Inside Heschel High
Grade 10 chemistry students weighed and then heated two unknown substances: shiny reddish-brown granules and a green powder. Upon heating each substance, they both turned black the green powder lost mass. Students then identified the evidence of chemical change that they observed and determined which of the two substances was a compound and which was an element.
High School Head Rabbi Noam Silverman led the High School in the ancient Jewish ritual of hatarat nedarim, the annulment of vows, traditionally performed between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the presence of a beit din, a Jewish court of law. They convened their very own pluralistic beit din composed of Heschel’s Rabbinic leadership: Rabbis Dahlia Kronish, Anne Ebersman, and Jack Nahmod. Central to this ritual is the notion that our obligations, responsibilities, and promises are defining elements of the human beings we aspire to be in relation to our own selves, others, and God. Just as we aspire to take on new commitments in order to become our fullest selves, we must also be mindful not to over-commit and lose our sense of balance and integrity.
Throughout the week, several of our minyanim (tefillah groups) had the opportunity to walk to the Hudson River for Tashlich, a traditional ceremony centered around the casting of sins into a body of water. Students were given the opportunity to reflect on the past year and think about all that lies ahead as we enter 5784.
This week, the high school held its first Town Hall of the year. Town Halls offer an opportunity for our high school community to come together across grades to discuss important topics affecting our school community, and our community at large. This week’s topic focused on the usage of ChatGPT in an educational setting. It was wonderful to hear our students think widely and critically about this issue and share their thoughts on how this new technology impacts the learning experience world-wide. We are grateful for their contributions and look forward to the next opportunity for all of us to engage in communal exploration together.
Heschel High School commemorated September 11 at a morning tekes (ceremony) led by students and faculty. Members of the faculty shared reflections about the day and the events that transpired 22 years ago. Throughout the morning, Student Government Representatives asked for moments of silence over the loudspeaker to recognize the timeline of events that occured on 9-11.