This year, for the first time in Hebrew Academy history, the senior class is participating in a “Senior Seminar” course, which offers essential knowledge for life after graduation, ranging from how to change a tire to the intricate Jewish laws of marriage.
Many students said they are impressed with the new course and feel it is valuable.
“It’s very positive and informative,” said Danny Yerushalmi (12th grade). “It teaches us how to deal with situations we will encounter in the real world.”
The course, which takes the place of their usual third period Judaics class, covers Halachic and Torah subjects that would not usually be covered within the regular construct of a “normal” high school class. Besides focusing on important Jewish customs, the seniors will also learn life practicalities. They will be taught how to care for their car, how to do their own taxes, and will also hear from alumni speakers about their experiences in the business and startup world.
This past Wednesday, The Hebrew Academy seniors went to the Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel to learn about Chevra Kadisha (the Jewish burial society), and about their role in the process of purifying and cleaning a dead body before burial.
Rabbi Miller, a member of the Chevra Kadisha at Riverside Gordon, spoke to students about what most would consider a morbid topic.
Miller noted that helping to prepare a deceased person’s body for burial is the “greatest mitzvah one can do. It is very rewarding and uplifting for the soul.”
The visit to the funeral home is one of many trips the class will take. Assistant Principal Rabbi Assaraf, who pioneered the course, said he felt the need for this type of a course specifically designed for the senior class.
“I felt strongly that the seniors are on their way to graduation, and I wanted to compile a semester course that would put all this stuff together that would give them a nice send off. I also wanted to give them a course with more experiential learning,” said Assaraf.
The senior class will continue to learn these interesting and engaging topics until the end of April.
By: Shmuel Kahn, Gittee Benhamou, and Lexi Sugar (12th grade)