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March 2021 KoREH News

Miracles In Our Own Time 
Looking at the Jewish calendar often provides fascinating insights. Take a look at where we are right now, smack in the middle between Purim and Pesach (Passover). On the one hand, these holidays are incredibly distinct. Purim typically is a lively, joyful, and largely public gathering, full of music, ecstatic movement, comedy, and energy. Pesach, conversely, is largely focused on our homes and families, both the ones we were each born into and the families we have created for ourselves. On Purim, we hide our faces, as does God, whose name is not mentioned throughout the entire Purim story told in the Megillah (Book of Esther). On Pesach, the Haggadah (book that guides us through the Pesach seder) retells our freedom from bondage, freedom from oppression, freedom to pursue the truest and best versions of ourselves, with God actively leading our redemption.
 
And yet, the stories of Purim and Pesach parallel one another in dramatic fashion: an evil leader, a disaster looming, miracles which save us, and celebrations when we emerge from those dark times into the light of a new day. What’s more, throughout both of these stories is the common bond of people coming together to weather the storm and hold one another until they can stand once again.
 
These images and stories have inspired Jewish communities in every time and place for thousands of years, but right now, this year, I feel their message more powerfully than ever. We have seen, over and over again in these last few months, people pulling together to get through a year of unthinkable choices and exhausting new realities. And somehow, we have not only kept going together, but we made ourselves stronger.
 
In no place have I seen this more clearly than in our Kol Rinah Education Hub (KoREH). While we started the year unsure of so many things, our community, especially our teachers, who have effectively redesigned not only their own lessons, but also the entire experience of learning for our families, have found new ways to connect. Together, we managed to go above and beyond what was needed to not only keep one another safe, but to continue to learn and grow from one another. We were able to still meet, while masked and socially distant, in order to learn each week. We have set up systems for students and visiting guest teachers to be able to interact virtually in order to expand our learning far outside the classroom. To maximize the depth of our connections, our students have been meeting 1-1 with their teachers, which has created new pathways for learning for each and every student.
 
In an age of massive uncertainties and previously unknown hardships, a strong, stable learning community is truly a miracle. We have been so blessed to keep learning and growing together, and seeing the new ideas, questions, and concepts our students tackle each week has been inspiring, to say the least. As we round the corner into the last part of our school year, I simply want to say thank you to all of our families, all of our teachers, all of the learners who have made our school so wonderful. You each are truly miraculous.
Mon, March 4 2024 24 Adar I 5784