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The Parparim students of first grade celebrated a milestone last week as they received their siddurim (prayer books). Throughout the Siddur Ceremony, students demonstrated the tefillah (prayer) skills that they learned during the year, expressing feelings and thoughts about the prayers through their writing. Thanks to technology that connected us all, this year's virtual celebration provided a silver lining: we were able to celebrate together with families from around the world, such as Israel, Colombia, and Europe, who gathered to see their loved ones share their insights on the prayers and receive their siddurim from their younger peers. The ceremony ended with a beautiful moment in which Rabbi Chatinover blessed all of the Parparim students with Birkat Hakohanim.
Click HERE to see photos of the Siddur Ceremony
At our final RELISH of the year, we were excited to learn the name of the person who will be Schechter’s next “Torch.” The Torch is a long-standing Schechter tradition: each year, an incoming 8th grader is selected by the faculty, someone who demonstrates leadership in the Schechter community. On Friday, Schechter’s 2020-2021 Torch, Lily, got to announce her successor. She described, “this person demonstrates all of Schecters core values in and out of the school. This person always makes sure to keep everyone involved and included in Middle School and I know they will further this with the entire school next year. At this time, I am so excited to call up the 2021-2022 Schechter torch ELLIE MIRA KAY!!!!!” Mazal tov, Ellie!
The rain held off so that Schechter could revel in our last RELISH of the year! For only the second time this school year, we were able to gather for RELISH outdoors and seated in pods, in accordance with recently relaxed Covid guidelines. Jason Kay (a Schechter parent and newly-appointed President of the Board of Trustees) and Music Tech teacher/IT Director Jamie Debicella played all the Schechter favorites as students, teachers, parents, and members of the community joined in singing and dancing.
The morning was bittersweet; although we were thrilled to come together outside, this marked the last RELISH for Head of School Andrea Kasper. We heard speeches of thanks and appreciation from faculty, the Board of Trustees, and Senator Derek Slap. In addition, we celebrated the achievements of some of our students, including Writer of the Month Evan and the 2021-2022 Torch Ellie. Kol hakavod!
RELISH has been a favorite part of the Schechter experience for so many students and faculty members. Before Covid, this has been a special way to gather as a community every Friday morning, singing and dancing with enthusiasm, hearing stories from teachers and/or clergy members from the greater Hartford area, and welcoming Shabbat.
Click HERE for photos from RELISH
Chase Ben-Kiki - undecided
Victoria Boustani - University of Rhode Island Honors Program
Jamie Cowan - University of Connecticut
Sari Eisen - Northwestern University
Yonah Goldberg - Carnegie Mellon University
Isaiah Meyer - Tunxis Community College
Eden Raviv - University of Rhode Island
Liora Silverman - Quinnipiac University
Maxx Smith-Rapaport - Ontario College of Art and Design University
Russell van der Hulst - University of Connecticut
Paki Williams - Eastern Connecticut State University