by Aviva Engel, Director of Communications
Hebrew Academy made history this morning with an unprecedented, school-wide “Mishnathon” in celebration of 50 years of Torah study at the school.
About 500 students from Elementary and High School joined together for a very special hour of learning in the Hebrew Academy gym-turned-giant-Beit Midrash, which was decorated with colourful tablecloths and helium balloons. Seated at 50 tables, senior and junior students were paired with one another and assigned one of 50 Mishnayot to explore together using guiding questions and engaging activities.
“Today is the 50th day of the 50th year in the illustrious history of HA,” said Head of School Dr. Kalman Stein, in his opening address. “That means that this is the 8,870th day that Hebrew Academy students have been studying Torah in our school. If one multiplies that by the number of hours we study Torah each day and by the number of students who’ve studied at HA each year, Hebrew Academy students have learned approximately 12 million hours of Torah in their classes during the last 49 plus years. Wow!”
The excitement was palpable on the faces of both the teens and the youngsters, who were full of energy and proud to be celebrating the milestone event.
“My favourite part about the morning was learning with the younger kids,” said Grade 6 student Liela Silbiger. “I liked how they tried to understand what we were learning and that I was able to help them. We did a fun activity together afterwards.”
True to Hebrew Academy’s mission, the initiative was conceived by Elementary Director of Judaic Studies Jordana Levy who organized it together with High School Dean of Jewish Life and Judaic Studies Department Head Rabbi Eddie Shostak.
“What a wonderful opportunity to pause and to celebrate as a full student body the Torah that was learned for the last 50 years, that is learned every day, and, B’Ezrat Hashem, will be learned at HA for many years to come,” said Rabbi Shostak.
The two chose Mishnayot from Pirkei Avot as the source material “because that section of the Talmud deals mostly with two themes that have been the foundation of HA for the past 50 years: The centrality of the Torah in our lives and the use of Torah values as a guidelines for how one is to behave in life,” said Levy.
The assembly culminated with the distribution of sweets to all students, sponsored by the Alloul and Benisti families in memory of Chaim Shimon ben Eliyahu z’l.
“It was so wonderful to see our entire school population learning Torah under one roof,” said Executive Director Linda Lehrer. “To watch Grade 11 students learning with Grade 1 students was remarkable. Only at Hebrew Academy!”
What an amazing morning!!!!! Our Mishnathon was so special. Imagine – being able to commemorate 50 years of Torah study at HA all together in the same place at the same time! What a zechut!!!!!!! Kol Hakavod to our senior students who served as wonderful role models and mentors to our junior ones, to the event organizers, Elementary Judaic Studies Director Jordana Pekofsky Levy, and High School Dean of Jewish Life and Judaic Studies Department Head Rabbi Eddie Shostak, to the staff of Kollel Torah MiTzion Montreal, our fabulous maintenance staff and wonderful teachers who worked so diligently to put this incredible morning together. #Chazak #HAAt50 #50YearsStrongAndTheLegacyLivesOn
Posted by Hebrew Academy Montreal on Wednesday, November 22, 2017