Today I am defiant. I am angry. So angry. No more. No more panicked texts.
I am opening at a training of a group of day school leaders in several hours. What to say? How do we focus on the important work of building our schools’ futures when a deranged excuse for a human being kills in cold blood and takes the life of Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old graduate of the Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts, doing a gap year in Israel? Ezra was handing out sandwiches to IDF soldiers when a terrorist sprayed gunfire and killed him. Our hearts are broken and we send our deepest condolences to his family. May Ezra’s memory be for a blessing.
Antoine Leiris released a video telling the terrorists who shot his wife, Helene Muyal, in Paris last week “You cannot make me hate you.” I find that beautiful – and challenging. I am not there. I am filled with anger. What to do with all of this anger?
Like many of your kids, my kids have friends from Gann Academy serving in the IDF. My son was messaging with one of his IDF friends today and asked what message he would want me to share with you today. I was told that it was not fit to be printed. The anger is shared and permeates our office.
And, yet, work is at hand. Schools who teach Jewish values and menschlekeit along with the importance of standing up and questioning what is – they need to focus on building their futures so more students can be raised to love, to defend the sanctity of humanity, to choose life, not death.
And, so today, as we hold a training for schools across North America for Generations, our program to teach endowment building, we will hold it in defiance of the darkness of terrorism. We will hold it in honor of the values all good people share. We will turn darkness into light. We will double down on our efforts to turn our anger into building schools that teach generations of Jewish students how to value life and how to cherish humanity.