I was sitting in a sidewalk café as I watched five Minneapolis Jewish Day School students aged 6 to 12 run past. They dashed into a shop, followed shortly by the father of two of the children. A couple of minutes later the children scampered out of the store and ran on down the block to their next destination. The father joined the mother of the other three children and followed slowly.
HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
Measuring the Success of a School's "Jewish Mission"
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Just over four years ago, when I was chosen to be the founding headmaster of the new Jewish community high school in Houston, I considered at length the sort of culture I wanted to help create. More specifically, I thought of the different schools I had attended as a student and how each sought to inculcate certain behavioral norms — reflecting on those that were effective and those that were not.
The "Jewish goals" of a school are always stated in an abstract way in the school's mission statement. However, from the mission statement to everyday practice is a long distance that most schools do not successfully travel.
I hope you have all started your new school year in a spirit of excitement and that this year will be full of learning, fun and exploration. I know that your weeks of planning, preparation and anticipation will be well worth it. As the well known saying goes "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".
Imagine NOT being asked to donate to a worthy organization? This request is not for your money but for recommendations and names. RAVSAK is growing, not just internationally, (with our first school abroad) but also in terms of the record number of schools, professionals, lay leaders and students we serve. When we opened our national office five years ago, we had fewer than 50 dues-paying member schools and nearly 10,000 children.
This season I enter into my fifth year as Executive Director of RAVSAK.