April 13, 2024
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Yom Yerushalayim at Yeshivat He’Atid Is ‘Day of Unity’

The cafeteria of Yeshivat He’Atid was packed with students dressed in blue and white, eager to begin celebrating Yom Yerushalayim for the first time in their new building in Teaneck. Not only were the Yeshivat He’Atid students clutching their siddurim waiting to sing Hallel, they were joined for davening and dancing by high school girls from Ma’ayanot.

Rav Yair Daar of Yeshivat He’Atid said he was glad to have the older girls spread the high spirits of the holiday to the younger students. It was a “natural partnership,” he said.

In a video made by students from Ma’ayanot, students from both schools gave reasons why Yerushalayim was special to them:

“I love the Kotel,” one student said. “It’s home,” said another. “It’s beautiful and it’s very spiritual for me,” said a third.

Nava Chetrit, a second grader, gave a short speech at the event in Hebrew about the importance of Yom Yerushalayim and how special it is to be able to pray at the Kotel.

While she said afterwards that she was a little nervous about speaking in front of over 400 students, she was still excited and inspired to remain calm in the spirit of the holiday.

Jerusalem is a symbol of unity for the Jewish people; it is a city that was not divided among the tribes and was the heart of the nation. So too, Jews of all different backgrounds should unite together to visit the Kotel and experience a taste of history, said Ma’ayanot student Ora Hochberg in a speech to students.

Rabbi Zev Prince of Ma’ayanot spoke about the miracle of the Israeli victory during the Six-Day War. But the word nes, miracle, has another definition, Prince explained. It also means banner, he said, pointing to the Israeli flags that hung from the ceiling.

“One of the things you have to be most proud of is the blue and white flag of Israel,” he said. “We have a homeland, we have a banner and we have a flag,” all things the students understood they should feel privileged to have as members of the Jewish people, who for decades throughout history had wandered the world in a homeless state.

Between the music, dancing and doughnuts, the event was a huge success. Yeshivat He’Atid hopes to hold more events in collaboration with different schools in the future.

“We’re still trying to get our legs underneath us,” said Daar. But, overall he was pleased with how the event turned out. “Hopefully next year we can build on it,” he said. “Having partnerships with other schools is a very important thing.”

Elizabeth Zakaim is a rising junior journalism and psychology double major at The College of New Jersey. She is also a summer intern at the Jewish Link. Feel free to email her at [email protected] with any questions or comments.

 

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