This year has been filled with countless “firsts.” From the first day of school being on Zoom to a drive-through car parade for Purim, to having two graduation ceremonies, this year has been truly unprecedented. While our country is beginning to heal from the pandemic, it remains divided. Adding the increase in antisemitism and attacks on Israel, the world can feel unsafe. In times of uncertainty, it helps to be able to have something to hold onto, an anchor to keep you grounded. Remember what we taught you at Yavneh:
Think. Care. Belong.
More than Yavneh’s marketing tagline, those three words represent my charge to you as you begin your high school journeys.
Think. Think about what you have learned from your education thus far and use that knowledge. Think strategically. Think critically. Think creatively. Think deeply. Yavneh’s curriculum has been designed to encourage you to think and to question. Think about how your actions effect others. Think for yourself – just because your friends think something, you don’t need to agree. Question and challenge conventional wisdom. Use your minds to find solutions to the world’s problems. Use your minds to create new knowledge.
Care. Remember the values that you taught us this year at the monthly Keshet of Kavod Assemblies? Chesed – kindness was one of them. Show care in your speech, actions and deeds. Care about your classmates, and be there to support them. Be passionate about your learning, and care enough to find your passion and pursue it. Care about your family. Show that you care about the planet and actively work to make the world a better place. Don’t forget to care about yourselves, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Care enough about yourself to challenge yourself to try new things and push past your comfort zone.
Belong. Don’t forget that you belong to the Jewish people – find strength in our history, people and future. Support your friends and allow them to support you. Become a part of your new school community. Join a club. Play on a school sports team. Be part of student government. Take your commitments seriously. Participate for the common good. And remember that to truly feel like you belong to something, you need to invest in it.
You will always be a member of the Yavneh family and we will always be here for you. While we will dearly miss you, we know that not only are you ready to take the next step on your journey but that you will be change makers and tomorrow’s leaders.
I can’t say it better than the famous author, Dr. Seuss:
Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
Our Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!