Davis Academy Partners with Jewish Youth Pledge
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Davis Academy Partners with Jewish Youth Pledge

All 55 students in graduating class sign pledge, committing to stay involved in the Jewish community.

The Davis Academy became the first Jewish day school to partner with the Jewish Youth Pledge. All 55 of the school’s graduating eighth graders have made the commitment to stay involved in Jewish culture throughout their lives. // Photo Credit: Jewish Future Pledge
The Davis Academy became the first Jewish day school to partner with the Jewish Youth Pledge. All 55 of the school’s graduating eighth graders have made the commitment to stay involved in Jewish culture throughout their lives. // Photo Credit: Jewish Future Pledge

The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy recently became the first Jewish day school to partner with the Jewish Youth Pledge, the entirety of the school’s graduating class having committed to participate in the program.

The Youth Pledge, which features an educational component, is a global initiative whose goal is to motivate Jewish youth to remain active in the Jewish community throughout their lives.

As part of the learning module, each student wrote a letter to their future selves, outlining their hopes for the future of Jewish culture and their plans on how to realize their personal commitment to the pledge. The letters were then stored for posterity in a digital time capsule, which is owned and operated by the Youth Pledge. Every five years, over the course of the next two decades, The Youth Pledge will send a text to each signer of the pledge, reminding them of their commitment and to become active leaders in the wider Jewish community.

Davis Academy Class of 2022 graduate Daryn Mand was one of 55 graduating eighth graders who signed the pledge to stay involved in Judaism.

“I proudly signed the Jewish Youth Pledge because my commitment and sense of responsibility to ‘be Jewish’ is already so much a part of who I am,” Mand said. “I am proud to be Jewish and enjoy belonging to a Jewish community.”

Davis Academy Head of School Amy Shafron said, “This first endeavor with the Class of 2022 was a great start. We look forward to institutionalizing the pledge with future graduating classes by further integrating the idea into our curriculum, Middle School Leadership Training Institute and annual Israel experience.”

Rabbi Micah Lapidus, director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at The Davis Academy, said that the pledge “sends a clear message to our teens that we are looking to them to one day soon assume their rightful position as leaders of our Jewish community.”

Rabbi Micah Lapidus, director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at Davis, added that the Youth Pledge is a valuable resource in supporting educators, as it helps to instill Jewish identity in their students and create a vibrant Jewish future. “It sends a clear message to our teens that we are looking to them to one day soon assume their rightful position as leaders of our Jewish community,” Lapidus said.

The Jewish Youth Pledge is an offshoot of the Jewish Future Pledge, a global organization inspiring Jews from all walks of life to support the State of Israel and the larger Jewish community through donations.

Youth Pledge Founder and CEO Mike Leven said the Davis graduates’ commitments to the pledge come at a vulnerable time for Jewish culture in America, with reports of antisemitism on the rise.

“More than ever before, amidst rising antisemitism and internal disengagement, we must equip young people with the confidence to contribute to a strong Jewish future,” said JYP Founder and CEO Mike Leven. “I’m proud that The Davis Academy, which my own grandsons attended, is the first and I look forward to working with many more educational partners.”

“More than ever before, amidst rising antisemitism and internal disengagement, we must equip young people with the confidence to contribute to a strong Jewish future,” Leven said. “I’m proud that The Davis Academy, which my own grandsons attended, is the first and I look forward to working with many more educational partners.”

Youth Pledge COO Hadara Ishak also shared her excitement over the new partnership between Davis Academy and the Youth Pledge program.

“I’m thrilled to expand the Jewish Youth Pledge with The Davis Academy as our first school partner,” she said. “The academy and its students are committed to our values of community and tikkun olam, and these graduates face a critical time when Jewish values must be cemented as they immerse themselves in high schools across Atlanta and when they go to college, study abroad, pursue their careers and become leaders in their communities.”

Mand, the Davis Academy graduate, is passionate about her commitment to Judaism and the pledge.

“I hope to contribute to the Jewish future throughout my life by actively participating in the Jewish community,” she said.

Jewish Future Pledge administrators expect roughly $68 trillion will be passed down from donors to the next generation over the next quarter-century with $6.3 trillion allocated to charity. Pledge officials estimate that 20 percent of this allocation, or $1.26 trillion, will be given from Jewish donors.

For more information, visit Jewishfuturepledge.org.

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