Friday, October 13, 2023           28 Tishrei, 5784

Dear Harkham GAON Families,

As the events unfolded this past weekend, one of the many thoughts in my mind was how grateful I felt to be coming back to work at a Jewish Day School like Harkham GAON Academy.  At my meeting this week with other Jewish Day School administrators, I was heartened to hear my sentiments echoed. Here, we understand each other. 

Before the holidays, I recall saying, “we’ll do this or that ‘after break’.” Now, safety and security has yet again risen to the top of our consciousness. We have learned the hardest way that while safety cannot ever be guaranteed, we still can do the best we can, through choices and situational awareness.  Let us consider ourselves fortunate, here at HGA, to be located at Beth Jacob Synagogue, a leader in the Jewish, and the greater Beverly Hills community, in safety. Our most updated information is that there is no known credible threat to the Los Angeles Jewish Community at this time. Still, we would like to partner with parents in the following two ways to strengthen our efforts and confidence in being able to carry on with our school program:

  1. Some students are still abusing their ability to walk off-on campus without regard to our school schedule, which includes supervision by teachers, administrators and security personnel from 8:15am-3:45pm (Mon-Thu) and until 1:30pm on Fridays.  Please support us by insisting that your children stay with us at all times, and by reporting any late arrivals, early pickups or absences via this form: Attendance Reporting Form which can also be found on our website under “About => Forms => Attendance Reporting Form. Extended absences can be reported by this form as well in the free form space provided.

  1. We have had a lot of questions about our Physical Education program.  Please be advised that this, along with all of our other programs will continue as usual.  Families who would like to pick up their children directly from the park are welcome to do so on a one time and/or regular basis; in this case, they must be picked up by 3:15. Students may also walk home from the park.  In this case, they will also be released at 3:15.  Any students who are not picked up by 3:15 will walk back to our school site with the others. In ALL deviations from the regular program, written notice is required; please use the Attendance Reporting Form above to let us know, or write an email to Coach Nathaneal, who leads the program, at

We would like to take this opportunity to share some reminders:

  • Please support our fledgling Hot Lunch Program by ordering for the week of October 16th via our website.  The food has proven to be delicious, and plentiful.  We may be considering some changes to the program based on feedback received. However, without enough support for the program, we will not be able to continue it.
  • The Student Council is planning for October 30th to be our first DOnut Drive Day. Please send your child with $3 for one donut ($5 will buy a donut and $2 extra donation for the program). Payment by Venmo will also be possible.
  • Our Community Speaker Series will kick off on Sunday, Nov 12th, from  6.30-7.30p at Beth Jacob Synagogue with Rabbi Marvin Hier speaking on the topic,  "Why/What Do Westside Jewish Children Need to Know about the Holocaust." 
  • Our school wide field trip to the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts is coming up soon on November 15th!

I’d like to close by reporting that yesterday, our team conducted a heartwarming program in support of and prayer for Israel and the Jewish people. I am sending my Friday message a day early this week, with the intention of reaching out even more frequently during these difficult times. We look forward to seeing your children tomorrow, and may I wish you a shabbat shalom in advance.  We continue to hope and pray for safety and peace.

Am Yisrael Chai,

Ruth Morris


Harkham GAON Academy