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365 Days Later

Recently, during a casual conversation, I was reminded of the song from the Broadway Pulitzer Prize play Rent, “Seasons of Love,“ the chorus of which is:

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure,

Measure a year?

In daylights?

In sunsets?

In midnights?

In cups of coffee?

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife? In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure a year in a life?

The song caused me to reflect on the past 365 days since the term COVID-19 became a strangely familiar part of our daily language, routines, and plans and I want to share some of my thoughts with you.

So, how do we measure the past year at The Hebrew Academy?

Was it the very successful pivot to a virtual learning model on March 17, 2020, in just two days?

Is it in the number of temperature screenings we performed over the past year?

Or perhaps, the number of face masks we have distributed?

Maybe the number of plexi glass sneeze guards we assembled and installed throughout the school?

Or the number of driveby birthdays or Google Meet meetings?

Maybe it is the many months spent researching and purchasing the equipment, materials, technology, supplies, etc., and making the physical changes and improvements to the school so that we could safely return to in person learning in September?Is it the number of days it took us to be able to to recognize our students and staff under the guise of a mask?

Was it the 12,000 (and growing) times we reviewed the daily health screening questions?

Or maybe the many technical skills we honed in order to not cancel any of our THA traditional school programs, including Seders, Shavuot, Kabbalat HaSiddur, and most impressively graduation?

Is it the opportunity to offer some students the ability to continue to learn virtually?

How do you measure the success of our 5 day a week, in person learning that only experienced a few limited interruptions this year?

Is it the dedication and perseverance of our incomparable staff and faculty?

Or perhaps the resiliency of our awesome students?

Is it our unwavering commitment to fulfilling our mission to educate our students to become the best that they can be?

Was it the countless challenges we faced and overcame as a community?

The song reminds us that life is not measured in time, but in the moments spent and with whom. Now, more than ever we recognize the value of being part of The Hebrew Academy family. We have indeed spent the last 365 days together, whether it was laughing or crying, hand holding or hugging through the computer screen, celebrating or mourning, learning through trial and error, picking each other up, and celebrating each other’s successes.

As we approach the 365th day since the world changed forever, let us resolve to be grateful for each and every minute of each and every day.

May the next 365 days (and years!) bring us much good health and success!

Shabbat Shalom,

Yoti Golan

Head of School

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