Today was a special day as we celebrated the Gan Siyum. Over the course of many years, this occasion was called by several different names. It has been marked as a graduation, a moving up ceremony and now it is called a Siyum, which refers to the completion of a unit of Torah study followed by a celebratory meal. We know that as our children progress from one grade to another, their study is never complete; rather each year is simply another stepping stone in their pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and we hope they will continue to gather many more stones as they travel on their educational journey.
Each year I watch our Kindergarten students entertain their parents, grandparents, and friends, and I think about their first day of school; how they walked cautiously into our building, reluctantly letting go of their parents’ or bus partners’ hands. When I see them standing tall and confidently on stage all I can think about is how far they have come.
As these, once quiet and shy children, stood on stage with smiles from ear to ear, singing their songs with pride and love, they looked adorable and were completely intent on putting their best foot forward. There was such sincerity in their efforts to sing well and play their musical instruments without faltering and they did so with all their heart. Everyone enjoyed performing and was so pleased with their accomplishments. And I beamed as I sat in the audience, watching our Kindergarten children sing and dance their way into our hearts, getting ready to take the next step of their academic journey.