On Tuesday, August 31st, the freshmen had a head start as they headed to Walden West in Saratoga to spend a little extra time getting to know each other and to work together on curriculum associated with their “Entering a Kehillah” class. On Wednesday, they were joined by the sophomores, juniors and seniors and the Kehillah faculty to begin a retreat focusing on bonding as a school with a special focus on the seven values that make up our Kehillah:
Loving kindness (Chesed) ~ Commitment to acts of kindness and concern for all others.
Ethical living (Mussar) ~ Constant striving for character refinement and ethical behavior.
Truth (Emet) ~ Burning commitment to integrity, honesty and the quest for objective truth.
Peoplehood (Achdut) ~ Identify proudly as a Jew, view all Jews as family, and experience both the celebrations and the concerns of the Jewish people and of Israel on an emotional level.
Obligations (Mitzvot) ~ Personal responsibility and accountability.
Gratitude (Hakarat HaTov) ~ Appreciate all the blessings of life and feel indebted to every source of goodness.
Action for Social Justice (Tikkun Olam) ~ View ourselves and the world as flawed and incomplete, and accept the task of working to complete creation.
The students, led by art instructor, Jennifer Idleman, worked together on an artistic piece based on these values that will be displayed in the front of the school upon completion. The group also spent time studying the Jewish principle of “Kavod” (Respect or Honor) and discussed what this means to them as individuals and as a member of the school community. “I learned a great deal about what it means to respect each other in the community,” stated Dominic Suares, a member of the sophomore class. “The trip was so well organized and it was clear that student government put a lot of hard work and effort into it.”