylvania in recognition of the school’s leadership in social justice, human behavior, and Holocaust education. Facing History teaching strategies and lessons are integrated throughout the school in history, language arts, library, and service-learning opportunities.

Students participate in Torah service


At CDS, we study the Tanakh and other ancient Jewish texts and the ideas of the Rabbinic tradition. The deep learning inspired by our Rabbinics curriculum grows our students' spiritual and academic curiosity and helps them become independent thinkers and problem-solvers.

Shinshinim at CDS

Community Day School is thrilled to welcome to our campus four Shinshinim, 18-year-old Israeli emissaries who defer Israeli army service for one year to volunteer in Pittsburgh. The term derives from shinim shinshin, the Hebrew acronym for shenat sherut, meaning “year of service.” In this role, these teens work to connect our students and their families to Israel and Israeli culture.

Read more about this program and its impact

Shinshinim 2023

Meet Head of Jewish Life and Learning Leon Covitz

Leon Covitz comes to CDS with 35 years of diverse Jewish leadership positions including teaching and administrative experiences at progressive and pluralistic Jewish day schools, camps, and informal education settings. He earned his Teachers’ Certificate at the London Board of Jewish Education 81 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies from Jews’ College in London and his Masters in Jewish Studies at Siegal College of Cleveland. Mr. Covitz was born in Scotland and spent many years in Israel, enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces as a soldier and then as a reservist. His career has been motivated by his desire and capacity to inspire young Jews both in the classroom and beyond.