July 20, 2024
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July 20, 2024
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JKHA middle school and lower school offered a safe educational and emotional space for students to learn about and process the war in Israel. An assembly for all middle school students in fifth through 12th grades, along with RKYHS, harnessed the power of the community to support one another to understand what’s happening in Israel. Head of School Rabbi Rubin spoke to all students and faculty about the importance of tefillah always, but particularly in moments of crisis. At the conclusion of the assembly, students recited Tehillim 121 and 130 collectively, as well as the prayer for the State of Israel and the prayer for the IDF. The program concluded with all students and faculty singing “Acheinu” and “Hatikvah” together.

As a way to check in with middle school students, they completed a school-wide Google form, in which they were guided to respond to one of the following prompts as a reflection on the morning’s assembly: “A question I still have…; I’m worried that…; I hope that….; I wonder.” Their responses were powerful and illustrative of how emotionally complex our collective experience is, both as children and adults. In Judaic Studies classes, each grade had one class devoted to learning the text of Tehillim 121, and students were encouraged to discuss and analyze the imagery of the perek in order to grasp the power of Hashem and our belief in Hashem’s care and loyalty for Am Yisrael. The school day ended with an achdut kumzitz for all students in the middle school, at which they sang “Esa Einai,” from Tehillim 121 and other inspirational songs.

Lower school met with Principal Rabbi Srolovitz and the guidance team who spoke to students about the events in Israel at their level and reinforced the power of tefillah as they said Tehillim and tefillot. In addition to daily Tehillim said in lower school, in their morning assembly every day for EC4-fourth grade they will begin with the prayer for the State of Israel and the prayer for the well-being of the IDF every morning all together in unison. This week, all of JKHA will be sending letters to children in southern Israel as part of Mizrachi’s “Letters for Israel” initiative. The guidance team at JKHA continues to be available to students to help them process their feelings in a safe space.

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