Sunday, September 25, 2022

From its inception, Book Day has been a labor of love. With our goal of fostering a sense of unity in the Torah Academy community that revolves around the act of reading, we sat down last summer to choose the most relevant books for our school.

Once again determined to involve all faculty, staff and students in the act of reading and discussing a text that would prove intriguing and relevant, we were encouraged by Rabbi Adler to include Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau’s Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home At Last, as a viable choice. Traditional and yet freshingly innovative, with a modern sensibility and yet an ageless feel, Out of the Depths soon revealed itself as the perfect pick for our school for this year.

With our choice came new inspiration. An engrossing read as well as a topical starting point for discussions about the traumatic effects of war on children and fresh insights into why bad things happen to good people, Rabbi Lau’s book could also serve as an unbelievably uplifting success story of contemporary Israel. And who better than Rabbi J.J. Schacter, whose family has been intimately connected with Rabbi Lau from the time that his father liberated the then 8-year-old from Buchenwald, to be our keynote speaker?

We decided to complete our day with Black is a Color, a pictorial representation of Mr. Stan Lebovic’s own search, as a believing Jew, to find meaning in a world living in the shadow of the Holocaust.

With a desire to end on an uplifting note, a musical rendition that illustrates Israel’s history, created and presented by Mr. Jordan Hirsch, was also booked.

Our goal as educators at TABC has always been to foster a love of learning, both within the curriculum and in co-curricular settings. We believe that Book Day is a wonderful extension of what we try to teach the boys everyday:  that it is through reading, whether a novel, a historical document or a blatt of Gemara, one can discover new worlds and begin to think for oneself.

By Carol Master and Leah Moskovits, Book Day Coordinators

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