Dear Kehillat Schechter,

After six years of writing the weekly updates, I am passing the “keyboard” to our new Head of School, Ginny Galili.  I look forward to working closely with Ginny preparing for the 2021-2022 school year. I am excited to remain at Gross Schechter in my new role as Director of Academics, working closely with our professional staff to continue to provide an exemplary Judaic and general studies education for our students. Together we will maintain our focus on the Four Pillars of a Gross Schecter education: Knowledge, Skills, Creativity and Joy.

As we end this school year, we will sadly be saying goodbye to some familiar faces on our staff. Marci Friedman has decided to retire after 31 years of dedicated teaching. She would like to spend more time with family and enjoy the opportunity to travel. No doubt, her presence will be missed in the lower school wing. We wish her much health and happiness in her retirement, and I know the entire community thanks her for her many years of teaching multiple generations of children at Gross Schechter. We will also say “L’Hitraot” to Talia Maoz, as she and her family are “returning home” to Israel this summer. Talia has been a valuable teacher in the ECC and in the Middle School. Talia has developed wonderful relationships with her peers and her students. We will miss her vibrant personality and dedication to Judaic Studies and teaching Ivrit. In the ECC, we sadly say goodbye to Rochelle Levine and Emily Sanker. They contributed in such meaningful ways to our ECC; we wish them well and thank them for their dedication to our youngest students. There is much work ahead this summer to fill all these big shoes left by our departing teachers; we are so grateful for all they have given in their time with us.

Some have asked about what we plan to do at Gross Schechter when the Governor lifts the COVID-19 restrictions on June 2. Here is the short answer – we will continue to follow the protocols we have established until the last day of school, which is on June 3. Plans for Graduation and the Annual 8th Grade dinner will be adjusted as best we can. We will then begin to plan the opening of school protocols with the same diligence that we did last summer. Our goal is to return to the “old normal” of doing school. We, of course, will keep you updated as the summer progresses.

Please be aware that the installation of two automated license plate readers at the two synagogue entrances will start next Wednesday, May 19. The majority of the work will be along the driveway to the Fairmount Road entrances, so be aware of work in that area. They hope to complete all work by the end of the following week (May 28). This is part of a security grant project approved by the State of Ohio. We will also be updating our door access systems, increasing the quality and number of security cameras inside and outside the building, and adding outdoor speakers to our PA current system.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.

Randy Boroff
Director of Academics

And now, Ginny Galili:

Dear Kehillat Schechter,

I am delighted to begin my time as Head of School immediately following the two day Chag of Shavuot, on Wednesday, May 19. On Shavuot, we celebrate the receiving of the Torah on Har Sinai and commemorate this momentous event by studying and learning, often into the early hours of the morning. Similarly, I will begin my time at Gross Schechter Day School by digging in deeply to learning all about our community. While becoming Head of School is a homecoming for me, returning to a treasured place that all four of my children attended,  I still seek to learn. 

I’m looking forward to getting to know our parent community. Please help me get started by stopping by our coffee and treats pick up spot after drop-off on Wednesday. You will see me outside of school with our outstanding Board President, Abby Stadlin, along with other board members. Let us serve you curbside and wish you a “Boker tov and Good Morning!”

Next, I’ll be joining Sheri Gross for morning announcements, so that students can see and meet me by zoom before I begin to get to know them and their many accomplishments in their classrooms. I know we all share an appreciation and gratitude for our teachers and staff who safely opened and operated Gross Schechter Day School during this very challenging year. I am so eager to build relationships with each and every one of them in order to support and strengthen their dedicated efforts.

I’m looking forward to working closely with Randy Boroff as we complete this school year and plan for our next academic year. I could not be more grateful to become Randy’s professional colleague. Educating and nurturing our children is sacred work and I’m honored to partner with Randy and you, our parents, in this holy endeavor. On Shavuot, we’ll read one of my favorite texts, Megillat Rut (the Book of Ruth). In Megillat Rut, Ruth and Boaz model how to learn and live with gemilut hasadim (loving kindness) and avodah (work in service of others), all while preserving every individual’s dignity, especially those in need of welcoming, care and support. May we learn and lead together to further our school and our children’s growth, unique strengths, knowledge of belonging and sense of purpose. 

May Israel have peace soon, Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Ginny Galili
Head of School

Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18: Shavuot, NO SCHOOL
Wednesday-Friday May 19-21: 8th Grade Outings
Friday, May 22: Kindness Day 
Monday, May 24: 4th Grade Tikkun Ceremony 
Friday, May 28: Read for Life Closing Ceremony 
Monday, May 31: Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, June 1: GSDS 42nd Annual Meeting, 7pm (virtual)
Wednesday, June 2: 8th Grade Dinner
Thursday, June 3: Last Day of School for Students (Full Day)
Thursday, June 3: 8th Grade Graduation

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Ben Christ

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