This is the email I sent to the students in our MA program. If you're a teacher, it's for you, too.
Hi, my friends...
If you are like me, you are probably dealing with some strong emotions, perhaps apprehensive about what lies ahead. I don't want to project my own feelings onto you; I know I'm feeling somewhat at a loss.
I want to remind you, though, of some of the great blessings you have - not in general, not in the abstract, but right here, right now:
First, you are able to give your students an enormous gift by providing them with a calm, loving, non-reactive presence. Be there for them.
Second, as Jewish educators, part of our work is to help our students grow into wise, loving people. Is there more important work than this?
Finally, you have as your colleagues some of the biggest-hearted people I know - in the field in general, and in this program specifically. We are all here for each other. Please feel free to reach out to me or to your classmates if you feel a need, and let your classmates and your coworkers know that they can reach out to you.
This is what we're here for. I'm proud to be with you.