Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.


 

High School students ventured out for hesed activities, visiting locations across New York City. Students volunteered at Room to Grow, AFYA, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, Manhattan Children's Center, and more.

 

Kindergarten students welcomed Rosie Rudavsky (Heschel Alum) to their Movement and Library classes. Rosie read "My Family Dance", a children's book she recently wrote and illustrated. In her book, different family members take on different movements, and the children discussed each of these types of movements and then both mimicked them and created movements of their own.

 

The Middle School's "Community Read" culminated with a full day of programming filled with guest speakers, experiential learning, and engaging activities to help reinforce their understanding of "Refugee", by Alan Gratz. The book follows the stories of three young people from different countries and times, seeking refuge from their war torn homes.

The day began with an opening ceremony featuring guest speaker Scott Miller, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Scott spoke about his position at the museum and his research of the refugee ship St. Louis, and its passengers, that were denied entry to Cuba, the United States, and Canada. The day continued with rotating sessions where each grade took part in a refugee camp simulation, heard from a speaker from HIAS, and learned about the Syrian refugee crisis. Later in the day, the students chose electives ranging from Syrian cooking, Cuban drumming, Salsa dancing, STEM projects designing boats, hearing from a member of Heschel's maintenance team who is a refugee from Tibet, and more.

Heschel's first graders interviewed Shira Nadich Levin, Executive Committee Member, past Board President, and mother of Lower School teacher Gideon Levin (MS '96). During childhood, Shira was a close friend of Susannah Heschel, Rabbi Heschel's daughter. The students learned about his spirit of playfulness and his great love for his daughter Susannah, providing an intimate lens into his life as the beginning of their studies of our school's namesake.

 

Alumni returned to Heschel for the annual "Life in College" panel. The alumni visited with the Class of 2019 and spoke about their experiences transitioning from Heschel to college. They addressed topics such as workload, being Jewish on campus, extracurricular activities, choosing a major, internships, and more. Thank you to Allie Shapiro '16 - Penn, Heather Brandspiegel '16 - University of Delaware, Jonah Klausner '16 - University of Michigan, Sydney Shaiman '16 - Washington University, St. Louis, Yanniv Frank '17 - CUNY Macaulay, and Elliott Kleinman '17 - Vassar College.

 

 
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Grade 2 students have been studying islands, volcanoes, and how forces of nature can cause both gradual and rapid changes to islands. The class focused on how underwater volcanoes, coral reefs and rising sea levels play a part in island formation. In order to observe and better understand how islands form, students designed and built volcanoes, and simulated the eruption process. Each group then presented their findings to their classmates.

Grade 6 students have been studying the circulatory system in their science class. They have learned about each blood type and discussed why specific blood types must be used during transfusions. As part of an optional exercise, one of Heschel's nurses administered a blood type test using EldonCards, a portable blood type test kit, so that the students could learn what blood type they are.

Grade 5 volunteered at the Afya Foundation. The students sorted and packed medical supplies that will be shipped to underserved communities worldwide. Last week, Danielle Butin, Afya Founder, spoke to the children about the importance of their work and how they can help make a difference.