I am delighted to be joining the Kehilla community as School Director! Having grown up in the Bay Area and spent the last five years in rabbinical school in Boston, I am also very happy to return to the West Coast.
I was recently rereading one of my favorite pieces of midrash, or rabbinic expansion on a biblical verse, which informs us that the revelation of our tradition’s sacred teaching is not limited to the words of our Torah scroll. It does not even end with the addition of the fiery prophets, the beautiful psalms and writings, or the law codes and commentaries. In fact, the midrash goes on, “even the words that an engaged student says today in the Beit Midrash—the house of study—were included in that which was given as a gift at Mount Sinai” (Midrash Leviticus Rabbah on Parshat Ki Tisa).
This is no small claim. Our tradition demands that we pay as close attention to the ideas and questions of our young people—and our students of all ages—as we do to the words of our beloved Torah. Considered in this light, Jewish learning is not merely the transfer of information from one generation to the next. Jewish learning becomes an experience of possible revelation, of a deepening understanding of Judaism, of ourselves, and of our community’s role in this turbulent and rapidly changing world.
This is the spirit with which I enter into our 2017-2018 school year—ready to join this learning community with open eyes and an open heart, excited about what new revelations will unfold, prepared to teach our students and to learn from them.
Please be in touch with any questions, concerns, or hopes you have about the coming year at Kehilla School. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible, both before the school year begins and once it is underway.
To register your young people for Kehilla School, go to kehillasynagogue.org/kehilla-school/.