A formidable and dynamic force

The rich offerings of articles about Jewish education continues unabated. Covid-19 has been the spur for this proliferation. Many of the resulting speculations deserve our attention.

Lynn W. Raviv, a founding member and past president of RAVSAK, an organizational network for Jewish Community Day Schools, published an article this week on the ejphilanthropy website entitled The Weight We Bear and the Significance We Offer: The Power of Jewish Day Schools in Small Communities.

The article is well-written and superbly argued.

As the title announces, Raviv depicts the importance of day schools particularly in small communities. But as she writes throughout the essay, her observations about “small community” day schools also apply to the broader sweep of all day schools.

We reproduce a sampling of some of those observations and urge individuals to read the entire article.

Raviv notes that graduates of day schools can usually be counted to become positively involved for the benefit of their respective communities. This is an important point to remember when dismissing the false even scurrilous notion that day schools foster insularity and remoteness from the welfare of the community at large.

“The value proposition of these schools is not the number of students enrolled. Instead it is measured in the experience that has prepared the alumni to make positive impacts in their respective communities, both Jewish and the extended community and, in addition, the further impact that many of the alumni have and are making on the larger Jewish community, here and abroad.”

That day school graduates will likely feel a sense of Jewish peoplehood is an obvious point for Raviv. “We are a dynamic network seeding other communities. Our alumni can be counted among those who care deeply about the future of our People and who are making a difference in Jewish life.”

She concludes the essay by pleading community leaders. “How can you use your voice to make the case for Jewish day school education? Validate our mission for the sake of Jewish education. Acknowledge the plight of Jewish day schools in small communities along with their sister larger schools as we navigate through these rough waters. Help us continue the important work we have the privilege and responsibility to carry out. We share in the mission and goals of all Jewish education institutions. We are a formidable and dynamic force, and a critical player in strengthening Jewish identity and continuity throughout North America.”

Raviv is a champion of the excellence and of the importance of Jewish education. She is correct on both scores.

•••

Today is Yom Yerushalayim. Chag samayach.

Be safe. Stay safe. Be well. Stay well. Be strong. Stay strong.

Shabbat shalom

GAJE

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