It is hard to believe that ten years has past have passed the Jewish world experienced such pride as Ilan Ramon and six other astronauts rocketed into space on January 16, 2003. It is equally hard to believe that it has been ten years since they perished on February 1, 2003, 16 minutes before landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
Having our school named after Ilan Ramon is an acknowledgment and a responsibility to Ilan Ramon’s legacy every day. The work that is done at our School is about ensuring a bright future for the Jewish people and preparing our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
One of Ilan Ramon’s missions was to represent Israel and all of the Jewish people. The students at Ilan Ramon Day School are reminded about Ilan’s way of viewing his place in the world and are asked how they will represent themselves and the Jewish people in their own lives.
At Ilan Ramon Day School, when we talk about preparing our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century, what we are really talking about is teaching children how to think and how to learn. We encourage curiosity by teaching them to ask questions. Living in this rapidly changing world we have no idea what professions our children will pursue when they are in their 20s or 30s and must acknowledge that so many of these careers have not as yet even been invented. So, how can we prepare them for that unknown? By teaching them how to look at the world and see the possibilities that exist. It is through that approach that our students are prepared for whatever challenges come their way. They understand their past, know who they are, and posses the self-confidence to step into their future.
And as our students learn how to learn and learn how to lead, they also learn that Judaism is a beautiful and colorful thread woven into the fabric of their every day lives. They learn about sacred time by celebrating Shabbat and the holidays throughout the year. Torah stories and Judaic studies help our students see their place in history and their eternal connection to the Jewish people. The foundational Jewish education our students receive means they continue through life with a positive Jewish identity.
Knowing that ten years after Ilan Ramon’s death his legacy lives on in the next generation of Jewish children, and that they are being guided and educated by you the parents, by our teachers, and by this school is a promise to the future.