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Adam Eilath

This message contains important information. Please read through the entire letter.

Dear Wornick Community,

In the Passover Haggadah, we read the story of five Rabbis observing Passover in Bnei Brak, a short ways away from the recently destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. The world of these Rabbis was scary, dark, and bleak. Yet, the Haggadah uses the verb "Mesubin" (reclining as noble people) to describe the way they sat together to eat. They ate and studied Torah all night as if everything around them was normal.

Just like the world of our Rabbis, the world outside us is frightening. There are so many unknowns ahead of us. And yet, tonight our homes will be filled with hope and a vision for a brighter future. Each of us in our own way will reflect on the freedom we have and the ways in which we hope to free ourselves from our own "Egypts," our own personal slaveries. Even if you have not celebrated Passover before, I encourage you to gather as a family tonight, recline in your seats, and think about the ways you hope to be more "free" over the next year.

Last week, we communicated our plan to make a final decision about whether we would close our campus for the rest of the year after the Passover holiday. Alas, yesterday we received a notice from public officials at the County of San Mateo about extended campus closures for the remainder of the year. They have made it clear that we are in an urgent health crisis and that this step is necessary to protect the health and safety of our community. Indeed,  I have spoken with a number of our parents who are healthcare professionals, and they have shared the positive "early returns" that social distancing has achieved towards the goal of flattening the curve.

We were of course saddened to receive this notification from the County of San Mateo. We have no choice but to comply with the mandate to continue with remote learning through the rest of the school year. I know from my personal conversations with so many of you, how disappointing this news is. However, I trust that we all understand that we need to do everything we can to ensure the safety and health of our loved ones and the larger community during these times.

Our school is committed to excellence in our remote learning program over the course of the remainder of the school year. Thank you to the many parents who have expressed their appreciation for our educators who have innovated, adapted, and provided high quality learning experiences for our students during these times. This process is iterative and we will continue to solicit feedback and adapt throughout the rest of the year. We will also continue to prioritize one on one connections with our students and families, and create spaces for all school Tefillah on a regular basis.

We also recognize that so many important milestones that are essential parts of our yearly program will need to be adjusted. Our school takes such pride in our traditions and we look forward to connecting with you and our professional community about how we will be able to continue celebrating, just in a different way as we move forward.

We want to remind everyone of the Passover Break learning opportunities that were created by our wonderful educators led by Nicole Haire and Corine Brouwer. We also want to encourage you all to check out our folder of Passover activities compiled by our Jewish Studies team.

I also invite you to view my video message, which reflects on Passover, this challenging time in all of our lives, and how we as a community, are supporting each other and moving forward together.

May this be a restorative break for each of you. On Monday, April 20th, we will kick off our return to remote learning with a Bar Mitzvah celebration at 8:30am to honor Noah who was scheduled to have his Bar Mitzvah over Passover break (Zoom invitation forthcoming). We hope you will join us to celebrate this important life moment with the entire community.

Wishing you a happy Passover! Pesah Alegre!