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A JK-12 pluralistic school that engages students in an exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish education.

The Newness of the School Year and Jewish New Year as One

Alyssa and Jason Friedrich

As a child, I always thought it was interesting that the Jewish calendar and my school calendar were in sync.  So just when I was preparing for a new school year, the Jewish new year was upon us and it was time to reflect on the coming year.  As a parent, it is particularly nice to reflect with our children on the newness of the school year and the Jewish new year as one.  Of course, we are fortunate to be a part of a Jewish day school community that reflects on these same values on the same timetable.

That doesn’t mean that the Jewish calendar is without its challenges.  Just when you have mastered the new sleep routine you are faced with days off and the temptation to let everyone sleep in just a bit longer.  The new year’s anxieties are prolonged as the new schedule is delayed just bit.

Ultimately, I still love having the chagim arrive at the beginning of the school year.  It is Jewish life’s punctuation. It is a wonderful reminder that we ought not rush into our new school year, new routines or new goals.  Lets rather settle in for a bit; make a few stops on the new journey. 

The entire process actually reminds me of our family's transition into summer time.  Every summer, we try our best to head to the beach after the last day of school.  We never drive straight there. Everybody in the family has their favorite stops on the ride; the fruit stand is a family favorite.  The fruit stand is the time and place where it really starts to feel like the summer.

Without the opportunity for reflection that the Jewish calendar offers us, the monotony of another school year will take over.  As we hear the shofar blow, dwell on our sukkahs and celebrate a year of reading Torah, we are also gearing up spiritually for our new school years.

I hope everyone has had a fantastic start to both the new school year and enjoyed the chagim with their families.

Alyssa and Jason Friedrich are the parents of Avi (Grade 6) and Ellie (Grade 2). Alyssa also sits on the CESJDS Board of Directors.