June 13, 2024
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Ma’ayanot ‘Heartbeats’ Spotlights Dedication To Israel

Heartbeats, Ma’ayanot’s annual evening of song and dance, was wholly dedicated to the theme “Libi b’Mizrach,” my heart is in Israel. On May 28, with over 200 students performing, working behind the scenes or fundraising, Heartbeats raised nearly $16,000 for the Donny Morris Shana Ba’Aretz Fund, to provide qualified students with financial assistance for a year of Torah study in Israel, an experience that Donny Morris z”l, cherished and valued. The 800 attendees were privileged to hear inspirational words from Donny’s mother, Mirlana Morris, and from Head of School CB Neugroschl, who noted, “Ma’ayanot’s special zechut to partner with the Morris family in sharing the legacy of Donny’s love of learning Torah.” Neugroschl continued, “This year we have been fighting against a darkness that fell upon Am Yisrael on October 7. The Ma’ayanot family has found new light amidst the darkness”—lights of prayer, learning, volunteering, activism, advocacy and empathy.

The Heartbeats program included tefillah and Tehillim, and before each dance, a student or faculty member described the life of a soldier who was killed defending Klal Yisrael, each one directly connected to the Ma’ayanot family. Before each song, a tribute was given to a Ma’ayanot faculty member’s child currently serving in Tzahal. The beautifully performed dances and songs related to the themes of tefillah, Eretz Yisrael, Am Yisrael, Jewish womanhood or resilience, reflecting Ma’ayanot’s core values of self expression and community building. Dean of Students Bailey Braun, who worked tirelessly with students on all details of Heartbeats, defined the evening’s significance: “The attack of October 7 was an attack against our people as a whole and against Jewish women in particular. As an all-women’s event, Heartbeats is a moment for us to pause and think of the strength that exists within this room. The young women of Ma’ayanot unite and rise as the Jewish women of tomorrow with strength and resilience.”

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