Dear GOA Students, Parents and Staff,
Welcome to the new school year! I hope that your summer break was enjoyable, allowing you time to relax with family and friends, to explore the world, and to prepare for another year of learning. I treasured days of hiking and paddling in the Adirondack Mountains, and then a remarkable heritage trip to Poland with my father and other family members. If interested, you may read my reflections here
There are many exciting developments at GOA for 2023-24 / 5783-84. Enrollment has grown by 5% since last year and we are thrilled to welcome more than 80 new students to GOA this fall. This growth reflects well on our entire community — faculty and staff, students, parents and alumni — who are committed to making our school outstanding in every way. Welcome to all the new students and families — we are so glad that you came!
Today is orientation day for new faculty and staff — we have been joined by people of extraordinary talent
, and I look forward to seeing how they enhance the learning experience of our students. The entire team is working together this week to make our school a supportive and safe center for growth in all areas of life. We appreciate all of our faculty and staff — exceptionally capable and dedicated professionals to help young people grow in skill, character and spirit.
At our Wilf Lower School campus, learning spaces have been reconfigured to accommodate the growing Kindergarten, we have also added a new Livnot Lab, a cutting edge maker space, and the Greenhouse is coming soon. We have extended the STEM focus from Upper to Lower School, adding staff and equipment to nurture the imagination and skill of our young inventors.
All summer we have been renovating the Eric F. Ross Upper School campus. The entrance has been beautified, the main restrooms on the first floor completely rebuilt, and a new all-gender, accessible restroom added. Our gym ceiling is fully refurbished, and new digital displays will celebrate student achievement. The new observatory is operational, and we are ready for our students to reach for the stars!
I am especially excited about a new banner that will now greet everyone who enters the Upper School. It quotes the Torah’s core message, “Love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). This verse reminds us that kindness and compassion for one another is the very heart of Torah, and the greatest commandment from our Creator. Do not assume that this is an easy ask! If it were easy to treat each other with respect we wouldn’t need a command. I am proud of our GOA students, and of the staff who help them grow on the social and emotional as well as academic levels.
Enjoy your final days of summer — I look forward to seeing you very soon and to learning together in the coming year.
Rabbi Danny Nevins