Inspire Purpose, Explore Possibilities By Chaim Heller, Head of School
Last week I wrote about our newly defined pillars of education here at San Diego Jewish Academy. Challenge Minds is the first touchstone of what we do as a school. Today I’d like to share thoughts on the other two; Inspire Purpose and Explore Possibilities.
Inspire Purpose means that we celebrate Jewish traditions and draw meaning from them. We engage in a pluralistic approach to Judaism which believes there are many paths within and they are all valid and important. We celebrate and honor Shabbat and Jewish holidays, have a kosher campus and explore Jewish texts that inspire and give purpose to all we do.
Inspire Purpose means that we first and foremost want our graduates to be good people, carriers of menschlichkeit into the world. Through practicing Tikkun Olam, studying ethics and developing their worldview through the lens of Jewish values, our students realize that purpose is to be found in service.
Inspire Purpose means that our students identify with and have a deep connection to the Jewish State, Israel, and will be committed to strengthening her through their study of Hebrew, their actions in their communities and keeping Israel central in their Jewish lives.
If we believe that our role at SDJA is to prepare our students to be happy and well-adjusted 35 year olds, we have one other responsibility to them as they learn and grow: Explore their possibilities in life.
Explore Possibilities means that we encourage deeper learning and provide the enrichment opportunities that make it possible. We ignite and then sustain a passion for learning in each student and then encourage that passion to be developed and nurtured.
Explore Possibilities means to provide programs that bring in local, national and international leaders and thinkers to challenge their assumptions and to engage their emotions as well as their intellect.
Explore Possibilities means to push our students, at times, beyond their comfort zones – whether on a ropes course, an outdoor education trip, a school performance or competition – to see how they are capable of more than they could imagine. As they journey out into the larger community, we have prepared them to be confident, inspired and independent thinkers, and strong and resilient young men and women.
Next week I’ll share our new logo with you and the story behind it.