First Day of School

Congratulations on your child’s first day of school this year - this is a milestone not to go unnoticed! The past two days have seen hundreds of children and adults enter the 2nd floor, and then their new classrooms, with equal parts excitement and anxiety.  Chatting with you as you arrive, some of you have told me that your child is nervous but you know she’ll be fine; others have said that you’re more worried for yourself than for your child. Still others have said, “We’re just excited all around”.  All’s fair in love and school.

The school has been a melting pot of emotions this week, a place for all of our community members to laugh, cry, shriek, yearn, and wonder. This works for us. We’re a “wear your heart on your sleeve” kind of place, and all emotions are welcome. The most important part for us, and a value that we deeply believe in, is that when we feel our emotions together we become stronger.  You will notice a set of Jewish values outlined on one of the Common Space bulletin boards; if you haven’t yet, I invite you to pause for a moment and read through them.  One of these values that feels particularly poignant this time of year is that of brit. Literally translated as “covenant” (think Noah’s Ark and the covenant between God and the Jewish people), we have chosen to relay this as “relationships, promises, and partnerships.” Our identity as a Jewish school is grounded in the promises we make to each other, in the relationships we build with each other.

As we begin our school year, and the Jewish New Year, we promise to each other to reach out, to support, to extend ourselves, so that we can each be our best selves.  I watched a beautiful partnership unfold Thursday morning, as a child entered the Common Space clinging behind his caregiver’s pant-leg, anxiety seeping out of his body on his first day of school.  A short time later, they emerged from the classroom walking side by side, the young boy now confident and proud. As they walked by me on their way out, the boy paused in the doorway to the school, looked up at his caregiver, and with a twinkle in his eye, said, “I did it!” Our partnerships allow us to feel anxious and proud, nervous and confident, all in the same breath.

Stemming from our Jewish values, we prioritize relationships.  Even more important than walking into the four walls of a classroom for the first time, your child and your family this week walked into a new set of relationships.  Along the way, the highs and lows of parenting, of learning and growing, will be experienced together. We’re glad to be your partner in this journey of familyhood.

Shabbat Shalom,