Robin Kahn's Blog (Our educational Director)
My Dreams for 5772
These are my remarks from our first Shabbat morning together in September 2011.
It’s wonderful to have our sanctuary filled again with Beit Midrash families. I want to extend a special welcome to our new and prospective families.I hope your summer was much like my summer -- filled with rest, relaxation, sleep and much dreaming. Dreams - good dreams and dreams that come true -- are my motif for the next four paragraphs.
Paragraph 1. The dream of summer camp all year long is perhaps a dream imagine many of you share with me. Last spring I dreamed about having more camp like programming at BAI. Over the summer I spent several days at Jewish overnight camps with Rabbi David and Diana. On our long car rides through the Pocono mountains, I shared my dream. After just a bit of some visioning, brainstorming, planning and lots of teamwork we’re on the verge of rolling out Sababa!, shul-ins, “Summer in December”, an off-site “going green” retreat, and “Beit Am”. These programs will give the youth in our community opportunities to celebrate and “do Jewish stuff” in real Jewish time. Celebrating and learning within the rhythm of Jewish time is one of the founding principles of our Beit Midrash program.
(Another founding principle is that parents are their children’s primary Jewish educators and it is because of this that we expect parents to engage and immerse in Shabbat services and learning at BAI with their children.)
Back to dreams.
Paragraph 2. In the late 1800s Theodore Herzel wrote the words “Im tirzu ain zo aggadah”. “If you will it, it is no dream." His dream was a Jewish State. Less than 100 years later Herzl’s dream became a reality and the State of Israel was born. The varying ways in which the American Jewish community supports of Israel continues to be a much discussed topic nationally and locally. This year, the faculty and I have embarked on a study of Israel and Israel education. It is my hope and expectation that our deepening love and understanding of Israel will transpire to our students love and understanding of Eretz Yisrael - the Land of Israel, Medinat Yisrael – the State of Israel, and Am Yisrael – the People of Israel. Each night I want our students to go to bed dreaming about a trip to Israel. Strengthening our personal and national relationship with Israel should be a part of our individual identity as well as our identity as a Jewish community.
Paragraph 3. This year we have an incredibly experienced and talented faculty. Susan, Holli, Valerie, Orly, Phyllis, Brooke, Noga, Yochi, Diana, Jason, Rebecca and Matt were hired (or asked to return to BAI) because the level of commitment they have demonstrated to BAI, to the Jewish community, to teaching and learning and to children is exemplary. We are a very lucky community. Seated among you is my dream team.
Paragraph 4. Parents, thank you for allowing us to help you fulfill the mitzvah of Jewishly educating your children. We are eager to meet you and your family wherever you are on your Jewish journey and to guide you or walk with you as you take your next steps. This year I invite you to dream big for your family and our community. Im tirzu ain zo aggadah. “If you will it,” whatever that it is, “it is no dream."
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