April 9-29, 2017
13 Nisan - 3 Iyar, 5777

Word of the Week

By Chaim Heller, Head of School

Wishing you all a wonderful Pesach.

Maimonides Upper School - Grades 6-12

Passover Break

As we close school for these two weeks, we have an opportune time to reflect and rejuvenate before the rush of the end of year activities both in and out of the classroom begins. It has been a very exciting year thus far with new adventures and exciting explorations in every department of the upper school.

I hope we, as a community, use fully this Passover break to share time with family, breathe, think, ponder and dream. Our seniors have completed their formal course work, celebrated  a wonderful Siyyum and are preparing for their trip to Poland and Israel. We will miss them and look forward to reconnecting  soon to hear of their voyage and learn from them. This of course is the change that occurs every year as the transition of classes begin.

So for all our students grades 6 -11, the time is now to begin envisioning your next adventure here at SDJA. What will it be? What is your passion? What challenge do you want to take on? Dream.

Chag Pesach Sameach

Mike Quigley Head of Upper School

Mazal Tov Amber Bartlett!

High school sophomores and juniors from across the country have been named winners of The Jewish Theological Seminary’s (JTS) Ahavat Torah Award, presented to teens who have demonstrated a serious commitment to excellence in leadership, service, and Judaic studies.

Having excelled as students and leaders and demonstrated a passion for Jewish life, SDJA student Amber Bartlett earned the respect and admiration of her faculty and peers – and everyone at JTS:

Mazal Tov!   Amber Bartlett, San Diego Jewish Academy, San Diego, CA

Fiddler on the Roof - Thank You!!

SDJA’s senior class production of Fiddler on the Roof was a HIT! The cast crew did not disappoint – either on Saturday night or Sunday night!

A VERY big THANK YOU to the following sponsors for their support of this senior class trip fundraising program:

Chag Pesach Sameach!

One of the most widely observed Jewish holiday rituals is the Passover Seder, in which Jews retell the story of their ancestors’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. The word Seder is Hebrew for “order” and reflects the idea that the ritual involves 14 different steps that must be completed in order.

In the past, the upper school has typically conducted model Seders as part of our Passover programming at SDJA, but this year they decided to mix it up a bit. This year, students were divided into 14 different groups, 2 per upper school grade, and participated in a variety of short, engaging activities that each related to one part of the traditional Seder.

Click here to view a video slideshow of all of SDJA’s Passover celebrations!

Morah Esti's College Tool Kit

After the seniors shared reflections about their past/present and predictions for the next 10 years, Morah Esti read them Dr Seuss’s “Oh, the places you’ll go!” in Hebrew. She gave each senior a graduations tool box as a gift. Inside the box students could find a personal letter and different tools which might be needed in college life including, Balloon/Stamp /Magnifying Glass /Candy/Mirror/Frame/Highlighter/A tea bag/Sudoku book and more.

“I would like to wish all seniors safe and meaningful trips to Poland and Israel, Chag Sameach and all the best on your new endeavors.” – Morah Esti

World History Comes Alive in Special Presentation

This past week Mr. Kollin’s history classes saw a very special presentation when Mr. Kollin brought in and displayed his weapons and armor collection. The swords and daggers and spears all related to the periods in history the students are studying. Each student had the opportunity to hold the weapons and examine them closely – while under strict supervision!

K-6 Math Festival! Save the Date!

Middle School Election Results!

Dear 2017-2018 Middle School Parents,

This week has been an exciting one, full of spirited campaigning and healthy competition for our Student Government candidates. As a faculty, we are impressed with the integrity demonstrated by all of our candidates and voters. We are pleased to announce the Student Government Representatives for the 2017-2018 school year:

Middle School President: Rikki Dorfan

8th Grade Representative: Eli Lerner

7th Grade Representative: Alexandra Wellman

6th Grade Representative: Leila Feldman

Thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning of this year’s election. We look forward to a vibrant year of activities in our Middle School!

Chag Sameach,

Lauren Dolinka and Anna Falkiewicz

It's Time for Tacos & Tequila! May 4th

Israeli Students Visit SDJA

This past Monday, the upper school hosted students from Reali High School in Israel.

The Israeli students visited numerous classes and shared with our students facts about Israel. Each told about his/her life as a student. They shared their interests and all the volunteer work they are doing. It was a very interesting experience for us and for them!

Camp Ramah Info Session - SDJA April 23

Please join us for an information session for Camp Ramah in Northern California, a Ramah specialty camp located on the beach of Monterey Bay with surfing, scuba diving, horseback riding, rock climbing, performing arts, and more! 

Come learn more about this unique program for 3rd – 10th Graders and meet the Camp’s Director, Rabbi Sarah Shulman, at San Diego Jewish Academy on Sunday April 23rd.  Feel free to email Sarah for more information, as well as to RSVP.  

Teen Events


Friendship Circle: Camp Let Loose: Volunteers needed

Camp dates Aug 7-Aug 11 @ 9:30 am-2:30 pm

Chabad of Poway, 16934 Chabad Way, Poway 92064

High school students. Training provided on Sunday Aug 6th. 27 hours community service. Join our awesome teens for a week long volunteer and leadership experience with the special needs community. To register www.friendshipcircleSD.org/get-involved/volunteers or contact Maxime@FriendshipCircleSD.org

SAVE THE DATE:  J-Teen Banquet & Award Ceremony

Sunday, June 4th @ 5:30-8pm, at Fairbanks Ranch Association

JCC Maccabi Games – San Diego Delegation

Join the San Diego Delegation as we head to Birmingham, AL from July 28 – August 4th!  There are still a few spots open to join this year’s San Diego Delegation for the JCC Maccabi Games.  The JCC Maccabi Games is an Olympic-style and the largest Jewish teen event in the world!  Athletes compete in sports, experience home hospitality in a new city, help with community service, and enjoy nightly events!  Be a part of the experience and join the San Diego Delegation- only a few spots left!

For more information contact Ethan Roseman Teen Director ethanr@lfjcc.org or 858-362-1331       

Friday-Sunday,  April 14-16  Weekend 1 & Friday-Sunday,  April 21-23  Weekend 2

JTeen Shabbat Tent 


J-Teen’s Shabbat Tent offers an oasis of Judaism and relaxation at the Coachella Music festival. Refreshments, Shabbat meals and services, and more. Email Rabbi Bortz for more information: Jyouthsd@gmail.com  

Wednesday, April 19th: YAM: Holocaust Remembrance at Del Norte High School

Lecture by Holocaust survivor, Fanny Lebovitz. RSVP kindly appreciated: rabbi@youthactionmovement.com

Friday, April 21st @ 7-9:30 PM: YAM: Teen Community Shabbat

The home of Rabbi Zevi & Musy New

7015 Chapala Canyon Ct. 92129

Celebrate Shabbat together with teens who become like family! Enjoy a delicious homemade 5 course dinner, socialize with Jewish teens from across San Diego county and feel the warmth of Shabbat. Interactive games and teen community announcements throughout. *Special menu* RSVP kindly appreciated: rabbi@youthactionmovement.com or (858) 500-2550 or Renee, SDJA Junior — We do max out

Sunday, April 23rd @ 10:30am-12pm: Friendship Circle: Shooting Stars All-Girls Arts & Performance Club

Cong. Adat Yeshurun, La Jolla

Teen volunteers wanted to have fun with the young ladies of FC as we do arts & crafts, sing songs together, dance and more! RSVP required, email: Maxime@FriendshipCircleSD.org

Sunday, April 23rd @ 12:15pm-1:15pm: Friendship Circle: Teen Leadership Board Meeting

The Bean Coffee Shop @ JCC

Open House Meeting – looking for new leaders! Teen volunteers who have shown outstanding leadership within FC get together to share ideas, plan & more once a month. RSVP required, email: Maxime@FriendshipCircleSD.org

Thursday, April 27th  @ 4-5PM Senior Buddies

Lawrence Family JCC,  La Jolla 92037

Join this month’s Senior Buddies and help our senior citizens!  Teens meet with seniors to teach our seniors how to navigate technology.  Help with iPhones, Facebook, Photos, and Word processing are just some of the ways our teens can connect and serve.  Participants will gain community service hours while getting to know (and learn) from their elders!

If interested in participating in Senior Buddies contact Ethan Roseman Teen Director ethanr@lfjcc.org or 858-362-1331  

Friday, April 28th – Saturday, April 29th: Yachad LA & Friendship Circle: Shabbaton

La Jolla

Shabbat Parashat Tazria-Metzova. RSVP at Yachad.org/LosAngeles. Deadline to Apply: April 14.  For more information please contact Monica Rukhman at losAngelesYachad@ou.org or (310) 229-9000 ext. 206

Friday, April 28th @ 6:30 PM: YAM: Family Shabbat Minyan

The home of Rabbi Zevi & Musy New

7015 Chapala Canyon Ct. 92129

Interactive and meaningful Shabbat Service for fathers and sons and families followed by light kiddush shabbat buffet. Kabbalat Shabbat with beautiful harmonious melodies and thoughts for the week. Families and friends of all ages welcome. RSVP appreciated musy@youthactionmovement.com

Sunday, April 30th @ 2:30-3:30pm: Friendship Circle: UCSD Gymnastics Class

Join us for a 1-time event with UCSD! Learn gymnastics and have fun on the mats with the students. RSVP required, email: Maxime@FriendshipCircleSD.org

Sunday, April 30th @ 11am : Jteen: Leadership Board Meeting

Grand Del Mar Boardroom

Email Rabbi Bortz to confirm attendance: Jyouthsd@gmail.com

Saturday, May 6th @ 6-8PM  Havdalah 360

Lawrence Family JCC,  La Jolla 92037

Havdalah 360 is a wonderful event for all San Diego Jewish teens.  This year Havdalah 360 will be on Saturday, May 6th and it will be amazing!  This event is great for all High School teens and will be complete with fun services, dinner, entertainment and some good ol fashioned Judaism.  Don’t miss out on Havdalah 360 in the park!  Price TBD. 

For more information contact Ethan Roseman Teen Director ethanr@lfjcc.org or 858-362-1331  

Saturday Night, May 13th: J-Teen: Lag Ba’omer

Party, bonfire & havdalah! Contact Rabbi Bortz for more information 858.888.6810 or Jyouthsd@gmail.com

Sunday, May 21st @ 12:30-2:30 pm:Friendship Circle Annual Walk with Your Heart


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. Walk, roll, skip and make a difference. Join Friendship Circle and walk for a great cause. 12:30-1:30 pm Registration and Friendship Fair with live DJ, carnival booths, clowns, puppet show, Big Animals for Little Kids, Water and snacks. Walk 1:30-2:30 pm (last car to enter 1 pm- shuttle will be provided from the Kaiser lot). Create a team or register for free (until May 7, $20 thereafter) as an individual at www.friendshipwalksd.org

Sunday, May 21st: J-Teen: Pop-up clothing store for the homeless

Join us as we set up a store with tickets and points for those in need to shop with dignity (Led by Nathan Pupko).  Contact Rabbi Bortz for more information 858.888.6810 or Jyouthsd@gmail.com

Ongoing: Friendship Circle: Friends at Home                                                                    

Looking for teens to volunteer a few hours a month for a child in your neighborhood who really needs a friend — a child with special needs. It’s about the amazingly fun times and the incredible feelings of accomplishment you will enjoy while you’re at it. And it’s about the fringe benefits that come along with being a part of the circle. For more informationContact Maxime 914-525-6793 Maxime@FriendshipCircleSD.org

Ongoing: The first Sunday of every month 11-2 pm: G’Mach Jewish Gift Closet

High school volunteers needed to help work at G’Mach, an organization that helps by offering free items such as clothing, food, furniture to those in need. Please contact 858-549-1877 or www.sandiegogmach.com to volunteer.

Birthright Exclusive: ReSurf Israel Summer Adventure- for Seniors + Alumni

Introducing Birthright Israel: Watersport Adventure.

ReSurf is partnering with Israel Free Spirit to organize a free, 10-day summer journey where you’ll learn to surf, paddle board, sail, and experience Israeli culture through your new shades. Ages 18 – 26. Get inspired and stoked. Sign up now! http://bit.ly/Resurf

MUS - Mark Your Calendar

April 10-21 – Passover Break

April 26: K – 6 Family Math Festival, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm


Golda Meir Lower School - Grades K-5

Math Festival Coming!

Dear Parents,

I want to make sure you all know about our first-ever MATH FESTIVAL at SDJA.  It will be held on Wednesday, April 26th (right when we get back from break) from 6:30-7:30pm in the Ulam.

I promise you that your kids will NOT want to miss this, so please mark your calendars now!

If you haven’t already heard about it, let me share with you why there is so much excitement around this awesome experience for the kids.

MATH FESTIVAL is a super exciting day and evening full of fun math activities that will take place in a festival-like atmosphere. During the school day, every class (grades K-6) will participate in math festival activities during their math class time. Then, that evening, the kids come back to school for more fun with family.

The Festival consists of lots of highly interactive math “stations” that will incorporate everything from blocks and beans to laptop computers to solve fun tasks. Students will get to go from station to station. Each station offers a range of tasks at different levels so that there is an appropriate challenge for everyone.

When you come back at night, your whole family can work together on solving cool math problems. Bring mom, dad, grandparents, siblings – the whole family! It will be a great team experience and will reinforce for children how much fun math is.

This promises to be a great community social event, too, so come connect with your fellow GMLS families. And, after the students’ experience at the Math Festival during the school day, they really will not want to miss out on the family Math Festival.

Please spread the word and encourage your fellow parents to mark their calendars too. We hope to have a big turnout!

Chag Pesach Sameach,

Kelley King

Save the Date: Rising Kindergarten and First Grade Event - May 5

For: All children and parents who will be in kindergarten and first grade starting in August 2017

What: Kabbalat Shabbat & Play-date with old friends and new friends! Meet the Teachers!

Date: Friday, May 5th – Save the Date!

Time: 2:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Join your child for Kabbalat Shabbat in the Ulam followed by a play-date on the playground with snacks and games!

This will be a fun time to hang out with old friends and meet some of the new friends who will be coming to SDJA for the 2017-18 school year. Also, you will get to meet and chat with your children’s teachers for next year.

Passover Seders

This past week the school was alive with Passover celebrations! We tried to capture images from Preschool through High School – click here to enjoy our slideshow video!

Mazal Tov - Daniela Galicot! Shorashim Winner!

Mazal Tov! Congratulations to Daniela Galicot who won the Shorashim (My Family Tree) competition. 

Daniela’s project was chosen to be one of the selected displays of the Shorashim competition in Beit Hatfutzot, Tel Aviv, Israel.  The key prize for winning the competition is one free airline ticket to Israel, and to take part in the two-day celebrations at Beit Hatfutzot

Kol Hakavod to Daniela for her outstanding Shorashim project!

Camp Simcha Offering Jewish Day School Discounts

Camp Ramah Information Session - April 23

Please join us for an information session for Camp Ramah in Northern California, a Ramah specialty camp located on the beach of Monterey Bay with surfing, scuba diving, horseback riding, rock climbing, performing arts, and more! 

Come learn more about this unique program for 3rd – 10th Graders and meet the Camp’s Director, Rabbi Sarah Shulman, at San Diego Jewish Academy on Sunday April 23rd.  Feel free to email Sarah for more information, as well as to RSVP.   

Tacos & Tequila - May 4 at SDJA!

4th Graders "Live" their Math!

The 4th graders had just learned about parallel and perpendicular lines and line segments.  To emphasize the lesson, Ms. Rabinowiz created a kinesthetic activity. The students were asked to get together with a partner or two and demonstrate the parallel and perpendicular line segments. The class did this standing and lying,  They had such fun.  Hopefully, they will never forget these concepts!

5th Grade Passover - Garden Story

This past week the 5th graders broke into groups and explored vegetable plants as they relate to Passover. They looked for things that could be used on the Seder plate and tasted all sorts of veggies. They discovered beets as a replacement for the Shank Bone, Mustard Greens for Maror, Broccoli flowers for spring time, lettuce and many other tasty treats.

On Tu B’shvat each class came to the garden and planted Parsley in the hopes that it would be ready for Passover. We’re happy to report that all children from the Preschool through 4th grade were able to bring home their individual home-grown parsley.

Chag Shemach to all.

K- 6 Math Festival - April 26


KAYEFET (olivia)

We are so excited for our 3rd Session of Kayefet – our after school program. This session will run to the end of the year, Tuesday, March 14th  to  June 15th. Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 3:05 pm to 4:15 pm. We provide snacks and all materials. Classes will run every week regardless if it is a short school week.

Monday: RockStar (1-5); Spanish for Spanish speakers (3-5); Spanish for English speakers (3-5); Soccer (K-5).

Tuesday: Yoga (K-5); Fuse Glass (1-5); Magic Matt (K-5).

Wednesday: Ultimate MineCraft (1-5); Capture the Flag (K-2 and 3-5); Mad Science (K-5); Drama(2-4).

Thursday: Chess (1-5); Basketball (K-5); The Junior Baker (K-3).

For registration and more information, please click here.

Some of our classes have limited space, so please sign up in advance!

If you have any questions, email Kayefet Coordinator– Revital Harosh at rharosh@sdja.com.

Thank you in advance for supporting the Kayefet program and making it a success!

Kayefet Session # 3 Details

March 14th – June 15th

GLMS - News You Can Use


Our next Tribe Activities for 2nd-5th graders scheduled for Friday, May 19th.  Please be sure your child wears their tribe shirt. 

Future Tribe Activities will take place on:  June 9th

Lost Jacket? Check Labels!

Please be sure to check the labels on all outerwear to make sure that the pieces of clothing that come home belong to your child. It is easy for children to accidentally grab the wrong sweater or fleece jacket, so it is important to periodically check the inside label.

Weekly Programs

Please join us as we begin each week together with our Monday morning Modeh Ani ceremony on the steps at 8:05am.  Then join us Friday afternoons to welcome Shabbat with our Kabbalat Shabbat program in the Ulam at 2:15pm.

After School Childcare

The school year has started and that means aftercare is now available! All GMLS students are welcome. If you are interested in learning more about aftercare services, have questions or inquiries please contact our aftercare coordinator, at AfterSchoolCare@sdja.com.

SDJA School Calendar

Click here to download the NEW 2017-18 Calendar!

GLMS - Mark Your Calendar

4/10-4/21 – No School Passover/Spring Break

4/24    8:00 am – School Resumes

4/24    10:30 am – 5th grade Yom Hashoah Program

4/26    6:30-7:30 pm – K-6 Family Math Festival Night

5/1     Yom Ha’zikaron

5/2     Yom Ha’atzmaut

5/2     9:30 am – Yom Ha’atzmaut Flag Ceremony

5/3     8:00 am – Coffee Talk w/Kelley King

5/3     2:00 pm – 2nd Grade Community Workers Program


Early Childhood Center

On Pesach We Eat Matza! Lotsa, Lotsa Matzah!

Oh yes, we do! The crunching and munching of Matzah is a time-honored and delicious necessity at this time of year. Pesach is my favorite Jewish holiday, not only because it means that there is lots of food to go around, but mainly because it gives our families occasion to be together. We gather in our respective communities, share our selves, our food, catch up on news and enjoy each other’s company. It is a wonderful thing that Passover lasts for 8 days as those days give us a chance to visit with many people.

At the ECC we celebrated Passover this year with a seder in our classes. We sang, shared and parents joined their children during lunchtime. It was a sweet day. As you unpack your Pesach presents from your children this year, think of the work and love that went into each stroke of the brush, the pride that went into each cut of the scissors.

We here at the SDJA Beit Yeladim and Preschool wish your family a most joyful Passover 2017!

Chag sameach,


Passover in the ECC

This past week the ECC was alive with Passover Seders! The children loved singing, eating and seeing mom and dad! Click here to watch our slideshow video!

Summer Camp - Now Enrolling!

Come join us for up to 8 weeks of SUMMER FUN! Our weekly themes include:

Camp Kickoff, Party in the USA, Finding Nemo, Star Wars, Super Heroes, Disney Adventures, Crazy Camp, and Rock Stars!

Everyday is a fun day and learning with Messy Mondays, Technology Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, Theater Thursdays and Funny Fridays – with a Jumpy and Shabbat Party!!

We are offering both a Preschool Camp AND a Beit Yeladim Camp! Click here for complete details!

PJ Library - A Great Resource!

Looking for a way to nurture the parent-child bond and strengthen your child’s Jewish identity? Read them a book!

Brought to San Diego by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the PJ Library (yes, for pajama) provides children from six months to seven years with a Jewish children’s book or CD every month at no cost!

We are excited to announce that we will now enroll children through age 8!

ECC Enrichments - Now Enrolling

Registration is now OPEN for Spring Enrichments. Click here to sign up!

Monday: Cooking, Soccer

Tuesday: Magic and Hip Hop

Wednesday: Basketball and Yoga

Thursday: Ballet and Tumble Gym Bus

Friday: P.E.R.K. (Physical Education Recreational Klub)

ECC - Mark Your Calendar

April 11,12,17,18: Preschool Closed (Pesach)

April 13, 14: Preschool Closed (Pesach Camp)

April 19: Preschool Resumes


May 29: Preschool Closed (Shavuot)

May 31: Preschool Closed (Shavuot Camp)


June 1: Preschool Closed (Shavuot Camp)

June 14: Last Day of Preschool

June 15, 16: Preschool Closed

June 19: First Day of Summer Camp


SDJA Lions - Athletics

Fall Sports!!

Fall Sports Starting Dates

While the beginning of the 2017-18 school year seems far off at this point, it will be here before we know it.  See below for a list of practice start dates for the fall season of sport for high school, as well as the mandatory parent meeting date for these sports as well.

High School Girls Volleyball

First Practice: August 14th, 2017 in the SDJA gym 8am-10am

Mandatory Parent Meeting: August 21st, 2017 in the SDJA gym 5pm-5:30pm

High School Girls Tennis

First Practice: August 14th, 2017 on the SDJA tennis courts 1:30pm-3pm

Mandatory Parent Meeting: August 22nd on the SDJA tennis courts 4:30pm-5pm

High School Football

First Practice: August 14th, 2017 on the SDJA field 8am-10am

Mandatory Parent Meeting: August 24th in the Quad 5:30pm-6pm

High School Boys & Girls Cross Country

First Practice: August 14th, 2017 meet at Lake Miramar 8am-10am

Mandatory Parent Meeting: August 29th in the Quad 4:30pm-5pm


Stefanie Hill, Athletic Director

PTO – Parent Teacher Organization

PTO Highlights

ECC: Our Next Meeting is Scheduled for Thursday, April 27th



  • School Supplies for next year! More information, coming soon!
  • April 26th: Math Festival: more information to come!
  • May 7th: Family Fun Bowling event: Sunday 1pm-3pm. Evite Invitation has been sent out. Please as soon as you know, RSVP is mandatory in order to attend. We hope everyone in GMLS can come. 
  • Anyone interested in PTO next year?! Make your life more meaningful  – no better way than to volunteer!

PTO MEETINGS: GMLS, Times: 8:15 am – 9:00 am

May 4th – Last one: BLDG A, Conference room next to reception.

Thank you from your GMLS PTO!


MUS: Join us for the 1 Mile Friendship Walk San Diego to raise funds and community involvement for children and adults with special needs.

For more information and to register (free until May 7th) just click here.

When you register please be sure to join the San Diego Jewish Academy team which you will find on the list of teams.

MUS PTO would like to wish all of our families a safe Spring break, and a Chag Sameach and Happy Pesach!!

Photo of the Week

Mazal tov to Jeremy Toren, Director of Jewish Life and Judaic Studies, MUS and his wife Jennifer on the birth of their son, Andrew William, Aviad Tzvi Ze’ev

Welcome to the SDJA family baby Andrew!

Jewish Community Events

  • Desert Caravan - New Jazz from Israel and Beyond - April 12
  • Cyber Security - Dor Hadash - April 23
  • K-6 Math Festival - April 26
  • READI (Recovery Education Alcohol Drug Instruction) Program - May 3
  • Tacos & Tequila - May 4th
  • The Tribes of Israel - Beth Am - May 11
  • Friendship Circle Walk/Yom Ha'atzmaut/IsraelFest at SDJA! - May 21
  • Junior Achievement Summer Camps


New Jazz from Israel and Beyond! - SDSU - April 12

Click here for more detailed information.

Cyber Security - Dor Hadash - April 23

K-6 Math Festival at SDJA - April 26

READI (Recovery Education Alcohol Drug Instruction) Program - May 3

The San Dieguito Union High School District’s READI (Recovery Education Alcohol Drug Instruction) Program will be hosting at Torrey Pines High School a presentation on “New Drug and Marijuana Trends”. The event will take place on May 3, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in the TPHS Gymnasium. The main speaker will be Sarah Urfer, a Forensic Specialist on drug and alcohol issues. This event is not only available to SDUHSD staff, students and their parents, it is also open to all in the entire community.

Join Us for Tacos & Tequila! May 4th

The Tribes of Israel - Beth Am - May 11

Friendship Circle Walk / Yom Ha'atzmaut / IsraelFest at SDJA - May 21

Junior Achievement Summer Camps

We are excited to announce open registration for our JA Summer Camps!

JA BizTown Summer Camp – 3 available weeks!

AGES: 4th-6th Grade

WHEN: July 10th -14th,  July 17th -21st, or July 24th -28th

TIME: Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm

COST: $255


JA Finance Park Summer Camp – 1 available week!

AGES: 6th-8th Grade

WHEN: July 10th -14th

TIME: Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm

COST: $255

Visit our website for more information and registration.

We look forward to seeing your campers again this year!


A Touch of Torah

Where is Moses in the Haggada? By Rabbi Nathan Laufer

Moses plays a central role throughout the biblical story that the Passover Seder and the Haggada re-enact. It is therefore rather strange that in the Haggada’s narrative of the story, Moses’s name appears only once,[1] and that, in an obscure, secondary role, as a proof text for another point that the Haggada is making.[2] Why is Moses virtually invisible in the Haggada?

To understand why Moses is hidden in the Haggada’s retelling of the Exodus story, we have to turn to two events in the Book of Exodus. First, when the people, after leaving Egypt, journey in the desert and run out of food, they come running to Moses and Aaron to complain. Strikingly, the people ask them accusingly why they took the people out of Egypt if they were fated to perish 30 days later of starvation in the desert. Moses parries their complaints by assuring them that God would provide food for them and rebukes them, insisting that their complaints be directed against God, [3] “for who are we that you lodge your complaints against us”? (Ex.16:7).

Apparently, Moses understood that there was some confusion among the people about who actually took them out of Egypt. Later on, in the events that led up to the Golden Calf, the people said to Aaron: “Make us a god that will lead us, for this man, Moses, who took us out of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Ex. 32:1). Apparently, here too, in even starker form, the people seem to believe that Moses is the Divine being who took them out of Egypt.

For this reason, the participants of the Seder, who imagine themselves on the night of Passover as having been themselves liberated from Egypt,[4] leave Moses out of the story. His role in the Exodus is minimized so that God’s role is maximized in the retelling. This is also why Elijah makes an unexpected appearance in the story prior to the prayer, “Pour out thy Wrath,” right before Hallel, the next to last item in the Passover Seder. Elijah is invoked to represent Moses in disguise. Elijah was the fierce prophet of God who, like Moses, had a revelation at Mount Horeb/Sinai and who faced down the idolaters of his generation.[5] Just as Moses had to wear a mask after he came down from Mount Sinai with the second set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments, so that the people would not be blinded by his radiant presence,[6] in the Haggada, he must also be “masked,” hidden, disguised as Elijah, so that his radiant visage does not blind the Seder participants to God’s Presence.

The point and purpose of Passover and its reliving of the biblical events that it commemorates, is to firmly anchor the people’s relationship with God. It is to remember God’s redemption of the Jewish people when no human being, not even as great a “miracle worker” as Moses,[7] could or would rescue them. As the author of the Haggada states at the beginning of Maggid: “If the Holy One, blessed be He, had not taken us out of Egypt, then we, and our children, and our children’s children would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt.” Moses is hidden in the Afikoman and made virtually invisible in the Haggada to instill in us today an attitude of gratitude to God for His redemption of our people. We rendezvous with God at our Passover Seder, as God rendezvoused with our ancestors on the night of the Exodus from Egypt. We are only Jews today because of those saving events of three millennia ago and because of the Bible’s story of those events, which has been passed down to us from generation to generation.

Excerpted from: Rendezvous with God: Revealing the Meaning of the Jewish Holidays and their Mysterious Rituals, by Rabbi Nathan Laufer, Maggid Press 2016.

Reprinted with permission of the author, Founding Director of the Advanced Institute of Judaic Studies at SDJA.

[1] In the Ashkenazic Haggada; in the Sephardic version Moses’s name does not appear even that one time.

[2] In the proof text cited by R. Yose Hagelili in the Maggid section for how many plagues occurred at the sea, citing the verse: “And they believed in God and in his servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31).

[3] Ex. 16: 3, 7, 8

[4] As the Haggada says toward the end of Maggid: “In every generation, each person is to see himself as if he left Egypt.”

[5] I Kings: 18-19

[6] Ex. 34: 29-35.

[7] See the epitaph to Moses in Deut. 34: 11-12.