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A Sukkot Message from Dr. Jonathan Levy

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

There are times in life when we need to go outside our comfort zone, whether it be by choice, by necessity or by Divine decree.  On Sukkot, we leave our homes behind to dwell (or at least eat) in the Sukkah, as a reminder of the temporary shelters in which the Israelites lived during their 40 years in the desert.

Over the last month, many students have been moved out of their comfort zones, starting a new school year, with unfamiliar peers, teachers, and for many, a new setting.  Recently, one of our English teachers shared an assignment that her students were writing. Responding to the phrase 'we all hate change but love progress,' students reacted to the beginning of the year on one campus.  Here are some quotes from the students:

"This quote reminds me of the merge of both campuses.  When the news was first announced, many other people and I were worried and hesitant about going to a new building with people because we did not know much about what to expect. However, once this school year started many of the pessimistic possibilities that people were nervous about did not occur...People are slowly becoming comfortable with the change and are learning to be happy about the situation."

"When news of the TanenbaumCHAT merge surfaced, I was anxious, upset, scared and felt many other intense emotions...Through the short week and a half I have been at the school, I can already look back and see the progress I have made and how far I have come..."

"The first few days of school were strange but after we got past that, we all started to talk.  The change we all hated is turning into many new friendships, which we all love."

These students have demonstrated remarkable resiliency (not to mention great writing skills on an in-class assignment).  As they have noted, going outside of our comfort zones gives us an opportunity to grow.  As we sit with our families during this holiday, let us reflect on what binds us together, at home, in class and as a People.

Chag Sameach

Dr. Jonathan Levy
Head of School