Dear Beit Rabban Community,
Today is March 12, exactly a year to the date of our last day of in-in person school before transitioning that weekend to Beit Rabban Ba'Anan, distance learning, for what became the remainder of the 5780 school year. Many individuals and communities are pausing to reflect on this one year anniversary of sorts. Maybe you've put together a time capsule over the course of this year, saved a particular newspaper article, or plan to attend a community event like the one the JCC is holding on Sunday, March 21, which we are co-sponsoring. You might want to check out the Identity|Crisis podcast linked here that I joined along with a community rabbi and a Hillel director to reflect on running a Jewish institution over this time.
In thinking about how we want to mark this moment as a Beit Rabban community, I am struck by the fact that we would be doing so just at the beginning of what Beit Rabban parent Yehuda Kurtzer refers to as the "Jewish Memory Season" in his book Shuva: The Future of the Jewish Past. We are about to enter "Jewish Memory Season" when we delve into commemorating formative experiences of our people on Pesach, Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron and finally Yom Haatzmaut. When we remember, we remember Jewishly, which is about making meaning of our past, retelling not just the facts but the stories as they continue to be interpreted by each generation. In that way, we become part of a living history, and we pass on collective memory.
This past year has been defined by community for all of us, both in it's anchoring and in its loss. As a school community, we have never before spent so much time together across generations and through such broadly vulnerable times, sharing so much both intentionally and by default as the divide between in-home and outside-home became increasingly irrelevant. What would this year have been like without each other, it is impossible for me to imagine. As we start the very Jewish work of determining how to remember it, for now and for years to come, we have to do so in the context of our community.
To this end, we are joining together for a special Shabbat B'Yachad next Friday to remember by sharing and making meaning of our memories. After the program, we will send everyone home with a virtual community time capsule that we make together.
Please join us in figuring out how we remember this year together, a year of so much loss and so much love.
Wishing all a restful, rejuvenating Shabbat.