HAFTR students named Merit Scholar semifinalists


Isaak Garber, Matthew Goldstein and Jake Kaufman, seniors at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR), were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists in the program’s 59th year.

HAFTR officials said, the school has the distinction of having the highest number of semifinalists among Long Island yeshivas.

Approximately 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high school entered the 2014 scholarship program by taking the 2012 PSAT, which served as an initial screen of the entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists — representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors — includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

There are about 16,000 semifinalists who will compete for the 8,000 merit scholarships offered next spring that are worth an estimated $35 million.