Message from the Head of School About Shaloh House
July 2, 2021 by
Usually, when I cry, I can feel it coming for a bit and – depending on the circumstance – might try to fight the tears back or decide to let them flow. But when I read about the stabbing outside of a Jewish school in Boston yesterday, the tears were instant. Thank god, the rabbi is in stable condition and the Boston community immediately rallied around the school.
To add to the stark emotional landscape, when I saw the images of Rabbi Shlomo Noginski, I knew that backdrop in my heart and mind. Our eldest, Elana, went to Shaloh House for preschool when she was two years old. To some extent, I also attended Shaloh House for a couple of months. Between only going to school two days a week and the early weekday hagim that year, let’s just say Elana had a tough time getting into a healthy school drop-off routine…
What that meant for me, however, was that I intimately knew her teachers, the administrators, and the culture of warmth, love, and compassion that flowed through everything at Shaloh House. The founders were of Russian descent, so warm tea was served at meals and Elana got one of her first and most long standing nicknames from her teachers there. We still call her by the Russian diminutive, Elashka, to this day. The love of children and passion for sharing Judaism was palpable at Shaloh House, and for being part of that, Rabbi Noginski was targeted?
We feel this pain together and need to learn how to navigate it, express our mutual support, and combat the source, while at the same time ensuring that it does not define us or become the sole reason we feel connected to one another. One of the ways we can proactively respond is by empowering our children to take pride in our identity, our history, our culture, our community, and our future. This is what we do each day at Milton.
We are deeply committed to continuing to work together to keep our campuses safe and secure – both physically and emotionally – as places where teachers can share their passion for their subjects and students can learn to wear and live their positive Jewish identities proudly. We will build community together, not because others threaten us, but because we can grow together, make meaning together, and support each other through life’s most difficult moments, including this one.
I wish you all a peaceful Shabbat and a happy and healthy weekend celebrating our independence and our interdependence.