In what has become a tradition at Heschel, the entire school gathered for an opening ceremony. In two simultaneous assemblies, Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School, and High School divisions welcomed in the new year as a community.
Kindergarten children marched into the ceremony under a tent of talitot that was held up by the Grade 12 students. Rabbi Dahlia Kronish, High School Director of Jewish and Student Life, offered blessings, and Head of School Ariela Dubler delivered warm remarks about hopes for the upcoming year.
In the Lower School, Grade 2 students welcomed Grade 1 students by giving them siddurim (prayer books) and pencils to symbolize their introduction to learning to read and write. Grade 7 welcomed Grade 6 with a beautiful student-sung bell that was played over the loudspeakers to help the new comers transition into middle school. Grade 10 created havdalah candles that they gave to the freshmen, speaking about their memories of the Shabbaton and the lasting impact that havdalah has had on them throughout High School.
The ceremony concluded with students from all of the divisions blowing the shofar, a powerful way to mark the beginning of the new school year and the month of Elul.