You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.
Pirkei Avot 20:21
Social Action & Tikkun Olam
At CDS, we inspire not only Jewish learning, but a daily life guided by Jewish values and ethics. Our goal is for students to become accustomed to tzedakah (charitable giving) and gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness) as a way of life. Our graduates are known for their engagement in tikkun olam (repairing the world), as compassionate upstanders and changemakers of great moral courage.
CDS Middle schoolers are building meaningful and enduring relationships with residents of the Jewish Association on Aging through the Better Together program. Through this intergenerational program, teens and seniors enjoy meals, activities, and learning projects together. The visits enhance quality of life for the JAA residents, while providing our students with the opportunity to fulfill the Jewish mitzvah to honor the elders in our community and learn from their life experiences.
Middle School Student Council leads a number of charitable projects, including Thanksgiving and Passover Food Drives, an all-school "Pink-Out" to support breast cancer research, and weekly bagel sales to raise money for tzedakah.
Jr. STUCO also plans and coordinates an annual Intermediate School Service Learning Project.
Instead of taking the day off, students at Community Day School take on the essential themes of Martin Luther King Jr. Day together with the broader Pittsburgh community in a day of learning, service, and reflection. MLK Day is truly day set apart from “business as usual” at CDS, with a relevant, challenging, and impactful social justice curriculum developed by our faculty in partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and Repair the World.
In every grade, from the 3-year-old classroom through Middle School, our students engage with the question of what it means to be an "upstander" and how to live out Dr. King’s dream in our turbulent and politically divided times. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day curriculum is designed as a call to action for both children and their families in a moment in history when action is sorely needed.
The guiding theme this year was “Borders,” focusing on the systems and institutions that have produced barriers to access, opportunity, and peace in Pittsburgh, the U.S., and worldwide. Past themes have included "Women in Civil Rights" and "Fences," exploring how and why neighborhoods separate us.
At times, we’re asked why a Jewish day school like ours chooses to spend the day doing this kind of work. In response, we can only ask, “How can we not?”
CDS parent Shiri Friedman