Contrary to what we are accustomed to from previous years, this time around, the opening of the school year was rather unusual. Not for the dear Israeli children, not for us parents and certainly not for the teachers and educators. Inevitably, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us all an important life lesson: nothing can be taken for granted. Not even the most mundane things that we sometimes deem a little “boring.” COVID-19 has emphasized in all of us the way in which our daily routines, as well as our and our children’s socialization, are basic, existential human commodities. So it is true, our children are returning to school in a slightly different format than they are accustomed to. However, because of past several months – in which they were sentenced to social distancing at a young age, having barely seen their beloved friends and having spent most of their time hidden at home – it is with great joy for them, and certainly for us, to see them return to their social lives.This year, just like many other young parents, I, too, will be sending my two excited children to school. Yet, this time, I am not just watching them walk into the classroom on their first day. As Aliyah and Integration Minister, I am privileged to accompany more than 42,000 new olim (immigrants) children, who are entering kindergartens and schools in our education system all over the country. These include 2,226 children who arrived to Israel in the past year, and close to 1,000 children who arrived solely during the summer months. These children will be filled with excitement as they enter their new classroom, as they encounter a new environment and a new language, having left their old home in a distant country behind. These children arrived to us from all over the world: from Argentina and from France, from the US and from Brazil, from Ethiopia and from Russia; as well as from many more countries with diverse languages. I had the enormous privilege of receiving some of them at the airport when they first landed in Israel, filled with excitement as they stepped off the airplane which brought them home, to their new journey here in Israel. Thousands of olim children are about to take their first steps in learning the Hebrew language, and in getting to know the new Israeli environment and culture. They will face unique challenges that will accompany them throughout the school year. Children have a superb ability and capacity to adapt; I know this because I myself was a new oleh as a young girl. All it takes is a supporting environment that believes in them and loves them. The challenges they will face will be easily overcome, if each and every one of us, as parents, teaches our children a first lesson before going to school: no child is to be left behind. Every child is important, both in the classroom and during break time. We have a duty to teach our children to open their hearts, connect and receive everyone into their social circles, even the new olim children, who have a slightly more difficult time at first.For educators and us parents: we have an extremely important role in connecting and accepting the parents of the olim children, because even if they are not yet fluent in the Hebrew language, what is truly important is the language of the heart that we enable and create. It is an international, human language that connects us all. It is essential that we become aware of the things that may seem minor to us. For example, it is our responsibility to ensure that the new olim parents are not absent from the classes’ WhatsApp groups. If they are not present and do not understand their surroundings, our duty is to connect them and increase the accessibility, in order to allow each and every parent to be fully involved and meaningful for his or her children.Invite them to your home, go out and visit them, make space for the culture that they bring from all corners of the world. This may result to be a beautiful, free gift and lesson for you. Learn new songs, taste new dishes, get exposed to new languages and wrap yourself in diverse cultures that together make up the beautiful Israeli society. I wish us all a good, healthy and fruitful school year.The writer is the Aliyah and Integration Minister.