The recent N.E. Miles Jewish Day School graduation ceremony in Birmingham was a celebration of what makes the school unique. Graduates spoke about how their education has created their strong identity, impacted their understanding of the world, and taught them what it means to be a leader. The below is what four students had to say about their time at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School.
“This school has prepared me to become a great leader, role model, and a hard worker. I have learned that knowing about history and the world today is so important in our society. Just recently our class visited Selma with other students from Jewish day schools around the country where we learned about segregation and the Edmund Pettus Bridge. At the end of the bridge I saw the unknown soldier and the unknown hero. I learned that it doesn’t matter if your name is remembered, what matters is that you are remembered for doing something good.
“My favorite project at the Day School was the Names, Not Numbers© program where we interviewed Holocaust survivors. My class and I learned so much about the Holocaust through the deep conversations we had with the survivors. All of these important experiences have taught me that being a leader and a role model is not just for me, it’s for others too.” – Elad Sebbag
“In thinking about my time at the Day School, one theme keeps coming back to me. Not Judaic pride and knowledge, though this certainly is a big part of what we learn at the Day School. Not the strength of the secular studies program, though we certainly have the best teachers at the Day School. Not the extra boost we get from the music, art, PE, or mindfulness program, although they are all an important part of our school experience. No, none of these…no, the theme that I keep thinking about is diversity.
“Here in our small day school where we live and breathe Jewish values and receive the best education, I got to meet a diverse and fascinating group of friends. Kayla was born in China, Ella’s dad is from Israel, and her Mom is from South America, and she speaks Spanish to her parents, and I could go on and on. I didn’t just go to school with these people of different backgrounds — they are part of my life. At the Day School, I got to know people from many backgrounds who have many different life journeys, and I am a better person for it.” -Esty Friedman
“I have spent five amazing years at the Day School! I have learned a lot academically and a lot about myself. The Day School prepared me so well that it gave me the confidence and curiosity to try a program this past year in Switzerland. There, I learned many valuable lessons in and out of the classroom. Before I came to the day school, I had limited knowledge of what it means to be Jewish. As I learned about Jews throughout history, I felt a greater connection to them and realized that being Jewish means much more to me now.
“The Day School has also taught me that learning can be fun. Learning doesn’t just have to come out of a textbook, it can come from reading, class discussions, experiences, projects, etc. From learning in Philadelphia and Washington D.C, to taking civil rights trips to understand America’s harsh past, to discussions in English class about a current book, to interviewing Holocaust survivors, to the Mishpacha (family) program, to many Rube Goldberg machines, my years at the Day School have been full of great experiences.” -Sofia Sigman
“Since I was in first grade I have been in a Jewish Day School. It has been my world, and I really never wanted it to change. It means so much to me that my parents cared enough to send me to a Jewish Day School because it gave me the chance to learn about my people and the struggles they went through. I feel like every Jewish kid should have the chance to get the same Jewish education. The education I received taught me a lesson… that lesson is to always be Jewish. A Jewish education is the best thing a child can get.” -Ryan Diamond
The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School community is proud of all of its graduates, and looks forward to the continued impact they will have on our community and our world. The Birmingham Jewish Federation and the Birmingham Jewish Foundation are proud to support the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School through our annual campaign and Foundation funds.