Welcome to Kinneret Day School’s website. Having been a part of the Kinneret family for more than forty years, I invite you to join me in a shared endeavor that is very dear to my heart. When I look around the school at all the activity and excitement and the joy in learning that surrounds me every day, I am filled with a deep gratitude that such a place exists.
Very few schools can truly say that they are part of the whole community of Jews. Certainly in New York City – where we often find ourselves divided by national origin, denomination, and level of observance – a true community day school is a rarity. But Kinneret has somehow managed to weather the storms that threaten to divide our people, bringing together secular, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jews in an environment of acceptance, friendship, and joy in our shared peoplehood. I am awed by the miraculous nature of children who embrace each other wholeheartedly and, in the right environment, can be sheltered from the mental and emotional partitions that we adults sometimes unwittingly build.
To be entrusted to educate a child is a beautiful gift, and I am always mindful of the choices and sacrifices parents make to provide their children with a meaningful Jewish education. I take my responsibility as the guardian of these vulnerable souls very seriously, and I am proud to have spent my life as an educator of children across the religious spectrum.
As a child of Holocaust survivors, growing up in the Midwest, I learned the value of a Jewish education at a young age. My dear father, A”H, and mother, who had between them lost twelve beloved siblings in the camps, knew that the way to survive the horrors they experienced was to provide me with a Jewish education. Therefore, I was sent to Brooklyn to learn at Yeshiva Torah v’Daas under the direction of the great Rabbi Yakov Kaminetzky, ZT”L. My parents knew that education was the key to Jewish continuity and survival, and I am forever grateful to them for their sacrifices on my behalf.
When the time came to decide whether to enter the rabbinate or become a teacher, I chose to become an educator, one who could promote respect and inclusivity; the centrality of Hebrew, Israel, and Zionism in the lives of all Jews; a diversity of community; and the recognition that what matters, above all, is every Jewish soul.
I searched for the right school at which to begin my career. When I found Kinneret, I knew I had found an ideological home, a spiritual home, and a home in which the profound lessons of my parents could be realized and shared, a task I have endeavored to perform every single day of my career.
I am so proud of all of the accomplishments of our amazing students and graduates: their abilities in math and science, their musicianship, their language skills in Hebrew and English, their professionalism, their writing and creativity, their contributions to hundreds of professions and to myriad communities. But, more than anything else – more than the math, more than the Hebrew, more than the test scores and accolades and worldly successes – I am proud to know that each child who leaves Kinneret carries within him or her that light, that pintel yid, that cannot be extinguished.
There is a special place in each Kinneret graduate’s heart for yiddishkeit, for learning, and for the achdut — the togetherness — that binds every Jew across continent and generations.