Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sukkot at the MHA

The days leading up to Sukkot are always an exciting time in school.  From classroom sukkot and sukkah decorations in the Early Childhood to model sukkot and students modeling as the ushpizin in the Lower school, and from the intense hilchot schach competition in the Boys High School to the diverse Sukkot stations in the Girls High School, everywhere you turned this week there was excitement, enthusiasm and hands-on education, in preparation for the upcoming holiday.

Here's a glimpse...

Student Named National Merit Semifinalist

More than 1.5 million juniors in over 22,000 high schools entered the 2009 National Merit Program by taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Of those 1.5 million only 16,000 students nationwide - and only 44 in the city of Memphis - qualified as National Merit Semifinalists. We're most proud that 12th grader Maddie Tavin was one of them.

The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,400 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $36 million, that will be offered next spring. We wish Maddie the best of luck on the next - and final - stage!

6 Students Win National AP Awards

Evidence of our astounding results on last year's AP tests continue to roll in. Just recently we learned that 5 of the 19 students in last year's graduating class - or 26% of the class - won prestigious national awards from the College Board for their performance on the APs, as did one member of last year's Junior class.

Luky Guigi and Rachel Rubenstein received the AP Scholar Award which is given to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams. Debbie Farber and Ariav Schlesinger received the AP Scholar with Honor Award for scoring an average of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken AND scoring 3 or higher on four or more of those exams. Ariel Cooper, last year's valedictorian, received the AP Scholar with Distinction Award which is given to highly select few students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams AND score 3 or higher on five or more of those exams (Ariel took 6 AP exams and scored an average of 4.67 out of 5).

Maddie Tavin, who is only now a senior in our Goldie Margolin School for Girls, also received the AP Scholar award for having already taken 3 Advanced Placement Exams prior to her Senior Year and having scored a perfect 5 on all three.

Congratulations again to all of the students and all of their teachers for a job splendidly done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Selichot Night

As has become a tradition over the past few years, both of our high schools gathered in their respective schools late on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah, for a moving program prior to the beginning of selichot.  Under the direction of Rabbi Noam Stein, both schools began with a powerful excerpt from the movie Freedom Writers, followed by an assignment for self reflection, a time to share thoughts with each other, and some powerful singing.  Then, the two schools came together in the Beit Midrash for selichot led by Rabbi Gersten.

It was a most fitting way to begin the Yamim Nora'im.

Kollel Night of Learning

One of our most beautiful community events is the bi-annual night of learning which our Kollel Torah MiTzion hosts twice a year to help us get ready for Yamim Nora'im and then again for Pesach.  The evening begins with chavruta study of Torah sources relating to the upcoming holiday and then each of the four congregational rabbis gives a short shiur based on the sources prepared.  It is nothing short of inspiring to watch our Beit Midrash fill with men and women, grandparents and grandchildren, all there to expand to grow in knowledge and spirit in preparation for the chag.

May our growth in Torah learning and communal collaboration only increase and strengthen in the coming year.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Can Make a Difference

Dear Friends,

As our preparations for the Yamim Noraim intensify, so do the efforts of our dedicated lay leaders to make this year's annual campaign the success we need it to be.

As you can imagine, like Day Schools across the country, the economic downturn has taken a heavy toll on us and many of our families.  Nonetheless, our administrative team and our outstanding team of educators are as committed as ever not only to continuing to deliver high quality education in all subject areas, but to constantly improving and constantly growing.  For us, there's no other way.  After all, the future of our children, our community, and klal yisrael depends on it.

The only way we can continue do so, however, is with your support.  Therefore, I ask that in this season of teshuva, tefilla, and tzedaka, you give whatever your means allows to help our school continue to actualize its mission.

Doing so is easy.  Just click here to access our secure paypal form which will walk you through the simple process.  That's all it takes.

I thank you in advance for helping to make a difference in the lives of our children.

Best wishes for a ketivah va-chatimah tovah,

Rabbi Perl