Showing posts from September, 2016
You Have to “Got Time for the Pain”

Mine is almost 12 years old.  It’s a white, cloth bag that I got on a college reunion weekend in Ann Arbor.  It’s my shul bag.  And if you ask my kids, they could identify it in an instant.  Over the years, it has carried talises, candies, tissues, and books from  On Repentance  to  Hop on Pop.  Truth is, what we carry in our bags, tells a lot about us as we move through the years of our lives.  -
As we pack our metaphorical bags, especially the ones we take with us on the Yamim Noraim, we pack lots of emotions as well.  We enter this time of year with fear, awe, hopes, dreams, regret and joy. But there is one emotion that most of us do not associate easily with this time of the year - - the emotion of pain. 
Andrew Solomon in his book Noonday Demon, quotes a Russian expression that says, “If you wake up feeling no pain, you know you are dead.”   This quote makes me think a lot about the role not of physical pain, but of emotional pain in our lives. In…
The Blessed Laboratory that is the Jewish School
In his poem entitled, "Ha'matmid,” Chayim Nachman Bialik described the role of the Jewish school in four words, בית יצירה לנשמת האומה - "The laboratory for the creation of our nation's soul."

I have spent my entire life surrounded by the value of Jewish education.  I grew up in a family of rabbis, teachers, Jewish camp staffers and Day School administrators.  I attended a pluralistic community Day School in the Washington, D.C. area from kindergarten through high school. And I have been blessed to spend most of my professional life in the day school, this בית יצירה לנשמת האומה, as a teacher and administrator for the past fifteen years.   

And it is Bialik’s description that guides much of my vision for the Jewish Day School.

While Jewish youth groups and camps do amazing things to enrich Jewish identity, there is no other space with the constancy of the school. It is the Jewish Day School where Jewish children spend a…