As an open and inclusive Jewish day school in the heart of Brooklyn, we strive to provide an unparalleled, modern academic home that is committed to the rich mosaic of Jewish life. We are committed to intentionally building this mosaic with our students, faculty, administration, and families through their diversity across ethnicity, race, nationality, Jewish identity and practice, interfaith family composition, sexual orientation, gender identity, life experiences, socio-economic status, perspectives and worldviews. We value the dignity and self-worth of each member of our community.
We believe in ensuring that our students are prepared to be global citizens who can be productive agents of change toward a more just world. Our core Jewish value of Openness/Elu v’Elu guides our work in building empathy, promoting tolerance, and valuing difference. We live this value daily at Senesh in our curriculum, programming, admissions, hiring, professional development, and dialogue with our broader community. It is integral to our ongoing journey/Masa as a school to embrace the complex conversation of diversity in the 21st century, which we believe will continue to make our school community even more vibrant and strong.
A Four-Step Approach to Increasing Diversity in Jewish Day Schools in Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools
In Grappling with Race, Jewish Schools Rethink Approach to Jews of Color in Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Book Fair: Jews Around the World Books
Parents are invited to check out our new Jews Around the World Book List online and order books that interest them. This list includes books about various Jewish communities that Senesh students are learning about in the classroom and that we are highlighting during Senesh holiday celebrations. Learn more about the books and order them here.
This is a special opportunity to voyage to new and perhaps unfamiliar lands as we read and discuss books by a diverse group of writers. The first book is The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride. This memoir weaves together McBride’s autobiography, recollections of his mother, and a reconstruction of her life as an Orthodox Jewish woman in interracial relationships in the southern United States and Harlem in the first half of the 20th century. We will discuss this book (and you can enjoy some bagels at home!) on Sunday, April 26th from 10-12am. Stay tuned for details.
Email Senesh parent Martha Nadell at email@example.com for more information or to RSVP.
Senesh has been working in partnership with Be’chol Lashon, an organization that supports learning around diversity and inclusivity within the Jewish community, to host several diversity initiatives throughout the year. Through a three-part diversity series, the Senesh parent body and local community explored Jewish identity, specifically as it relates to racial and ethnic diversity in the Jewish community. Be’chol Lashon also conducted a diversity training with our staff and as part of our goal to develop a holiday curriculum that includes customs and traditions of Jews of color and around the world, a small committee of Judaics teachers worked in partnership with Be’chol Lashon to update our K-8 holiday curriculum. With guidance from the Teaching Tolerance program, the K-8 social studies benchmarks and curriculum are being revised to reflect the goals set out in our diversity statement. We look forward to continuing this work, and to expanding benchmark revision to other curricula. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also led anti-bias workshops with our seventh and eighth graders, prompting many important and helpful conversations.In the past year, Senesh has held several events focused on diversity and inclusion, including:
Hanukkah Community Arts Event
MLK Day of Service
Sigd: A holiday among the Ethiopian-Jewish community
Simchat Torah with Indian dancing
Click here to read about our past events.