community: alumni

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Stay Connected

Are you a JDS alum? If so, we’d love to hear from you and for you to stay connected to JDS and our ever-growing network of alumni. Drop us a note and tell us what you’re up to at

Alumni Spotlight

Josh Niehaus, Class of 1997
Josh Niehaus is both a IDS alum and IDS' Kehillah leader and music elective teacher. Read to find out how he reconnected with the IDS community and why he continues to support our school.
As a student at JDS, I made amazing friends and had a lot of fun experiences. One memory that jumps out is being on the inaugural JDS basketball team. While we were a small team and didn’t win very often, we always put up a good fight, and it was fun to represent JDS. As an adult, I came back to JDS because I was asked to play music, but I keep coming back week after week because of the community, great teachers, and kind students. IDS is a really happy place and it feels great to be a part of it. Teachers let every unique personality flourish, allowing the students to feel comfortable being themselves and accepting of each other’s differences. It is a special place because people treat each other with so much respect. Get involved by attending one of the JDS alumni events! Now that I am back at JDS, I plan to attend more alumni events and the annual fundraiser, a cause which has a direct impact on fostering Jewish identities and helping to raise kind people.
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Julia Kroopkin
Jewish Day School - Children in the classroom
Julia Kroopkin ('21) shares how she has become an active steward and leader in the Seattle area and beyond, using the skills, passion, and Jewish values she cultivated as a student at JDS.
I am a sophomore at Gibson Ek High School, a project-based choice school in Issaquah. I am extremely passionate about activism, social justice, history, and education, and involved in several different organizations and groups.
For the past two years, I have been a part of the organization Teens Encouraging Community Health (TECH), a youth coalition of Influence the Choice. TECH is a nonprofit, anti-drug coalition focusing on mental health, and prevention and intervention of substance misuse for teens in our community.
I have also been involved with the Action Forum for Youth, the King County Youth Bill of Rights Task Force, Interact Club of Issaquah, the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, and the Immigrant Women’s Community Center.
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Michaela ('10) and Claire ('08) Covner
Jewish Day School - college attendance

Michaela shares:
I am currently working as the Registration and Community Engagement Coordinator at Camp Solomon Schechter. Prior to the pandemic, I bought and remodeled a condo on Mercer Island and currently live there with my dog, Charlie. While COVID-19 certainly impacted me, I was very fortunate to continue working for CSS throughout this challenging time. With our camp team, I aided in providing 20 plus online programs a week throughout summer 2020. And after a year full of pivoting and planning, we are excitingly gearing up to reopen next month and welcome over 450 campers back to camp.

I remember the JDS community most fondly. The friends I made at JDS are still my best friends to this day, and the relationships I built with my teachers left a lasting impact. JDS played a pivotal role in my academic success and Jewish identity. The education at JDS truly set me up for success.

To this day, I still refer to the foundations I learned from Hamorah Donna when writing, and the mathematical techniques I learned from Hamorah Susan when calculating metrics at work. And on top of all the educational benefits I gained from JDS, JDS solidified my love for Judaism and led me to a career in Jewish non-profit work. After JDS, I attended Northwest Yeshiva High School and then went on to the University of Washington, where I graduated Cum Laude with a BA in International Studies. After graduating from UW, I worked as a Youth Director for United Synagogue Youth (USY) and Herzl-Ner Tamid before joining the full-time team at Camp Solomon Schechter. Throughout high school and college, I worked as a religious school teacher and B’nai Mitzvah tutor at both Herzl-Ner Tamid and Temple Beth Am. While I no longer teach religious school, I still work with a handful of students individually to prepare them for their bar and bat mitzvahs.

From Claire:
I am currently pursuing my MBA at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. I just finished up my first year (of two) and am about to start my summer internship with Estee Lauder Companies in the e-commerce supply chain. I’ve been living in Ann Arbor, MI since last August and am staying here through the summer and next school year. While my academic experience this past year was certainly impacted by COVID-19, I don’t regret making the decision to start my MBA in 2020. I have gotten a lot out of the program so far, both personally and professionally, and could not be happier at Ross. At JDS, I remember the teachers and my class most fondly. I loved going through school with my class and still have friendships (in and out of my year) from my time at JDS to this day. I also have some pretty strong specific memories of different milestones, events, and even school assignments.

JDS – both the people and curriculum – played a really formative role and provided the foundation for my Jewish identity. I learned strong Jewish (and universal) values at JDS, which complemented what I was taught at home growing up, which are still values I live by today.

After JDS, I attended Interlake High School. I then went on to the University of Washington for undergrad, where I studied business administration. After graduating from UW, I worked at Nordstrom for four years in its corporate headquarters supporting merchandise operations and order management. This past year, I started the Full-Time MBA program at the University of Michigan and that’s where I am now. Throughout high school, I was a B’nai Mitzvah tutor and religious school TA at Herzl-Ner Tamid, and during college and prior to moving away, I was also a tutor and a religious school teacher at Temple Beth Am.

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Alumni Events

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Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Update
Alumni Newsletter Winter 2024
Jewish Day School - School Auction
Alumni Newsletter Spring 2023
Jewish Day School - Faculty and Staff
Alumni Newsletter Winter 2023
Jewish Day School - Children in the classroom
JDS Journeys- Alumni News Spring 2021
Jewish Day School - Children in the classroom
JDS Journeys - Alumni News Fall 2020
Jewish Day School - Children in the classroom
JDS Journeys- Alumni News Summer 2020

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Support JDS by making a contribution or attending our annual spring Auction & Gala.