Paul is Prizmah's founding Chief Executive Officer.

Pre-Pesach Inspiration with Rabbi Sacks

On Tuesday, nearly 700 school leaders from eleven countries around the world joined Prizmah and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks for a message of inspiration, hope, and courage. In the midst of new realities and the urgent and challenging work schools are doing, we took some time for reflection, wisdom, and for spiritual self-care.

Each day, under the toughest of circumstances, heroic school leaders and educators are strengthening their communities, educating children, and continuing to fulfill our shared vision for a vibrant Jewish future. Caring for each other and for ourselves at this time of enormous pressure must also be a priority. As Rabbi Sacks asked, “Who will give strength to those who give strength to others?”

Rabbi Sacks called teachers the true heroes of Yetziat Mitzrayim/the Exodus from Egypt. Indeed, at this time of so much uncertainty--at a time of such great disconnection and isolation--we feel such gratitude to those who are leading us forward on the journey from slavery to freedom. Teachers know better than anyone, as Rabbi Sacks put it, that “education is the conversation between generations”--that even in virtual classrooms, connections are formed as ideas ignite learning in the ever-developing minds of our children. Visions of freedom and redemption are not hard to find, even over zoom.

“Empower kids to think of creative responses themselves,” said Rabbi Sacks. “It is in the difficult moments that you get the very best from kids by turning them into leaders. They will surprise you.” As we look ahead to Pesach next week, however we gather around our seder table, may we all be privileged to follow the example of the children who give the best of themselves and may we surprise ourselves with our capacity for hope even in these most trying of times.

Chag Kasher V’Sameach.