Monday, May 7, 2007

Senior Recognition Night remarks

(These were my remarks at the Senior Recognition Night, June 2006)

Just look at you all! We are so proud of you!

We would like to express our deep appreciation for the Senior Recognition Night Committee for all their hard work organizing and arranging this evening’s event. Thank you to the creative, dedicated, hardworking, enthusiastic and dauntless PTA Senior Recognition committee: [list of names]. We would also like to thank their volunteers, [more names] for their efforts in arranging this night's event.

As the PTA president, it is my distinct privilege to present each of you with this gift from the PTA. This year’s choice, Rabbi Shapiro’s recent book, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat HaOmer and Shavuot, is particularly appropriate, not only because Rabbi Shapiro accepted both the Twersky Chair and the newly created Head of School position this year, but also because it focuses on the season that we concentrate on the preparation for receiving, and acceptance of, the Torah.

As freshly minted graduates, you are in a position that can be likened to that faced by klal yisroel after receiving the Mesorah at Har Sinai. Just as then, you must now decide what to do with the knowledge you have gained.

How will you apply it to the challenges and circumstances of your life? It is the unfolding story of the answer to this question that comprises our history as Jews, the story of our ongoing relationship with Hashem and His world. We, your parents, eagerly look forward to learning your particular answers to this question.

There is another similarity between Klal Yisroel at the foot of Har Sinai and our students as they graduate [name of our school] . When we stood at Har Sinai, we were “am ached im lev achad” – one nation with one heart – yet we each heard Hashem’s voice in our own way, according to our own individual level of understanding.

Likewise, the Class of 2006 is a cohesive group, having journeyed, studied and grown together these past 13 years. Yet each of you experienced your [name of our school] education individually. Together, in your educational tenure at [name of our school] you experienced all the unique qualities of our school: the guiding vision of Rav Soleveitchik, its fabulous teachers and staff, our passionately involved and committed community. But these are but a part of a special partnership, to which each of you brought your unique personality, aptitudes, enthusiasms and outlook.

We, your parents, stand in awe of what you have accomplished - individually – and together – and of the opportunities that lie ahead.

May you always stand tall, as you do today, knowing that your foundations are secure and true, built on love and fear of Hashem and His Torah, the love of your family, and on an excellent education based on Rav Soleveitchik’s philosophy of engaging in worldly matters, always for the sake of Heaven.

May you enjoy every success in all of your future endeavors.

May you continue to merit being the joyful conduit of Hashem’s gift of nachat to your parents.

May you always know that we, your parents, are so very, very proud of who you have become.

Mazal tov!

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