Raise the Bar

Raise+the+Bar

Nicole Hirschkorn ’22

Every year, the Ramaz administration chooses an appropriate and meaningful theme to represent the school-year. In 2018, “Menschlichkeit” symbolized the values of the school; in 2019, “See Different” embodied the ideas of the Ramaz community, in more ways than we initially intended. This year, “Rise Together” was chosen as the theme to represent our much-needed support for each other during the Covid-19 pandemic. While this message is significant during these strange times, some students wonder how “Rise Together” will translate in their day-to-day actions.

“I think this year’s theme is really needed now more than ever,” said Aviva Lehman ’22. “As a community, we rely on each other for strength and support. But I’m not sure how ‘Rise Together’ will really affect our daily lives.”

To answer this question, The Rampage interviewed Mr. Jonathan Canon, Head of School, who explained the meaning behind the catchphrase: “I truly believe that our students can connect to ‘Rise Together’ in myriad creative ways: they can find opportunities to learn Torah together, perform acts of chesed (a challah bake — dough literally rises), and create communal events (engaging club activities).” He elaborated, “The upward movement of “rise” signifies that we are emerging from something (most obviously, the pandemic), but the “together” reminds us that only when we are united, will we be able to overcome our challenges.”

Mr. Cannon went on to describe the ways Ramaz students actually take action and “Rise Together.” “I’ve already witnessed our students rise to the occasion in unprecedented ways. They’ve mobilized chesed opportunities (delivered food to first responders), used the time to creatively lift each other’s spirits (the Minecraft design of our building comes immediately to mind), advocated for those who were unjustly treated, and prayed for those who were ill (tehillim).”

And indeed, Ramaz students have already risen together in ways that were inconceivable before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world. Many students agree that we have and will rise together during these unimaginable times. The Ramaz G.O. strives to implement this theme into the daily lives of the student body. G.O. President Caitlin Levine ’21 said, “As president, I want to infuse a positive spirit amongst the students so together we will all rise to new heights of happiness and enjoyment. I will look out for the things that need fixing and work hard to improve the Ramaz experience as best as I can.”

Caleb Rosenfeld ‘22, G.O.Vice President, explained how he will embrace the slogan, “As Vice President, I am excited to make school as amazing as possible. Obviously, this school year is different from others but I look forward to working with the administration and the rest of the GO to utilize what we have like Central Park to help us rise together and have the best year ever!”

Both the Ramaz G.O. and administration are clearly committed to making the best of our unique situation in 2020, and ensuring that all of us truly “Rise Together.” As students, it is imperative to continue to support and strengthen one another in a time where the future is shrouded in mystery.