While our fourth graders are researching famous Jews for the Wax museum project, their teacher, Donell Newman, has been reaching out via e-mail and Facebook to several of the people selected by the students to see if they can get questions directly answered. Sometimes, though, you have to try a different channel to get a hold of them, like their mom.

One of our students had selected Browns offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz as his famous Jew. Schwartz is one of the few visibly Jewish NFL players. Mrs. Newman had reached out to the Browns’ front office, but had not heard back yet from them about arranging an interview with Schwartz. Late one night, Mrs. Newman’s husband, Scott, suggested that she try a different approach – contact his mother.

Mrs. Newman scoffed at the idea, but she did it anyway.

Pretty quickly, she got a response from Olivia Goodkin, Mitchell’s mom. “I’ve passed along your e-mail. Please let me know if you don’t get a response.”

Mrs. Newman did get a response and a series of emails starting going back and forth between Schwartz and her. Mrs. Newman’s hope was that Schwartz would answer the student’s questions and thus enrich his Wax Museum presentation. A lot more than that happened.

“You know,” Schwartz wrote, “I’m going to be in Cleveland in a week or two. How about I stop by the school?”

And he did.

This morning, our fourth graders were treated to a question and answer session with Mitchell Schwartz. He then joined us for the closing ceremonies for the Sveta Grinberg Read for Life program as our celebrity guest.

Sometimes you just need to call mom.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dr. Ari Yares
Head of School

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