At HAFTR, Israel is very much a part of our curriculum. Throughout the year, we learn, teach, speak, think, and breathe Eretz Yisrael. This week, in Lashon, students in fourth and fifth grades learned about the צה”ל. 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 artifacts of 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 our students as they described their dedication and sacrifice to our Homeland. Holding the berets of the chayalim was a highlight. Students took turns asking questions in Hebrew. The program culminated with the תפילה לחילי ישראל, a perek of תהילים, and then the singing of the התקוה. Our guests were impressed with the Derech Eretz and warm welcome that they received from our students and faculty. Fifth grade student, Corey Listman commented about the program. He said that, “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 the following: “אני נותנת תודה שהם עושים את השירות שלהם בשביל ישראל.” May ה’ protect our new friends, Sohar, Sapir, and Efrat, all the חילים, and all of עם ישראל.