It is time to dispel any myths or preconceived ideas about “Jewish Day School” and how they may apply to The Davis Academy. Throw them all out because at The Davis Academy, they just don’t apply. The Davis Academy is a uniquely modern, 21st century learning environment positioned to meet the needs of todays’ forward-thinking families. We don’t distinguish between affiliated, unaffiliated or interfaith families. There are no set expectations, only opportunities. In fact, The Davis Academy has almost thirty years of experience helping students and their families discover the richness of Jewish culture and heritage at a level that is comfortably in balance with their own personal practice.
Because “being Jewish” means different things to different people, The Davis Academy welcomes and encourages all points of view and identities. The teachers, activities, and programs at The Davis Academy guide children’s exploration so that they make their own meaningful connections between their ancestors’ history and what’s relevant to them today in their own lives. Here, students sing new melodies to ancient prayers and approach Judaism with a spirit of curiosity, excitement and creativity. The everyday experience imparts strong values to teach our students to be good people and have the ability to make wise, educated choices.
Learning and Living
There is no single concept that truly captures the essence of how Judaism informs what we do here at The Davis Academy like our menschlichkeit values: Community, Respect, Spirit, Wisdom and Righteousness. These values describe who we are and what we aspire to be. When our Mechina and Kindergarten students lead our weekly Kabbalat Shabbat service for the first time, they do so with the support of their entire “Community.” When our 2nd graders receive their first prayer book their “Respect” for Jewish tradition is evident in their hearts and smiles, and in their parent’s tears. When 3rd graders visit the local Community Assistance Center to learn about the needs of people in their own neighborhood we see the emergence of “Righteous” indignation. When 5th graders chant Torah in front of their friends and family for the first time, they do so from a place of deep “Respect” and “Wisdom.” These moments, both planned and unplanned, extend across The Davis Academy journey; through the b’nai mitzvah experience to the Israel trip, to graduation, and life beyond The Davis Academy. As the Chair of our most recent reaccreditation committee said in his executive summary of The Davis Academy, the “Spirit” of this place is so vibrant and present that it actually feels tangible. At The Davis Academy, we pride ourselves on translating the potential within Jewish tradition into things that children and families can hold, touch and carry with them.
The Davis Academy experience is a collection of sacred moments—some joyful, some somber, some exuberant, some reflective, some personal, and some communal. Jewish holidays, Jewish prayer, and the Jewish call to social action provide a framework for living our values and making the most of each and every day.