The seventh graders presented checks to 22 non-profit organizations this morning, the culmination of the yearlong Tzedek Project—an iconic BHDS project that was recently featured in the book The Opposite of Spoiled. Throughout the year, seventh graders listened to guest speakers from various organizations, experienced a tzedek-themed outdoor education trip, and finally put their studies into action by researching and presenting to their classmates about 22 non-profit organizations. The class gave donations of $324 (18 times 18) to 17 of the organizations, and as a class foundation, they determined which 5 organizations received $5,000 impact grants. In total, the class donated over $30,000. With the help of Amanda Silber Levitt, who has facilitated a similar process at the Jewish Federation to help them allocate funds, the students arrived at a set of shared criteria to evaluate the organizations through individual and small group thinking. The five organizations to receive impact grants were: Alive & Free, Berkeley Lab Foundation, Dr. Hodes’ Clinic (JDC), Potential Energy, and World of Children. Click HERE for a list of all organizations that received donations.
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Reviving a BHDS musical tradition from years ago, Tuesday evening's School Spring Concert felt like a "first-ever" event. The lower school band, middle school band, and lower school chorus performed to a packed audience of parents and families. The audience was serenaded with songs that shared the themes of peace, gratitude, and humor, and included "Some Nights," "Hey Jude," and Pompeii." A light reception followed the performances. The concert was a smashing success! Band teacher Matthew DePasquale and music teacher Kimberly Lostetter hope this becomes an annual event.
"We wanted to give students an opportunity to showcase the music that they have been learning and working on all semester," said Ms. Lostetter. "It was such a great event that had more of a formal performance feel to it, and the students really stood up to the challenge. I couldn't be more proud of the students and their performance." MORE PHOTOS
(Thanks to Shelley Friedman and Ruth Katz for photos)
For the third year in a row, BHDS-SF participated in Bike to School Day. On Friday, May 8, twenty families strapped on their helmets and hopped on their bikes for their journey to school. Fifth grade teacher (and former first grade teacher) Kelly McDonough has organized this day for the past two years with her first grade classes, but decided this year to expand it to the whole school. This day is just another example of how we live our core values every day; what better way to embody tikkun olam than to bike to school and bring awareness to green alternatives to driving.
"I worked with members of the environment committee (Debbie Sweet, Liz Diamond, and Shannon Atlas) to organize this event because we think it's important for kids and families to have an opportunity to experience life on two wheels," said Ms. McDonough. "Bicycling is good for the planet, the community, and for the rider, so we were happy to organize this event for BHDS families to get together...It was a success!"