Listening to the Brawerman students speak at Graduation was the perfect ending to my first year as Executive Director of Education at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. For me, it was a year of discovery and of falling in love with the Temple and the Schools. It would be an understatement to say it was a hard year. But it was also a year of resilience, growth, deepening of relationships, and tremendous achievement for the Brawerman students and its faculty and staff.
Keeping our community safe was a common refrain in our discussions this year - safe in all the ways that count. Physical safety was and continues to be foundational to our operations every day and not an easy task. Psychological and emotional safety is no less vital. Children cannot learn, and teachers cannot teach, unless they feel safe, and not just from physical harm.
Listening to our graduates underscored for me how successful Brawerman is in creating and maintaining an environment in which children are and feel safe to learn, take academic risks, develop friendships, be open with each other, and experience life at its fullest. Students spoke about spaces and experiences that made them feel seen and heard, and also challenged and stretched them. They spoke about the opportunities they have been given and how every aspect of school life - strong academics, joyful Judaism, athletics, relationships with faculty and staff, the arts, friendships, spiritual moments, the Israel trip - made them the confident young people they are today.
None of this happens on its own. Intentionality permeates everything we do and everyone involved in the Schools’ success acts from a place of true commitment: faculty, administrators and staff, clergy, Temple leadership, families, lay leaders, and friends and supporters. The unity of purpose - creating, sustaining, and nurturing the best possible schools for our students and our community - will also guide us to growth in the future as well. Thank you for being an integral part of Brawerman’s success!