Like many Jewish Bay Area natives, my parents are New Yorkers. When they moved to California for my father’s residency program, their biggest struggle was leaving their family. Having grown up with large extended families, they knew that they would have to work harder to keep their children connected to that family on the other side of the country. Sunday night phone calls, yearly visits for our birthdays, and family reunions at Roma’s Pizza in Tuckahoe filled my childhood and kept the relationships alive. I lived the idea that family always came first.
When I began my Yavneh journey in the summer of 2016, the most common theme that I heard was that Yavneh was more than a school or a community – Yavneh was a family. Like all families, we deeply care about each other’s well being and support each other’s progress. Although we might disagree at times, we understand the importance of civil discourse and that we all benefit from diversity.
This last week has been historic. Never before have so many Americans exercised the democratic right of voting and never before has our country been so divided. It’s been painful to watch our Yavneh family divided, as well. While there have been many respectful debates and discussions, there could also have been more openness to hearing differing opinions.
This openness not only applies to differing political views, but contrasting views on returning to more in-person instruction and how Yavneh can meet the diverse needs and views of families. As the numbers increase and guidelines change, all schools are reworking their plans.
So how do we continue to keep our Yavneh family and our students at the center? One way is to have family conferences where families can meet with teachers to discuss the learning that has happened as well as goals for the remainder of the year. Please follow the links in the HaShavuah to register for the conferences being held on November 23rd and 24th. Second, we make sure that we are including other generations and special friends in the Yavneh community; please make sure to invite grandparents to our first generations Shabbat next Friday, November 20th. And most importantly, you continue to believe that all of the decisions that we make are done so with thought and care. We absolutely want to hear from you if you have questions and concerns.
In continued partnership,