In Hashavua Article

What images and sounds come to your mind when you think about these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When I close my eyes, I hear the haunting melody of Kol Nidre played on a cello while all of the past presidents of my congregation stand on the bima and hold the many congregational Torahs. For me, that is the moment each year when I feel most connected to my Jewish identity and the Jewish people.

In the Reform Machzor, Mishkan Hanefesh, there is a modern translation of the Kol Nidre prayer that reads:

Let our speech be pure and our promises sincere.
Let our spoken words
-every vow and every oath-
Be honest and well-intentioned.
Let our words cause no pain, and bring no harm,
And never lead to shame, distrust or fear.
And if, after honest effort,
We are unable to fulfill a promise, a vow, or an oath,
May we be released from its obligation
And forgiven for our failure.
Let our speech be pure and our promises sincere.

We know as parents and teachers that the words we speak and the promises we make to our children and our students matter. When we are authentic with our words and true to our promises we build trust and solid relationships, two prerequisites for learning. I chose a career in education to make a difference in the lives of children and now as Yavneh’s Head of School I bring that commitment to all of you. As I make decisions, take action and build my relationships with all of you through conversations and correspondence, please know that they are well-intentioned and always at the center is my commitment to make a difference in the lives of your children. And of course, I will slip and I will make mistakes and so as we approach Yom Kippur to those I have caused pain, harm or distrust, please let me know so that I can make it right.

G’mar hatimah tovah,


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