Herzliah High School Alumni Address( Excerpts)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mesdames et Messieurs;
It is with enormous excitement that I stand before you this evening presenting one of the most challenging speeches I’ve given of late. How do I justly summarize ten years that so greatly defined me and essentially traced my personal and professional paths, thus far? Quels mots pourrai-je employer pour adéquatement décrire les années les plus formatives de ma vie?
For me the revelation of my true self occurred in the midst of war; perhaps for somebody else, it might have come at an awards ceremony or during a championship game.
What I know for sure is that the Herzliah experience facilitated this realization. Beyond education, every student is offered the opportunity to tap into their most profound potential and define their best selves. We each emerge with a sense of clear knowledge of who we are and a moral and intellectual backbone to do the right thing.
A good school teaches its students how to make a living. Herzliah; an extraordinary school, teaches its students how to make a life.
It is worthy to note that Herzliah is much more than just the Jewish education I’ve referred to until now. Herzliah rigorously engages the mind, body and heart of each student through a plethora of subjects and activities; fieldtrips and guest speakers. It challenges and is challenging. It impresses the importance of critical and independent thought and questioning.
Herzliah students learn to lead and to speak with equal confidence in Hebrew, English and French.Students are taught the meaning of academic integrity and personal integrity even before the recess bell sounds; and Derech Eretz, ethical behaviour; is indeed the law of the land in this tight-knit school community. L’environnement unique et intime à Herzliah permets à ses étudiants de développer leur domaine d’intérêt personnel, et surtout de bâtir des liens d’amitié qui durent pour la vie.
As Pirke Avot, Ethics of our fathers, teach us ase lecha rav, ukne lecha chaver. Look for a teacher, and acquire a friend. Indeed, the Jewish belief insists that the acquisition of knowledge and the development of friendship exist in parallel; and at Herzliah, it most certainly does.
As I climb the echelons of the professional world, I meet Herzliah alumni at every threshold. They are the builders, the movers and the shakers. As the Talmud teaches, al tikra banaich; ela bonaich. Your children who study, should not be referred to as your children, but as your builders. Because their studies will build the person they will become; and in turn those people will build your community and your world. Herzliah alumni have and will do just that. They are those who dare redefine the status quo and succeed. They certainly have been offered adequate tools to get the job done.
Today, I stand before you, at 26 years young, only nine years since my graduation from Herzliah high school Ville Saint-Laurent.I hold a double bachelors degree; and a Masters degree (Magna Cum Laude)- both from highly regarded universities.I am a published writer, and former columnist of a well-respected English language newspaper.I am an entrepreneur with a business that stands to be nominated for business of the year in the coming weeks.I am a member of a diplomatic mission in Montreal.I am an enlightened and contributing member of society
I am a Herzliah graduate.