Published in the Hebrew Watchman, April 18, 2019
On March 29, 2019 Bornblum Jewish Community School took the opportunity to recognize and celebrate its Founders. According to Head of School, Daniel R. Weiss, “Thirty-one years ago, group of amazing people came together with a vision to create a community school for families in the Memphis Jewish community. Their work three decades ago makes a difference in the lives of Jewish families every day, and we wanted to express our gratitude for their leadership and commitment.”
In 1988, roughly 80 families came together to form Solomon Schechter Day School of Memphis (now Bornblum Jewish Community School). Within this group, a core team provided vision and leadership to found the school, and the full group worked together to raise the financial resources needed to make SSDS a reality. In an article that appeared in The Hebrew Watchman on Thursday, June 8, 1989, Mrs. Elaine Gordon was quoted as saying that the school is, “dedicated to the finest possible secular education, integrated and coordinated with an outstanding program of Judaic and Hebrew language studies.” According to Mrs. Gordon, who was in attendance at the Kabbalat Shabbat honoring the founders, “I am so impressed that even today, more than thirty years later, the school still meets these two goals that were the foundation of this amazing school.”
At Kabbalat Shabbat, those Founders who were able to attend were treated to words of Torah from two middle school students, Abigail Hodus and Yael Nahum. Head of School, Daniel R. Weiss and School President Marc A. Sorin honored the Founders by presenting Bornblum pins and mensch chips. At Bornblum Mensch chips are awarded to members of our school community who do exceptional and mensch-like acts for others. Mr. Weiss explained to the students that, “giving Mensch chips to the Founders in attendance demonstrates that sometimes the acts people do can have long-lasting effect on other people. We are all here today because of what these Mensches did 31 years ago.”
In a special treat for the Founders, Cantorial Soloist Abby Strauss from Temple Israel led all those in attendance in singing Shabbat songs, and the Founders were called up to help the eighth graders with the various acts and blessing of shabbat. Finally, the school prepared a display of more than 30 articles that appeared in various newspapers and magazines in the late 1980s that described the founding of the school.
After the event, Bornblum mailed Bornblum pins to those Founders who were unable to attend along with a note of gratitude for what they had done more than three decades ago.