From darkness to light: SKA girls mark 2 days


There was a sea of various shades of green in the halls of the Stella K. Abraham High School for GIrls on April 14, in recognition of and solidarity with Yom Hazikaron. The observance of Israel’s Memorial Day acknowledged the contributions of the thousands of Israeli soldiers who gave their lives defending the State of Israel and mourn with the families of those who lost loved ones to war and terror.

The learning all day in the school was l’ilu nishmat Israel’s fallen and each girl took an individual name to have in mind. In a moving assembly, SKA students and faculty were privileged to hear from former American IDF soldier, Mr. Daniel Gottesman, whose grandfather was in the Haganah, and Ms. Sarri Singer, Founder and Director of Strength to Strength, an organization that brings together victims of terror from around the world and provides psychological and emotional support, and who is herself a victim of terror.

The Broken Glass Project (top right), developed by Art Academy Director Suzy Libin, had girls putting names of the individual soldiers they were given to create a special memorial. Many stayed after hours to watch a powerful Yom Hazikaron movie, “Beneath the Helmet.”

Then, in a l’afaila l’orah moment, the pain of remembrance turned into joyous celebration as the girls decorated the school building and hallways for the next day’s salute to Yom Ha’azmaut. Blue and white were the colors of choice on April 15, in honor of Israel’s Independence Day.

To keep the focus on Medinat Yisroel, “Israel Across the Curriculum” was the theme of every class — even math and science — giving the faculty the opportunity to highlight different aspects of Israel through the prism of their disciplines. Topics ranged from “The Therapeutic Elements of the Dead Sea” to “Symmetry of the Israeli Flag” along with “Kedushat Eretz Yisroel” and “What Did Israel Look Like Before 1948?”

The Yom Ha’azmaut Kangoo Shoe Chagigah (top left) differed from the usual SKA chagigah due to social distancing but was very spirited nonetheless as girls danced in their spots to lively music. Student-produced video presentations shown after the morning communal davening focused on Eretz Yisroel and the blue and white desserts were an especially significant treat.

The ruach all day in the school was incredible, as the students of SKA expressed their love and yearning for the State of Israel.