Autumn Equinox and the conclusion of Rosh Hashanah

September 22, 2017

The uniqueness of Henderson International School's community is one of our most valued attributes. While many private schools tend to have large populations of like-minded people, we believe our diversity, which spans race, religion, national origin and all varieties of social and economic backgrounds, is essential to academic vitality.

We are fortunate that our unique program attracts students and faculty from more than 30 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Our school is also home to families from many lesser-known but culturally-rich pockets of the U.S. Every year, we recognize cultural holidays and utilize the knowledge and experiences of our school's diverse population to create cross-curricular opportunities for students at all grade levels. From Mexico's Dia de los Muertos to the Chinese New Year, our goal is to expand our focus on two points of our academic compass; global awareness, and the balanced and robust education that we seek to provide.

It is in this spirit that we recognize Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which began at sundown on Wednesday and lasts through nightfall tonight. History teacher Darin Roodman describes Rosh Hashanah as a time of prayer, peace and blessing, with attention focused on the year ahead. The days are marked with the sound of the shofar (ram's horn) and the evenings are lit by candlelight. It is the first of the high holidays, followed by Yom Kippur ten days later.

"Rosh Hashanah is a time of meditation, prayer, repentance and family," Roodman said. "For observant Jews, it is a two-day period dedicated to focusing on family, praying in the synagogue, and practicing the beliefs and traditions of the faith," he said.

As Rosh Hashanah welcomes the new year, today the September equinox also brings in the beginning of Fall in the Northern hemisphere, and Spring for our friends south of the equator. As we enter this season, our calendars will fill up with holidays, festivals and traditions from around the world. Dating back to ancient times, autumn is a time of harvest, seasonal change, communal celebration and deep reflection for people from all walks of life. For an international school, it is an exciting season for cultural studies and exploration, and a great opportunity for all of us to make meaningful connections, exercise our compassion, and teach our children to find common ground in pursuit of complex problem-solving in a rapidly changing world.

-HIS Leadership Team

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