by Miriam Kass, Principal

Thanks to you and your faithful commitment to our first Social Covenant, we managed to have 11 weeks of in-person school at Akiba-Schechter without a single case of COVID-19 or traceable transmission in our building. Thank you for taking the daily health screening seriously, staying home when testing positive, and reaching out with thoughtful questions as you allow us to help you navigate difficult decisions. We are so proud of what we have accomplished so far.  

In light of the increasingly concerning COVID-19 news throughout our communities, we understand that a required return to remote learning may be around the corner. Yesterday, the Illinois Department of Public Health urged people to stay home for the next three weeks to help, among other things, schools like ours remain open. In addition, Mayor Lightfoot issued a Stay-at-Home Advisory (effective Monday morning), strongly advising us to avoid having guests in our homes and to avoid travel.

We are more grateful than ever for each day we get to be in person at Akiba-Schechter, and we know that it is your commitment to our Social Covenant that makes this all possible. With an eye on the current trends and upcoming holidays, we think the most important thing for our Akiba staff and families to do at this time is to recommit to our Covenant. 

COVID-19 continues to test our entire community. We remain mindful of the real and reasonable fears many of us share about this awful virus. And we are reassured that the current data tells us that schools like ours practicing strict protocols are not contributing to the spread. We remain resolved, with the continued support of scientific data and best practices, to continue to meet fear with courage and be in school for as long as possible. The foundation of our courage continues to be our mutual trust. 

Every day we demonstrate that each and every one of us can and will put our devotion to all of us— to the Akiba-Schechter community, which is committed to the intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional growth of our children—ahead of personal convenience or preference. 

Our Social Covenant is not a promise or a transaction; it is the path to elevate our communal life, and it makes the ordinary holy. It allows individuals in our community to come to school even though they or someone in their household may be especially vulnerable to this virus. When you sign on to this covenant, you are acknowledging a deep truth, one that runs at the core of Judaism: We are never isolated individuals because we know that our choices always deeply impact the lives of others. 

Please make every effort to attend either one of these two town halls next week to hear updated information and to publicly recommit your family to our Social Covenant 2.0.

Wednesday, November 18, 12:30 p.m. in Miriam Kass’s ZRoom
Thursday, November 19, 7:00 p.m. in Miriam Kass’s ZRoom