May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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On Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, somber feelings of connection permeated the MDS middle school. Perpetuating the memories of those who perished while defending Israel was meaningfully observed by MDS students. Rabbi Cohen, assistant middle school principal, opened the day with communal learning of Pirkei Avot. Students learned about specific soldiers and dedicated their learning in honor of these fallen soldiers and soldiers currently serving in the IDF.

Classes joined together for an impactful tekes, filled with commemoration and tefillah. Head of School Raizi Chechik opened the ceremony with a powerful story reflecting on the sacrifices made by our soldiers. Students from the middle school led the tekes, which was planned by shlicha Morah Lital, and the talented bnot sherut, Shalev and Leah. Biographies of fallen soldiers were shared and candles lit in their memories. The assembly continued with a presentation by Mr. Labi, grandfather of Jesse (5B), Ness (‘20) and Emmet (‘18) who was 16 years old during the War of Independence in 1948. He shared memories of his friends who died fighting for the State of Israel.

As the day progressed, students visited an exhibit created by the bnot sherut.The exhibit prompted meaningful discussion and time to process and connect with what Yom Hazikaron means to the Jewish people.

The school then transitioned from the serious tone of Yom Hazikaron to the seriously fun tone of Yom Ha’atzmaut. A celebratory atmosphere was in the air on Thursday, as students came dressed in white and blue, focused on the blessing of Israel’s independence. Talmidim began the day with an inspiring and festive Shacharit complete with celebratory Hallel and plenty of singing. Next students entered the beit midrash and were immediately transported to The Old City of Jerusalem, the sandy beaches of Eilat and a drum circle in Teveria. Talmidim immensely enjoyed the immersive “travel” experience. The day continued with a festive, traditional daglanut by the fifth graders and a spirited chagiga with singing and dancing, topped off with an ice cream treat!

MDS students feel a deep love and connection to the state of Israel.

“I enjoyed celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut with my friends and truly felt the Israeli spirit. A highlight for me was the chagiga, especially when the lights went out,” commented Gaby (8G).

At MDS Yom Ha’atzmaut is one of the most joyous days on the calendar. “The day of Yom Ha’atzmaut defines our year,” said MDS mom Ilana Prager. “Our school’s connection to Israel is the cornerstone of our community.”

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