Yesterday morning, my first grader, Eliana, woke up early to come into our room to make extra sure that we had remembered to put her MJGDS Marlins shirt in her day-of-the-week clothes organizer because she had to wear it for spirit day.
Each time I passed her in the hallway, she reminded me that I was to get her out of aftercare in time for her to watch the big game.
When I came to pick her up in aftercare to walk her over to the gym, she (and her 3-year old sister) was so excited she flew out of the room.
Eliana had never seen, nor probably heard, of “volleyball” prior to yesterday’s first home game in school history. Didn’t matter a whit. She had spirit.
And she was not alone! We had an overwhelming amount of students, parents, alumni and supporters in attendance to share in history. We won the first (of three) game and as we drew closer to the clinching point, you would have thought we were about to win the Final Four, not the first game of a girls middle school volleyball match!
I blogged last week, here, about the value of athletics in the (small) Jewish day school after our first road game. The energy yesterday afternoon, however, took things to exponential levels. It really proves the point; in terms of rallying school spirit, it is really hard to top athletics. And school spirit is not insignificant. It is not as important as academic achievement, inculcating Jewish values, and developing character. But in terms of that intangible “something” that gives you pride in being part of something larger than yourself and encourages you to want your children to be part of something special? It is hard to put your finger on it, but you can kind of tell when you’ve got it or when you don’t. And heading into another sweet Jewish new year…we’ve got it!
In other updates, we went live this week with edJEWcon and our first application from another Schechter Network Day School came in within the first few hours! We have been utilizing our social media and with the Network’s social media roll-out to begin soon, the buzz on the event will only continue to grow. (For continuing updates on the conference, click here. For background information on edJEWcon, click here.) So when it comes to 21st century learning, MJGDS certainly has spirit as well.
Heading into Rosh Hashanah this evening feels this year to me like slipping into a comfortable, warm bath. I have a wonderful opportunity to put workaday concerns aside and concentrate on making meaningful use of the gifts of time, family and friends. After relying on the kindness of the community last year, Jaimee and I are blessed to be able to open up our home to new friends this year. We are looking forward to days of communal meals, honest reflection and creating Jewish memories to carry us forward into 5772.
From my family to yours, let me wish everyone the sweetest of new Jewish years…
Shanah tova u’metukah,
Jon, Jaimee, Eliana & Maytal