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November 14, 2014

Get re-energized

by Rabbi Dovid Felt

This week I would like to share with you what I said at our open house. I believe it is important even for parents who have already entrusted their children to us to hear again what Valley Torah is all about. By reviewing the reasons, we remain focused on the goals we want from our children and hopefully we will be invigorated to continue motivating our children to achieve those goals (as well as prepare their lunches, take them to practices and be a source of funds for them etc.) It is very easy to lose focus of our goals and it is critical to find venues to re-energize ourselves.

When Yaakov wanted Yosef to remember to bury him in Eretz Yisroel he made him swear that he would. The commentaries ask isn’t this the same Yosef who put his life in danger to fulfill his fathers wishes by going alone to retrieve his brothers who were just looking for an excuse to dispose of him. Even so the commentaries say Yaakov made him swear assuring that Yosef would never forget and get distracted by other perhaps “holy” ventures and not do his fathers bidding. We see from here that even the most committed people need to look for sources of inspiration and motivation to remain focused on their goals.

So here goes:

I was recently asked what is my 60 sec elevator speech about.

The truth is I was at a loss because you can’t talk about Valley Torah in 60 sec, 60 min or even 60 hours. But then if Hillel was able to capsulize the entire Torah on one foot and in one sentence then I should be able to come up with a 60 sec elevator speech for Valley Torah.

Valley Torah is about balance and connectivity.

I don’t believe that in the city of Los Angeles there is another school that is able to balance a fantastic Torah studies program and an amazing secular studies program. Valley Torah is also able to balance the natural curiosity of a teenager with a structure to help them channel that curiosity correctly.  Valley Torah is also able to balance guiding our students towards Middos and Derech Eretz with love and care.

The second component is connectivity. Everything we do at Valley Torah is about making a connection. It is about connecting to Torah to Mesorah to their Rebbeim to their teachers to their friends and to their community.  Valley Torah is a school that provides these two components so that our students your children can look forward to their future with the skills, knowledge and confidence to be successful.

PS there is no copyright on this speech feel free to use it on your friends and neighbors, especially the ones with 8th grade boys.

Felt Tip

We all need to be re-energized that’s why we look forward to weekends – but as with any good thing if time wasn’t spent in planning, it doesn’t usually go the way imagined. Teenagers are notorious for not planning and add to that, they are definitely not ready for anyone to tell them how to spend their free time.  But we can plan for ourselves and we can choose things that the family can do, that will be more fun than just staying at home being bored and we should do them – you never know they may even join us.

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