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Middle School Happenings

Friday, April 27, 2018
יום ששי, יב' אייר, תשע"ח
כ"ז בעומר
פרשת אחרי מות קדושים
 
 
 
 
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Yom Ha'atzmaut
 
The simcha of Israel at 70 permeated the walls of HAFTR middle school on Yom Ha'atzmaut. The day began with all middle school students joining together for a ruach-filled tefillah at Beth Shalom, followed by a festive breakfast. The students then joined the Early Childhood and Lower School students for a school-wide ceremony . During the next phase of the day, students visited stations related to the history and culture of Israel. The station topics included a chidon hatanach where students were asked questions relating to the history of Eretz Yisrael, remembering specific fallen soldiers, Israeli music, Abraham’s tent, a puzzle of Yerushalayim and a slide show describing inventions created in Israel. The day culminated with a fun-filled student vs. faculty basketball game. It was so special for our school community to spend a full day immersed in the celebration and appreciation for the State and Land of Israel, its history, its future, and the eternal connection between Israel and the Jewish people.
 
 
 
Yom Hazikaron
 
Students and parents alike were moved by a student-led Yom Hazikaron presentation the evening of April 17th at Beth Shalom. The tekes, led by Mrs. Einat Rabinovich, included performances by the HAFTR Middle School Choir, arranged andf accompanied by Rabbi Lamm, as well as candle lighting and readings by students and staff that took the audience through the journey and emotions that families in Israel experience when their loved ones fight in the army. 
 
Yom Hashoah
This year's Yom Hashoah program in the Middle School was extremely powerful. Led by Mrs. Rabinovich, our students transformed the school's Multipurpose Room, by way of decorum and program, into a space that captured the appropriate solemnity and respect of the day. Parents, grandparents, and all other audience members alike were moved by the words spoken by Ms. Ariana Wolfson, who recounted her experience from her Poland trip last Spring, as well as the songs of remembrance by the HAFTR Middle School Choir, the candle-lighting ceremony, and the recitation of poems and stories.
 
STEM Corner
Are you ready for the STEM Summit!? Prepare to engage in the most interactive and innovative display of science, technology, engineering and math acumen you have ever seen. Students have been busy preparing solar powered radios, experimenting with vacuum chambers, and developing new and ingenious solutions to problems we face every day.
 
Aside from the fascinating projects, our STEM Summit this Sunday (April 29, 12-2) will offer student led workshops-giving parents and siblings a chance to experience the enjoyable hands-on learning that takes place in HAFTR every day. Come try out our coding workshops, build a balloon rocket, neutralize a dangerous acid, build an emergency light up sign, or just come have a snow cone!
 
Looking forward to seeing you there!
 
 
 
 
 
Trip To the Museum of Jewish Heritage
 
On Monday, April 9 our seventh graders visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This trip proved to be an unbelievable experience for our students. 
 
The tour began with an introduction to pre-Holocaust Jewish Europe and the thriving community. The students were met with a beautiful picture of a Jewish wedding that took place in Germany before Hitler’s wrath, representing the normality of life, celebration, family and religious practice. Many students were surprised to see that the German Jews had “regular” lives before the Nazis rose to power. They were drawing connections to their own lives through the pictures, artifacts and exhibits displayed. The trip's leader, Ms. Wolfson, led students in conversation around how it is our responsibility to know our history and continue our traditions to ensure “Never Again.”
 
The second floor of the museum focused on the Holocaust era. The students viewed several video clips of survivors’ testimony which was very moving, bringing many students to tears. 
 
The emotional roller coaster concluded on the third floor, post-Holocaust and the Jewish Diaspora. The Docents explained that many did not think that the Jewish Nation would survive the Holocaust, saying it would be impossible to withstand the Nazi power.…they were wrong. She explained that the impossible can be made possible with dedication, drive and Emunah in Hashem.  
 
The Museum pays tribute to those who died by celebrating their lives, treasuring their traditions, identifying their achievements and faith, and affirming the very much alive Jewish community that is their legacy today. This was all taken in through the eyes of our students. It was an amazing trip.
 
Daveners of the Month

As Rosh Chodesh was at the beginning of last week, we took the opportunity to recognize the Daveners of the Month of Adar & Nissan. The students were treated to a "kiddush" breakfast. The following students received recognition and certificates: Daniel Bengelsdorf, Andrew Berger, Daniel Berkovich, Yonatan Bodner, Ami Dube, Boaz Duftler, Gabriel Glatt, Avery Kaufman, Abie Lent, Hillel Roberts, Haim Salem, Nataniel Shimonov, Matthew Wiener, Nate Poznanski, (Rabbi Kirsch’s class) Layla Appel, Daniella Finkelman, Shirly Gottlieb, Eliana Hamburger, Abby Melman, Hannah Nierenberg, Grace Sharon, Rachel Sharon, Nava Strobel, Emily Vaysman,Naomi Gettenberg, Daniella Hoffman, Emma Pine, Isabella Stieglitz, Jamie Kornblum, Alexis Pollack, Kayla Fleschner, Esther Gaon, Abbi Kammerman, Sophie Klein, Jessica Kurlander, Michal Mari, Cordelia Morgenstern and Kaitlin Pollack. May all of their prayers be answered l'tovah.
 
6th Grade Trip to the Planetarium
 
This past Wednesday the sixth graders took a trip to the Vanderbilt Planetarium. The students were able to sit back and learn about the planets and stars while looking at the night sky. The students took a tour of the Solar System using the Vanderbilt Planetarium’s Konica Minolta Star Projector, with full-dome video and surround-sound. To prepare us for the journey, educators introduced geocentric and heliocentric models of the Solar System, plus the formation of the Solar System and the origin of the Earth’s star, the Sun. The students then blasted off into space to examine the unique characteristics of the Sun, the planets and their moons. Educators introduced comets, asteroids, the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt of deep-space objects. Using up-to-date information from the Hubble Space Telescope, various space probes and the Mars Rovers, the students examined the latest information about these objects in the Solar System. 
 
Amen Group
Our 8th grade girls are blessed to be part of an incredible davening group every morning, led by Rebbetzin Teitelbaum in our Girls Beit Midrash. However, this past Rosh Chodesh the girls had an extra special opportunity to take their tefilah to the next level by visiting to the local Amen Group. The Amen Group comprises a group of women who come together daily to inspire each other, to daven, learn and grow together. We are so grateful to the group for welcoming our girls, and thankful to Rebbetzin Teitelbaum for facilitating the opportunity.