There's no greater cliche than the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words. I guess that's because, with the right picture, it's true. For me this picture says it all. It speaks to what we're trying to do here at The Davis Academy...
I took this picture immediately before the start of Middle School Tefilah today. The kid in the white shirt in the center of the picture... today we celebrated with him and his family in anticipation of his bar mitzvah this weekend. Those kids surrounding him? Members of his Kehillah, his community.
Aside from the feel good vibe of the picture there's something much deeper going on. The kids aren't standing just anywhere. They're standing at the bimah (Hebrew for "stage"), the place reserved for those who lead the prayers. Too often in Jewish life the bimah is a lonely place. It's reserved for rabbis and cantors, for synagogue leaders and scholars. The future of Jewish life is tied to our ability to make the bimah a more dynamic and accessible place. The future of Jewish life is inextricably linked to our ability to welcome the many different voices in our community to the bimah.
For years we have worked here at Davis to make it known that the bimah belongs to each and every one of us. For years we have worked to make sure that when kids, teachers, parents, and others come to the bimah that they do so as authentic, engaged, and reflective members of their Jewish community. The smiles on the faces of these kids, makes me feel like we're making great progress.