A Super Power Hiding in Plain Sight

Will Gordon

When we chose Hausner for our daughter (Esme, 5th) almost two years ago, we had many reasons behind our decision. The supportive learning environment, the caring community, and the structure of the academic program all felt like the right fit. The Hebrew and Jewish Studies programs we saw as extensive and meaningful. But, for us, they came clearly in a second tier of factors behind core academics and social environment. Fast forward to today and my viewpoint has been completely turned on its head. I strongly believe that Jewish Studies is Hausner’s super power.

Let me take a moment to briefly describe what the kids do in Jewish Studies from my perspective. They regularly speak in front of both small and large groups of their peers and teachers. They debate challenging topics, coming from both positions of strength and weakness. They are forced to think through their positions and reason critically. And throughout the discourse, they learn to persuade others.

At Hausner my daughter has the opportunity to work on these skills almost every single school day. Like any skill people practice regularly, we get better. And things we practice a lot, we get a lot better at. At Hausner, it’s built-in right from the beginning as we see with our son (Emmet, K). Where else would a Kindergartener be handed a mic and asked to share his perspective in front of a large group of adults?

Partway through Esme’s first year at Hausner, I saw it plain as day. My daughter, who was previously reticent with her opinions at the family dinner table, regularly spoke up. Not only did she share her thoughts, but explained the reasoning behind them and made a persuasive case for her positions. She displayed a new confidence and comfort with speaking up. And we regularly hear about instances of her advocating for herself and others.

While the Jewish Studies content is, of course, Jewish in nature, the skills and attributes it develops go far beyond that arena. The program builds a skill set that is almost universally ignored in our educational system until graduate school, yet among the most important life skills one can acquire. No matter what each of us does in our professional lives, we all need to speak up, make a case and persuade others. Whether we are engineers, lawyers, teachers, executives or entrepreneurs, we rely on these skills as much or more than any others, often on a daily basis.

I can’t imagine discovering a more wonderful and unexpected gift for my children. A gift that will last them their entire lives. And I know of no other school besides Hausner where they could receive it. 

The Hausner Fund provides a key part of the school’s operational budget and helps make Jewish Studies and all the other programs possible. Please show your support for Hausner by making a gift today. Any size gift is greatly appreciated as we’re aiming for 100% participation. Visit hausnerschool.org/support-us.


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