School spirit soared on Oct. 29, as Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School launched its sports season with a lively Spirit Day and pep rally. Many of the sports teams have been practicing intensively to get ready for their games.
Enthusiastic students donned HAFTR apparel and colors in support of the teams. From the red, white and blue donuts to the red, white and blue decorations adorning the hallways, and all felt the school spirit. HAFTR’s other clubs and teams have been busy as well. HAFTR has already hosted debate, Model Congress, College Bowl and chess tournaments. The Drama Club has also started preparing for this year’s play, “Rock of Ages.”
Sports and clubs are not the only areas HAFTR students are passionate about, as students are, of course, deeply enthusiastic over anything and everything related to our beloved Israel. This week, several HAFTR High students, accompanied by Rabbi Yonoson Hirtz, traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit.
Along with 400 high school students from across the nation, HAFTR students engaged in Israel advocacy training, where they were educated on the U.S.-Israel relationship and also had the opportunity to lobby members of Congress. And as we just commemorated the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), we must realize that our efforts are so very important, as the “shattering of broken glass” continues across the world today, with anti-Semitic incidents occurring daily.
HAFTR’s varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams traveled to Los Angeles to compete in Shalhevet’s fifth annual Steve Glouberman Z”L Basketball Tournament (Nov. 6 to 9), where they competed against yeshiva high school basketball teams from around the country. Between the games and a meaningful Shabbaton, players not only had the chance to play and compete, but also to meet new people and develop lasting friendships.
The traveling continued for HAFTR students as they went to Stamford, Conn., for the Jewish Unity Mentoring Program National Conference of Synagogue Youth Create-a-Thon. This year’s JUMP Create-a-Thon modeled the innovation field with its goal of creating and maintaining long-term, effective solutions that tackle real world problems facing teenagers in 2019. During the three day gathering (Nov. 10 to 12), HAFTR participants successfully convinced the judges to invest in their projects, which highlighted issues they are passionate about and took actions to solve.
These past few weeks have proved there is much to be excited about at HAFTR High School. I am sure the excitement will continue with HAFTR’s upcoming open house, on Nov. 17.