April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As a matter of course, admissions directors bring prospective families through the halls of their schools. I imagine (and hope) that many schools you encounter have a similar vibe. In ours, song, music and meaningful chatter find us as we walk from class to class, the rooms alight with the artwork and energy of learning, one teacher speaking in immersive Hebrew, another using the science of reading as she models the phonetic construct of a word. At Beit Rabban, chavrutahs line the halls in pairs, bulletin boards hold artifacts of student work, and photos of babies born to our community animate our walls.

Today, I took visitors on a usual walk through our school, and we encountered all of this, and more. And then, a moment I didn’t know I needed: as we entered the second grade classroom, we heard a student layning Torah. Our second graders have just started learning their ta’amim, the trop they will carry with them as they prepare for our second grade Torah Reading Ceremony, a threshold moment for Beit Rabban students.

At just that moment, carrying the heaviness of our people with me, the passage from which Beit Rabban takes its name coursed through my brain. As I listened to this student chanting an aged tune with the softness and strength of a child’s voice in the process of active learning, the last days of mourning briefly dissipated. In its place, I saw the image of Shabbat 119b in the Talmud Bavli:

אין העולם מתקיים אלא בשביל הבל תינוקות של בית רבן

“The world is sustained by the breath of young children of the house of study.”

And I realized, it isn’t just the world that is sustained. It is me.

Gratitude filled me up. I was anchored by children of Beit Rabban, who are themselves rooted in a love of the Jewish people, our texts and our practice. They build on this foundation to make positive change within their various circles of obligation. Equipped with these powerful skills and dispositions, our students are poised for a lifetime of learning and growth that is always in the service of improving the world.

I invite you to experience moments like this one—to find the corners of our school that will bring you through the grief of this time and into a space of hope. Visit us (virtually) at beitrabban.org, contact [email protected] or join us at our Open House on Thursday, November 9th.

May we know peace. May we safeguard our people through the same principles that bind our school community to one another and to our service in the world: a commitment to engaged Jewish life, a love of the Jewish people and an unwavering obligation to the State of Israel.

Rebecca Leicht is the Director of Admissions at Beit Rabban Day School.

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