The Hebrew term for gratitude is hakarat hatov, which means, literally, “acknowledging the good.” It is one of the basic values of Judaism – acknowledge kindness received by showing appreciation for the good someone does for you. As you know, one of the first prayers that a Jewish child learns is Modeh Ani, “I am grateful to You, living enduring King, for restoring my soul to me in compassion. You are faithful beyond measure.” This short prayer thanks God for recharging and restoring our soul each morning, enabling us to wake up and start a brand new day. If we can do it with God, then of course we need to be able to show gratitude towards each other.
So… thank you.
Thank you because it has been a phenomenal year for Richmond Jewish Day School, a year filled with inspired programming and great learning. Students were happy and challenged in their learning, and the school was very much a home away from home for many, a family really.
Thank you because retention is high. Put simply, we are keeping our existing families, and we are doing it by working incredibly hard on their behalf to educate their children, and by listening to them and their needs. Our parents are our best brand ambassadors, and they are the reason why our word-of-mouth marketing is excellent.
Thank you because recruitment for 2014-15 is fantastic. Notwithstanding that we have an unusually large grade 7 class graduating this year (our biggest ever – 17), with the number of new families coming to our school, our enrollment is again expected to increase next year for the second consecutive year.
Thank you because the school is at a point where the buzz about it is great, and it is viewed as a proud, secure and integral part of the Jewish Day School community in the Lower Mainland, and we couldn’t be happier about that. We got great coverage in the community all year thanks to a number of our projects, most notably the Random Acts of Chesed Week. It all helped to highlight the best features of our school.
Thank you to our students who taught us so much every day. You worked so hard this year, and you deserve every day of your summer vacation.
Thank you to our teachers and staff who have really gone above and beyond this year. The long hours, the attention to detail, the desire to meet each child where they are, the love and care that you invest in the students, the smiles and the hugs … todah rabah and thank you.
Thank you to the parents and all the volunteering you did this year to make the school really shine. From helping to serve hot lunch, to sweeping the playground, to fundraising or serving on the Board of Directors, everything you did helped the school immeasurably. We are very proud to be your partners in your children’s education.
Thank you to our donors and to the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Thanks to your financial support, we have made significant progress and the school is able to fulfill its mission of providing a Jewish education to the community. We believe wholeheartedly in our school and what it has to offer, and thank you so much for sharing in our vision – we are grateful for your financial support.
And finally, to the RJDS family, I want to thank you personally. I am proud to be a part of this beautiful school community, where I have a chance to work with great people on a regular basis . I love coming to work here every day – you have given me a place where I can feel free to be myself, where Rabbi Simcha Hoyzen can make an occasional appearance, and where I can devote myself to helping our children become the leaders of tomorrow and the lamplighters of the Jewish world.
Shabbat Shalom u’Mevorach, and have a great summer!