Week in Review – September 27, 2019

We have been busy preparing for Rosh Hashanah!  The next few weeks will be filled with celebrations and reflection.  Our school calendar will be a little disjointed so our families can observe the Chagim (holidays).  On behalf of the Board of Directors, administrators and staff, we want to wish you all a Shana Tova, a very happy and sweet New Year.

Last Shabbat, our 5th and 6th grade students attended the 2nd Annual Shabbaton at Camp Wise.  This program coordinated by Sheri Gross, Rabbi Berger and Rabbi Ben and supported by the middle school staff, was a wonderful experience for our students.  The shabbaton speaks to the mission of Gross Schechter and enhances our students Jewish experience. Besides participating in Shabbat services, the students played games, sang songs and developed closer relationships with each other and staff.  Students came back from the Shabbaton feeling very good about themselves, their friends and the overall experience.

If you hear the sound of the shofar around the community, it may not be coming from a synagogue…our 7th graders made their own personal shofar at school this week.  We also have guest student shofar blowers during morning announcements as we welcome the New Year. Students in all grades are learning and participating.

On Thursday, our 8th graders visited the Maltz Museum. This was a walking field trip with Rabbi Ben and Mrs. Santoiemmo.  They also had the opportunity to stop at the JCC for a kosher Subway lunch.

There is great excitement around school as our K-5 students started rehearsal for their production of The Sound of Music and our middle school students started rehearsing for their production of the Diary of Anne Frank.  These are two drama productions that should not be missed. Both performances are being tied to an entire unit on Holocaust education. Also watch for an announcement of another special performance coming in January!

Last year, Gross Schechter received Provisional Accreditation by ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States).  This year, we will begin a study of all aspects of our school as the second stage of the full accreditation process. On Wednesday we hosted a consultant from ISACS who met with staff and the Board of Directors outlining our responsibilities in developing the comprehensive self-study report.  Later in the fall you will be asked to participate in a community survey. Next school year, we will host a visiting team of educators from across the midwest who will evaluate our school and self study report after which they will leave us with commendations and recommendations. This is a very intensive project for our staff and Board members and can only result in strengthening Gross Schechter and positioning us for a very bright future.

On Friday, September 27, we welcomed more than 60 Grandparents to our ECC Grandparent Shabbat program.  Our guests had the amazing experience of celebrating Shabbat with their grandchildren. What a wonderful way to welcome in the Chagim!  Gross Schechter is introducing a new initiative called the Shoresh Society for grandparents. Watch for information about how grandparents can join and participate in some educational programs at Gross Schechter.

Important Dates:
Monday/Tuesday, September 30/October 1: Rosh Hashanah, No School
Tuesday, October 8, Erev Yom Kippur 12:00 pm dismissal (No Lunch) 
Wednesday, October 9: Yom Kippur, No School 
Monday/Tuesday, October 14/October 15: Sukkot, No School
Thursday evening, October 17, Sukkot Fest 6:30 pm
Monday/Tuesday, October 21, October 22: Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah, No School  
Please note the change in dates:
Monday, November 18, Professional Development, No School for ECC through Grade 8.  ICC will be in session. This is a change from Friday, November 15.

Have a wonderful weekend and Shana Tova

Randy S. Boroff
Head of School

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