The sounds of the Shofar filled the Ziegler Sanctuary last Friday as students and faculty gathered for the Kabbalat Shabbat. They sang and danced along with Rabbi Andrew Feig and his guitar as part of a joyful celebration for the start of Rosh Hashanah.
“We call the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Aseret Y’mai Teshuvah, the Ten Days of Repentance,” Rabbi Feig shared. “We learn to seize this moment of intense introspection and determine a path to follow in the coming year. I love to read the following story attributed to our dear Rabbi Wolpe’s father, Rabbi Gerald Wolpe z”l, during this time:
“A man once cried to God, ‘God, the world is in such a mess – everything seems wrong.’
‘Why don’t you send someone to help and change the world?” The voice of Adonai answered, ‘I did send someone. I sent you.’
We pray for life, we ask God for a year of health and happiness. But don’t just ask. Tell the Almighty, tell the world, tell yourself: Send me!”
As we ring in the new year, we also welcome a new school year, continuing our celebration of our golden anniversary as we begin our School’s 50th year. The halls and classrooms have once again come alive with the sounds of the students. Head of School Dr. Sarah Shulkind shared some of her observations from the first days of school, and how engaged our students are in their studies. She noted that their passion for learning even carried over into the lunch period.
Similarly, Shelley Lawrence, Director of the ECC and Lower School, shared her delight in watching everyone come back for the first days of school. She noted that students were excited to come back and greet not only their friends, but also their past teachers, a testament to the rich bonds developed here at Lainer School.
The joy of celebration and of learning speaks to the mission of the School, as we work to develop the mind, heart, and soul of each student, introducing them to key principles of life. “As teachers and parents, we want our children to have agency in the world,” said Rabbi Feig. “They are not too young to learn that they can have an impact on their community, the community that surrounds them, and future generations. In fact, each of us has the opportunity each day to better our lives and the lives of others. Prayers are important, actions are needed. During these High Holy Days, commit to make positive change in the world!”