The entire Hebrew Academy high school celebrated Lag B’Omer this past Thursday, May 3, with the third annual Lag B’Omer kayaking trip. The expedition to the Virginia Key Outdoor Center included kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and a barbecue.
Immediately upon arrival, many boarded the paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes and set out for the open water. All embarked with dry shirts and shorts, but no student returned without being flipped over at least once, dripping with the ocean water.
Assistant Principal Rabbi Assaraf, who helped arrange the event along with Assistant Principal Dr. Lieber, said “I took lots of joy in flipping everybody, but it really took a village to get everyone in the water, and it was fun. Good times all around.”
Danelle Levi (9th) agreed. “I had such a fun time with my classmates and kids in the other grades,” Levi said. “Kayaking with everyone was really fun.”
Some students elected to remain behind, but they still felt the trip was a great experience to chill, relax and bond with friends.
“It was a great break from school,” said Avigail Kahn (10th). “Even though I did not go kayaking, I had a lot of time relaxing and getting a tan. It was also really fun watching everyone fall out of the kayaks.”
For the last two years, the Hebrew Academy Lag B’Omer tradition included kayaking at the nearby Oleta River State Park. Instead, this year, the administration decided to switch locations for a different and enhanced experience.
“To stay with our tradition, we wanted to do something fun outdoors for Lag B’Omer, and to change it up a little bit from past years,” Rabbi Assaraf said. “So we wanted to be here on Virginia Key, Key Biscayne, with the beautiful scenery. I think everyone overall had a great time.”
Exhausted from a day of intensive water sports, the students and faculty happily returned to a barbecue provided by J-Cafe. During lunch, Lag B’Omer was further celebrated with music, football, and a hacky sack circle.
Itai Beaudoin De Roca (12th) provided the hacky sack. “It was awesome as always,” he said. “The circle just keeps on growing and spreading out.”
Mrs. Citron, a member of the Judaic staff, brought her three year-old son to the Virginia Key Outdoor Center to commemorate his upsherin, a Jewish custom to cut a boy’s hair for the first time upon his third birthday which is commonly done on Lag B’Omer. Students celebrated the occasion by cutting small strands of his hair and partaking in delectable desserts baked by Mrs. Citron.
The trip was an enjoyable experience for all involved, and all are looking forward to next year’s Lag B’Omer celebration.
“It was very fun,” Bryan Saka (10th) said. “It brought the school together.”
By: Alexa Szafranski (9th Grade)