Last year we had the pleasure of hosting musician Craig Taubman for a special CJDS concert. Craig wrote a theme song for our school, and given the frequency in which we heard it in the hallways and videos sent to us over the summer, our students really love it. It's simple and catchy. The words are:
Each day we're learning
And each day we grow
We came here in peace
and in peace may we go
We're climbing a ladder
to where we don't know
Bo'achem l'shalom (come here in peace)
Tzeitchem l'shalom (leave here in peace)
Ya'ale v'Yavo (may we arise and come forward)
We've decided to explore this notion of יעלה ויבא Ya'ale v'Yavo and made it our theme this year.
Ya'ale v'Yavo are two words that come from a special prayer that we include on Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the Jewish month), the High Holidays, and the pilgrimage holidays (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot). The prayer sets out multiple steps one would need to ready oneself to be judged favorably by God. It is interesting to note that there are eight verbs in this prayer; eight separate steps one needs to take to succeed. The prayer is sending the message that showing up is only the first step - that we need to keep climbing that proverbial ladder to achieve our goals. Our students will explore this idea through holiday celebrations, guest speakers, trips, and in classroom meetings throughout the year.