Gilad Segal - Graduation Address- June 10, 2020
My journey at Brandeis started nine years ago, I was immediately thrown into the wild life of a kindergartener. Building junk sculptures practically every day and listening to Marnie while she told us what Nahashi had for lunch. Boy! It was tough! What a life!
As the journey continued in the 2nd grade my favorite brother was born. My life changed and I wasn’t the center of the universe anymore. I gladly shared my magical space with a new little creature of our family. And the same year I finally became friends with everyone.
4th grade was my favorite year, mostly because Ms.Duffy gave us an ice cream party. But also because I participated for the first time, in the Purim talent show, and all my friends cheered and supported me. This is where I felt truly at home.
As I am writing this speech, I am realizing how Brandeis cherished and supported our annual family pilgrimage to Burning Man. Thank you for understanding how important it is for my family and me. Who knows, maybe one day I will organize a Brandeis Camp at Burning Man, so finally, all students and teachers can miss the first week of the school year together! Wouldn't that be fun!
When middle school started we were expecting a lot of homework and tests, but instead, we got Mr. Friedman's very detailed life stories and Mr. E’s wonderful Talmudic discussions that always ended with us talking about movies and other interesting things. Yep, clearly not what I was expecting….and let me tell you - it was FUN.
I will definitely never forget the day when Charlie smashed his head into my nose running with the speed of light during recess. I think that particular incident most definitely shaped my nose to be unmistakably Jewish.
7th grade, was a wonderful year filled with Bar/Bat mitzvah’s almost every weekend. My favorite brother made sure not to miss a single one. And of course, Tzedakah project - how can I forget about it? My deep and thorough research into education in Africa - I can still talk about it even if I wake up in the middle of the night. With 8th grade 3 most important things come to mind - the Israel trip and the K/8 buddies and my twice delayed Bar-Mitzvah in Jerusalem. This also was the only year when my little brother Yoel and I could be together in the same school.
Being in “lock down” during coronavirus gave me lots of time to reflect on our Israel trip. Spending 3 weeks together with my classmates and teachers away from our usual routines was an experience on its own. The Israel trip was especially meaningful to me and my family. Because it ended with me reading Torah by the Kotel on my own Bar-Mitzvah. Miraculously, it was the only sunny day in the few weeks in Jerusalem.
As my journey at Brandeis is coming to an end, I realize that I don’t have much time left and that this journey will soon be over and another one will soon begin. l would like to say “thank you” to my family, my friends, my teachers, and to the whole Brandeis community where I always felt at home. I will always be grateful for my time spent with you, guys!