Snow and Akiba's Many Communities
by Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School
Akiba on Sunday, February 11, 2018
I know what many of you are thinking: I am from California, so of course, I called a Snow Day last Friday. That is understandable, and I am not going to lie. Every time I see two or more flurries softly descending from the heavens, I worry if I have enough bottled water and canned goods in the pantry. However, luckily I also have a great team at Akiba, and as we reviewed the weather reports, spoke with our bus company, other schools, and parents, we came up with various options to address all possibilities. Closing school is the last thing we want to do, but I am grateful that my team remained focused on doing what is best for our students and staff in this situation. I also want to thank the mysterious board member who showed up at my house and plowed my driveway. If that is not a sign of board support, I don't know what is!
Onto a warmer topic! On a recent Shabbos, I had the privilege of being in the Lakeview community for Rafi Nagorsky's Bar Mitzvah. I got to daven at Anshe Sholom for the first time with some of our families, spend time with more of our families at Anshe Emet, and experience that which makes our school one of a kind. First, Rafi, if you are reading this, you did a fantastic job! Your davening was inspiring, your laining (reading of the Torah) was perfection, and your speech was meaningful, funny and expertly delivered. Second, I was overwhelmed by all the Akiba students, teachers and families that were there to share in the Simcha (celebration). One might think that because we attract students from all over Chicago that we are only a community at school. As evidenced by that Shabbos, this could not be further from the truth. We come together every day from different communities and backgrounds to learn together in one school, and we come together as one to celebrate and support each other outside of school as well. This is not just an Akiba value, but a Jewish value. It is a value that is clear Rafi and his family share as well as so many of us at Akiba. May we all continue to celebrate and support each other in school and beyond!