(A Message from Steven Phillips and Jason Kintzer)
Dear NYHS Family,
I am honored to be joining NYHS, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you. As we begin this exciting journey together, please join me in an ongoing conversation about Jewish education. The goal of this exchange is to define a shared vision for NYHS that aligns the hopes, dreams and unique conditions found within our wider school community with authentic Jewish engagement and best educational practices.
To begin, permit me to outline five core principles that shape my Jewish educational philosophy.
Moral sensitivity must pervade every aspect of the NYHS experience. If derech eretz kadma l'torah is to be more than just a slogan, it must exist firmly within the sphere of practice and define every aspect of NYHS's school culture.
Students have the greatest stake in their education and therefore deserve a significant voice in crafting their NYHS experience. Honest discourse promotes mutual respect and empowers student leadership. Student-teacher partnerships are the foundation for building a dynamic learning culture that benefits the entire community.
A Jewish life governed by genuine commitment rather than rote compliance requires an ability to translate ideas into action. When Torah learning is suffused with comprehension, mitzvot become thoughtful and sensitive enactments of living a complete Jewish life.
When faculty and students play for the same team, authentic engagement becomes the foundation of shared learning experiences. The essence of the Torah u'madda is the spiritual value of transferring skills and knowledge across contexts. Wisdom is born from experience and, as such, dynamic learning can never be compartmentalized into "bell to bell" units.
It's our school, so let's have fun with it! Judah Hanasi taught, "only learning that is enjoyed will be learned well. "While high school is more of a marathon than a sprint, there is no rule that says that the NYHS experience can't be filled with joy and happiness. Let's always take what we do seriously without taking ourselves too seriously."
I welcome your participation in this important discussion and invite you to share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head of School Elect
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