Opinions Rosh Hashanah 5779

The New Year and Promise of Impactful Learning

Rabbi Ed Harwitz is head of school at The Weber School.

Rabbi Ed Harwitz

Sefer Kohelet, (the book of Ecclesiastes), offers a stoic analysis of the human condition: “A generation comes and a generation goes, but the land remains forever.” Does Jewish tradition as a whole identify with this notion, suggesting that our impact in the world is minimal, that as we “come and go,” the places that we inhabit remain static, unchanged and unmoved?

The rabbis of the Mishnah offer a more inspiring perspective: “In a place where there are no ‘people,’ make every effort to be a ‘person.” This charge requires that we reject any notion that minimizes our potential for impact, requiring instead that we engage in our Jewish community and the broader world with intellect, creativity and courage.

As we enter 5779 and begin a new school year, students and teachers at The Weber School are newly committed to directing our teaching and learning toward this grand mission. From the moment that they enter high school through their graduation, Weber students learn not only with a concern for personal achievement and success, but with the determination to serve causes greater than their own self-interests. When students embrace the responsibility and realize their potential as agents of positive, constructive change, they fulfill a foundational Jewish value of bringing shleimut, peace and unity, to the world.

As The Weber School enters its 22nd year and continues to expand its courses and programs, we do so with the hope of extending the reach and impact of our school community:

Weber students do not merely represent the Jewish future – they are eager and ready to serve our community now. Thanks to the new Daniel Zalik Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering and Design, complementing legacy initiatives such as Peace by Piece, the Israel Poland Experience and Spanish Immersion-Jewish Heritage experiences in Spain and Cuba, Weber students learn to invent, innovate, teach and serve in ways that grow and enrich the Jewish and broader community beyond the walls of our high school.

The Weber School faculty has created a robust, creative culture with courses in every academic discipline, an athletic program rooted in health, wellness and productive competition and unique co-curricular options in music, visual and performing arts. Looking towards the future, Weber teachers and staff actively engage new community partners so that we may pool our intellectual and human capital and broaden the appeal of Jewish education to families who have yet to establish a Jewish connection in Atlanta.

During the coming year, The Weber School invites you to join us as we work to enhance the reach and impact of Jewish Atlanta. On behalf of the entire community of students, parents, professionals and lay leaders at The Weber School, I wish a Shanah tovah u’metukah – a happy and sweet new year to you and your families.

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