My Jewish Journey: Jacques Berlinerblau

The High Holy Days have the grace to arrive in September or October, during the sunniest weeks of the school year. Academically speaking, that’s the period when everything is suffused with hope, when the potential of every student and teacher seems boundless.

True, when the first Day of Awe comes it actually interrupts classes. But it never feels like an imposition. Naturally, I loved the day off from school afforded by Rosh Hashanah when I was I kid (likely as much as my two sons savor it now).

In recent years, however, I’ve come to relish the Rosh Hashanah holiday in a way that I surmise a hundred generations of Jewish educators have before me. It’s a time to dream about all the amazing things one can do as a teacher in the year ahead. Just as a week later Yom Kippur impels me to remember all the mistakes I made in class as a teacher, and outside of class as a son, father, husband and friend.