As the school year continues to wind down, Hebew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway has been as busy as ever. The students are settling back into their normal routines, following the two-week long Passover break. Jews across the world celebrated the miracle of the ancient Hebrews being freed from slavery in Egypt.
Though the exodus took place thousands of years ago, recognizing the great miracles that God did to free the Jews is a tradition that is of the utmost importance to the Jewish people, and is celebrated during an eight-day holiday that this year began on the evening of March 30.
In preparation for this sacred holiday, every HAFTR High student submitted thoughts on Pesach and the Torah. All of the students’ thoughts were compiled into one packet and distributed throughout the school. The packets, along with all of the Pesach knowledge that students have been learning in their classrooms, really helped set the mood for a fantastic and meaningful holiday.
One of the traditions that many Jews practice during Passover is for each to view himself as though he were being freed from slavery. This custom is the reason that HAFTR has its annual Mission to Poland at this time of the year.
For this mission, a group of seniors, along with many of the HAFTR rabbis and teachers, visit the remains of the many work and death camps from World War II. The students were able to see first-hand the devastating reality of the Holocaust.
The trip helped students realized the horrors that previous generations of Jews endured. The Poland trip took place two weeks before Passover, because after seeing the terrors of the Holocaust, imagining the horrors of the Jewish bondage in Egypt is not as difficult.
After the trip, Yom HaShoah Ve HaGevurah took place on April 12, right after school resumed. To commemorate the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the students who went to Poland presented a program for their peers, recounting the atrocities and what they saw. These testimonies helped HAFTR students feel connected to the Jewish people that died during that time.
Prepping for college
Returning to school after the holiday break indicates the school year is drawing to close, and that next school year is fast approaching. Already preparing for the start of the 2018-19 term, HAFTR’s College Guidance Department welcomed representatives from nearly 20 different colleges to the annual Junior College Fair.
Yeshiva University, Cooper Union, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Queens College, New York Institute of Technology, and the Macaulay Honors program sent both alumni and admission office personnel to give students a behind-the-scenes look into the admission process.
Students were then able to attend three in-depth information sessions about the colleges of their choice. All students were then invited to an open forum and had the opportunity to speak to the college representatives.
Overall, the return to school has brought an excitement for the end of this school year and anticipation for the upcoming school year at HAFTR. Looking forward to all that is to come!