Students Ashie and Caleb G. with Minneapolis Jewish Federation CEO James Cohen.
By James Cohen, Minneapolis Jewish Federation CEO and Heilicher alumni parent
Earlier this week, I participated in what turned out to be one of the best meetings of all time. I had the pleasure of meeting with Heilicher Minneapolis Day School students Caleb and Ashie G. in their capacity as Heads of School for the day.
Let me tell you, these young gentlemen were prepared. They knew what Federation does and asked a few thoughtful questions. When I asked them what we could do to help their school further, one brother noted, “Well, our school is pretty cool, so it is hard to think of something right away.” After a little thinking, they both said that teachers always need more materials, and they would love to have even more books in Hebrew. When we discussed community-level projects, they proposed that Federation host a playground day for kids at every Jewish school in town, so that students from across the community could get to know each other better. The boys then asked if I had any ideas about education enrichment programs.
A meeting with the CEO of Federation wouldn’t be complete without a solicitation, and the two boys very respectfully requested that we consider an additional gift to their $30k campaign — with all of the proceeds going to the art and sports departments. I can report honestly that the check is in the mail.
I was so impressed by Caleb and Ashie. And I will no doubt be equally impressed with Abe P.S., who will get his turn as head of school soon. The meeting left me feeling so good about the confidence and love of learning that all of our community schools are developing in our children. We often talk about making sure the next generation is prepared for all facets of Jewish life. This meeting demonstrates that we will be in very good hands indeed.