A response from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

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By Rabbi Mitchel Malkus

Also be sure to check out “An open letter to the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.”


CESJDS engages students in exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish studies. Our integrated education helps raise confident and compassionate thinkers who apply Jewish values in the world and ensures a vibrant Jewish future. To that end, we teach our students to be independent and critical thinkers, expose them to a variety of perspectives and ideas and prepare them to discuss matters openly and respectfully. The School’s core values of K’dushah (Holiness), V’ahavta L’rei-akha (Love Your Neighbor), K’hillah (Community), and Pluralism lead us to embrace diversity and inclusion.

CESJDS’ world-class faculty employ an inquiry approach that fosters independent and critical thinking, welcomes questioning and exploration, promotes open and respectful discussion and introduces multiple perspectives. Issues of race and racism in society are complex. Our faculty engage students on a thoughtful exploration of these subjects, always rooted in Jewish values and linked to CESJDS’ unique position as a leading community Jewish day school.

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A CESJDS education is unique and transformative. Our approach to issues of great societal magnitude has, for over 50 years, helped shape outstanding graduates who develop their own views and ideas based on their study of history and their own experiences as Jews within that broader history. We are proud of our diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice efforts, which are based on Jewish values and introduced through the prisms of Jewish history and tradition. These efforts forge an inclusive, welcoming, diverse community, teaching students to discuss complex matters civilly and preparing them to lead meaningful Jewish lives that contribute positively to our community and world.

We welcome a conversation directly with the authors to discuss their views and to share the School’s educational approach. We invite them to visit CESJDS so that they can learn what is taught and how students engage critically on issues of race so they will have a full and complete picture.


Rabbi Mitchel Malkus is the head of school at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.

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