I just watched the video of James Taylor’s new song, “Angels of Fenway” showing beautiful baseball images about the Red Sox’ long struggle—and the euphoria of the end of the 86-year drought between World Series wins. What a moment! I grew up in Minnesota as a huge sports fan, especially baseball and football, and after living in Boston for almost 30 years, I have become a rabid New England sports fan.
You know that feeling you get when your team scores the winning point or run? That’s the emotional high that we need to communicate about what is happening in our day schools every day.
As the new Executive Director of PEJE, I want to urge you to share your stories. We are the people of the book, and storytelling is in our DNA. We aren’t doing enough of it. Dream big. Act as if day schools are imperative. We must connect to those who, as Barry Shrage, Boston’s head of federation, says, “don’t yet know that day schools are essential to our Jewish future.”
So I ask you to take a two-pronged approach: With your parents and grandparents, reinforce the beauty of what happens in your school with individualized real-time stories and videos (with parental permission). But you cannot stop there. Social media offers you endless opportunities to reach beyond the inner circle, to reach those who “don’t know yet how much they value day school education.”
Create your library of impact stories. Tell your students, your faculty, your parents, your donors, your community about the joys of Judaism, that moment when a student “gets it,” the stories of your families who are transformed by your school. Create an ambassador program for those who are natural connectors to use their networks to talk about the science project that combines Noah and refracted light or the examples of menschlekeit in your school. I challenge you to find ways to share the magic and the impact that you see every day.
Communicate the awe. Communicate the blessing.