High School students and faculty honoured Israel’s fallen chayalim and victims of terror in an emotional assembly on Tuesday. Following a nod to HA alumni serving in the IDF and a prayer for chayalei Tzahal by School Rabbi Rabbi Eddie Shostak, Head of School Dr. Laura Segall relayed that her parents both served in the IDF and that during the Six Day War a bullet pierced her father’s helmet; miraculously, he remained unscathed. She underscored how special it is for students to have been born at a time when the Jewish homeland already exists.
Bnei Akiva Shaliach Elie Veresh recited Kel Malei Rachamim and participants watched a heartbreaking tribute to those who died Al Kiddush Hashem. Students learned about victims’ communal contributions, skills, accomplishments, and the ways they have been memorialized in Israel. Rosh KTM Rav Eliyah Gateno closed the ceremony citing the words of Yechezkel: “I say to the fallen soldiers and victims of terror, in your own blood we live. We remember, we move forward and we honour you.”
Grades 4 to 6 also marked Yom Hazikaron with a meaningful ceremony led by Elementary School Principal Yaffa Blanshay.
“Today we remember the fallen soldiers and the victims of terror,” she said. “People who lost family members and friends don’t need a special day to remember. Yom Hazikaron is our day to remember, and to express our hakarat hatov, our gratitude, to the brave chayalim and chayalot who defended and continue to defend our home. In Israel, there’s a siren at 11:00 am throughout the country and everyone stops what they’re doing to mark the day. Then everyone and everything returns to normal. But normal life in Israel is a gift and we have to be grateful for that.”
Mrs. Blanshay paid tribute to her cousin – a chayal who was an only child – who was killed on the last day of the Six Day War. Music Director Amiel Bender recited the tefillot for chayalei Tzahal and Medinat Yisrael. Elementary Judaic Studies Director Jordana Levy then introduced a short film about the Peretz brothers who lost their lives in battle. Mrs. Levy noted that their mother Miriam had visited Hebrew Academy, and that the video highlights her bitachon and the family’s commitment to Eretz Yisrael. The assembly ended on a high note, with the singing of Hatikvah.
“What does Hatikva mean?” asked Mrs. Blanshay. “Hatikvah means hope. This hope, this possibility, is only because of the individuals that we remember today – the people who risked and continue to risk their lives for all of us and for our country.”
Kol hakavod to Kollel Torah MiTzion, our Bnot Sherut, Bnei Akiva, Rabbi Shostak, Mrs. Blanshay, Morah Jordana and Moreh Amiel for producing these memorable tributes.
by Aviva Engel, Director of Communications