The winter has brought a storm of nonstop activities for the students at Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School. Students aimed to increase awareness of breast cancer and showed support for victims of the disease by wearing pink on Pink Day on Feb. 7. The PTA sponsored the distribution of pink doughnuts, the student government held an apparel sale and us girls were able to get manicures with pink nail polish.
All proceeds benefitted the Sharsheret organization. Sharsheret provides support, both financially and emotionally, to breast cancer survivors and their families. HAFTR was also honored to have Machi Steinberg speak to the students about her heroic battle with the deadly disease. She educated students and teachers about breast cancer, and presented tips on how to help others suffering from that illness. HAFTR’s annual Pink Day was a huge success in its twin goals of raising money and increasing awareness.
Since winter break, there have been many exciting trips planned for the students. HAFTR is proud to have sent nine students to Stamford, Conn., for Yeshiva University’s National Model United Nations. Schools from across North America send students to emulate delegates from various countries, and the students also act as the United Nations would by debating world issues and brainstorming possible solutions.
The HAFTR students were delegates from Israel and Thailand, and they advocated for human rights, debated issues relating to drugs and crime, and environmental concerns. A week before, the school sent a team of 11th graders to a Yom Iyun seminar on the topic of prayer, hosted by the National Council of Synagogue Youth. The goal was to teach students different ways to address issues that arise during prayer, specifically: distractions, focus, intention, and refraining from talking. These students are now working on ways to teach and inspire their HAFTR peers.
Another adventurous trip was offered to the 12th grade sports literature class when their teacher, Michelle Beach, took them to Hofstra University. The class interviewed basketball players, visited Hofstra’s sports complex — the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex — and learned about what the team does during their offseason. Needless to say, the students of HAFTR have enjoyed themselves over the three weeks since returning from break.
As this school year passes its midpoint, the seniors are able to beginning to wind down, and the juniors are starting the college application process. Joan Parmet, director of College Guidance at HAFTR High, and her team have begun meeting with the juniors and their parents to discuss each student’s personalized plan.
Simultaneously, the senior boys have also been in full swing, looking at yeshivas in Israel. Interviews have been taking place at HAFTR, and the boys have been choosing which school will be best for them for the approaching school year.
For as active a winter as it’s been so far, HAFTR High School continues full speed ahead. There was day off on Presidents’ Day, preparations for Purim (Feb. 28- March 1), and the anticipation of Passover (March 30-April 7). We look forward to an exciting second semester.