The email sent to students of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls read, “Dress warmly.”
When the students entered the building on the first day of Chanukah, no one knew what to expect. But after davening however, Head of School Helen Spirn, announced, “Everyone to the buses, we’re going on a trip!” All the grades enjoyed “Chanukah on Ice,” bonding with each other and teachers at an ice skating rink in Great Neck.
The next day began with an interesting twist. SKA’s Torah lishma initiative, SPARKS, introduced “Chanukah Across the Curriculum,” with each class in every subject connecteing Chanukah to the day’s lesson. Linear equations of dreidels in Math, the manufacturing of olive oil in Biology, and using oil pastels to create light in Art, and coding menorahs in Pre-Engineering were some of the concepts explored — in addition to the halachot of Chanukah in Torah Shebeal Peh and the real history of Chanukah in History of Israel.
The G.O. sponsored “Nes Cafe,” which provided delicious specialty drinks and food for purchase. In the evening, sophomores, juniors and seniors enjoyed amazing food and activities at teachers’ homes; the SKA basketball team even partied at the home of physical ed teacher and coach, Esther Goldfeder.
The annual SKA Chanukah Chagiga and the Chanukah Privilege Auction capped off the yom tov. In the “bowling alley,” long rows of colorful boxes offered opportunities to bid on class parties, lunches and outings with faculty members and Shabbos invitations. Since the funds raised go to tzedaka, this has always been a very popular event and bidding is friendly but fierce.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Chanukah at SKA without chessed! Boxes labeled for toy and book drives were filled to capacity and 9th and 12th Graders shared simcha with participants from Otzar and Gymnasia.