Alumni Grandmother Shares Her Fondness For Heilicher
Linda Gilfix, grandmother of three Heilicher graduates, Ethan ‘14, Ryan ‘16, and Justin Kadet ‘18, is thrilled to share her strong connection with Heilicher and her pride in her grandsons’ futures.
Gilfix grew up in Newton, Mass., just outside of Boston. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in elementary education and worked as a teacher for several years before moving with her family to Minnesota in 1975. Over the years, she has been involved with many activities and organizations and continues to enjoy volunteering in the community today. She feels fortunate that her son and daughter continue to live close by. She reflects on her grandsons’ years at Heilicher below.
Q: How long have you been connected to Heilicher? What are your grandchildren doing now?
LG: I’ve been connected to the school through three of my grandchildren since 2007 — Ethan joined the school in second grade, and Ryan and Justin then started in kindergarten. All three graduated from Heilicher.
This summer, my two older grandsons were camp counselors: Ethan at Herzl Camp and Ryan at Camp Olami at the JCC. And Justin was in his Kadima year at Herzl Camp.
In September, Justin will start ninth grade at Hopkins. Ryan will be a junior at Hopkins and is planning to spend a term in Israel at the Alexander Muss School. Ethan graduated Hopkins and will start his freshman year this fall at Washington University in St. Louis.
Q: Your youngest grandchild graduated this year - what was most poignant about the graduation?
LG: I loved the warm feeling of accomplishment and Jewish pride. And you could really feel the bond among the kids in the class.
Q: What is special to you about Heilicher and your grandchildren's Jewish day school experience? Do you have a favorite memory from this time?
LG: Each time I attended an event it was a thrill. I could be a part of so many significant events in the lives of each of my grandchildren. We built shared memories from every milestone event at Heilicher: Children Around the World, the choir in the Crystal Court, basketball games, school plays, Tallit ceremonies, debate nights...capstones...all the way to graduation.
Q: What do you appreciate most from the Heilicher community?
LG: I’m just amazed at how inspired each of my grandsons were coming out of Heilicher. They are so poised and comfortable with their friends, and they are making positive transitions into their next schools and activities. I hope the education and wonderful community they had at Heilicher will carry them for a lifetime.
Q: What is most exciting to you about your grandchildren’s future?
LG: It would be a delight to me if they just could grow up confident and happy, to be as successful as they want to be, and able to give back to their community.
After graduation, Heilicher alumna Simone P. encountered an uncomfortable situation at basketball camp. She decided to take a brave step to educate the camp about Jewish history related to an unintentional, yet offensive, long-standing camp practice.
New this year, on Monday mornings, we will have an All-School T’filah (prayer) service in the Dolly and Edward Fiterman Theatre. Our students will chant Torah each week. We’ll celebrate birthdays and milestones. And we’ll have a place to pray, whether that means working on our character, connecting with God, reflecting and/or rejoicing.
As a gift to her eighth-grade class for graduation, Ms. Weiss gathered student reflections and crafted them into a poem. These words of inspiration will stay with her students for years to come.