Next Wednesday, our community will be kvelling over the 8th graders as they receive their diplomas. Our graduates represent the best of what a Yavneh education has to offer. They are proud of their Judaism, have a deep understanding of its values, and have built a strong connection to Israel and the Hebrew language. They are talented in math and science, English, history and the arts. They are engineers and entrepreneurs and skilled debaters. They have learned and exhibited leadership, leading services, teaching us the keshet of kavod through monthly assemblies, leading Purim programming and so much more. They have been wonderful buddies to many of the students at our school and are an integral part of who we are as a community. They have the skills and tools to continue to build meaningful lives for themselves and for our community. They will continue on to pursue their secondary education at their choice of independent and public institutions.
These graduates fly away from Yavneh’s nest to a world that seems fractured and at a time when anti-semetic actions and rhetoric are at historic highs. While we know that they will have challenges ahead, we also know that they will thrive. You might ask how can we be so confident in these uncertain times. We believe in our educational program that teaches students to be critical thinkers and builds a Jewish identity grounded in ritual, sacred texts, and joyous experiences of Jewish life. Our graduates know who they are as students, people, and Jews and have the skills necessary to be advocates for themselves and for others.
I hope that you will join us next Wednesday at 1:30PM on this link as the graduates reflect on their journey at Yavneh, discuss what lies ahead, and are illuminated by the faculty. This might be a good week to invest in tissues!
I hope that our graduates will continue to be an active part of the Yavneh family, not only in the legacy of their spirit, but in frequent visits and participation in alumni events. I know that they will all represent Yavneh well in their next steps.