Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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.

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