Welcome back to Gross Schechter! We had a roller coaster week of weather – winter finally arrived and there was plenty of action inside the building this first week of January. Our initial task this week was to remember to write 2019 when recording the date!

Speaking of 2019..We are very excited to announce that re-enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is now open! To re-enroll your student(s), please log into the Parent Portal, and under the “My Account” menu, select “Online Registration.” From there, follow the prompts to complete each page of the contract. Please check your email for more information. If you did not receive the email, or have any questions, please contact Janna Dorfman at jdorfman@grossschechter.org or 216-763-1400 x417. Thank you! We look forward to another great year with your family!

This week, our basketball teams were busy with practice and games. It’s very exciting to watch our students compete with passion and sportsmanship. Our cheerleading squad, led by Laura Albert, previewed their talents this past week during the 4th – 5th grade game vs. Ruffing. They did a great job and I believe their cheers helped our team win a thriller with a “buzzer beater” basket by Jordan Uria.

I encourage you to stop by and cheer for our teams.

Remember that we have early dismissals on Fridays. The regular school day for K-8 ends at 2:30 pm, aftercare ends at 4:00 pm and the ICC ends at 4:30 pm.

Don’t forget to send in boots, snow pants, hats and gloves…our students love to go outside for recess and enjoy the sledding hill behind the school.

Dates to Remember:
Wednesday, January 16: Team and Group and Candid Yearbook Photos-Please wear Schechter shirts!
Wednesday, January 16 +  Thursday, January 17: ECC Vision and Hearing Screening
Monday, January 21: NO SCHOOL, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Wednesday, January 23 +  Thursday, January 24: ECC Vision and Hearing Screening
Thursday, January 31 @ 6:30pm:  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Community Information:


Have a great weekend and Shabbat Shalom,

Randy S. Boroff
Head of School

Parashat Bo— Is Matzah A Sign Of Faith Or Short-Sightedness?

Our practice of eating matzah on Pesach comes from this week’s parashah: “They baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had taken out of Egypt… since they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves” (Ex. 12:39, JPS translation).  The Israelites grabbed their belongings and fled; they apparently had no time to gather food for the road.

But why the rush? They knew, well in advance, the exact date when they’d be leaving Egypt.  Even if they procrastinated until the final evening, the pesah sacrifice was complete by sunset, and they didn’t leave Egypt until midnight.  They certainly had time to pack food! So what are we to make of their failure to do so?

Rashi and his grandson, Rashbam, offer opposing opinions that teach us a lot about the proper way to live our lives. Rashi sees their action as a sign of great faith in God. They were sure that God would provide for their needs, so they didn’t bring any food.  Rashbam, in contrast, points out that because they failed to bring food, they ended up grumbling and complaining almost from the moment they left Egypt.

Taken together, these conflicting opinions offer a powerful lesson.  As Rashi recommends, we should trust and have faith; as Rashbam recommends, we ought to plan.  Our faith should not lead us to abdicate our responsibility—“God will provide, and I don’t have to worry.”  Instead, matzah offers the lesson that our faith should lead us to do our part. Only then will God support our efforts.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Berger
Associate Head of School for Judaic Studies and Programs

Questions for the Shabbat table:
  1. Why do you think the Israelites didn’t gather food or make bread before they left Egypt?
  2. When in your life have you procrastinated too much, or trusted too much that things would just work out? When have you over-planned? How do you find the balance?

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