The halls of Akiva are once again filled with movement. Students are moving from class to class, up and down stairs, in and out for arrival, recess, and dismissal. All the while, we are moving forward on our journeys as individuals and as a school.
Our schoolwide journey began this week at our Opening Assembly, and we were excited to have so many of you join us when we launched our theme of “On the Road to a Great Year at Akiva.” It is important for our children to know that we are all travelers on the road of life; teachers, administrators, parents, and students, we are all trying to find our way as we move forward on our individual paths of learning and growth.
The story of the Jewish people is conceived of as a journey beginning with our ancestors Abraham and Sarah. They were commanded by God to travel from their native land to what is now the Land of Israel, and since that time, Jews have always been travelers. It is part of our historical experience that we understand that, physically and spiritually, we are always on a journey.
Shortly after Abraham and Sarah arrived in Israel, they left the Promised Land only to return again a short time later. In doing so, our ancestors established the pattern of Jews leaving and returning to the land of Israel, the most famous example being the Exodus of our people to and from the land of Egypt. Today, almost 4,000 years after Abraham’s return journey, it is still customary for Israelis to leave their homeland to visit the Diaspora, and to go back again. On their travels, they bring with them the language and culture of our homeland. Akiva is blessed this year to have two such travelling companions from Israel, Tamar, from Kibbutz Beit Kama and Elchanan, from Moshav Keshet, who will be part of our community for this academic year. They will help infuse our community with the spirit and love of the Holy Land. We call them our “Shinshinim,” the Hebrew name of the Jewish Agency program that arranges for them to be with us.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and it was inspiring this week to see our kindergarteners take their first steps on the Akiva path. Parents were at school this week to see them off on their voyage, and our teachers and administrators will be there to help guide them along the way.
As they near the end of their Akiva journey, our grade 6 students travelled to Camp Massad this week for an overnight retreat: Camp Akiva. The camping experience is filled with special team building exercises and activities to help make the final leg of our students’ journeys one that is meaningful and special. We look forward to a triumphant last year for our grade 6 students as they approach the finish line.
On a personal note, I enjoy seeing you, our parents and students, as you make your way on the road to Akiva each morning. Whether you arrive by foot, car, or bicycle, it is a pleasure to greet you as you see your children off on their daily journey. I would like to personally thank all of you for your good wishes as my family and I complete our journey to Montreal, we are all so excited for what lies on the road ahead.
Safe travels, bon voyage, nesiyah tovah,