Written by Steve Freedman, Head of School, Hillel Day School, as a tribute to Jonathan Hoffman.
Jonathan Hoffman should have been getting ready for his high school graduation and looking forward to the next stage in his young life. Jonathan, a member of the Hillel class of 2008 was tragically shot to death last Friday. He was 17 years old, a child. There are no guarantees. The Book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) teaches us that life is unpredictable and can end in an instant. The Book of Job teaches us not to be arrogant and assume we can understand or make sense of God’s sometime incomprehensible world. And the modern theologian Rabbi Harold Kushner helps us to wrestle with the fact that bad things happen to good people, and that God’s role is to teach us that we are not alone in the world. God has love for us and compassion for us in our suffering. In fact, when we suffer, God suffers. My purpose in writing this blog is to honor, in some small way, the memory of Jonathan. At Hillel, we remember Jonathan as a friendly middle schooler who liked to have fun. He had a sense of humor that endeared him to his teachers and friends. Like many middle school students, when he put his mind to it, he could be a good writer and a deep thinker. He was a devoted friend, and his friends loved him. He was a sweet son and a fun older brother. And his family loved him.
Read the entire blog post here. https://www.hillelday.org/head_of_school_blog