Wednesday, 8 May 2013

All in a day's work

I would like to share with you 10 things that happened during my day at work in King Solomon High School.

1. We organised a Shacharit minyan for Yom Yerushalayim attended by all the Jewish Studies teachers, the Deputy Head, students from Year 8 till Year 13 - and led by the Headteacher.

2. There was a Yom Yerushalayim breakfast for the minyan goers - smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels obviously - and everyone was given a 'super davener' novelty sticker!

3. Jewish music in the hall to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, featuring Matisyahu amongst others!

4. The regular Mincha continued with some students coming back for more tefilla - there was a good minyan, as there has been every time since it started (students have the choice to daven - Mincha is at the end of lunch break with no incentives - apart from super davener stickers!). Mincha was led by a sixth former, his second time as Chazan.

5. Year 11 went on study leave today and in the leaving assembly, there was a slideshow of all the pictures - many of which were taken on the Israel trip and on Purim.

6. There was a leaving BBQ for Year 11 provided for the school - a chance to say goodbyes properly before exams.

7. I had a conversation with a student who wants to go to yeshiva.

8. Year 9 students spontaneously joined in the singing of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav in a lesson about Jerusalem.

9. One leaving student said to me that they feel that KS is not just a school but a real community - not a cliche, but his genuine thoughts.

10. I had a meaningful conversation with my Head of Department in which we agreed that our purpose as Jewish Studies teachers is unique because it doesn't end when students leave the school. We will always be living role models, hopefully in contact with students in the future. Our job can never be completed - we can always continue to develop our Jewish pride, learning and identity.

These 10 things made me realise how important Jewish schools are as I reflected on what the students have come out with as a result. King Solomon High School is allowing the young Jews of North East London and Essex the chance to create meaningful friendships with like-minded people, nurtured in an Orthodox, Zionist, Jewish environment. When the final message from the Headteacher to the leaving cohort is a Dvar Torah based on Pirkei Avot - Know from where you came and where you are going - you see the greater picture of what has been achieved.

If you are a KS student reading this, be proud to continue your Jewish journey and let it flourish and develop as you continue to identify as Jews and learn more about what it means to have the gift of being Jewish.

If you are anyone else - this is what kind of a school King Solomon is. We should be proud to have it in our community.

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