In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting last week, Hebrew Academy students are making efforts to commemorate the 17 lives lost. To honor the lives of each victim and their families the school will stand in unity for 17 minutes on the patio on Wednesday, March 7th, wearing special shirts designed by sophomores Kayla Wolfson and Kayla Abramowitz.
“Part of our religion is to show everyone we’re here for them and that we’re brothers and sisters,” Abramowitz said. “Another is acts of kindness and tzedakah and mitzvot. It’s how I grew up. If you see something wrong, act on it.”
The school invited Andy Pollack, father of 18 year-old Meadow, one of the victims. Pollack, now an outspoken activist for school safety said he hopes to attend the event to honor Meadow’s life. When Assistant Principal Dr. Lieber initially asked Pollack to join, he extended an invitation for the entire school to come to his house, but Lieber said this would not be logistically possible. Instead, a delegation of students will bring shirts to Parkland to distribute to the victims’ families.
The shirts feature the phrase “Douglas Strong” in red against a white background on the front and “Never Let Fear Decide Your Future” on the back with four hands clasping. According to Wolfson, the phrase “Never Let Fear Decide Your Future” was added to discourage students from giving in to the fear of walking into school every morning. The shirts also display a Hebrew Academy Warrior logo on one sleeve and the Douglas eagle logo on the other sleeve.
“We needed to come together to say that we cannot accept these innocent lives being taken,” said Assistant Principal Dr. Lieber. “We hope it will bring to light that no one should think that their voices cannot be heard. Hopefully this is just the beginning. We will fight until these senseless acts of violence cease to exist.”
Shirts will be sold for $15 each, and the proceeds will be donated. The Stand for Unity event will take place March 7th at 9:15 a.m. in the high school. Parents and members of the Hebrew Academy community are invited to join.
By: Samantha Ebner (10th Grade)