Tuesday, August 16, 2022

On two special days after Pesach, Jews over the world commemorate the losses of the past and reflect on the sacrifices made for Medinat Yisrael. Ma’ayanot students and faculty collaborated on evocative, meaningful programs to mark each day.

On the morning of Yom HaShoah, student committee members gave each student a yahrzeit candle with the name of one person who perished in the Shoah. Students took a moment to read about that person, and placed the candles in formation to create a Magen David. As Aliza Adler, director of Student Activities, explained: “On Yom HaShoah we take a broad perspective, to contemplate the overwhelming numbers, and also focus and try to think about one individual who was taken from our nation.” Norbert Strauss, who witnessed Kristallnacht as a 10-year-old in Frankfort, shared his memories with Ma’ayanot students and donated a copy of his memoirs to Ma’ayanot’s library. Students listened to Mr. Strauss with the utmost respect as he shared his experiences in a relatable and empathetic way.

On Yom Hazikaron, students heard from a lone soldier, an observant graduate of a local day school. He spoke forthrightly about the physical, moral and emotional challenges of army service, as well as the bracha of Medinat Yisrael, how so many have sacrificed for it and how it was his honor to help preserve it. The Ivrit department, led by Department Chair Merav Tal-Timen, along with faculty member Meytal Ishai and freshmen Chani Ben Shimol, Sophie Fine, Hadassa Frydman, Irene Lipstein and Ayelet Poupko, evoked the mood of Yom Hazikaron in Israel. Words from family and friends of recent terror victims, and a recounting of their stories, were interspersed with videos and songs memorializing fallen soldiers. Poupko shared that “it was a meaningful experience and special opportunity to prepare and present to the school. It strengthened my connection to Israel.”

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