Welcoming the New Calendar Year with Kindness

January 2021  Keeping Connected

Our Chai Schoolers and 5th-7th graders made 54 fleece scarves that we were able to donate to the Lowell Transitional Living Center.

As we begin a new calendar year, I have been taking time to reflect on the first half of the school year.  As we all know, it has been a school year like no other, filled with challenges, changes, uncertainty and the need for lots of flexibility.  I feel great pride for how our students, families, teachers and larger community have met these challenges with great success.  Sometimes we can get so caught up in the difficult aspects of the world we are living in that I think we don’t always see the goodness that is also all around us.  I have made a concerted effort during this past month to observe and acknowledge these good things.  There have been so many but I will share a few (18) here with you in no particular order.

  • Our school community and larger temple community pulled together with great generosity and caring with donations made to cover the cost of a Christmas meal for our friends living in Senior Housing in Chelmsford. I was touched and rendered speechless by the outpouring of support for this meal.
  • A 7th grader took the initiative to organize the 7th grade class to take a night to light the new BIG Hanukkah menorah.
  • A temple family was in the drive-thru lane at Dunkin Donuts. The car in front of them paid for their food. The next time they were in the drive – thru, one of our young students reminded her mother of this, and she and her family paid for the car behind them.

  • While working with a student via Zoom, he told me that he needed to end our session so that another person in the family could use the computer. He did not want to wake up his mother to ask to log into a different computer.
  • Many young people in our school volunteered to make treats and cookies to be donated to the Christmas meal for the seniors.
  • We were able to donate 54 fleece scarves, made by our Chai Schoolers and 5th-7th graders, to the Lowell Transitional Living Center. (see photo above!)
  • In-person students were taking a break from class and invited a remote student to join them in their game.
  • Teachers continually go above and beyond what is expected of them to work individually with students.
  • So many different people helped to light the BIG Hanukkah menorah this year – standing outside in the cold, wind and snow, along with so many people tuning in on Zoom for the holiday celebrations.
  • School Committee members helped to package craft kits to go in the Hanukkah bags.
  • Someone helped to sew some fleece material for kids to make scarves.
  • Many parents have sat in their cars on cold days to volunteer to be “drive-way” monitors.
  • Some Chai Schoolers and families met on a weekend day to work on creating the BIG menorah.
  • One morning a student in class was embarrassed about a piece of work that had been completed. Before the teacher could say anything to the class, the Chat Room became filled with words of encouragement and praise for this person’s work.
  • Many a time a teacher has struggled with the technology of online teaching and the students always come to the rescue to share their own knowledge and to help fix the problem!
  • Someone told me that instead of receiving a gift on Hanukkah, they were going to give one to someone else.
  • A Chai Schooler helped to carry a bunch of things out to my car for me.
  • Someone spent a very long time trying to fix a problem on my computer.

Please share your observances of kindness with me.  I would love to hear about what you are doing or what you have seen someone else do.

Here’s to the second half of the school year,



Schedule for January (subject to change, depending on circumstances)

  • Sunday, January 3, 2021 – NO SCHOOL
  • Wednesday, January 6 – Wednesday Hebrew School (Gimel, Dalet and Hey) – all REMOTE
  • Friday, January 8, 2021 – K2 Family Shabbat at 7pm. All are welcomed and encouraged to join us at services on Zoom.
  • Sunday, January 10, 2021 –
    • Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School – Decision will be made about remote or not in the first week of January.  You will be informed.
    • 6th grade Family Ed – REMOTE
  • Wednesday, January 13 – Hebrew School; Chai School session 2 begins (tentative)
  • Sunday, January 17 – NO SCHOOL due to MLKing weekend
  • Wednesday, January 20 – Hebrew School, Chai School, Post Confirmation
  • Sunday, January 24 –
    • Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School
    • 5th Grade Family Ed – REMOTE
    • 6th Grade – Immigration Panel
  • Wednesday, January 27 – Hebrew School; Chai School
  • Sunday, January 31 – Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School