HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


A Tribute to RAVSAK's Double Chai

by Barbara Davis, Executive Editor Issue: Art and Aesthetics

Thirty-six years of RAVSAK, the Jewish Community Day School Network. Thirty years of conferences. Twenty-eight years of a newsletter that morphed into a journal that is read by hundreds of day school leaders, both lay and professional, and hundreds of other thought leaders in the field of Jewish day school education. This is a double chai legacy of which we can all be very proud. As RAVSAK merges and metamorphoses into something bigger (it’s hard for me to say “better,” but I mean that too), we are all a little sad. But we are also excited and energized by the thought of being part of something new and different and forward-thinking. We have outgrown our grass roots. In a new age, we are reaching for the stars in a new way, but as determinedly as ever.

 

HaYidion will continue. That is really good news for those of us who read it cover to cover, distribute it to our communities, write for it, highlight its pages, reference it constantly. The many topics that HaYidion has covered are so far reaching, so necessary for our professional development and so in line with current thinking—it would be hard to imagine day school education without it. Athletics, literacy, data, ethics, Hebrew, money, mission, size, teachers, trends—even God—have been examined and made educationally relevant in the pages of our professional journal. I would like to take this opportunity to cite the extraordinary work of HaYidion’s editor, Elliott Rabin. His scholarship, knowledge, dedication, enthusiasm and wide-ranging contacts in the Jewish world have brought the most up-todate (dare I say “trendy”?) issues to the desks, mailboxes and computers screens of some of the busiest people in the world. Who would have time to learn about Art and Aesthetics in Jewish education, the topic of this issue, were it not for HaYidion’s fortunate arrival in our mailboxes? Like RAVSAK itself, HaYidion provides day school educators what they need when they need it.

 

The retrospective and tribute pages in this issue speak to the tremendous scope and impact RAVSAK has had on the lives of those who make Jewish community day school education their life’s work. The visionary heads of school who founded RAVSAK would be proud of all that it has accomplished. The donors and lay leaders who supported RAVSAK’s work deserve gratitude and praise for their support and can feel justly proud of having sustained an organization that has done so much for so many. Our children are our future, and if we want our Jewish future to truly be a Jewish future, we must continue to work tirelessly to assure that Jewish children are educated Jewishly.

 

RAVSAK and its constituent schools have always set the bar high. We wish all those who continue our work the very best of luck and much success in the years ahead. Ours is a legacy and heritage of beauty, meaning, morality, conviction, and striving toward the betterment of the world. As RAVSAK and HaYidion merge with our educational partners into a new organization, we know that we are growing from strength to strength.

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Art and Aesthetics

The study and practice of the arts can serve as a powerful vehicle for learning. This issue presents ways that the arts can deepen intellectual inquiry as well as sparking creativity, engage students' hearts and minds in science, literature, and all aspects of Jewish studies, expose learners to provocative, contemporary issues of culture and politics, and draw meaningful connections across the curriculum and among people.

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