HAFTR High School has been bustling with many exciting events, including the boys’ Shabbaton, Hanukkah celebrations and the Scott Satran Tournament.
The HAFTR High boys traveled to Connecticut Dec. 13 to 14 for the boys’ Shabbaton. The fun began Friday morning as the boys went to Chelsea Piers, where they played in basketball and football tournaments, and alongside their rabbis. On Shabbat, all enjoyed the student-led prayer services, which was meaningful, as it was filled with singing, learning, delicious meals, and inspiring discussions from their rabbis. The boys bonded with each other and with their teachers, too. Shabbat ended with a beautiful Havdalah service, filled with more singing and dancing. The fun continued with a trip to Jumpz Trampoline Park. An exciting end to a wonderful weekend.
The joyous holiday of Hanukkah was celebrated with a fun-filled week of activities. Exciting events began on Dec. 24, following HAFTR’s annual one-day Hanukkah vacation. Students were filled with spirit as they took part in a schoolwide dreidel competition. The winner of each grade advanced to compete against the other winners for a grand prize.
At the school day’s end, the entire student body and faculty gathered outside for a menorah lighting. It is a special menorah. Built out of rockets that were fired at Israel. The menorah especially symbolizes Hanukkah, as the holiday celebrates the miracle of turning darkness into light. What exemplifies that more than a menorah made from rockets, launched to kills Jews, but instead transformed into a sacred Jewish ritual object. One whose very purpose is to illuminate? Students and faculty then sang, danced and enjoyed sufganiot (jelly doughnuts).
Hanukkah fun continued Dec. 25, with the second annual Yom Iyun, where students too party in a variety of activities, such as self-defense, cookie decorating, crafts, hydroponics and discussions about interesting and relevant issues. It was a special treat for the students to learn something outside the regular curriculum, as the teachers taught classes on topics not usually taught in the classroom. There were three sessions to choose from.
The day concluded with a dodge ball game, which included faculty. The Yom Iyun succeeded in engaging HAFTR High School students on many different levels, including academic and spiritual. On Dec. 26, students and faculty enjoyed a Hanukkah concert featuring Uri Davidi. The concert was high-spirited as students sang and danced along to the. The week of exciting programs and events surely enhanced the joyous spirit of Hanukkah.
HAFTR also hosted its 33rd annual Scott Satran Memorial boys’ varsity basketball tournament the weekend of Jan. 3. It honors the life of Scott Satran, a 1984 HAFTR graduate. Scott died in 1987, at 20, just a few years after he graduated. Twelve of the best yeshiva high school teams took part accompanying Shabbaton.
HAFTR families opened up their homes to the teams. The games were played in the three gyms in the Cedarhurst and Lawrence facilities. The final game of the tournament was the HAFTR Hawks vs. the Magen David Warriors. After an intense game, Magen David took home the championship banner. Congratulations to all the teams for their participation in this meaningful event.
After all the wonderful events, HAFTR High School students approach the end of the first academic semester with preparation for midterm exams before their well-deserved winter vacation. Wishing everyone a fun-filled and safe winter break!