When I was a little boy, I always looked forward to Fridays. On Fridays, my father would stop at a store on his way home from work and bring me a present – a Golden book. That weekly gift sparked a love of reading that later translated into full bookshelves and an extremely well-worn library card. As the grandson of a Sofer STaM (Torah scribe), I guess that an appreciation of the written word has always been in my DNA. As our society has evolved from handwritten manuscripts to on-demand subscription media, there is something about the sensory experience of reading a book – holding it, smelling it, turning its pages – that is magical. We are fortunate that the Yavneh Parent Association will be hosting its annual book fair this coming week, just in time for the winter holiday season. I encourage you to explore the selections and purchase some books for your family, while supporting our school.
Reading Week is not only about the book fair. We celebrate reading through special events in the classroom and across the school to promote literacy (you might want to check out my costume on character day…). This year we are honored to have a special evening on December 4th for parents and adult members of the community with Aaron Hahn Tapper, author of the book Judaisms: A Twenty-First-Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities. In this special event, Aaron will share his insights regarding the multifaceted and intensely complicated characteristics of our age-old, ever-changing community and lead a discussion about what this might mean for us today and for the future. Signed copies of his book will be available for pre-order, with limited additional copies available for purchase at the event. Aaron is the Mae and Benjamin Swig Associate Professor in Jewish Studies and the Founder and Director of the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco, and a close personal friend. I can attest to the fact that I always walk away from conversations with Aaron with new perspectives, insights and questions. I hope you will join me! Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom -Zvi