By: Alexa Szafranski (11th Grade)
This past Wednesday, the Hebrew Academy high school students and faculty returned to begin the 2019-2020 school year. Smiles filled the patio as students greeted teachers and friends, both old and new.
“I really enjoyed seeing all my friends again,” said Alina Sterenfeld (11th grade). “I was away all summer and reuniting made the first day really exciting.”
The day began with coffee, donuts, bagels, and a photo booth outside, allowing students to reunite with friends as well as introduce themselves to new students. Following the breakfast, the students were called into the cafeteria for a school-wide davening.
After the davening led by Student Activities Director Rav Oded Karavani, students stayed in their seats to hear about the year to come and learn about the upcoming retreat to Orlando.
“All the new activities the administration and student council added sound really cool,” said Ben Reinberg (11th). “All the things, like the Orlando retreat, make me feel like this year is going to be a good one.”
Along with this, the students reviewed and learned about the policies, met the faculty, and were introduced to the new head of school, Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg. In a first for Hebrew Academy, the new head of school introduced himself by running down the aisle, giving high-fives to students while music played. He then spoke to the school about how enthused he was to be joining a school with as much excitement as he saw on the first day. Rabbi Guttenberg entertained students with a story of his trip to the white sand dunes in New Mexico and how davening can have an impact no matter where you are.
“It was really interesting to hear what he had to say about himself and what he thinks of the school so far,” said sophomore Bailey Spitz. “I think and hope he’ll be a really good fit this year.”
During the morning assembly, new faculty and returning teachers, were introduced to the students.
“Great day,” said new science teacher Mr. Nick Yang. “Looking forward to a great, wonderful year and being a part of the family.”
With this positive start, the bar has been set for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I’m looking forward to the Israel trip, to make new friends,” said new student Daniella Finkelmim. “It was hard at first because I didn’t know anyone, but now I’m making friends and getting to know the area.”