Posted on Dec 17, 2019
Head of Charles E. Smith Day School of Greater Washington DC
Gershon Kekst Graduate School ’91, The Rabbinical School ’99, The William Davidson School ’01, Day School Leadership Training Institute Mentor
Rabbi Mitchel Malkus says that attending a Jewish day school strengthened not only his Jewish identity but that of his family. “My parents became involved in leadership at the school, and they started advancing their own Jewish education because of it,” recalls Malkus. “That’s why I do this work, because I believe it’s the most significant Jewish educational endeavor that exists in the United States.”
As head of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington DC, Malkus strives to have an equally significant impact on students and their families, instilling in them “a strong connection to the Jewish community, a deep Jewish identity, and the tools to navigate life based on fundamental Jewish values.” And with approximately 1,000 current students and 3,000+ alumni, the school’s impact on Jewish life in America is profound.
Malkus asserts the competencies cultivated through Jewish education have never been more relevant. “Twenty-first century skills—collaboration, critical analysis, diverse thought—all emerge from traditional Jewish learning, from deep Torah study, from grappling with varied opinions in the Talmud and to the Torah text. This is why Jewish day schools are a training ground for innovation and success.”