MAZAL TOV to the class of 2021 and to their families! On Wednesday evening, June 9, we had a true Shehechaynu moment. We gathered together, under one roof, one LARGE tent, to celebrate our wonderful 8th grade graduates. We have not been able to be under one roof together for the past 15 months. What a time to mark for all of us.
The first day I ever worked at PJA was in 2009 and it was as a substitute teacher. I was subbing for the middle school Hebrew teacher, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was nervous. Although I was a veteran teacher with strong Hebrew skills I hadn’t stood in front of a group of students that age and spoken to them in Hebrew for many years.
In recent days and weeks, I’ve been asked a great deal about my thoughts on what school will look like next fall. On the one hand, circumstances and guidelines change so rapidly that it’s nearly impossible to predict what might happen in even a week or two.
In addition to being the first big snowfall of the year, last Friday was also Rosh Hodesh Adar - the first day of the Hebrew month of Adar. The Talmud assures us that Adar will bring happiness: “When [the month of] Adar enters, we increase our joy (Talmud Bavli Ta’anit 29a).”
One of my favorite parts of the PJA week before Covid was Monday mornings. Every Monday at 8:00 am our entire middle school community of students and teachers gathered together for tefilah before the work of learning, teaching, classes, homework, sports practice and other stresses of the week could take hold.
If you have come to the Schnitzer Family Campus lately, you may have noticed that the sukkah in the MJCC courtyard is still up. If you are a PJA family, you may have had your child come home from an in-person gathering and tell you that they spent time in the sukkah.
According to Google, there are 16 ways to spell Hanukkah. Most involve various combinations
of “k’s” and “h’s,” along with the optional “C” at the beginning, but there are some more unusual
options like “Xanuka” and “Chanuga.”
Like many things, Early Childhood classrooms look very different this year. We cherish every moment of childhood, wonder, and community. Here at PJA we are doing our best to be an extension of your village, your family, and your safe haven.
At PJA we love celebrating holidays! We dress up on Purim and enjoy a carnival and a hilarious student shpiel (play). Every day during Hanukkah we light candles together during carpool, and enjoy the lingering smell of oil in the hallways knowing every class has taken their turn making latkes. One of the most challenging aspects of virtual learning is transferring our beloved holiday traditions into a virtual world.
The start of the new school year is among my very favorite times of year, and this year is no different. However, the expression “back to school” sounds rather odd this year. When we talk about going “back to school,” we usually think about returning. Returning to a space that is familiar.