2020 Leadership at Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School

Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School
Campus Rabbi Gavi Ziegler, teachers Leah Silman and Laura Collura, Principal T.J. Thomas and learners

Messages from Rabbi Gavi Ziegler, Campus Rabbi and T.J. Thomas, Principal of Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School.

Phyllis Jowell Campus Rabbi Rabbi Gavi Ziegler

During the holidays, someone asked me if I could give them one word to describe the Phyllis Jowell School. The word that resonated with me the most was ‘growth’. ‘Growth’ is referring not only to the physical numbers of our school.

Obviously at any school, over the course of the year one should witness the children as they mature, acquire more skills and become wiser by the day and Phyllis Jowell is no exception to that.

However, what is unique to Phyllis Jowell is the children’s attitude of wanting to learn more, as well as their eagerness to improve their skills and general knowledge. 

What are the ingredients that have contributed to making ‘growth’ the way I would describe the school?

The first ingredient I would say is Simcha, happiness. The Talmud tells us that a person only learns where his/her heart desires. (‘Happy’ would have been my second option for the one word to describe PJ). 

The second aspect that is a major contributor to this type of attitude is to have a ‘growth mindset’. Professor Carol Dweck, of Harvard University coined the term ‘fixed mindset and growth mindset’ to describe the underlying beliefs that people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe that they can get smarter, they put in extra effort which leads to greater achievement. 

Mr Thomas and myself look forward to partnering with our parents, staff and of course the students to continue fostering this special and distinct attitude found in the Phyllis Jowell School.

Phyllis Jowell Principal T.J.Thomas

I am most humbled to present my first address in The Jewish Chronicle as the Principal of Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School (PJJDS). I am delighted to be integrated into the Jewish Community in Cape Town. 

Our team is committed to ensuring that our children receive a balanced education and that the Jewish way and religion is integral to our schooling experience.

Our Campus Rabbi, Rabbi Gavi Ziegler, with whom I work very closely, ensures that the Jewish aspect of our children’s education receives proper attention and he guides us with great care and commitment.

Torah Im Derech Eretz, our motto, is not an after-thought but the guiding star which leads our educational processes and the way we do things at the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School. Torah with the way of the world and proper conduct is the ethos of our school in which we have confidence. In my opinion, there is no surer way to raise our children other than with the very Word of G-d being integral to their education.

We are proud to state that in addition to such a solid foundation, we follow the International Primary Curriculum which facilitates the acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding, as well as international mindedness (having an awareness of ourselves and others). Our students are given a holistic foundation that enables them to excel in any high schooling situation, wherever they may choose.

Our children at Phyllis Jowell are given the opportunity to express themselves through the arts, music and sport, hereby discovering themselves, exploring the world and enjoying life. Here children also learn from their outstanding role models i.e. the committed staff who exemplify sound ethics and values. Fun, happiness and warmth, are in the atmosphere at PJJDS.

Please feel free to visit our school to experience our beautiful school with its homely feel.

Visit the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School website www.phyllisjowell.org.za.

To read or download the full March issue PDF of the Chronicle, click here

To read the Editor’s column for March, click here

To read the most read article of the February issue, click here

Portal to the Jewish Community: to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites, click here


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