Spirit Week and Community
FJA’s strong and tight knit community is the foundation that supports academic achievement,  character development, and student growth. As Fall Spirit Week concluded on Friday, I was moved by how quickly our school community transitioned from the programmatic challenges as a result of Covid, to a sense that we can once again return to events and celebrations that fully amplify FJA’s Mission and Core Values.
 
Fall Spirit Week was devoted to breaking down barriers and building connections. Three teams, each consisting of students across grades, and staff and faculty from across disciplines and school roles, competed in a variety of athletic, trivia, and tzedakah-oriented campaigns. Team colors adorned the halls and walls of the school; the sound of lively music played at odd times; and the unmistakable smell of freshly popped popcorn wafted through the school.
 
Whether it was a dance competition, crab soccer, relay races, music jeopardy or simply dressing up in each day’s theme, we’ve begun to rebuild the sense that we are a community with depth of cohesion and meaning, that goes far beyond academics and classrooms. We built alliances between team members, and exhibited friendly competition between friends. We took healthy risks by competing in events outside of our comfort zone, and expressed our dedication to supporting the broader community with competitive drives like collecting toiletry items for those in need, and a penny war to raise money for Friends of the IDF.
 
Fall Spirit Week is just the beginning. This year will bring multiple opportunities to nurture our bonds and celebrate our community. I know that the impact of this past week will last long after the memory of Spirit Week’s sights, sounds, and smells have faded.