HAFTR Highlights

Welcoming eighth-graders, visiting NYC and a fun Shabbaton


Welcome back, HAFTR High School! Hoping everyone had a relaxing and fun winter vacation. It did not take long for the students to get right back in the swing of things.

On Feb. 3, the high school welcomed current eighth grade students from HAFTR Middle School and several other yeshiva middle schools. The soon-to-be high schoolers got a taste of the “HAFTR High School Experience.” The eighth-graders were greeted by high school students and faculty and received welcome messages from the administration. The students were then divided into groups and led to various activities. Students created vision boards that depicted their goals for high school in an artistic and creative manner. The eighth-graders and high school seniors also did team-building exercises in the gym.

The eighth-graders took part in Judaic Studies with teachers and rabbis, and listened to a globalization lesson in social studies. After group sessions, the middle schoolers asked the seniors questions. HAFTR seniors who did not attend HAFTR Middle School talked about how welcomed they were by their HAFTR class, most of whom already knew each other from the middle school. They also discussed how there were able to stay connected to friends from their former school but also branch out and make so many good friends at HAFTR. One senior, a top student and athlete, talked about how he learned to manage his time and balance his academics, sports and other extracurriculars. Other students talked about all of the unique programs and diverse extracurriculars that HAFTR has to offer.

Students discussed how they have taken advantage of HAFTR’s STEM and science research programs and the advantages of being able to do a project on any scientific topic one chose. One student discussed how she loves the arts that HAFTR offers, such as the art institute and drama program. “The Art Institute is a relaxing break from all of the tough classes and a great creative outlet,” she said. After the panel, eighth-grade students enjoyed a pizza lunch in the gym. HAFTR High School cannot wait to see the eighth- graders back as freshmen!

On the same day, HAFTR High’s Advanced Placement psychology classes brought their learning to life by visiting the Museum of Illusions in New York City. The students saw many of the psychology concepts that they had learned in class and gained a new appreciation of the brain’s ability to sense and perceive phenomena. Students had fun taking pictures of themselves interacting with the different illusions throughout the museum. They also enjoyed lunch at Bravo’s Pizza and spent the day bonding with classmates and teachers. Thank you Dr. Tara Klestzick and HAFTR for this fun learning experience!

HAFTR High School girls traveled to Connecticut on Feb. 7, for the girls’ Shabbaton. After departing from HAFTR, the students headed to Jumpz/Thrillz for trampoline fun and high flying adventures. The girls enjoyed a meaningful Shabbat filled with thought-provoking Torah commentary and inspiring presentations on spirituality and personal growth. The girls also enjoyed meals, singing and learning with faculty members.

The theme of the Shabbaton was “Taking a Leap of Faith: Let’s Make Waves!” The girls heard from an inspirational speaker, “Jew in the City,” Allison Josephs. On Saturday night, the fun was extended with an evening of ice skating at the Danbury Ice Arena. The Shabbaton was a wonderful opportunity for the girls to bond with their classmates and teachers while enjoying a meaningful and spiritual Shabbat.