Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ma’ayanot prepared for Yom Kippur with an experiential, multi-media yom iyun devoted to tefillah. All students participated in a Shemoneh Esrei Interactive Gallery. Yom iyun organizer and Torah Programming Coordinator Miriam Schwartz explained, “Our students focused on one sentence from Shemoneh Esrei at a time, and connected to it on a personal level.” Sophomores Avigayil Green and Cami Rawson exclaimed, “We now have a better connection to daily davening and got to see the varied ways that different people connect to the same words!”

Students also discussed Tehillim 27 (Le-David) in class, and the entire school was privileged to hear divrei chizuk from Rabbi Menachem Penner, dean of YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, who, in his lively and engaging style, acknowledged the challenges of tefillah. Sophomore Avigayil Cyrulnik appreciated Rabbi Penner’s words: “He admitted that he’s like us, that tefillah can be hard; and he shared helpful ideas as a call to action.”

Finally, every student had the opportunity to physically contribute to a mural organized by Yitzchak Moully, artist and rabbi, on the eastern wall of the beit midrash. Freshman Sarah Manevitz commented that the mural “is something that will inspire me every day when I say Shemoneh Esrei!” Freshman Tziporah Chouake shared: “We took a plain gray wall and made it colorful and bright. We can do the same with our davening—even though we are not saying our own words, we can make the tefillah our own!”

Ma’ayanot’s Head of School CB Neugroschl had high praise for all involved in the yom iyun: “I am inspired by our students. They dedicated these past few days to their own growth and their personal connection with Hakadosh Baruch Hu in a serious way. I am inspired by our faculty who work tirelessly to teach and develop meaningful programs that resonate with our students and empower them to grow.”

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