March 10, 2020
14 Adar 5780
Dear Sinai Akiba Academy/Sinai Temple Community,
As I am about to begin my tenure as Sinai Akiba Academy’s Head of School, I am overjoyed and grateful. It is a privilege and a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I am eager to delve into all aspects of the role.
During my two-day visit at the end of January, I was greeted warmly and enthusiastically by everyone I encountered, and I experienced much to give me confidence in the current educational program at Sinai Akiba. I met outstanding teachers, administrators, and clergy. I talked with deeply committed and knowledgeable laypeople. And I was in the midst of students who are already bright and who are gaining tremendously by being at Sinai Akiba. From the kindergarteners who explained their written stories and pictures to the fifth graders who explored how to work with variables, to the eighth-graders who discussed the motivations of Romeo and Juliet, the learning and teaching I witnessed were of very high quality.
Before long, I also saw and felt that I was in a Kehillah Kedoshah, a sacred community, and I learned about its rich and significant history. Part of that history is the school’s core values, which come alive in the student body, and which resonate with me deeply. In addition to Talmud Torah, the academic excellence I described above, I see that the values of Derech Eretz (kindness and empathy) and Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof (ethical responsibility) are of primary importance at Sinai Akiba. This will absolutely continue to be true under my leadership. Furthermore, having returned from Israel just a few weeks ago, I am more compelled than ever to uphold Sinai Akiba’s value of Ahavat Yisrael, love of Israel.
To be sure, the school’s core values are not only for the students--they are for all of us to live and embrace. For me, Avodat Halev, soulful intention, is a beautiful value that holds transformative power. Indeed, it is with soulful intention that I will approach my work at Sinai Akiba, to further develop all that is good, and also to face the school’s current and future challenges. In aggregate, my work as Head of School will be holy work because education is a primary key to a life of progress, choice, opportunity, meaning and purpose. In our case, it is also, literally, a primary key to our future, the future of the Jewish people.
I look forward to my integration into the Sinai Akiba/Sinai Temple community this summer and to getting to know all of you.
With optimism and excitement,
Dr. Marc Lindner