Acts of Courage
Dear HBHA Family,
As you may have heard, our school has embarked on learning a Midah (virtue) of the Month. This month, we are focusing on gevurah, or courage. When I think about this virtue in the context of our work, our community and our work, I first and foremost think of our teachers, who are so entirely committed to our children's education. As you are probably aware, our plan is to bring students back to campus next week. This is a time when many teachers are nervous to come to school and find themselves surrounded by other students for 8 hours a day. But as Nelson Mandela said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it.”
I have also been reflecting on the passing of Joan March, z”l, who was one of the founders of HBHA. She gave of her time, talent and treasure, along with Carol* and Sidney Deutsch, Bea* and Milton* Firestone, Walter* March, Joan (Puritz) Greenberg* and Carl Puritz, Beryl and Richard Silberg and Blanche and Neil Sosland. These dreamers helped build a school for Kansas City, not knowing if it was going to last or all be for naught. They sent their children to a school that didn’t yet exist. There was no track record, no established curriculum, just an idea and a plan.
It takes special people to create something out of nothing - to build an institution that will outlast them. It takes courage. As Muhammad Ali said, "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Joan and her co-founders most certainly had the courage to build something important and lasting. So, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy isn’t just an honor to Hyman Brand, but it stands as a living testimony to the courage, vision and effort of Joan and all those who helped create this precious institution. I am honored that I got to know her just a little bit before the pandemic hit.
There are many forms of courage - big and small. I wish for all of us to find the strength to face the challenges in front of us, and the blessing that the fruits of our labors will long outlast us.
HBHA Head of School
*of blessed memory