It is hard to believe that today marks the one year anniversary from the start of the Woolsey fires. It has been a year since our school, our community and our lives were impacted forever. A year ago I said, “Our school, at its core, has never been about the physical space or the buildings in which the children learn. Our school is a sacred and special community, founded because visionaries believed that our community needed its Jewish soul to be nurtured.” One year later I am more convinced than ever how true these words are.\
As I walk through campus and hear the laughter, witness the friendships and experience the learning taking place I know how rich and vibrant our community is! This is where children come to learn and grow, to see the endless possibilities that await them in our world, to foster a sense of identity, to learn how to be better citizens, and to connect to their Judaism in deep, personal and meaningful ways. The hard work and perseverance of so many who helped us return home has ensured that this is the lasting legacy of these fires. While there is still work to be done, the community and vibrancy of our school will continue to thrive.
I want to again express one more time my eternal thanks to the Fire Department, Police Department and all first responders for their heroism in protecting our school and our community. We say thank you to our friends at Temple Etz Chaim for their generous and overwhelming welcome of our entire school community to their campus. To the Los Angeles Jewish Federation and the RPO Group we are grateful for your wisdom and support, to deToledo High School for your leadership, and to the Summer Art Academy for your friendship. To the faculty and staff of IRDS, I express my unending gratitude for your dedication and tenacity, and to our parents and our alumni your support has meant everything. Finally, and most importantly, to the students of Ilan Ramon Day School, I am deeply grateful for your resiliency, tenacity and spirit.
I want to wish everyone a Shabbat of peace, comfort, family and joy.