Stephanie Bloom, Head of Middle School
Dear Middle School Families,
Last night our resilient Class of 2021 completed their Bernard Zell experience when they walked across the bima and received their diplomas. This was the first class I had seen through a full Middle School journey and their passing from students to alumni brought forward overwhelming emotion. For the parents and families who have seen their kids through an even longer pathway from Early Childhood to eighth grade, the sense of pride was palpable.
During the ceremony, I spoke of one of my most profound moments from this class’s Tiyul. I will forever remember standing on a patch of sacred concrete with these students in Selma, Alabama where John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had gathered champions of the American Civil Rights movement before they marched together across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
And then, more than fifty years after those historic marches across that bridge, Bernard Zell eighth-graders walked in the footsteps of John Lewis and Dr. King. But also the footsteps of allies from a wide range of races and religions. In fact, standing with Dr. King as he crossed the bridge was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who later said, "When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying."
At this moment, on the last day of school, as we’re all beginning to cross over from one grade to another, it’s helpful to pause for a moment and reflect on all that we’ve learned and the relationships we’ve built over this challenging year. Stand with others who need your support. Do what’s right, even when it’s hard. And pray with your feet.
Crossing from what’s familiar over into something that’s new and different can be scary, but if we link arms with our peers and seek the support of teachers and friends, we’ll make it safely and successfully into a new school year.
To the Class of 2021 and all of our outstanding students, congratulations on completing this challenging year and doing it with humor and poise.
Head of Middle School