My open letter to the Professional Leadership, Board of Governors and Trustees of the United Herzlia schools.

Dear Professional Leadership, Board of Governors and Trustees of the United Herzlia schools

I write this letter to you all, wondering what in the coronavirus-plagued-world you were thinking when you announced, via email, the closure of Herzlia Constantia. The Chutzpah! As a former pupil, I feel it is my duty to put my thoughts in writing and share my dismay for the way in which this news has ruined our Shabbat weekend.

Some basic research leads me to believe the parents of the school weren’t even consulted before your e-mail was sent. I am led to believe the teachers had been either informed or consulted but that’s almost irrelevant right now. Like me, and my fellow alumni, Parents found out while preparing their Shabbas meals from an email sent at 3PM — I bet many actually only read it after they were done — if not only after Havdalah. …

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They say, time heals. They say, if you really want to make it through the future you have to move on from the past. But what they don’t say is time can often feel like forever, the past is all you hold onto and the future is incredibly scary after tragedy.

Make no mistake, holding on to tragic loss — or any form of tragedy for that matter — is definitely the biggest mistake you can ever make and while facing the future with one less part of your life seems scary, moving on is totally necessary.

My sister passed away in November, 2011, at the age of 15 — just a month short of her Sweet 16. She had been battling cancer for about a year and quite literally passed on in my arms while she was being treated at an advanced cancer clinic in Seoul, South Korea. Her unexpected death (at that point) completely shattered our family but we had no idea the effects would still be felt eight years on. …

This chapter is still unfinished and may have additional content inserted.

My name is Matthew McPherson. I never knew it at first, I never understood it at all, I still don’t entirely have any recollection of why or what; all I know is that recently, people have stood beside me, holding my hand, saying things like everything’s going to be ok, you’ll soon be back with us, I can’t wait to speak to you again and I love you.

I’ve come a long way according to Dr. Simmons. He’s been visiting me since Jessica, Jerry and Mother left me a few nights ago, after our brief family dinner. What a disaster that was! I haven’t seen them since. Perhaps it was something I said, but the last thing I remember was Jessica, confidently telling Mother they had it all under control. Dr. Simmons told me they’d be back to see me when I woke up but I’ve been awake for days already and every time I’ve asked a question, he ignores me as if I’m not even there. …

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