Community Day School Love the learning, Live the Values 

Mindfulness & Jewish Spirituality

Mindfulness took root at Community Day School five years ago when physical education teacher Bob Helfer and our 3rd Grade teachers joined forces with a parent volunteer to introduce mindful practices to their classrooms. What followed was a grassroots surge of interest that led to more than one-third of our faculty requesting training through Mindful Schools’ Mindfulness Fundamentals course.

As a result of this groundwork, Community Day School was selected to participate in the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s (IJS) Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life pilot. Over a two-year period, a team of leaders from CDS engaged in an intensive program to integrate a personal Jewish mindfulness meditation practice with tefillah (Jewish prayer), text study, embodied practices such as yoga and chanting, and the cultivation of core middot (qualities of character such as lovingkindness, restraint, balance, grit, gratitude, humility, and mindful speech).  

These highly trained educators from across many disciplines are now working to infuse Jewish mindfulness-based practices throughout all aspects of our school. The goals of this initiative are to inspire and guide our students into a meaningful and transformative Jewish prayer experience, as well as to support their socio-emotional learning and mind-body wellness. 

Students are also participating in a new two-year cycle of shared learning about Middot, the desirable character traits that, according to Jewish teachings, go into the making of a mensch.