Purim is one of my favorite holidays. Reading megillah, dressing up in costumes, and the vibrant energy that is part of the holiday are just a few of the reasons that it resonates so strongly with me. One of neatest parts of Purim is the exchange of mishloach manot (usually gifts of food) to friends and family. It has its origin in the text of Megillat Esther and has become an integral part of how Jews all over the world celebrate Purim.

Here at Schechter, it wouldn’t be Purim without our school-wide mishloach manot. These fun-filled bags of goodies, along with homemade hamentaschen, made their way home yesterday in the backpacks of our students (hopefully without being crushed or eaten) and were delivered throughout Cleveland by groups of volunteers.

As I was munching some of the contents of our mishloach manot at home last night, I was thinking about the hours of work that went into it and how fortunate we are to have so many dedicated volunteers who willing give their time and effort to what is not a simple undertaking. Too often, we take things for granted and therefore forget to say thank you.

In talking with our many volunteers over the last few weeks, I have been reminded that we need to do a better job of saying “Todah Rabbah.” Gratitude is incredibly powerful, both to the receiver and the giver. We as a school need to recommit to saying thank you.

To get the ball rolling, here are just a few thank you’s:

To Nancy Zimmerman, Julie Kaufman, Heidi Geis, Sylvia Kramer and their wonderful team of bakers, packers, and drivers for making mishloach manot continue to be part of how we do Purim here at Schechter.

To Rachel Lappen, Mary Anne Donovan, Kimberly Pleasant, the Koslen’s, the Purim Gala Committee and the tribute chairs who have organized an entire event geared at saying thank you to Mitch and Sheila (z”l) Balk and celebrating Schechter.

To Irit Slain, Lynne Yulish, and group of uninhibited Schechter staff who delighted the students with a Purim shpiel yesterday and to Dan Weiss for organizing megillah reading and the Purim Carnival.

To Jim Walker and Ellis Thompson who wake up early each school day to clear yet another coat of snow and ice from the front walk. Much to their relief warmer temperatures are forecast.

To our parents for being “All In” and responding to our challenge grant and exceeding the 85%.

To our students whose energy and excitement made sure that Purim was filled with joy.

To our teachers, office staff, and food services staff who continue to go beyond the call of duty to create a learning environment that is filled with fun, love and support.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dr. Ari Yares
Head of School

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