By Gemma Levy ‘23, Staff Writer
After a year of remote school, the Heschel administration just announced their decision to become entirely virtual for the next five years, stating, “We just like it better this way.” On February 19th at the 227th town hall meeting, the Heschel administration shared the two options that the board considered for the future of education of Heschel students:
One – Resume in-person school when the pandemic subsides with the hope of reviving the feeling of community that defines Heschel.
Two – Remain remote until 2026 so that the Heschel community can continue to reap the benefits of isolation, eye strain, and stagnation.
The answer was obvious; the meeting was merely a formality. After five minutes of discussion, Heschel’s course for the next five years was decided. Heschel would officially become a remote institution! High School Head Rabbi Noam Silverman shared his thoughts on the decision yesterday, explaining that he “just wasn’t ready to give up fuzzy pants Friday.” Much of the administration seems to share this sentiment. Rabbi Dahlia Kronish, the Director of Jewish and Student Life at Heschel and High School Associate Head, said that she is in favor of indefinite virtual school, as she has “grown attached to the mute feature on school-wide Zoom assemblies.”
While it is clear that the Heschel faculty approves of permanent remote schooling, what about the student body? The senior class recently put out a statement addressing the matter. They said: “Ending our high school careers on the high note of remote school feels so gratifying. Now we can sleep at night knowing that the classes of 2022-2026 will also have the opportunity to graduate high school alone in their homes.” This year’s eighth grade is also very excited about the prospect of beginning high school virtually. A Heschel eighth-grader said, “The decision on the part of the administration to remain remote has quelled all of my anxieties about freshman year. I won’t have to worry about navigating a new building, making new friends, or crossing paths with intimidating seniors.”
Parents, especially those who have preschoolers, have also expressed excitement about the permanent shift to virtual school. They are looking forward to continuing to juggle work, home life, and their children’s remote schooling for the next five years. All and all, the decision to remain remote has been supported by all members of the Heschel community. If all goes well, there is even talk of extending remote schooling until 2031.