This last week we read Parshat Bechukotai. As we finished the book of VaYikra, we recited Chazak! Chazak! VeNitchazek!

Strong! Strong! and we will Strengthen! 

What a fitting declaration to mark a momentous week.

I had the pleasure of attending the 2024 Farber Graduation this week. It was an incredible celebration. Despite a small class, each graduate is so unique and so accomplished. It is clear to see that they will represent our community and Am Yisroel well as they matriculate into adult life. 

On a similar note, the school year coming to an end marks a moment of transition for the school as a whole. We have had to begin saying our farewells to Dr Levisohn and some community members that will be moving on. Dr Levisohn entered our school during a time of immense stress and difficulty. He saw us through our return to the building while we grappled with a response to the COVID pandemic. He has more recently helped us confront the war in Israel and rising anti-semitism. He joined Farber as this graduating class entered their freshman year and I hope they use him as an example of leadership and menschlichkeit. Dr Levisohn will be leaving a decades long career in Jewish education to lead the Hartman Institute office in Boston.

This summer we will also be saying farewell to board members Miri Gertner, Joey Selesny and Gabe Schwartz. All three families will be making Aliyah. We could not be more proud of them. Gabe has recently served as our treasurer. Miri and Joey have served in many board capacities for the past decade. They have led efforts modernizing our constitution and mission statements, improving our financial accountability and overseeing several school administrations. I will miss their counsel and companionship but I know their love and friendship with Farber will continue. We will be celebrating their service and Dr Levisohn’s tenure at the next board meeting when we also welcome our new members. 

Lastly, I wanted to give an update on our current administrative changes. Dr Seth Korelitz will be officially starting in the role of Dean of Academics on July 1st. He is charged with helping us create a seamless transition in fulfilling our mission of providing an excellent Modern Orthodox, Jewish and secular, education. I am amazed with his insight and work ethic. While still maintaining his day job, he has already had countless meetings with teachers, staff and administrators and I am confident he will do an amazing job. Several key personnel have made sure that he will see a warm reception and is set up for success. I would like to thank Tzippy Brenner, Rachel Lopatin, Andrea Strosberg, Rabbi Leib, Rachel Kosowsky, Lizzy Doppelt, Kathy Sklar, Ellen Berlin, Tova Slome, Rabbi Morris and several others for their proactive engagement and support. Regarding our plans beyond next year, we have appointed Vicki Mendelsohn and Carrie Husarsky as the heads of our search committee and they have begun working with Prizmah in coordinating the search for our next Rabbinic school leader. 

Know that we will be working on each piece of the puzzle for next year and the years to come, over the summer. 

Our school and our graduates will grow from strength to strength and I am excited for what lies ahead. 

Chazak! Chazak VeNitchazek!

Have a wonderful summer!

Nathan Gonik

Board President

Farber Hebrew Day School - Yeshivat Akiva | 21100 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076