HAFTR Highlights

Spiriting through Hawk pride and Open House


Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School joined together for another extremely eventful week. With the school year under way, classes are progressing, extracurricular activities are sprouting, sports teams are back on the court, and school spirit is building.

The week began with an energetic School Spirit Day where all HAFTR High students were able to show off and celebrate their school pride. Then, as the week came to an end, HAFTR held its annual Open House where prospective students and parents were invited to come and tour the high school to learn about everything HAFTR has to offer.

To kick off the week with the buzz of school spirit, students dressed up in their favorite HAFTR apparel to celebrate Spirit Day. Students of all grades walked the halls in their HAFTR jerseys, shirts and sweatshirts. The unified and excited energy in the building was palpable, and culminated in a schoolwide pep rally.

At the rally, students and faculty recognized the athletic achievements of HAFTR sports teams, including HAFTR 2021 graduate, Jacob Steinmetz, who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks. All athletic teams were announced, and with each announcement, the cheers roared.

Steinmetz and HAFTR faculty took part in a special video presentation, a highlight of the program. At the close of the event, the school mascot, the HAFTR Hawk, made a guest appearance, dancing in the center of the gym and getting everyone energized.

At Open House, prospective students and their parents were given a welcome package as they entered the packed auditorium.

Associate Principal, Dr. Josh Wyner, welcomed everyone to the event and described how students reach their potential at HAFTR. He then introduced Principal, Naomi Lippman, who spoke about HAFTR’s outstanding academics and warm, inclusive school culture.

She was followed by Rabbi Yitzi Riselsheimer, dean of Judaic studies, and keynote student speaker Abby Rabinowitz, HAFTR senior, who shared her growthful experiences in her four years at the high school.

She spoke about the warmth she experiences on a daily basis, and the nurturing environment created here, which allows for all students to excel. Rabinowitz discussed her challenging, yet enjoyable dual curriculum encompassing both general and Judaic studies, as well as her love for partaking in all of the diverse extracurricular activities HAFTR has to offer.

Attendees were given a tour of the school building, and were able to see the decorated classrooms, newly renovated gym, science lab, state of the art STEM lab, art studio, fabrication lab, media center, and more.

The event concluded with a beautiful collation, where students and parents were able to enjoy delicious refreshments as they scanned the artwork and other displays surrounding the room. Prospective students were able to get a true glimpse of what being a student at HAFTR is like, and see samplings of all of the amazing opportunities HAFTR has to offer.

We hope everyone enjoyed Spirit Day and had a great time at the Open House! HAFTR looks forward to many more productive weeks with exciting activities for students and the entire community.