Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
January 22, 2021

Kol Yavneh: Will Barry (K‘13)

Author - Camp Yavneh

Whatever It Takes

This past August, I began teaching at a public charter high school in Harlem, NY called Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ). Every day, I am inspired by the mission of this school, the incredible time, resources and opportunities that every staff member works tirelessly to provide to the students and their families, and the amazing accomplishments of the scholars. A phrase that is preached often at HCZ is “Whatever It Takes.” This has perhaps never been as salient as during this unprecedented time that we are currently living in, as teachers and staff work hard to maintain the rigor of academics while also providing essential services to families such as packaged meals, covid testing and physical and mental health services.

Although the phrase “Whatever It Takes” has embodied a new meaning for me this year, I have long understood this mindset through my work at Yavneh. As a ​madrich ​(counselor) staying up late to comfort a homesick child, a ​rosh aydah​ (unit head) working long hours to ensure the success of a ​peulah​ (activity) or upcoming ​Achla Yom ​(special day), and a member of ​Tzevet Tochnit​ (programming staff) making countless trips to Walmart, the Dollar Tree and everywhere in between to ensure all supplies were purchased to make the Yavneh magic happen, Yavneh has instilled in me the meaning of “Whatever It Takes.” To me, this phrase captures the essence of what it means to work at Yavneh: Not giving up, believing that anything is possible, and working hard to achieve whatever goals you set your mind to. This is one of the many reasons why Yavneh is so special to me and I’m sure to all of you as well. Although the world appears insane, count on Yavneh to remain.