We returned today from our February long weekend, energized from a couple of days of break, but also from a rigorous and rewarding day of faculty professional development yesterday.
Ezra is fortunate to be one of three Jewish day schools that received a special grant for three years of Israel curriculum development and coaching from the Center for Israel Education. This year, we have assembled a committee of Ezra teachers and staff who have worked on the beginning stages of our process and have met with our coach, Dr. Tal David to work on an educational philosophy and goals for our new curriculum to be. We had the wonderful opportunity to have Dr. David with us yesterday and today and to participate in workshops on bringing learning about Israel to our classrooms. We are cognizant of the fact that our community has many different perspectives on Israel and we are committed to this being a place for collaborative learning, curiosity, and discourse.
One of the key concepts that we discussed yesterday was the idea of machloket le-shem shamayim or disagreement for the sake of heaven. This concept not only permits disagreement, but encourages the idea that in sharing our differences with each other, that we elevate our learning and that this is a heavenly pursuit. This week’s parasha introduces the commandments for the building of the Mishkan,the Tabernacle, a portable place for worship and communal gathering for the Israelites in the desert. I believe that through engaging with high levels of discourse with our faculty and students, that we are creating a sanctuary here at Ezra. My dream is that it will also be one for our community and that in continuing to grow our program and skills, that we will also continue to provide a space for others to learn, explore, and disagree in a holy manner.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Shabbat Shalom and a restful weekend,