A person whose wisdom exceeds their good deeds is like a tree whose branches are numerous, but whose roots are few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it upside down. But a person whose good deeds exceed their wisdom is like a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are numerous. Even if all the winds of the world were to come and blow against it, they could not budge it from its place.
-Pirkei Avot 3:22
A core part of the Brandeis 2023 Strategic Plan is to nurture our connections to San Francisco and the broader Jewish community of the Bay Area. We are lucky to be rooted in such rich soil: the diversity and creativity of our Jewish community directly impacts the education we can offer. Every year, we have the good fortune to partner with many local Jewish organizations, from camps like Newman and Tawonga, to our local synagogues, and institutions and organizations including Urban Adamah, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Be’chol Lashon, Keshet, the Jewish Studio Project, Shalom Bayit, PJ Library, the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, SFJCC, JFCS, JVS, and so many more.
Over the years, we have seen how many of the individuals who work for and lead these partner Jewish organizations send their children to Brandeis, and we have realized how much our work here at school is strengthened by their work in the community. In the same way that these leaders have invested in our Bay Area Jewish community with their careers, we want to invest back in them and their families, and in the future of our Jewish community.
Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, The Brandeis School of San Francisco’s Shorashim Program will cover 50 percent of the tuition for the children of any family who has one or more parent working full time for a Jewish non-profit organization. Shorashim is the plural form of the word shoresh, meaning root. We are inspired by what grounds us, from the roots of Hebrew words and the roots of the tree of life, to the roots of the good deeds that make up our shared community. We know that such deep and numerous roots will nourish us and will help us stand strong as we continue to reimagine what is possible in an inclusive, future-focused Jewish day school, now and for many generations to come.