At HAFTR, Israel is very much a part of the curriculum. Throughout the year, they learn, teach, speak, think, and breathe Eretz Yisrael. This week, in lashon, students in fourth and fifth grades learned about the Tzahal. They learned about the different divisions within the Israeli army and the importance of what they do. They gained insight into the daily life of a soldier and compared it to a Jewish American growing up in the Five Towns.
Morot Tali and Einav mesmerized students with their personal experiences in the army. Some students shared items from family members who served in the army. Emanuel Avidan brought the Tanach his father was given upon entering the army. Daniel Berkovich wore his father’s beret.
At the end of the week, three soldiers, affiliated with Friends of the Israeli Defense Force (FIDF), visited with students. Sohar, Sapir, and Efrat, our chayalim and chayelet, gained the respect of the students as they described their dedication and sacrifice to our Jewish homeland. Holding the berets of the chayalim was a highlight. Students took turns asking questions in Hebrew. The program culminated with the tefillah chayalei Yisrael, a perek of Tehillim, and then the singing of the HaTikvah. The guests were impressed with the derecheretz and warm welcome that they received from the students and faculty.
Fifth-grade student Corey Listman commented about the program. He said, “It was special that the soldiers came all the way from Eretz Yisrael, our Holy Land, where they protect our brothers and sisters. It put a face to a soldier. It made it real.” Ruthee Rosner, another fifth-grade student, wrote in her journal in Hebrew, “I give thanks that they do their service for Israel.” May Hashem protect our new friends, Sohar, Sapir, and Efrat, all the chayalim, and all of Am Yisrael.