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Only Simchas From Our COO

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Speech Given by Nicole Weiss, our COO, at This Year's Manna From Heaven Annual Gala

My name is Nicole Weiss, and I am the Chief Operating Officer here at Beit Rabban Day School. Thank you for giving me the opportunity this evening to speak for a few moments about something besides HR, the audit, the pandemic, tuition contracts, dismissal changes, hiring, the budget, busing, financial projections, health, safety, security, paid time off, coverages, policies, and protocols.

A special thank you to my co-honorees, Stacey and Michelle, for your leadership, dedication, and guidance to our school.

Michelle - Thank you for your endless time reading and rereading legalese that I will continue to pretend to understand and nod and smile. I do not know if helping to negotiate leases and seeing things you can never unsee on Zoom was what you had intended when you joined the board and then the executive committee, but I am grateful to you for this and so much more.

Stacey - I look forward to never having to meet you at another property again to see if it is the “right” fit for our school. I can’t wait till we can sit in my office, in air conditioning or heat depending upon the weather, look out the window, and gab about the next art project. Thank you for joining me on this journey, schlepping around the Upper West Side, and for being my sounding board regarding all things real estate related.

Zak, Isabel, Jonah, and Gabrielle - your moms are rock stars! Give them big, long hugs tonight and always remember how special they are.

Thank you to our senior leadership team - the Hanhalah - you are truly what makes us so great. Each of you brings your individual talents together to make this collective team strong, powerful and focused on the learner, our teachers, families, and the school. Thank you for the dedication that you bring with you each and every day. I feel privileged to sit on this team with you.

Thank you to everyone who helped make tonight come to fruition. While this is just one night, the energy, time, and thought that go into all things “Manna,” can be all-encompassing. I hope you know how appreciated you are; have a drink on me!

Thank you to Brad, Stevie, and Jordyn. I am one tired mama and know that I don’t always come home after a long day as my best self. I love you to the moon and back and appreciate you more than you know for putting up with me every day no matter what. Thank you to our friends and family for coming here tonight to celebrate from near and far. Thank you for loving me as I am and for your unending support.

When I came to Beit Rabban in 2013, I could not imagine what 2023 would look like. I came to Beit Rabban when the school had just moved from West 70th Street to help a former colleague and lifelong friend, then Head of School, Rabbi Andrew Davids. The ask was for me to help get the school in order for the 2013-14 school year for a few days. After 3 days, Andrew asked me if I would consider coming back the following week on a full-time basis. And, well, the rest is history! Thank you Andrew for introducing me to Beit Rabban.

A community is not just a group of people living in proximity to one another. It is a collection of individuals bound by shared values, interests, and a sense of belonging. It is a network of relationships built on trust, compassion, and mutual support. When we foster a sense of community, we create an environment where everyone can thrive.

Communities offer a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond mere social interaction. They provide a sense of security, knowing that there are people who care about our well-being and are there to lend a helping hand in times of need. Through community, we find comfort and solace, knowing that we are not alone in our struggles and that there is always someone who understands and empathizes with our experiences.

Communities provide us with opportunities for personal growth and development. They offer platforms for learning and collaboration.

This is Beit Rabban!

You truly will never find a community such as this. Over the past 10 years, I have watched this school come together for each other for the good, bad, and ugly, for small and large things, for when everything really mattered. This is part of what makes our Beit Rabban so special… knowing that when all else fails, we will be there for each other - virtually or in person.

The Jewish day school landscape in New York City is vast. In truth, I had never considered sending my children to a Jewish day school. I always knew I wanted my children to attend a Jewish preschool, but as neither my husband nor I grew up in the Jewish day school world, I didn’t quite understand the value. Beit Rabban is more than just any day school education. Beit Rabban is about community. You, each of you here in the room tonight, help to make our community what it is today.

The dedicated teachers, administrators, support staff, board of directors, and, of

course, families, are the pillars of our community elevating our learners to reach their goals and strive to grow in their Jewish lives and our Jewish community. Thank you to those who have taught my daughters and who will in the future. You help to shape them daily by creating safe spaces for them where they feel loved, can be themselves, and love to learn. These girls love love love their school!

Beit Rabban is a 30-year-old start-up that has been searching for its new home. I cannot tell you how many calls, zoom, and in-person meetings I have sat in over the past 10 years thinking about and talking about when we find our new home. This has been a long and winding journey with its ups and downs. We have felt several times like we were almost there but for one reason or another… wow, real estate is tough in NYC!... it never ca

me to fruition. Well, friends, this is it. We are literally standing in the place of our new home. Above us… a few floors up, construction has begun. In just a few weeks, the school year will come to a close, we will pack up our current campuses, movers will come in and we will hand back the keys on 86th Street and 105th Street.

Thank you to Colin and the team at Bnai Jeshurun. Your partnership, professionalism, and sense of humor are greatly appreciated and I look forward to our continued working relationship. This is just the beginning.

I look forward to welcoming everyone into the new space in the coming school year.

Thank you for being here this evening and being a part of our community, even just for one night.

Welcome home!

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