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Message from the Head of School – December 2018

Dec 11, 2018

Rabbi Eric Grossman, Head of School

One of the great paradoxes of life is that the two greatest human needs are the desire for change, and the yearning for things to stay just the way they are: We crave innovation, and at the same time we thrive on the familiar; we are excited by the new, but we love the old.

Akiva School’s 50th Anniversary gives us the opportunity to embrace this enigma.  We are using this year as a time to celebrate and venerate our past and innovate for the future.  Over the last months we have gathered with alumni, past parents and past presidents to recall our rich history and reminisce about the Akiva of old.  We have waxed nostalgic about teachers and administrators, about former buildings and erstwhile friends.  While Akiva today still has no uniform, we recalled a time when there were also no grades or report cards.

The new Akiva Innovation Lab

Times have changed, and Akiva has changed with the times.  We are now a school with a proper facility and a robust and structured curriculum.  This fall we launched our one-of-a-kind Innovation Lab, and it has already begun to make an impact on the life of our school.  Our students have begun experimenting, creating, and innovating, bringing new life and new perspectives to their learning, and our teachers have begun to incorporate the lab’s technological tools into their teaching.  Akiva’s cutting edge technology is taking our children boldly into the future.

Looking back to the past and forward to the future, we have come to appreciate this year the parts of Akiva that have remained constant.  The focus on the individual child, a community built on religious pluralism, Jewish values and a feeling of family and connectedness have always been the hallmarks of Akiva.  These values are as true today as they were when we were founded over a half century ago. 

Old and new, tradition and change—these are polarities that are part of the Akiva mission, at the heart of Judaism itself.  We are an ancient faith that has remained relevant by embracing change while staying true to our traditions.  While seemingly paradoxical, embracing both the past and present is what provides us the energy and vitality to move forward boldly to the future.

Wishing everyone a wonderful winter break!