By: Shoshy Stein (9th Grade)
This past Wednesday, students and faculty gathered to commemorate the horrific tragedy of 9/11. Student Council led the assembly, informing students on how 9/11 changed America forever. This year marks the eighteenth year since September 11, 2001, when the terrorist attacks killed 2,977 people.
“The assembly helped show the impact that 9/11 has had on other people,” said Herschel Karp (10th Grade). “We saw family members and how it impacted everyone’s lives and it was really sentimental.”
For the first time in Hebrew Academy history, all of the students currently in the school were born after September 11, 2001. The objective of the assembly was to ensure that 9/11 does not become just another event learned in history class.
“The point of the assembly was really to just to educate people on 9/11,” said Student Council President Avi Kahn (12th). “We all obviously know about 9/11, but in the assembly we wanted people to feel a connection and understand the severity of it even though none of us can say we really remember life before it.”
The assembly included videos, speeches from teachers explaining their experience during 9/11, and a speech from Mrs. Maia Aron, president of the Miami Chapter of the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Mrs. Aron spoke about JNF’s 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem.
The assembly was especially emotional to the staff, who were all alive for the 9/11 attacks.
Rabbi Kahane specifically recalls 9/11, when he was a student at Yeshiva University in New York.
“I still remember that morning very clearly, as well as the general feeling of tension, fear and anxiety during the difficult days, weeks, and months that followed,” said Kahane. “I remember the smoke in the air that reached all the way from the World Trade Center to where I was, Yeshiva University, on the other side of town. I remember friends volunteering at hospitals and all of YU standing together while Rabbi Norman Lamm led us in reciting Tehillim. It felt like the beginning of a new era and that more attacks were likely to follow. Baruch Hashem, there have not been other attacks against us of that magnitude, and yet things all over the world have never quite been the same.”
Students said the assembly succeeded in connecting them to the tragedies of 9/11.
“The 9/11 assembly really changed my perspective on how serious and tragic 9/11 was,” said Deborah Winer (11th). “All the stories they showed us really touched my heart.”