Thank you so much for the outpouring of love after last week’s announcement about the change in leadership for our Board. It feels a bit daunting to step into the shoes of the incredible Lev Polinsky who has humbly, yet nobly led us through some seriously challenging times. I’m pretty sure when he agreed to take on the presidency in 2019, he didn’t see Covid coming, not to mention the move to a new building or the countless other surprises that come with running an institution such as this one. Here’s to hoping that Lev solved all of the tough issues so that my tenure will be totally uneventful with only smooth sailing 😊.
For those of you who don’t know me, or don’t know me well, I hope that we will get that opportunity in the coming months. My favorite part of this community is the people, and I welcome your insights, suggestions, feedback and even critiques, at all times. Please feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanted to share a little bit about why I felt compelled to say yes to this position (even more than the fact that Stephanie and Lev told me that no was not an answer). For those of you who don’t know, this past summer 23 members of my family travelled to Germany for a life changing heritage trip that culminated in the naming of a street in memory of my great grandfather Hermann Wolf. He was the last leader of the Jewish community of Dietzenbach and his family had housed the shul for the small community in their home. The next day we traveled to my grandmother’s town in Homburg Au Main. After visiting the home she grew up in, we were taken to a memorial that had been established a few years ago in front of the shul, commemorating the Jews of the town who had been deported and murdered. To our great surprise, it included the names and pictures of my great grandparents who had also been the last leaders of their community (You can watch the full video I made about this trip here).
Though we were only in Germany for a few days, that trip had a profound impact on me. I found myself processing the experience for weeks. I’m still processing. But the thought that continues to play over and over in my head is that our communal responsibilities matter. The legacy we leave behind for the next generations matters. Kira (Shtillim) and Julia (Garinim) stood under a street sign named for their great great grandfather who died 85 years ago, and celebrated his leadership and his courage in the face of the most devastating times our people have ever experienced.
This trip made me realize that I have a genetic responsibility to continue the legacy laid out generations ago by my forefathers. My grandparents and parents have done their parts in their own communities and now its my turn. The truth is, given the world we face right now, it is all of our turn. So while I very humbly accept this new role, I welcome you to join me in being a leader for this miracle of a school that nurtures and grows our children to be the best versions of themselves possible. Looking forward to all of the amazing things we will do together, guided and led by our incredible administrators and staff.