Grade 7 visited their buddies in Kindergarten to learn Olam Hesed Yivaneh, a song that asks what a world built from love would look like. After learning the song, the students took time to create a drawing that depicted what they thought a world built from love may look like.
In celebration of Poetry Month and part of the Edy Rauch Memorial Artist in Residence program, poet, professor, and performer, Dr. Joshua Bennett returned to Heschel to read several of his works to the Middle School community. After the reading, Dr. Bennett took questions from the audience about his life, his work, life's milestones, and more. Middle School students took part in a writing workshop with Dr. Bennett where they explored self expression through poetry.
In what has become an annual tradition, Grade 1 students interviewed Shira Nadich Levin, Executive Committee Member, past Board President, and mother of Lower School specialist Gideon Levin (MS '96). The program gives the children a window into what life at Rabbi Heschel's home was like as Shira was a close friend of Susannah Heschel, Rabbi Heschel's daughter. Shira spent a great deal of time in the Heschel household and was able to see first hand what Rabbi Heschel was like as a father.
Heschel faculty and staff held their annual professional development day today. Each division used the time to consider ways to to strengthen their teaching craft and better support Heschel students and each other. Some faculty used the time to visit other schools, others were able to find time for team building exercises, and others discussed how to approach education around the 2020 election. The entire community came together for lunch to discuss how the census will play a role in the classroom, and the many ways that it relates to Heschel's mission and pedagogy.
The Lower School gathered to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday with an assembly about the Civil Rights Movement. The choir sang "Kumbaya", a song that became associated with the Civil Rights Movement and was popularized when Joan Baez sang it at many different demonstrations throughout the 1960's. Grade 4 presented their work on metaphors in Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech. Grade 5 students shared a video, which they created after learning the stories behind iconic Civil Rights photos. Heschel's founder, Peter Geffen, talked about the power of words and how words can create change.
Grade 3 students visited Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center (LSNC) to sing for the Senior Services Program. The children sang a variety of songs and spent some time with the LSNC seniors while they had lunch.
Heschel High School hosted Pluralism at Work: Prayer at the Heschel School. Participants attended different tefillah (prayer) services for shacharit (morning prayers) which was followed by a discussion about the rewards and challenges of teaching tefillah in a pluralistic setting, facilitated by Rabbi Dahlia Kronish, the Director of Jewish and Student Life for Heschel High School.
The High School held its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program with a focus on incarceration and criminal justice. Guest speaker Kempis Songster addressed the High School community and then led a session with a Grade 10 Social Studies class. Kempis Songster was imprisoned in 1987 at the age of 15 for murder. Despite his age, he was certified as an adult, convicted of first-degree murder, and received a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Alumni returned to Heschel for the annual "Life in College" panel. The alumni visited with the Class of 2020 and spoke about their experiences transitioning from Heschel to college. They addressed topics such as workload, balancing a social life with their studies, being Jewish on campus, shifting from a Gap Year to college, extracurricular activities, and more. Thank you to Jonathan Mack '17 - Washington University in St. Louis, Leila Small '18 - Brandeis University, Ben Brandeis '16 - Emory University, Lizzie Kaner '17 - SUNY Binghamton, and Gabriel Barnett '16 - University of Pennsylvania.
Grade 8 explored how catalysts expedite chemical reactions by providing alternate reaction pathways with lower activation energy than an uncatalyzed reaction.