Thank you all for coming to celebrate Sukkot as a community and to install Dr. Barbara Gereboff as our Head of School. Thank you to our fabulous PTO for organizing this wonderful event. Thank you to our PJCC partners for the use of their sukkah and this wonderful space.
I want to acknowledge the community leaders who have joined us for this important occasion:
- Deborah Pinsky, PJCC Executive Director
- Fred Weiner, CFO of the PJCC, the Campus and Wornick
- Past President, Wornick Board of Trustees
- Don Newman
- Mark Abelson
- Andy Fradkin
- Maury Alcheck
- Rabbi Yossi Marcus
- Cantor Doron Shapira
- Roxanne Cohen, Jewish Community Federation
- Mervyn Danker, Head of School Emeritus – a hard act to follow
All of you form the fabric that makes the Ronald C Wornick Jewish Day School so much more than just a school.
The search and selection of a Head of School requires all of us to question who our school is and who we want it to be. There is no question that our community values academic excellence. We value inclusive and differentiated excellence – where each child is taught according to their ability and learning needs and is expected to strive for personal growth, personal excellence.
So, we obviously require that our Head of School have a plan to ensure sustained academic excellence at Wornick.
But that is not the only requirement for our school. Wornick is a cornerstone of our diverse North Peninsula Jewish Community. Our school is a microcosm of that community and must exemplify its values – kindness, social action, commitment to Israel and inclusiveness.
Our Head of School had to be someone who would integrate with our diverse community and cultivate and support its shared values.
Even that is not enough. Our school’s mission includes academic excellence and tikkun olam, and directs us to educate the next generation of Jewish leaders. Our school partners with our congregations and our families to build secure Jewish identities in every child.
Our Head of School needs to have a strong Jewish identity and needs to experience joy from the process of helping our children create their own Jewish identities.
Education, community and identity.
These are the cornerstones of Wornick. The Board, our teachers and our families have had a unique opportunity in the last 14 months to get to know Dr. Gereboff. She came to us with 17 years of experience as a Head of School and has a Doctorate in Education. She came to Wornick to work closely with students and teachers.
What we’ve seen is that she exceeded our expectations on all three major criteria. Her plan for sustained, inclusive academic excellence focuses on investment in our teachers, unlocking their passion for educational excellence and their knowledge of best practices. It involves celebrating exemplars of excellence in all we do.
Her commitment to our community shows in her openness to dialogue, insistence on kindness between all in our community, and her presence at synagogues, community events and more. On a personal note, I enjoyed walking for My New Red Shoes with her and her husband, Joel.
She put in place new ways for our students to develop informed Jewish identities with the eighth grade Kehillah seminar, having Rabbis serve as advisors to different grades, and engaging our middle school students to create their own t’fillah.
I am so honored to be the Board President with the privilege of installing Dr. Barbara Gereboff as our Head of School. Our school is vibrant with energy for learning – and it starts with the Head.
Albert Einstein said - It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Wornick is joyful and I am certain that our school will grow and thrive under Dr. Gereboff’s leadership. Welcome.