Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A couple of days ago, I went to yet another grammar school here in Maale Adumim. This time it was Maale HaTorah for Girls. I was going to tutor a student there but arrived faster than I had anticipated, so I had some time on my hands. I decided to wander the halls and check out the place. On the one hand, it was VERY similar to most day schools I had seen/attended in the States. There were the required art projects relating to the Parasha; various pithy statements posted on the walls and the occassional child running giddily down the hall. But one thing I saw stopped me in my tracks and really made me think. On the wall, I observed the graduating class pictures of the past few years. Having such pictures on the walls of grammar school is a very common occurence. However, what struck me between the eyes was the make up of the class. I was looking at an amazing mix of Ashkenazi, Sefaradi, Anglo and Ethiopian girls in the various classes. I looked at the names...I looked at the faces..I looked at the teachers...and I said (probably out loud for others to hear!) "V'kabtzenu Me'arba kanfot ha'aretz" ("...and gather us in from the four corners of the world.") It is a phrase we say daily in our Shemona Esray. And here I was staring Kibbutz Galuyot in the face. How fortunate are these children to grow up in such an environment that within the one class they had such a beautiful mix of young Jewish girls. And while (sadly) many of these girls would witness one form or other of prejudice as they grow up, for now, their faces smiling back at me in the picture merely showed how far we as a country and we as a People truly have come. Baruch Hashem...may we continue to see more and more Jewish children from all over the world share a classroom here in Israel!

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