CESJDS embraces new movement to encourage kindness during Kislev


photo by Matthew Rabinowitz

A bulletin board outside Director of Jewish Life Stephanie Hoffman’s office includes a month-long calendar of activities to promote the #kislevisforkindness movement and suggestions of positive actions from students.

Matthew Rabinowitz, Assistant Opinion Editor

Throughout the Jewish month of Kislev, CESJDS has embraced a new initiative called #kislevisforkindness, which encourages kind acts during the month that includes Hanukkah.

Announced by Director of Jewish Life Stephanie Hoffman during Kabbalat Shabbat two weeks ago, JDS has showcased the movement’s official calendar, which features a small act of kindness to accomplish for every day of the month, outside Hoffman’s office.

In addition to the calendar, there are also sticky-notes that students can write on anonymously to give ideas for more kind acts and detail various acts of kindness that they have accomplished.

Some of these daily acts include letting someone go in front of you in a line, donating food, thanking teachers and even holding the door for someone.

Hoffman created the interactive bulletin board in order for students to inspire others to be kind.

“And, so, let’s use this opportunity, right, that’s inspiring and provides a little bit of inspiration … of what I could do,” Hoffman said. “Why not then be able to share that out? So that was what the interactive bulletin board was about. It was really just a place to be able to put inspiration for other people.

Originally started by two Jewish women living in Silver Spring, Md., the movement has spread to different Jewish schools, synagogues and community centers around the country.

JDS Learning specialist and friend of the movement’s founders Brett Kugler believes that this initiative is very meaningful because of the kindness it encourages and because it is a way to appreciate Hanukkah’s miracles.

“They came up with this idea because Kislev is for kindness is catchy, it’s something that we all are already motivated to do because we all have a desire to be kind and find ways to give our kindness,” Kugler said. “They made it very approachable in that it’s a calendar with easy-to accomplish but still very meaningful tasks.”

Freshman Zach Abrams believes that the movement is a great way to bond as a Jewish community in the wake of recent tragedies but wishes that Hoffman had spoken about it more in addition to a simple announcement at Kabbalat Shabbat.

“Honestly, I forgot that this was even a thing. I think that it’s an amazing idea for the school as a whole, but I wish that it had been emphasized or spread around more,” Abrams said.  

More information on the movement can be found on its website, https://kislevisforkindness.com.