Reflections On A Memorable Day

Lori's Blog, Social Action


“If you will it, it is no dream” Theodore Herzl

Today was a special day in the 100 year history of Temple Beth Israel. Today our collective congregation and our collective community was able to deliver 460 holiday gifts plus hundreds of dollars in teacher supplies to Herzl School in Lawndale. If you will it, it is no dream.

A year ago I became aware of this school, a CPS “turn around” school. For those who are not aware, Herzl was a failing school and in an effort to turn things around, CPS let the staff go (with the ability of many to reapply), brought in the amazing Tamara Davis as principal and the rest is history. Tamara and her faculty (all with Master’s Degrees) are changing the future of the children at Herzl, one student at a time. Operating the largest full day Pre-K in CPS, Herzl is a beacon of hope in a system that often gets a bad rap. If you will it, it is no dream.

Once a highly Jewish neighborhood, Lawndale is wholly African American. The school reflects the neighborhood. Named for the man who is credited with the creation of Zionism as a political movement, Herzl’s legacy lives on in the school, inspiring those who dream of a better future. Several times today we were told that the goal is to make these children college bound, something most of us take for granted. If you will it, it is no dream.

I rarely need reminders of why I do the work I do in the community in which I do it. Today was a reminder of how blessed the TBI community is, both in terms of our lives and our opportunity. Today I was reminded in the clearest manner possible that giving to others is by far more rewarding than receiving. Today I was reminded that my community shows up when needed, doing whatever it takes to fulfill the mission of Tikkun Olam. If you will it, it is no dream.

The entire Herzl project has been documented by Ravi Baichwal and ABC Channel 7. The story will air on Wednesday sometime between 4:00PM and the 10:00PM news. So watch Channel 7 and feel proud.


Updated (12/20/17) – Watch here for the full story!

Updated (12/24/17) – Read the Story from Times of Israel!

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