Moshe received the Torah on Mount Sinai. Moshe taught the Torah to Yehoshuah and trained him to be the next leader of the Jews. Yehoshuah taught it to the elders who became the leaders after him. The Elders taught the Torah to the Prophets. The Prophets taught the Torah to a group of Sages knows as the people of the Parliament (Anshei Kenesset Hagedolah)
– Mishnah Pirke Avot – Ethics of Our Fathers 1:1
I understand from this Mishnah that we pass our knowledge and our moral expectations from one leader to the next and from one generation to the next. Our main obligation as parents, educators and as leaders is to teach as many students as possible the richness and wisdom of our 5,000 year old tradition. The Boulder Jewish community is thus compelled to pass on our tradition by supporting Jewish education because “children are the greatest source of hope for a bright Jewish future” (Jewish Children’s Network).
BJDS teaches our students to embrace their cultural heritage in an uncomplicated way. Our students are at ease with their place in history and ready to pass on the torch when the day comes.
As I prepare to leave my position as Head of School, and to pass on the torch to the next leader of our school, I am confident that our school is moving from strength to strength. The board approved the budget for our next school year; all of our teachers have signed their contracts; and the board has seriously embarked on the process of hiring an interim part-time Head of School with a strong background in education and Jewish Studies. Our students, once again, have demonstrated their academic success with outstanding standardized achievement test scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Our students test among the best 5% of all the private schools in the comparison pool.
One of the major goals for the next school year is to begin a national search for a full-time Head of School; to increase enrollment; and to gain increased recognition in the wider Jewish community of the opportunity BJDS provides for a strong value-based education. We must continue to ensure that the Boulder Jewish community fully supports our school.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated Board Members who have volunteered their time and who have labored over the years to enable us to reach our 15th year of educating children. If you have had the opportunity to serve on a volunteer Board, you know what it is to truly appreciate positive Board Service. I want to thank our incredible donors who financed us throughout our school history. I want to express my appreciation to the Faculty and Staff who spend amazing amounts of energy and effort taking care of the students. The passion they carry in their hearts for BJDS makes all the difference. And finally, thank you, parents, for trusting your children’s education to our care. Thank you, parents, for putting so many hours into volunteering at the school and towards helping us provide a high quality education to your children.
In honor of BJDS and its students, I am going to close by recalling the words of a BJDS graduate, who is also my son: “The value of my Jewish education is worth more than simply the learning I received in Boulder Jewish Day School. My Jewish education taught me values and morals, and, perhaps most importantly, how to be a Jew in the secular world, such as the public school I attended” (Matan Bilavsky).
Shabbat Shalom, and wishing you all a joyful Pesach. Hag Sameach!