I was never a math whiz. Okay that's an understatement. Still, somehow, with the help of Mr. Hecht and the group of formulas he taught us to use, ever so strategically (which I memorized without any understanding as to what they were or why they worked so beautifully) I excelled that year in Math. It was a miraculous outcome. I would never, ever, use those brilliant formulations again. Or math, for that matter. -Ellie Birnbaum, ‘88 Not to be forgotten are the teachers - Ms. Fewkes who was the hardest grader around, Mme Gauthier who forced us to memorize “La Cigale et La Fourmi” as well as ”Le Corbeau et le Renard”, Mrs. Hauer who hated anyone sneezing in her class without doing so into a tissue - something she demonstrated for us at the beginning of each academic year, Mr. Weinberg who sent me to the office (wasn't he the office?) because I was telepathically talking to Dina during class, and on and on. In all seriousness, I made some lifelong friends in high school and became a teacher because all, or some, of my own inspired me to do so. HA will always hold a special place in my heart. Happy 50th birthday! -Natalie Salem, ‘89 My fondest moments of Hebrew Academy were not necessarily linked to one specific event but rather to the relationships that the teachers built with the students. We were a class that caused our fair share of trouble and we always gave our teachers ample reasons to give us detention of other forms of punishment. But, more often than not, the teachers would find common ground with us and found ways to turn the trouble we caused into a positive experience. During our English classes in Grade 10, our class was overly energetic (to use a kind word). Most English teachers would have walked out on us or asked the principal to step in to help control the class. Instead, our English teacher, Mr. Firszt, realized that the only way he would ever be able to teach us anything would be to give us an outlet for our energy. He therefore began teaching us martial arts during a portion of his class time. His ability to empathize with our class and give us a constructive way to release our energy also allowed us to focus more on our studies during actual class time. This is just one of several examples where the teachers at HA used uncommon methods to achieve great results. This is what made HA a fun place to go to school – a place where teachers and staff would often bend some rules but always ensured that the students had a great learning environment in an atmosphere where students could enjoy being in school. -David Hamaoui, ‘87 One day I was standing up in Mr. Firszt's class having yet another obnoxious discussion with this nice man who had so much patience for my stupidity. While my mouth was open and I was busy arguing, a huge hairy bumblebee flew into my mouth. I ate part of it and choked on the balance before throwing it up. It was truly so deserving of my disrespectful behavior. After we all stopped laughing I did apologize, cleaned up and told him it was deserved. I never mistreated him again. -Sandy Abitbol, ‘87 " 17