The Power of Moments

April 12, 2019

Last week I finished The Power of Moments by Chip Heath.  I was mesmerized by this book from the first chapter and amazed by the simple way it made sense of things I knew to be true, but couldn’t quite articulate myself.

The author talks about the magic of turning ordinary experiences into extraordinary moments and proposes a framework to make this happen.  In order for moments to stand out amidst other daily moments, they must be EPIC:

Elevation — These moments rise above the routine and leave us feeling engaged, joyful, surprised and motivated.

Pride — These moments give us the opportunity to commemorate and recognize people’s achievements.

Insights — These moments provide us with realizations and help us recognize what is truly important and valuable.

Connection — These moments bond people through unique moments of celebration, struggle or synchronization.

Chip Heath pulls examples from business, healthcare and education to show the magic of EPIC moments and suggests ways to use the framework to make daily occurrences memorable and special.

With Passover around the corner, we at Paul Penna DJDS hope to build EPIC moments for our students and families.  Last week our SK students, along with seven parents, travelled by TTC to the Matzah Factory.  Examining this experience through the lens of an EPIC moment, I believe we transformed an ordinary lesson about a Passover symbol into an extraordinary memory.  Leaving the school allowed the moment to be elevated and left the children, teachers and parents feeling joyful and motivated. Pride was felt by all, especially when the Rabbi recognized the excellent questions our students asked and knowledge they had. Tremendous nachas was felt when our SK students recited the entire Ma Nishtana. Rabbi Deitsch noted this was the only SK class that knew more than the first question — recognition of achievement makes moments special.

This experience created connections and insights.  As one parent volunteer wrote after the trip:  “I was remarking to myself how happy I was that we chose a Jewish education for the kids (and of course, Paul Penna DJDS). I couldn’t provide experiences like that on my own, and I think it’s so important for my kids to learn at a really early age their history and where they came from. Hopefully it will imprint deeply and meaningfully and they will carry it on to the next generation.”

As you celebrate this Pesach with your children and grandchildren, think about what you can do to make moments memorable.  Making EPIC moments is really quite easy and helps us get to the heart of what we celebrate.

We look forward to hearing about your EPIC Passover moments. It would be so rewarding to know that our faculty and school community played a part in turning ordinary moments into extraordinary memories.


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Paul Penna Downtown
Jewish Day School
750 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2J2
(Located in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre)


(416) 928-3537