Arts Chai-Lights takes place with contributions from across the JDS community


Photo by Alec Silberg, Dimensions

Eighth graders Josh Dori and Tyler Portnoy perform during the Art Chai-Lights celebration.

Nini Panner and Simon Albert

Students, staff and parents were transfixed, as they walked through the door of the CESJDS building and were met with the sights and sounds of Arts Chai Lights. Visitors of all ages buzzed through the hallway, eager to see and participate in as many exhibitions as possible. 

Arts Chai Lights is an end of year creative culmination unique to CESJDS. All extended community members were invited for an evening of creative festivities on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, with a variety of artistic creations that were on display for all ages. 

This year’s event was particularly special for the community because it was the first in-person Arts Chai Lights in three years due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many of the students who were featured had never participated nor been to the event itself. 

These eight hours of entertainment cover the entire school building, and include singing, dancing, daglanut, stem and artwork displayed throughout the Cardo. Third-grade parent Carrie Fibel noted the “impressive array of artistic possibilities.”

The preparation for Arts Chai Lights was a labor of love for both faculty and students to make the night truly meaningful, led by the Debra Herman Berger Director of Arts Education David Solomon.

There is almost eight hours of entertainment going on simultaneously crammed into two hours,” Solomon said. “It’s a lot of the faculty members getting together, sharing what’s been done during the course of a year.”

Solomon made sure everyone, including both those in the upper and lower schools, had an opportunity to participate in the event. Juniors crafted pottery, seventh-graders weaved with Upper School Visual Arts Teacher Jessie Nathan Nathans, and elementary school band students performed their long-practiced pieces. Even Head of Security Shai Halevi presented a painting of his. 

“I love that the faculty can show their own artwork. I think that that is a really good thing for the kids to see, even faculty who aren’t art teachers to see all the different things their teachers do,” Fibel said. 

Sophomore and Co-Captain of the Varsity Dance Team, Abby Greenberg, led two performances for families, friends and faculty. This was her first year participating in Arts Chai Lights. 

“The dance club will be performing a routine that we’ve been working on over the past season,” Greenberg said. “I am excited to perform what we’ve been working on but also to see my peers and classmates perform what they’ve been working so hard on as well.” 

The evening ended in a finale of all the high school groups performing in the theater. Accompanied by the band, the High school choirs sang “Go Down Moses,” a powerful ending to the vibrant night.