Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday Presents for the School

6th graders Nathan Goren and Marty Lang celebrated a special12th birthday together on Wednesday night. No, it wasn't the laser tag or the Ricki's pizza that made it so out of the ordinary.  It was two little lines written on all of the invitations which read "In lieu of gifts, a small donation to either the MHA Library Fund or to the MHA Athletics Department would be appreciated. Nathan and Marty will be prepared to accept any donations on behalf of MHA during the party."

As he was leaving school yesterday, Nathan handed me an envelope with all of their "presents."  It was a special gift from two very special boys.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Moving Tribute

The Girls High School put on a most meaningful tribute dinner Monday night, in celebration of the life of their teacher, Mrs. Karin Schmitt.  Over two hundred community members were in attendance as the girls put on a program that would undoubtedly have made Mrs. Schmitt proud.  To say that her sons and husband were moved by the experience is an understatement.  From the slideshow to the video, and the dvar Torah to the desert, everything was done with class and the utmost taste.  It was a kiddush Hashem of the highest order and we are most proud of them.

From Exported Videos

From Tragedy to Triumph

These past few weeks have seen school-wide commemoration and celebration and we remembered both the tragedies and the triumphs of our people's recent past.

It began with Yom HaShoah when our older elementary and Middle School students watched as our high schoolers put on a dramatic rendition of eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust written by children who were there.  Afterward they broke into groups moderated by our Kollel boys and our Bat Ami girls, who led them in meaningful and reflective conversations about what the Holocaust means to us as individuals and to our people.

Yom HaShoah was followed by Yom HaZikaron, a day in which members of our own faculty who served in the Israel Defense Forces shared their thoughts and experiences with our students.  In the evening, our kids were on full display, as their choir performance, flag dance, and skit formed the centerpiece of the communal Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut program sponsored by all of the local Orthodox shuls.

From Movies
Unlike the somber moods of Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut was one of unbridled joy and non-stop celebration.  From plane rides to Israel to davening at classroom kotels and from a special minyan and breakfast for the upper school to Israeli snack making in second grade, celebrations of Israel and what it means to us were everywhere you turned.  As has become the tradition, the day was capped off by a jubilant march from the school to Baron Hirsch in which the entire school joined several community members in publicly displaying our support and love for the State of Israel.  Upon arrival, our students were treated to ices followed by mincha and a shiur for the older kids and Israel oriented programming for the younger kids.  Finally, before dismissal, the entire school came together to dance and sing one last time.  Suffice it to say, it was a special day for all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Student in Finals of International Math Competition

11th grader Molly Brakha will be heading to Israel later this week to compete in the final round of the Ulpaniada International Math and Logic Competition.  Now in its fourth year in Israel, the Ulpaniada was created by Michlalah College in Jerusalem as a means of promoting excellence in math amongst young Jewish women.

This year, for the first time, the Ulpaniada was expanded to become an international competition.  Thousands of girls in Jewish High Schools from across the globe competed in the first two rounds and only a select few made it to the finals which will take place on Tuesday, May 4th at the Michlalah campus in Jerusalem.  At its completion, all finalists will receive a special certificate from the Israeli Minister of Education.

We thank Mr. Vaughn and the rest of our Math faculty for preparing Molly so well and we wish Molly the best of luck.  We know she'll make us proud...she already has!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MHA Students Win Community Awards

While certainly it was not the focal point of Sunday's community-wide Yom HaShoah commemoration, nor should it have been, it was hard to walk away without being impressed with the students of the Margolin Hebrew Academy.  This year, the Federation used the event to culminate three community-wide student contests - for Holocaust related art, essays, and poetry – and our students could not have done any better.

In the Art contest, Racheli Tsuna shared 1st place with 2 students from Solomon Schechter and Brina Copper took 2nd place along with a boy from BSSS.  In the poetry contest it was a clean sweep: Alexa Wender took 1st, Jake Baum took 2nd, and Lavi Tsuna took 3rd.  We swept the essay contest too with Maddie Tavin taking first place, Jordana Wender taking 2nd, and Jonathan Tavin taking third.

Click here to see Alexa's award-winning poem and the evening's program listing all of our award winners.  Congratulations to all of the winners and a special thank you to Mrs. Fleischhaker and Mrs. Johnson for their help in encouraging our students to participate.