There is always something so invigorating about the opening of a new school year. Students are combing through curricula and purchasing new books and course material amid an air of expectation and hope. There is an expectancy for doing well, meeting new acquaintances and becoming better people, while hope abounds for acquiring new and exciting knowledge and having our minds and horizons stretched by new areas of inquiry.
This is a year of continuity and change for the Academy. Chief Rabbi Funnye is completing his third year as Rosh Yeshiva and I have begun my third year as a Dean, being the first female Dean and female Rabbi of the Academy.
Amid this newness, there is none the less a stability that pervades the Academy. Even with many previous significant administrative challenges, the Academy is in its 93rd year of operation. This achievement represents
remarkable stability despite living through very tumultuous times. Ninety three (93) is significant for the 93rd parashat of Tehillim (Psalm 93) also speaks of stability amid change:
יְהֹוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֘ גֵּא֪וּת לָ֫בֵ֥שׁ לָבֵ֣שׁ יְ֖הֹוָה עֹ֥ז הִתְאַזָּ֑ר אַף־תִּכּ֥וֹן תֵּ֜בֵ֗ל בַּל־תִּמּֽוֹט:
נָכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֲךָ֣ מֵאָ֑ז מֵ֖עוֹלָ֣ם אָֽתָּה:
- The Lord has reigned; He has attired Himself with majesty; yea the Lord has attired Himself, He
has girded Himself with might. The world also is established that it cannot be moved.
- Your throne is established of old; You are from everlasting.
Regardless of the changes in our lives, our country and the world, we rest assured that The Holy One of Israel is unchanged.
You will experience changes in your life as a consequence of acquiring new knowledge, new understandings and new methodologies for critically examining your life and the world. May you do so not just for the sake of knowledge but rather as a stepping stone for tikkun olam or changing our world for the better and proclaiming the majesty of our G-d throughout the world.
Dean of The Israelite Academy
August 10, 2019
ט׳ בְּאָב תשע״ט
9th of Av, 5779