This past weekend, a huge celebration of the completion of Phase One of our building campaign took place. Mr. Menachem Saklad, president, had a vision of coming together in celebration and to thank the many people who had an impact on this process. Special thanks to Mrs. Elaine Saklad, Mrs. Ruchama Szendro, Chef Freda Baer, and their entire volunteer committee for making the event beautiful, delicious, and successful.
Rabbi Simon Taylor, regional director of NCSY in our region, served as guest speaker and said it best. In summary, he said, “As a rebbe in many local schools, I arrive to work every day and want to be the best rebbe possible, giving 100 percent to my talmidim and talmidos, but in one of the schools there was no air conditioning, making it very difficult for the teachers or students to concentrate. The addition of a brand new climate-controlled air conditioning system in every classroom will make life easier for the teacher, but most of all will increase the quality of learning for all students,” said Rabbi Taylor.
Special thanks to Mr. Shammai Weiner for serving as master of ceremonies and as one of the chair people of the campaign, and whose vision and leadership are most appreciated. Following the guest speaker, he introduced Mr. David Schaefer, chair of the building campaign, on how the boiler that controlled our old heating system had outlived its life expectancy by over fifteen years and had finally shut down, leaving us no choice but to move forward with the new system. In a similar way, David pointed out that that we must move forward to Phase Two in order to correct building violations and in general to complete a much-needed renovation on an aged facility. Mr. Frank Halper, fundraising chairman, announced that we had already raised more than two-thirds of the Phase One expenses. He explained the various methods of giving and announced that he and the committee are looking for 100 percent participation from our parent and lay community to show their commitment to the project.
Mr. Weiner thanked the lay leadership, administration, and all other volunteers for their hard work in getting us to this point. Special thanks to the teachers, who, although enjoying a new system, worked around much noise and construction over the past four months. We look forward to the completion of Phase Two and to a much bigger celebration. To make a contribution or to discuss your participation or ideas for the campaign, please see me or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to schedule a meeting.
I was studying the Nesivos Sholom this past Friday night on the topic of golus and geulah. He remarks that Klal Yisrael in Mitzrayim had fallen to the lowest level of impurity, nearly reaching the point of no return. But they had one major quality that saved them: their unusual faith in Hashem. The Nesivos Sholom explains that golus can often be found in our own lives, when we feel exiled because of our daily challenges. He explains, however, that the solution to all these challenges is our faith in Hashem. This was the saving grace in Golus Mitzrayim.
I can’t help but think of how initially we had no clue as to how a non-affluent Orthodox community could ever put together a successful building drive of such proportions. But all joined hands with great faith, obtained architectural plans, engineers, construction bids, and – most important – solicited donors, to make it all happen. With Hashem’s help we are moving forward optimistically. I want to close with a statement that I made to a skeptical but very dedicated local lay leader I met when I began my position at PHDS fourteen years ago. He suggested that the school faced insurmountable financial challenges. I answered him with a statement of faith and said, “If G-d does not take care of Jewish children, who will?”
Hashem has been kind to our school and we look forward and pray daily for His continued blessing and for the continued diligent efforts of our parent and lay community, representing the hishtadlus that we are required to make.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman,