July 14, 2024
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July 14, 2024
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Ma’ayanot Marks Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut

Ma’ayanot students enjoyed meaningful and interactive programs for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. On Yom Hazikaron, Ma’ayanot heard from IDF soldiers Shai Gutfreund (brother of Ora, ‘22) and Sammy Landesman (brother of Rachel,’20), who shared their stories and reasons for drafting into the IDF. Both concurred that being part of something greater than oneself and wanting to serve the Jewish people are what motivated them to draft and what sustained them through the many challenges of army life. Students also chose among hearing Ma’ayanot Hebrew teacher Yoni Blu share his memories of being an IDF paratrooper; a virtual tour of Har Herzl with Avi Mandel, Ma’ayanot Tanach and contemporary Israel teacher and IDF veteran; and a reflective session including stories of fallen chayalim with Sarah Gordon, Ma’ayanot director of experiential education. Said senior Rachel Landesman, the day “helped me appreciate the importance of the IDF and the sacrifices its soldiers make on a daily basis.”

Ma’ayanot’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration opened with Tefillah chagigit and a Zoom chagiga with Yitzy Glicksman, joined by his daughters Shira (‘19), Molly (‘21) and Keren (‘22). Many Ma’ayanot students danced with their younger siblings, and faculty with their children. Ma’ayanot also hosted special virtual Zoom tours to Tzfat, the Machaneh Yehudah shuk and Meah Shearim. Students had the opportunity to bake blue and white cookies with Tasteful Creations’ Limor Levy (mother of Avigayil, ‘23) and to attend separate personal reflection sessions, including questions and answers, with Principal Rivka Kahan and Tanach teacher Rachel Schaum about their respective aliyot. Said Rachel Landesman, “It was amazing that Ma’ayanot was able to make me feel so connected to Israel even though we weren’t physically celebrating together.” Agreed sophomore Ora Gutfreund, “Despite the screens between us, I truly felt that connection.”

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