With about three weeks to go before our move to Cleveland, our house on Long Island is beginning to look a lot like a shipping warehouse. We’ve run out of places to discretely stack boxes and now they are beginning to take over the living spaces. As we have packed, we’ve had the opportunity to go through files and clean out the attic.
We’ve made some interesting discoveries along the way (e.g. why did I still have tuition bills from college in a filing cabinet?) and had some moments of warmth as we found early examples of our girls’ artwork and things from our wedding. As we worked to pack up our lives and transport them to another city, these touchstones with our past are making the transition easier, even as we look to eliminate some of the clutter that we have acquired.
I recently spent a very packed two days in Cleveland making a few discoveries of my own, even though we are not quite ready to begin unpacking in our new home. I am continuing to enjoy the warmth of the Cleveland Jewish community and our own community, Kehillat Schechter. Each conversation that I had helped me uncover and unpack more about my new professional and personal home.
Perhaps the most important discovery is the fierce passion that the members of Gross Schechter’s kehillah have for the school. Parents and staff shared moments of pride for the school, as well as their hopes and requests for the future. Among the highlights were strong academics, caring students, and a staff committed to professional growth. Many people expressed a desire to strengthen our communication, both internally and externally. Also shared was a desire to enhance the bonds that connect us as a kehillah through volunteerism and social activities. As we move into the beginnings of a new recruitment season, we also need to make sure that we build a stronger community presence, so that no one thinks that the gem that is Gross Schechter is hidden.
These, along with our other objectives of continuing to enhance our academic offerings, support our students’ growth, and securing the school’s financial health, will be among the things that the staff, lay leadership, and I will be working on as the summer begins.
In these closing days of the school year, Susan Siegel and I have been in close communication as the transition nears. I am grateful for her help and support, as well as the support from the school’s staff and lay leaders. I join with the community in wishing Susan b’hatzlacha rabba (much success) with her new position in Greensboro.
With just a few short weeks to go, the excitement and anticipation is building.