A letter from Dr. Sarah Shulkind & Lise Applebaum
In the early months of the 2019-2020 academic year, we had the joy and privilege of working with the community to draft our mission, our definition of why we do the work we do:
Our School, founded on Jewish values, is about who our children become and how they help others become who they might be. Because the world our children will create tomorrow is born in the school we build today, our mission is to educate our children so they can surpass us.
We talked at length about the Hebrew word נצחוני (nitzchuny), which translates to “surpass” but also suggests “eternalize,” and how this complex meaning is deeply connected to the work of education. Our tradition imagines that when Adam and Eve stood in the Garden of Eden, they ate from the tree of knowledge not the tree of life; they knew, it was learning, the education of the future generations that would truly give them eternal life. Just look at our Milken alumni: Doctors on front lines battling the Covid-19 Pandemic, entrepreneurial leaders creating non-profits to serve the most vulnerable populations, innovators challenging the status quo in industries such as music, film, housing and technology. Our Milken graduates are creating a better world.
It strikes us now, that the concept of nitzchuny banay is also deeply connected to giving. You, our donors, give our Milken students so much more than generations before us could have ever imagined — a semester in Israel on the Tiferet Fellowship, a world-class robotics team in the Guerin Fab Lab, a school-wide, ruach-filled Shabbaton at Ramah. You, our donors, give in the hopes that our children will surpass us, and when we look at our capable, ethical, responsible, accomplished alumni, we realize the wisdom of this investment. Your giving, whether to the Annual Fund for the here and now, or to Capital projects or the Endowment for the immediate and distant future, is a testament to how much you believe Milken Community School matters to your family and to the future of our world.
When COVID-19 came into our world, it was your giving that allowed us to pivot skillfully. It was your giving that provided the professional development for our talented faculty, your giving that enabled the technology and facilities improvements to get our campus safe and ready, and it was your giving that funded the extra tuition assistance necessary to help Milken families through these challenging economic times.
It is your ongoing contributions to Milken that set an example of commitment and generosity for our children, provide an exceptional Jewish education to our 700+ students, and help us build an endowment that will educate future generations. Your gifts to Milken Community School keeps on giving, for what our children receive from this community, they undoubtedly will give back in return.
Thank you for all you have given to build our School. Together, we will continue to grow Milken for our children and for the Jewish future they will create.
Dr. Sarah Shulkind
Head of School