Op-Ed Postscript: People (Still) Read Newspapers & (Some) People ARE Wonderful

On Friday, December 1st, my Op-Ed was published in the Ottawa Citizen.

The following things have happened since…

…that morning an MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament for my American friends) physically came by to hand deliver donut holes to the staff.

…on Monday all our energy was dedicated to…

…sending four buses of students, teachers, parents and alumni to the Canadian Rally for the Jewish People where we stood in solidarity with thousands and thousands in the snow in support of Israel.  [If you want to see us in a brief news report, click here.]

…on Tuesday, a (non-Jewish) woman named Isabel G. had a zillion delicious kosher baked goods delivered to our staff.

…on Tuesday, a (non-Jewish) woman named Lauren S. had a beautiful handwritten card and candle sent to us expressing her allyship and solidarity.

…on Tuesday, a (non-Jewish) woman named Mary T., a young 89 year-old resident of an assisted living complex, called the school to see what she could do for us.

And it is only Wednesday…

That doesn’t account for all the Jewish folk I have bumped into since Friday who have gone out of their way to let me know they read, they support, they care, and they, too want to feel like we can do something.


All of the above counts as something.  And more than that, it means everything.  You would be surprised – I was – at how much these gestures mean.  It seems silly, or maybe it doesn’t, but these simple acts of lovingkindness bring a smile to an otherwise stressed Israeli face, or adds a spring in an otherwise exhausted Jewish step, or comforts a teacher who feels anxious these days – it meaningfully impacts our teachers and our school when we need it most.  And who benefits?  Happy teachers, happy students!  Everyone feels, if just for a moment, better.  And that is the best gift any of us can receive during this season, a little light in the darkness.

Chag urim sameach.

BTW – I should have asked for potato chips!  [Or did I just manifest a potato chip delivery!]

We look forward to safely welcoming you to this year’s special OJCS Chanukah Family Program!  Date and time has been communicated directly to parents and we are looking forward to coming together as an OJCS Family…now more than ever.

BTW – if you like a playlist and a signature cocktail for your celebrations, why don’t you go ahead and make yourself a Chanukah Gelt Martini and vibe to this playlist:

CAT-4 results are in!  You can look forward to my way-too-long, covered in way-too-many parts, analysis and breakdown…after Winter Break.

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon is studying to be a rabbi at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is on the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.