I write to you with an uplifted spirit, because even in the face of adversity and great challenge I have witnessed a community that continues to come together. Last week there were phone calls from many people to congregants and families offering to do shopping or to help in some other way. From a health perspective I was able to watch as families practiced social distancing on Shabbos by standing far apart from each other and people were talking to each other from a distance.
It is interesting but in these difficult times we have seen our students all participating daily in distance learning. I must compliment and thank our entire staff, because on top of the actual telephone learning there are many online resources that we provided being used, and families have created individual schedules for each of their children that include our robust distance learning, written homework, and online resources. I am also in touch with my personal network of educational leaders from various schools and we are all sharing schedules and ideas with each other. I have also discussed our school’s current plans with Torah Umesorah and with HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, whose advice to date has been to continue with our current plan until Pesach with the hope that school will B”H be able to open soon. If there are any families that still need help personally or with the school educational program, please feel free to contact any member of the administrative team.
We are so thankful for the many parents who have called or sent emails of appreciation (see enclosed) to the staff and administration. It is your words of thanks that motivate and inspire us to continue in planning the best program for our students in both Torah and General Studies.
We realize that Yom Tov in a regular year can be stressful; how much more so this year! Please contact your local Rav or the school if you have any specific food or financial needs, as there will B”H be many local resources available. Please also be aware that the Food Pantry is seeking ways to distribute food to needy families.
I am amazed by the many online shiurim that people are listening to daily. The lists ofshiurim available locally in Mishnah Berurah, Daf Yomi, and Mussar, as well as the nightly Agudath Israel lectures, Torah Anytime, and so many other resources, are certain to storm the gates of Shomayim asking Hashem to see that although we may not be together in the school, shul, and Bais Midrash, we are still all together as a tzibbur in our thirst for limud haTorah I am happy to share resources and links with anyone who wants.
I would like to conclude my letter for this week by thanking Rabbi Lapin for organizing a virtual high school Tehillim gathering where he, Mrs. Lipson, and Cheli Schochet shared words of inspiration and Tehillim for the high school in memory of Rebbetzin Schochet a”h, our past NEAT principal, whose fifth yahrtzeit was on Monday. I had the opportunity to recite Tehillim and Mrs. Weiner also joined in this asifah. The common thread was the tremendous care that Rebbetzin Schochet showed to her students and family. Many Rabbonim have stressed this concept of bain odom lachavero, interaction between us and our friends. May her memory be a source of inspiration for us all!
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman