The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Justice Takes Center Stage at Jewish Middle School Yom Iyun

The path towards academic excellence at the Jewish Middle School is not just about hitting the books – it is a journey marked by exploration and personal empowerment. At the heart of this ethos is the Yom Iyun program, an initiative JMS began earlier this year.  

Translating to 'a day of study,' Yom Iyun offers students a dedicated platform to delve deeply into subjects that resonate with their lives and interests.  

Last fall, JMS kicked off its inaugural Yom Iyun, built around the theme of harvest. This month, the spotlight has shifted to the concept of justice. 

As part of the Yom Iyun, students stepped out of their classrooms and visited Nashville's Federal Courthouse. There, they met with Henry Leventis, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, and the Magistrate, Judge Alistair Newbern. Leventis and Judge Newbern peeled back the layers of the federal justice system for students, shedding light on the profound importance of accountability. Leventis was impressed by the JMS students, applauding their engaging demeanor and probing questions that cut to the heart of the Justice Department's work. 

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JMS student Hank Newman tries out the judge’s seat, while fellow student Edwin Gordetsky is sworn in, while touring the Federal Courthouse.

Back at JMS, students delved into Jewish texts, exploring the intricacies of terminology used to describe justice. They debated the finer points of recent cases adjudicated by the US Supreme Court, and created vibrant illustrated interpretations of the Bill of Rights 

Rabbi Daniel Hoffman, the Co-Head of School at JMS is passionate about igniting students’ curiosity and giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential learning. He explained the objective of the Yom Iyun on justice. “Our aim is to instill in students a comprehensive understanding of justice across various contexts and allow them the chance to bring their own perspectives to the discussion.”  Co-Head of School Alene Arnold adds that the Yom Iyun program, “offers students the opportunity to explore subjects from multiple angles and perspectives. Through a diverse array of mediums, students get to engage with the material in ways that resonate deeply with their individual passions and interests.” 

The Yom Iyun program is a pedagogical game-changer. By immersing themselves in experiential learning, students are not just expanding their minds – they're diving headfirst into a world of curiosity and learning. And as they grapple with complex topics, they are not just absorbing knowledge – they are shaping the very fabric of tomorrow's leaders. Yom Iyun is about empowering students, fueling their passions, and molding them into the informed, conscientious leaders that our world so desperately needs. 


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