Last week marked the beginning of the month of Adar Aleph, the first month of Adar since this  is a leap year (next month will be Adar Bet).  Adar is famously a month of happiness.  The Rabbis observed that when we welcome the month of Adar we should increase our joy:


מי שנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה


A leap year thus presents a double opportunity for us as a community.  Although Purim, the apex of Adar's joy, does not come until the middle of Adar Bet, a leap year offers us the chance to reap a double harvest of the month's traditional spirit of celebration.

And yet, for many members of our community, our past weeks and months have also been filled with sadness and loss.  Our individual experiences have varied tremendously. Nonetheless, together--as parents, students, faculty, and staff--we have reached out to support one another,  looked for ways to comfort the mourners in our midst, and worked to create communal spaces for reflection and healing. Again and again, I have found enduring inspiration in our community's compassion, caring, and resilience.  

As we enter Shabbat and our mid-winter break, I feel profoundly aware of the privilege that community offers us to hold simultaneously our moments of joy and our moments of heartbreak.  I feel intensely the gift of raising our children in a community that knows how to dance together and knows how to weep together. And, even in this first month of Adar, I recognize the profound message of Megillat Esther: that we can transform our communal fate from grief and mourning to joy and celebration:    


מִיָּגוֹן֙ לְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמֵאֵ֖בֶל לְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב   


I wish us all the blessing of שמחה and יום טוב, of joy and celebration.  May we always hold each other in the moments of challenge and may we be privileged, in the months of Adar and beyond, to come together as a community in many, many moments of happiness and celebration.

Shabbat Shalom,



Early Childhood Center • Henry Lindenbaum Lower School • Alan B. Slifka Middle School
30 West End Avenue, NYC 10023 • 212 784-1234
High School • 20 West End Avenue, NYC 10023 • 212 246-7717

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