While a surprise snowstorm resulted in a delayed start on March 4, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School students eagerly awaited the celebrations that will usher in Purim, March 20 to 21. Given a chance to escape the winter blues, some of HAFTR's students will be taking trips this month, either to Israel or Washington, D.C., for worthwhile causes.
Purim, which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire, is always a fun time at HAFTR High. Students delight in competing for best costume as they display their creativity.
The students always look forward to carnival-like activities or performances by a hypnotist or a singer, and await what surprises the administration has in store for them. It’s one of the highlights of the year. Purim is a great time for students to take a deep breath amidst the rigorous second semester and have a little bit of fun before the quickly approaching Advanced Placement and final exams begin.
Many HAFTR students will depart for Israel on March 14 to run in the annual Jerusalem Marathon. The students run on behalf of Team Shalva, a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals with disabilities and their families in Israel. HAFTR is running in honor of Dr. Hindi Krinsky, our beloved English teacher who died on Aug. 17. Each runner has raised at least $2,950. All proceeds go to Shalva. HAFTR students have raised in excess of $90,000. The trip will be a great opportunity for students to explore Israel, while performing a great act of kindness and supporting a great cause.
A group of HAFTR High students will attend the AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 24 to 26. This is a terrific opportunity for them to act as real life activists for Israel. Students will have the privilege to see the presentation of various groundbreaking Israeli innovations, listen to several keynote speakers and engage in educational sessions regarding Israel.
Students and attendees will also be able lobby their Congressional representative in an effort to further advance the U.S.-Israel relationship. More than two thirds of Congress will be attending the conference. This is sure to be a great educational experience for our students, while also giving them a chance to be involved on the ground floor of U.S. policy making with regard to his country’s relationship with Israel.