I recently had the pleasure of meeting with an alumni parent whose children were students in our school from 1989 until graduation. She called asking to pay us a visit and upon arrival wanted to know what the school had evolved into today, 30 years later.
Over the years, this family has generously supported our school through donations to our Annual Campaign. They made a commitment, sight unseen, to further Jewish education. They had unwavering faith in our school and their support enabled us to provide a unique value based program steeped in Jewish traditions and values.
It is hard to put into words her reaction to our present-day school. It was with great pride that I presented to her what we offer the next generation of Jewish leaders. As she toured the school, the beautiful faces of our students greeted her; many, often extending their hands to shake hers. From our youngest students to our graduating 8th graders, every student she met along the way made an impression upon her. How very proud I was of all of our students.
The expression on a students face when they finally grasps a concept, the exhilaration of their discovering a new talent, or the pride of living “Jewish-ly” cannot be adequately captured with a camera.
Nor can the camera capture the sense of wonderment, the feeling of accomplishment, the compassion, the spiritual exploration, or the acts of random kindness present at our school on a daily basis. These moments must be experienced in person.
And that is what this alumni parent experienced yesterday. That and so much more. Although the purpose of her visit was to catch up, it evolved into something much more and unexpected.
Her reactions to our school and students made me recognize the importance of in-person visits to our school. I invite you to join me anytime to see the school through the eyes of our students or alumnae. Come for a visit. Whether you haven’t been here in 30 (or more) years or if you come on a daily basis, I promise you that you will experience something very special.
And lastly, to our alumni parent guest yesterday (who I know reads this blog): Your partnership and generosity will help to make sure that The Hebrew Academy continues to offer our students and those for generations to come, the best Jewish and secular education available with the highest standards, supported by Jewish values and tradition.
Wishing you and your family joy and peace throughout the New Year.
Head of School