Brandeis is a home for me because just like you, I can truly be myself - honest, vulnerable, funny, shy, warm and an eager learner.
I remember my first day as a parent on campus at Brandeis - it was August 20, 2005.... 13 years ago ...oh, Ari Shakked's birthday! I knew it was a special day! I was on campus for the first time attending a new family picnic on Swig Field. I attended with my sweet little kindergarten girl, Mira. I remember being introduced to the family that would soon become Mira's 8th grade buddy family - Howard and Diane Zack. The Zack family invited us to dinner at their home, clapped just as loudly when Mira led her first Tefillah service, and eventually when Mira handed their son his rose at graduation - well they couldn't have been prouder.
Many years have passed since Ari's birthday - I mean my first day on campus - and we now have been blessed with four Kindergarten buddy families - The Cannington Family was Ben's buddy family and Ben still sits with Jordan at high holiday services and plays basketball with Jordan when they see each other at the JCC. Naomi's had two buddy family's - The Zenoff-Ginzburg's and the Wilson's. It was the Zenoff family who first taught us how to make challah. Now every one of our family members can whip up a batch of challah dough before we head out to school on a Friday morning. So many Brandeis families have joined and blessed our journey over the years here at Brandeis. And just as many faculty members - many in this room this morning- have helped us raise our family - have supported us during times of pain and disappointment, and have danced with us throughout many family simchas. Every member of my family has truly grown up in our building, hallways, and classrooms.
This is my home because every day my Brandeis family continues to support my education - just like each of you. I too have my own teachers here. Jennifer Franklin suggests - and often delivers - new and fascinating books for me to read. Merav Steinberger introduces me to wonderful new traditions to incorporate into my home. On a recent work trip, Steve Friedman encouraged me to visit a museum exhibit on .... Mesopotamia! Every morning Coach Wiley shares with me the ins and outs of basketball, baseball, and fishing. And Dr. Sandel is patiently determined to teach me a little bit of Hebrew - my favorite word so far is "rega"! There is unconditional support and encouragement from every member of my community.
Brandeis Marin supports me, encourages me, challenges me, listens to me, and loves me .... just like it does for each and every one of you...
I too am blessed to call Brandeis Marin my home.
Birkat Habayit - Blessing of the Home
Let no sadness come through our gate
Let this place be one that knows no hate
Let every soul bring peace with them as they come through the door
בזה השער לא יבוא צער
בזה השער לא יבוא צער
בזה המקום תהי ברכה ושלום