HAFTR Highlights

A new academic year takes flight


The start of a new year at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School is riveting and exciting.

While sophomores, juniors and seniors continue on their paths to success, first-year students are just starting their high school journey.

Teachers, old and new, met with all of their students on Sept. 8 to kick off the first full day of classes. Freshman received a special first day all to themselves a day earlier, while older grades began their transition back to school the same day with orientations and time to prepare before resuming class.

In addition, seniors participated in a fun-filled scavenger hunt with their ninth-grade “little siblings” in the Big Sib program, which gives senior students an opportunity to mentor incoming freshmen for the year.

Though the new school year has just begun, there are already so many highlights throughout the school. HAFTR welcomed parents and faculty to the new school year at “Lights Out,” a special event on Sept. 10, in the Hawks Nest on Frost Lane in Law on Sept. 14. Our freshmen had a blast on their annual retreat on Sept. 14, where they went whitewater rafting and had a fantastic barbecue dinner.

This bonding experience and the creation of new friendships is something they will take with them throughout their next few years together. Students and their parents enjoyed reconnecting and welcoming new families at the annual PTA Welcome Back Carnival on Sept. 11.

Along with trips and programs, HAFTR’s sports and academic teams are gearing up for a new season with tryouts. Basketball, volleyball, speech and debate are just some of the fantastic teams getting under way. So, watch out, Yeshiva League and New York high schools, because the Hawks are coming in!

As we embark on this new school year, we recognize that it is also a new Jewish year, as Rosh Hashanah is coming up at the end of September.

This last month of the Jewish calendar, Elul, is a time of reflection, growth, and introspection, all of which apply to us religiously and as students.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider a few things when coming into this new year, and ask ourselves: how can I grow as a student/person this year? Was I the best student/person I could be last year? What can I offer the world that I may have neglected about myself before?

Are there things I wish to accomplish in the next few months, and if so, how can I help myself reach these goals? With these questions in mind, we can all approach the new year with a genuine growth mindset.

Although it may be stressful at times, the next few years of our lives, personally and academically, can shape our future and ourselves as human beings.

So, take advantage of the opportunities you are given. Don’t wait for next year or the year after. Start now. Be the best version of yourself you can be. Also, remember to have fun along the way!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year and a great school year!