I don’t put that much stock in fortune cookies, in part because they are so rarely actual fortunes these days. But last week, after enjoying a delicious vegetarian Chinese meal in Philadelphia, I decided to open my fortune. Lo and behold, it was actually a fortune.
And an apt one, at that. In many ways, this year is about taking chances. The new Sunday schedule and new Judaics curricula and other enhancements to the Sunday learning and community are huge and took much planning and development (which will only continue), but at the same time, Sunday feels relatively easy.
Wednesday has much more risk. With a new Hebrew curriculum of individualized, self-paced learning and a new format for all Hebrew learning, the new program will be most evident on Wednesdays. Especially with some of the kids not present during the week.
When those who come weekday will learn in an entirely different environment: With a one room schoolhouse, filled with different kinds of learning, adults to help and guide, a variety of Hebrew engagement opportunities, and student focused learning. And with an all student prayer related lesson at the end, led by a rotation of our faculty.
The Wednesday model is a risk. A big one. The non-synagogue-based model for families that cannot come on Wednesdays is equally a risk, and is an idea that I am constantly evolving until we figure out a way that works best. It’s all risky. It’s all taking a chance. but I think it’s worth it, as I believe it gives us a good pathway towards our kids gaining the skills that they need in order to be active Jewish adults.
I trust the system. And I trust myself and the committee and the teachers and everyone who had input. I trust that it will work. I understand that the exact model we start with will likely be tweaked in order to make the most sense as we try it and experiment. But I trust that we will navigate from the start towards that model.
I know that this will work–and I trust myself. And that’s what brings me through my fear. That’s what helps me to take the chance.
Without risk, we don’t have success. Risk is scary, but risk is good, when it is entered in a considered, balanced, and healthy way.
May we all have a year filled with calculated risk.