Week in Review – October 05, 2018

This is the last of our short weeks and the conclusion of the chagarim. It surely was a festive time at Gross Schechter with appropriate celebration and recognition of each of the holidays. We can now focus on our school routines and academic studies. A special acknowledgement to our staff for their flexibility the past few weeks and their efforts in providing the appropriate focus on the holidays and bringing them to life at Schechter.

The highlight of the week was the 5th Grade and 6th Grade Shabbaton at Camp Wise. The group left Schechter on Thursday afternoon and will return to Schechter on Saturday evening after Shabbat. Rabbi Berger, Sheri Gross, Laurie Gross Kammer, Jesse Ebner, and Lisa Loeb put together a very comprehensive program of activities. Thanks to our staff members who volunteered to stay overnight with the students. The group participated in a number of team building activities as well as observing Shabbat as a group. Everyone had a great time and we are hoping this will become an annual event.

Did you know that Schechter hosts an adult basketball league? Coach K runs the league which has 8 teams with 50 -55 participants.  Proceeds from the league help to support programs at Gross Schechter. This is a great example of our interest in utilizing our facility for community programming.

On Sunday, October 14 the Jewish Federation of Cleveland is sponsoring their annual Super Sunday fundraising campaign. Gross Schechter Day School benefits from the success of the Federation campaign and we encourage families to take part in this important event. The theme is “The Impact of Together” which will enable us to that we care for one another, we prepare for the future, we share our perspectives, and we come together to repair our world. If all of us at Schechter “come together” to help with this campaign we can ultimately impact Schechter in a positive way. Please join the Schechter team on Sunday, October 14 and help us build a strong school community. To get more information and to register Click here

Dates to Remember:

Monday, October 15Thursday, October 25th-Book Fair

Friday, October 19- ECC Grandparents Shabbat, Doobim through Kindergarten classes only. 10:00 am-11:00 am.

Parent-Teacher Conferences-

Kindergarten through 8th grade: Tuesday, October 16th and Monday, October 22nd: 4:30-8:30 pm.

Early Childhood Center: Monday, October 15th from 4:30-6:30 pm and Tuesday October 23rd from 6:30-8:30 pm.

To sign up for conferences, please click here.

Thursday October 25th: Gross Schechter Dial-A-Thon! 6:30-8:00 in the Media Center. Please e-mail bchrist@grossschechter.org to RSVP.

Community Information:

A Deeper Dive: A Fresh Perspective on Spirituality and Non-traditional Uses of the Mikvah: Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about mikvah and hear from local Rabbis Josh Caruso (Fairmount Temple), Sharon Marcus (Park Synagogue) and Scott Roland (Congregation Sha’arey Tikvah) about the ways they’ve used mikvah in their work with congregants. Explore modern ways to reclaim this ancient Jewish ritual.  Wednesday, October 24th at the Charlotte Goldberg Community Mitzvah at 6:30.  Please click here for more information and to register.

     Have a great weekend, Go Tribe, Go Browns and Shabbat Shalom.

Randy S. Boroff Head of School

Parashat Bereishit

Of the seven days of creation described by the first chapter of the Torah, the most mysterious is surely the first day. The other days’ outcomes are all easily identified; we can look around our world and know exactly what the Torah means. We know what land and vegetation (day three) are, we can identify birds and fish (day five), and so on.

But when the Torah says that God created light on the first day, we wonder: which light? The sun, moon or stars weren’t formed until the fourth day. What is this primeval light? A wonderful interpretation is found in the collection of Midrash known as Bereishit Rabbah.

One rabbi suggests that the original light was like the lamps used by highway construction crews when they work through the night. “The light was created first; it can be compared to a king who wished to build a palace, but the site was dark. What did he do? He lit lamps and lanterns, to know where to lay the foundations.” Another rabbi believed that the light was used to illuminate the world until the sun’s creation

But then, the midrash continues with a third opinion: based on a verse from Psalms, that God’s word itself was the light. “To us, the opening of Your mouth is light.” What a beautiful interpretation! The Torah is speaking, according to these rabbis, not of actual light, but of God’s words, which help us see the world properly. The world’s creation began, not with photons, but with God’s desire to teach, and to help us know how to live.

May we be blessed to experience this light—to feel enlightened as we perceive God’s thought and blessings in all of creation.

Shabbat shalom

Rabbi Jonathan Berger

Associate Head of School for Judaic Studies and Programs

Questions for the Shabbat/Holiday table:
  1. If you were creating the world, what would you start with?
  2. God’s words/the Torah are like light in that they help us see the world. How else is the Torah like light?

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