Life Passes Us By Quickly so Take a Moment for Appreciation and Celebration This Summer! By Hope Chernak

10 July

Life Passes Us By Quickly so Take a Moment for Appreciation and Celebration This Summer!
By Hope Chernak

“They tell us that life passes us by without noticing for short chapters (periods), now we finish three years at Leo Baeck….And to you we say Goodbye.”  These are the opening words of the final song performed by the seniors at Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa.  Leo Baeck is part of our wonderful partnership- “Gateways and Tents” that also includes a relationship with Ohel Avraham in Haifa and Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City.

I had the privilege this month to attend the graduation party at Leo Baeck Education Center that included four of our own Israeli Teen Exchange Participates: Noy, Itamar, Adi and Maayan.  Our Israeli students and American students are one family now so it felt as if I returned home to Haifa to see them.  The hugs and reunions with the High School students and their parents provided me with a lot of joy (and at times some tears). I was so proud of them and I was honored to be with them to celebrate their graduation!  Many of them also worked on the final presentations and musical numbers performed at their final graduation party.  I smiled from ear to ear as I watched them on stage sing, dance, and act during the performance.

What can we learn from our graduating Israeli seniors?  We can remember that life goes by quickly and that we should take time to savor and reflect each of the moments that shape our lives.  For these teens the next steps in life are very serious and important; as they prepare to enlist for service in the army they realize they are entering into this new phase of life both in Israel and abroad (Maayan will be a shalicha for a year at a Reform synagogue in Canada), they are saying goodbye to their childhood and accepting the responsibility of entering into adulthood.  With all of that ahead of them, they are taking a moment to appreciate all that has come before them.  What can we learn from these seniors? Appreciate and celebrate life; too often we are so busy with what comes next we forget to take a moment to enjoy what we have now.

Please take a moment watch the video of their last song, written to the tune from “What if God Was One of Us” (words translated into English below by Lital Farbstien)

They tell that life pass by
without noticing for short chapters(periods)
now we finish 3 years at Leo Baeck
And to you we say

Yes, yes, we’re saying goodbye
Yes, yes, we’re enlisting,
Yes, yes, to life
So our turn came, to graduate high school
We had fun and to you all we say Shalom

We say thanks (to you),
We feel like it’s a beginning of a totally different period/chapter
And it feels nice, to begin something new
(to begin something new)

Yes, yes, we’re saying goodbye
Yes, yes, we’re enlisting,
Yes, yes, to life
So our turn came, to graduate high school
We had fun and now to you all we say Shalom

s”b (that’s our class number just in Hebrew letters), it’s a chapter that’s now closing
To Leo Baeck we could come back tomorrow
with new experiences and stories from the army and school (aka university)

Yes, yes, we’re saying goodbye
Yes, yes, we’re enlisting,
Yes, yes, to life
So our turn came, to graduate high school
We had fun and to you all we say Shalom

They tell that life pass by
without noticing for short chapters(periods)
now we finish 3 years,
with Leo Baeck and to you we say

Yes, yes, we saying goodbye
Yes, yes, we’re enlisting,
Yes, yes, to life
So our turn came, to graduate high school
We had fun and to you all we say Shalom

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  • TST NYC

    Congratulations to all our graduates in Haifa and NYC! I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you all. This great video of Hope’s makes us feel like we were in the audience. And the weather in NYC is just as hot as Haifa so we feel right at home.

    With much love,
    Linda