A Theme for the New Year

A headshot of David Bryfman with text that says A Message from our CEO David Bryfman


Dear Friends,

I remember when, as a student in Australia, academic years were often dedicated to a certain theme. In that spirit, I want to dedicate the academic year of 2023-2024, and the new year 5784, to the theme of “gratitude.” 


To whom and for what are you most grateful? It’s a simple question with quite possibly a simple answer. The hard part for some, however, is expressing that gratitude. So, let’s reframe the theme as the year of “expressing gratitude” – and I would like to start now. 


First, I want to thank the staff of The Jewish Education Project for doing what they do day in and day out. Over time I have learned that expressing gratitude for someone’s specific actions is particularly powerful. So, without embarrassing anyone on my team, I want to publicly thank the individual who called me the other day to check in and see how I was doing after leaving family and friends in Australia with whom I had spent time for the first time in 5 years.   


Second, I want to pay tribute to the lay leadership of The Jewish Education Project, as well as to everyone volunteering time to help non-profits succeed. To every lay leader who has shared some of their wisdom and insights with me, especially in recent challenging times, I am indebted, and so too are the Jewish people for your tireless work on behalf of our community. 


And finally, I want to preemptively thank all of the educators out there for bringing in this new year with so much enthusiasm and dedication. I also encourage everyone reading this letter to express gratitude to one of your teachers, past or present, or the teacher of a child you know and love, for their commitment to developing minds and shaping futures, and for the journey on which they are about to embark. 


At the start of this new year and school year, make someone’s day with your expression of gratitude. 


Shanah Tovah 


P.S.  Be sure to check out our newest Rosh Hashanah resource collection.