May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Ma’ayanot Honors Israel’s 70th Birthday

Ma’ayanot commemorated Yom Hazikaron with a candle lighting ceremony in memory of Israeli soldiers, followed by an address by former IDF soldier Michael Goldman. Students also watched a Jerusalem U film, “When the Smoke Clears: A Story of Brotherhood, Resilience & Hope,” which documents how a group of wounded soldiers discovered a new purpose and healing by giving to others. The students then wrote letters of support to wounded IDF soldiers.

On Yom Ha’atzmaut, Ma’ayanot welcomed Israeli educator Rabbi Shalom Hammer, director of Machane Meshutaf (Unified Camp), which offers Torah classes and motivational seminars to IDF soldiers. He described how the experience of saying kiddush Friday night on an army base changed both the soldiers’ lives and his own. Using an analogy of the connection between the tefillin that are worn on the arm, representing physical strength, and the tefillin worn on the forehead, representing intellect and understanding, he said, “We are a strong people, but only if we connect with what it means to be Jewish and embrace achdut, unity.”

A ruach-filled chagiga, falafel lunch, and an Israeli film festival completed the wonderful day. Students then extended the celebration with a special after-school mishmar, with talks from Rabbi Hammer, Rabbi Jachter and Rabbi Goldmintz. It was a day filled with contemplation, learning, ruach, and unity. As Rabbi Hammer said, “If you can’t be in Israel for Yom Ha’atzmaut, the next best place to be is Ma’ayanot!”

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