HAFTR Highlights

Getting the lowdown on college, celebrating Passover


With Advanced Placement exams just around the corner, Regents exams looming in the distance, and various fairs and competitions, students have been busier than ever.

Earlier this month, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School hosted its annual College Fair for 11th grade students. Several college admissions counselors representing a wide array of universities, including Johns Hopkins University, Barnard College, NYU, Cooper Union, Queens College, and University of Maryland, spoke to students about campus life and their respective admissions criteria.

At the beginning of the fair, students and parents met in the auditorium, where they were addressed by an experienced panel of college admissions officers. The panelists each spoke about what attributes they are looking for in prospective students and then subsequently addressed three different anonymous applications.

Each admissions officer discussed their opinion on the different components of the students’ applications, and revealed whether or not he or she would grant admission to that particular candidate based on the information presented to them. This helped provide students with an idea of how colleges evaluate candidates as well as insight on how to enhance their own applications when the time comes.

Each of the university representatives had also prepared individual informational sessions regarding their respective universities in different HAFTR High classrooms. Students had the opportunity to choose three different colleges and sit in on those sessions. After individual sessions, students, parents and representatives reconvened in the gym, giving students the opportunity to personally speak with the various admissions officers.

HAFTR’s annual Science, Math and Engineering Fair, took place on April 3. Students presented their science and math research projects, and creative inventions they designed in their Scientific Technology courses. Following the presentations an awards ceremony was held, where each grade level had first, second, and third place winners.

The following day, freshmen competed their science projects in the junior division of the annual Long Island Science Congress. The day after that, sophomores and juniors competed their science projects in the senior division of the science congress.

Taking a holiday break

After all the students’ hard work and effort, a break from the academic routine seemed appropriate. Passover break is more than just a time of unwinding and relaxation, however. Most importantly, it is a time of family togetherness in which we commemorate the enslavement of our Jewish ancestors and celebrate our escape from the hands of the Egyptians and entrance into the land of Israel.

We honor this gift of God by holding in Passover Seders and adjusting our diets, essentially re-living our historical experiences. It’s a holiday central to our Jewish heritage, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.