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HAFTR Highlights

Fun and games, kindness bonds HAFTR students


As Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School wraps up first semester, students and faculty are so grateful to have been learning in person, uninterrupted.

Thanks to HAFTR’s policies and HAFTR families’ adherence, the school has been so fortunate to stay open. This is truly a remarkable partnership, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation.

HAFTR celebrated Hanukkah joyously and safely with many festivities, including schoolwide roller skating (socially distanced, of course). Students were surprised Dec. 16 by announcing the commencement of the first-ever Grade Wars.

Students competed in numerous activities, games, challenges and tasks throughout the day, including trivia competitions, crazy races, doughnut decorating, dreidel competitions, tests of Torah knowledge, chess, Jenga, bingo, and puzzles.

Students also collaborated to create presentations including a creative video showcasing their HAFTR spirit, lessons of Torah, and Instagram accounts to document moments from each event.

Students displayed outstanding achdut (unity), creativity, school spirit, engagement and sportsmanship throughout the day. Congratulations to the freshman class for winning HAFTR’s first Grade Wars.

HAFTR High held its annual Yom Iyun, a day of scholarship and learning, virtually, on the fast day of Asara B’Tevet, Dec. 25. This day of remote learning gave students ample ability to observe the fast in the comfort of their homes, while simultaneously engaging in meaningful and stimulating learning.

Teachers offered lessons on a wide range of topics including the future of humanity, introduction to Yiddish, stress-management, cooking, gratitude, and even lessons on scuba diving.

Students attended sessions on topics that already interested them as well as subjects that were unfamiliar. These unique sessions provided students with the ability to learn for the sake of learning and gain new insights and perspectives, without the pressure of tests or assignments.

HAFTR students demonstrated their commitment to chesed (kindness) on Jan. 10, by spending hours volunteering with Kosher Response and the “Kosher Guru” Hewlett resident Gabriel Boxer at the Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula food pantry. Students recognize the tremendous struggles faced by many in the community due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Students packed more than 250 boxes of non-perishable items for Holocaust survivors and families in the community facing food insecurity. Students sorted, packed, taped and loaded boxes onto a truck that were delivered to those in need the next day. It was rewarding for HAFTR students to help others in such a direct way.

Wishing all HAFTR families a safe and stress-free winter vacation. We are hopeful everyone will abide by HAFTR’s post-break quarantine and testing requirements so that HAFTR can continue to remain open for in-person learning. Enjoy!