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Upper School Windows To Learning

 

 

Windows to Learning

Chag Pesach Sameach

March 28, 2018
By Ofra Hiltzik, Upper School Principal

As we prepare for Pesach-at home and at school-we often get lost in our rushed routines, don't we? Cramming in work, cleaning our homes, cooking our Seder foods, setting our tables-it becomes a blur sometimes, a sprint to the finish line. But I want to share a moment with you when life slowed down a bit for me-a rare occurrence-and when I recognized an enhanced meaning of Ma Nishtana.

Of course, the question-why is tonight different from all other nights?-is sung by the youngest person at the table, and helps us focus on generations and the importance of our Jewish history. It highlights difference, and specialness. But colloquially, it is an expression of surprise at a certain piece of news. And I was surprised recently to find myself wondering whether we make a difference in the lives of our students once they leave Schechter. I know what I see every day in the halls and classrooms, but this thought was, well, different.

My question was answered this past weekend, when I attended a bar mitzvah service. I saw, as I often do, current students, parents, alumni, and parent alumni. I witnessed the strong presence of the seventh grader as he became a bar mitzvah, and I heard a parent whose child graduated last year share how "Schechter honors and encourages a rich diversity of opinion and debate that is vital to learning."

How is this night different, we ask at our Seder tables. At this time of year I also ask, how is this year different from all other years? Are we as educators continuing to make a difference? We are indeed. I see the answer in our 8th graders as they lead our neighbors from St. Aidan's through the Freedom Seder, and in our seniors as they continue to learn of their college acceptances, a culmination of hard work and perseverance. But I also see it when I leave the building and engage in the bigger Schechter community. Graduates keep in touch, become adults, give back to the school. We do make a difference, but like any good gardener, we need the patience to plant, and sow, and, finally, reap.

So as you gather with your family and friends and celebrate the freedoms that we have, I too will be celebrating our wonderful Schechter family-past, present, and future-and the difference we are making in the world.

 

Chag Pesach Sameach!

Ofra Hiltzik
Upper School Principal


 

 

Posted in March 2018

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