May 26, 2024
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Ma’ayanot Maccabiah Keeps Israel in Focus

Each year, Ma’ayanot dedicates a few days to a friendly competition between grades, combining innovative educational experiences with opportunities for each student to share her unique talents. However, Ma’ayanot Maccabiah 2024 was exceptional! Throughout this year of challenge and suffering for our brothers and sisters in Israel, Ma’ayanot students have been balancing their own social and emotional health with keeping Israel at the forefront of their consciousness. Ma’ayanot’s phenomenal programming team, Aliza Adler, Nina Kaminetsky, Rabbi Zev Prince and Miriam Schwartz, knew that the standard color war competitions needed to have a serious focus, exploring four pillars of Jewish national strength—Chesed, Torah, Tefillah and Achdut. Students’ talents had free expression in the quest to connect to the situation in Israel, to each other and to Hashem.

Each and every student was able to contribute to her grade’s success. Teams sought out their Hebrew-speakers to write an original Hebrew song, artists to create their banner, Torah-learners for the chidon, performing artists for the lip-sync battle and dance, engineers for the egg-drop competition, and free-throwers, jump-ropers, hula-hoopers and singers for the schoolwide relay race. Every student was needed and every student had a moment to shine.

New requirements, such as “Portraits of Heroism,” in which each team researched and presented about a hostage, soldier or victim of October 7, ensured that “even in the midst of fun, we remember what is meaningful, inspirational and important,” said junior captain Orly Bieler. Senior Eliana Shulman noted that Aner Shapiro, the October 7 hero whom she and teammate Sara Mirwis presented to the school, “personified the value of achdut, protecting his fellow Jews at the cost of his own life.” All students were moved and inspired by all the presentations. Overall, Ma’ayanot Maccabiah successfully combined a spectacular celebration of students’ hard work and talents with a focus on am hanetzach, and enriched the entire school.

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