On Monday, January 16th, we observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Rather than seeing this as just another day “off” of school, many people think of this as a day “on” to consider the ways we can contribute to our community. This day is meant to inspire and motivate us to live in a way that reflects the conviction, character, and leadership of Dr. King. In words that echo our own school’s mission, Dr. King once noted, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
It is a developmental journey for a child to be able to see outside themselves and demonstrate compassion and empathy for others. This moment is when we see our students truly start to “live” within our community. This growing concern for humanity is especially noticeable in how students can empathize and understand the experiences of others, including their Jewish ancestors, throughout history.
In these very dynamic times, giving our students the tools they need to contribute to their community is the cornerstone of a Jewish education. As an educator and leader, I am humbled by the significant responsibility we have to uphold our school’s mission and the words of Dr. King. There is no greater joy than watching our students learn how to live a life of great purpose in service to others. Please take time this week to focus on the great responsibility you have been given to instill this significant lesson in your own children, for there is no greater gift you can give them than the gift of their education at JDS.