One of my great pleasures is walking through the school, observing classes and talking to the students. The positive energy in the classrooms is palpable. I get such a thrill watching the students actively engaged in their learning. This year, it is especially exciting walking into classrooms to see more than one teacher working with groups or individuals. We are proud of the attention we are giving to each student at a level not duplicated anywhere else. We are making great strides on our journey as a school uniquely dedicated to each child’s growth – cognitively, socially, emotionally and Jewishly. Our vision is that our students will graduate with strong critical thinking skills, and that they will be effective collaborators; they will think creatively, communicate effectively, care deeply for their community and will have embraced our core Jewish values.
As I was walking through the halls this week, I decided to ask one child in each grade to share something with me that they love about Hillel. This is what I learned, unedited:
Noah, ECC 3 – “I love to play with cars, play with trucks and play with the bean table.”
Mimi, ECC 4 – “I love eating lunch, I love going outside and I love going to Hebrew.”
Brady, Kindergarten – “I love science. I like to learn new things.”
Ilan, first grade – “I love my English class because we do a lot of math.” (General studies)
Joely, second grade – “I love specialties because they are fun and I like the mensch awards because it is fun to get picked and get candy.”
Luke, third grade – “I love the dress code so kids don’t wear all kinds of crazy things.”
Tali, fourth grade – “I like how the teachers really help us with our work, including when you need extra help.”
Isabel, fifth grade – “I like all of my friends here and I like what we are learning in English, especially about the Native Americans.”
Ethan, sixth grade – “I like that we have laptops, even though they are a little heavy. It is much better that a “billion” binders. It saves me time and it is easier.”
Loren, grade 7 – I love how we all feel like a community. I am close to all of my friends. I also love learning about being Jewish
George and Jackson, both 8 grade were together when I asked:
George – “I really like social studies this year. It is a really good class and very interesting
Jackson – I like Judaic studies. No other school offers this and I really like it.”
As Head, I want all parents to celebrate their decision to send their children to Hillel, not only on the night of graduation, but throughout their children’s Hillel years. The words of our students illustrate the priceless gift of a Hillel education that will give back in ways no other school can, especially as it relates to Jewish identity and continuity both in your family and the community.