Close up of Star of David silhouette inside Jewish Synagogue
(Photo: iStock)

Jewish day school executives from around Metro Detroit have released a community statement about the importance and approach of Jewish education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Jewish future lies in the hands of our children. For thousands of years, we have transmitted our culture, our traditions, our values, our obligations and our concern for the world from parents to children. The passing of our heritage from one generation to the next has been the backbone of our people.

We are united in our belief that Jewish education is vitally important for our community in Metro Detroit. In these trying times, we believe even more strongly in our mission, and we are committed to providing the Jewish children in our community with the very best secular and religious education, in whatever form it may take.

All over the country, schools in general and Jewish day schools, in particular, are trying to determine the best course of action to balance the safety and health of students and staff with the educational and emotional needs of the students. For all of us, this involves some very difficult, occasionally costly, decisions.

We all prefer to teach our students within the environs of our schools, and we all recognize that circumstances may, at some point, force us to take advantage of remote learning opportunities for a period of time.

We recognize that while we have different constituencies, physical spaces and needs, we share the same core values and desire to provide a world class education.

Those shared values inform our weekly meetings, under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, and allow us to share best practices, discuss our individual planning processes and learn from one another. We will continue to do so well past the opening of school because we know that the coming days will require innovative and creative solutions.

We realize that by working together we are more likely to find these solutions and effectively implement them. The saying that if you want to go fast “go alone” but if you want to go far “go together” has never been truer.

While we collectively believe the value of Jewish education is evident, in and of itself, we also believe that now more than ever Jewish education is needed in our world. Although we may do it differently, effectively we do exactly the same thing — we teach our kids to be good people and to care for themselves, each other, the Jewish community and the world.

At a time when we are witnessing increasing levels of hatred and polarization, those lessons must be taught and shared. The world needs more of the wisdom that our teachers impart to your children each day.

We will surely endure continued challenges over the coming days and months. However, we want the community to know that we will continue to work together and regardless of the difficulties, our commitment to Jewish education will not waver. With much appreciation for the continued support from our parents and the broader Jewish community.

— Rabbi Yehuda Amsel,  Yeshivas Darchei Torah
— Rabbi Azaryah Cohen, Frankel Jewish Academy
— Dr. Darin Katz, Hillel Day School
— Dr. Josh Levisohn, Farber Hebrew Day School
— Rabbi Shragie Myers, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
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