July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

By: Yair Wechselblatt

In a display of solidarity with Israel, the SAR mock trial team wore pieces of tape displaying the number of days since the outbreak of the war to their trial in the criminal courthouse in downtown Manhattan.

The movement was started by Rachel Goldberg-Polin, the mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, a hostage currently being held in Gaza. Every day, individuals wear a piece of tape displaying the number of days the hostages have been in captivity. In a time when the war may be waning from our minds, the simple act of exhibiting this number serves as a constant reminder of our brothers and sisters serving in the IDF and their mission to save the hostages.

The trend has been adopted by many students at Jewish day schools. “Wearing the tape each day makes me feel so uplifted. I feel pride in davening for the release of the hostages, and having the tape on my clothes each day reminds me of the things I should be prioritizing,” said Gabriella Gottlieb, a senior at SAR High School, “It is especially uplifting to think that next year, b’ezrat Hashem, I will be studying in Israel and able to support the war effort from the homeland.”

The SAR mock trial team publicized this message at their first trial of the season. So, on Monday, February 5, the team arrived at the criminal courthouse displaying our pieces of tape, proudly wearing them throughout the trial, in which we emerged victorious.

Maya Jacobs, a junior on mock trial, suggested the idea that the team wear the tape to their trial. “I think it is important to show our solidarity for Israel in an environment where many people are not exposed to this sentiment as often as we are. We are responsible for ensuring everyone knows about Goldberg-Polin’s goal, Jewish or not.”

Upon seeing their peers wearing the tape, the Ramaz mock trial team, also at the courthouse that night, decided to join SAR in their statement. They borrowed the SAR team’s tape and markers and promptly created their own pieces.

Ellie Minkove, the captain of SAR mock trial and a senior at SAR, is beyond proud of her team and of Ramaz for working towards increasing awareness of the hostages. “I am so proud that our teams were able to overcome our competitiveness and work together as New York Jews to raise awareness. We play in a mock trial league with all high schools in the state, not just with other jewish schools. We had a unique opportunity to display our solidarity to the general public.”

SAR and Ramaz mock trial teams have always had a friendly competition. As two of the strongest mock trial teams in the New York City area, they consistently go head to head and compete for the same spot as the New York City champion. Their feuds extend to their Instagram accounts, where the teams playfully banter over the social media platform around trial time.

However, the display of the hostage tape by both teams represents the more significant priority at hand. Despite their competition, SAR and Ramaz decided to put their rivalry on pause to stand together in solidarity with Israel.


Yair Wechselblatt is a junior at SAR High School and lead counsel for the SAR mock trial defense.

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