Whether this is your first year at SDJA or you are returning for another year ahead, I hope you have found our school to be your home and extended family. My own family joined SDJA some twenty-five years ago and as our three children each matriculated from kindergarten through twelfth grade, they and we put down deep roots and made enduring friendships. We came to feel that we were part of a very special community, one that brought together our diverse cultures, Jewish identities, and even our far-flung places of residence throughout Greater San Diego.
Most importantly, what makes this a home is that our children truly thrive on our campus. From my own experience as a parent of three SDJA alumni, I can tell you that their Jewish identity was shaped here, their friends from kindergarten remain connected to this day, and they were fully prepared to face the rigors of college and careers as they grew older and took their SDJA experience with them into the world.
This is fundamentally what drew me to return to our school in a professional role after serving for thirty-six years as a congregational rabbi. And now, as I spend time with the faculty, the children and teens, my belief in the value of SDJA is only stronger. Each day, I get to witness the passion of our teachers and the joy and smiles on the faces of our children. I recently asked our twelfth graders why they chose to remain in the school and every one of them shared with me how much they cherish the personal relationships they have with their teachers and the caring way in which this community has embraced them.
I greatly look forward to spending time with your children, learning about their passions, and connecting them to our Jewish tradition. Our Talmud says, “The world only exists for the sake of the breath of innocent school children.” (Shabbat 119b) I thank you for sharing with us the blessing of your children, who give us hope for a vibrant future.