Mesivta Ateres Yaakov’s Class of 2018 had their first official MAY activity last Thursday evening. At the annual freshman orientation dinner, the incoming freshmen met each other, their rebbeim, and the hanhalah of the yeshiva, and had their first taste of the tremendous achdus and camaraderie enjoyed by their more senior schoolmates.
Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe, menahel, opened the program explaining the difference between elementary school and high school and the expectations of mesivta bachurim. He reminded the boys that regardless of which one of the 13 elementary schools they represented, they were now Mesivta Ateres Yaakov talmidim.
Students also heard from general-studies principal Rabbi Sam Rudansky, who gave an overview of the general-studies department; from Rabbi Yossi Bennett, assistant menahel/principal, who discussed the myriad extracurricular activities available at the mesivta and the mesivta’s focus on college readiness; and from Rabbi Yehuda Horowitz, mashgiach ruchani, who addressed the primacy of limud haTorah at the mesivta and the focus on growth in Torah and Yiras Shamayim. Representatives of the mesivta student government were in attendance and also addressed the incoming talmidim.
Rabbi Yaffe remarked, “We believe that it is healthy for the incoming freshman class to get together to meet each other now, before the new year starts with all of its hectic new experiences. In this way, they become accustomed from the outset to the fact that MAY talmidim are one cohesive unit. The orientation dinner was a great start and I was exceedingly impressed with the great middos of our entering students. I expect that this cohort will distinguish themselves in our yeshiva, and be sources of pride to their families and Klal Yisrael.”
As a component to this inaugural event for the class of 2018, Rabbi Tsvi Greenfield, the mesivta’s new director of student activities, directed a team-building activity to engender camaraderie among the new class. Boys were arbitrarily split up into groups and given a bag of random items with which they were tasked to build one of the keilim of the Bais HaMikdash. The creativity soared, the competition mounted, and new friendships were built. The Menorah, Shulchan, and the Mizbeiach were just some of the projects that were completed within the 10-minute timeline. Winners will receive free breakfast the first two days of yeshiva next z’man.
Concluding the program, pictures were taken of each student with the menahel as they received their summer assignments in both limudei kodesh and limudei chol and wished each other a good summer. v