April 19, 2024
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STEM, Aliyah and Lemonade Define Yom Ha’Atzmaut at BPYSTEM, Aliyah and Lemonade Define Yom Ha’Atzmaut at BPY

After a moving Yom Hazikaron, which set the backdrop for expressing profound gratitude for Israel, Ben Porat Yosef students celebrated Israel’s 68th birthday, Yom Ha’atzmaut, with great enthusiasm. Early Childhood students boarded virtual flights to Israel so they could explore Israel’s water sources, the Kineret, Yam Hamelach, and the Mediterranean Sea, through a variety of STEM activities; these taught the students about transporting water, using water to transport products and the special characteristics of some of these bodies of water. The day also included a visit to the Kotel, baking pitot at a Bedouin camp, experiencing army training boot camp and dining at Cafe Sababa.

Meanwhile, elementary and junior high school students came together for a meaningful communal Hallel, followed by dancing and daglanut. They then experienced the four different aliyot to Israel (from North Africa, Europe, Ethiopia, and Russia) through interactive exhibits. Students trudged through the desert, boarded boats and planes and crept under the radar of British Mandate troops, all to reach Eretz Yisrael. The day ended with a family chagigah, where students from grades kindergarten through eighth performed a special daglanut program.

A highlight of the day was the work of the lemonade stand of the BPY fifth graders, who raised over $900 for Yashar LaChayal—an organization that supplies Israeli soldiers who serve on the front lines with necessities such as toiletries, sunscreen and socks—and the Amit Orphans and Children Sandwich Program. The students had been working on this project in their math, science and writing curricula. Throughout the past few weeks they experimented with different kinds of cups to measure capacity, evaluated insulation and researched the environmental impact of the materials used. The students wrote persuasive essays about which tzedakah they wanted the proceeds of their stand to support.

At the end of the evening, the students were gratified after calculating that the funds they raised will provide 750 school lunches to children in need, or a full year of lunches for four children. This effort impressed Amit, which will feature the BPY fifth grade lemonade stand in the upcoming issue of their magazine.

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