Hanging Up My Shoes

November 03, 2017

Dear Parents and ADAT Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you my decision to hang up my shoes and retire from teaching at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

We’ve come a long way since I started teaching at ADAT in 1981: from a couple of classrooms by the gift shop to a state-of-the-art school building, from teaching PE on a boiling asphalt parking lot to the amazing Sybil and Manny Kaplan Sports Pavilion (which keeps our students 20 degrees cooler on hot days!). We’ve added the one-of-a-kind Zebrack Design Lab, a soccer field, and many other great innovations.

For me, ADAT Ari El is like a home away from home. It is not just a workplace but a lifestyle, spiritual shelter, and moral compass. ADAT has been with me at my happiest times as well as my hardest, like a safety net ready to rescue me and other community members whenever the need arose. It is that, and much more, that makes ADAT a unique place to belong to and to work for.

My gratitude and thanks goes to the Heads of School that took ADAT to higher and higher grounds over the years. I especially want to thank Lana Marcus, who carried the weight for 28 years, and Shara, who jumped in, grabbed the reins, and immediately steered us in the right direction. I am confident that between Shara, and our new Temple Executive Director, Eric, and our amazing staff, the best is yet to come.

Our Heads of School gave me the room and space to design a program suitable to our school. They supported and encouraged me to stay creative, bring the latest and best in health and physical education to our students, and backed me up when I needed support.

My utmost admiration and respect goes to you, the parents, for your commitment to providing your children the ADAT education, and most importantly for trusting me and my colleagues by putting in our hands your most precious possessions: your children. One of the keys to a successful school is supportive parents.

I wanted to let the school know about my decision as early as possible, so that we have the time to find the right replacement to head the Physical Education program.

I am not sure how my separation from the students will go – after all, 37 years of fun (most of the time) and professional satisfaction are hard to separate from. But don’t worry, I will not disappear at the end of the school year. To ensure a smooth transition, I’ll stay involved as Physical Educator Emeritus, and help my replacement to continue and improve the program.

And it goes without saying that in the future, if you need any help or advice with your kids, I am here for you.

I am looking forward to seeing you in future celebrations at ADAT this year and years to come.

With much appreciation and love,

Haim                   

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