Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.

Commitment to Communal Safe Practices and Shared Values

At the Heschel School, we have committed to stringently enforcing a set of practices and procedures in school to minimize the risks of spreading Covid-19 in our buildings.  While we cannot enforce rules outside of school as we do inside of school, each individual’s responsible behavior is critical to ensuring our general communal safety.  We thus ask that you commit to safe practices intended to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in our community and city.  

Safe practices include, but are not limited to:

  • Distancing in public and group situations

  • Wearing a clean mask over your nose and mouth when appropriate distancing is not possible (in school we will require masks even when distanced)

  • Maintaining safe practices of handwashing and sanitizing

  • Avoiding large gatherings and parties and having your children avoid them too

  • Following all state guidelines in terms of travel and quarantine

  • Accurately completing our symptom screen every morning

  • Staying home and consulting your doctor if you are sick or have a fever 

  • Informing Heschel if you or anyone in your household tests positive for Covid-19

  • Remaining home until you have been fever-free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication

We ask you to commit to these practices because we are a community of students, faculty, staff, families, and caregivers.  Now and always, we care for each other both in school and outside of school.  Our mission statement holds us to the lofty goal of “creating an ethical learning community that inspires [our] students to become responsible, active, compassionate citizens, and leaders in the Jewish and world communities.” 

As we enter the school year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel confident that we can continue to sustain and nurture our community inside and outside of school.  We feel committed to seizing the opportunity in these challenging times to teach our students what ethical learning and responsible citizenship look like amidst the struggles of our moment.  We feel inspired to live by Rabbi Heschel’s teaching that “all are responsible” by dedicating ourselves to the commandment of ואהבת לרעך כמוך/v’ahavta l’reyacha kamocha/Show as much love to others as we show to ourselves.

Creating communal norms right now is not easy and each of us is dealing with our own concerns and stresses.  We know that individuals and families will make different choices that they consider safe and we will not always agree on whether particular practices or choices are responsible.

Still, we are all in this together.  We are a school founded on a commitment to engaging in open and honest conversations, some of them difficult.  This commitment has a renewed importance right now as we engage in challenging conversations about health and safety with respect and care.  In situations where you have concerns about another person’s adherence to this affirmation, please speak to each other directly, with a spirit of communal responsibility, candor, and compassion.  Please do not post your concerns to social media or discuss them in other public fora.  Let’s all assume the best intentions of others.  

Together we can teach our children how to minimize health risks, continue to build an ethical community, and nurture responsible citizenship in these times.  Thank you—as always—for your care and partnership.