HAFTR welcomes new families

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Over breakfast in the Hawk’s Nest gymnasium, the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway said hello to many new families on Sept. 16. HAFTR officials said that more than 70 new families have children attending all four-school divisions.

Debbie and Ari Mann just moved to North Woodmere. “We heard that HAFTR is the best,” Debbie said. “Our son is starting in the Early Childhood Center and we’re very excited. We have a new baby at home and we plan for him to come to school here one day also.”

New HAFTR parents, Jen and Shmuel Rubashkin, also chose the Early Childhood Center for their two children after meeting Dr. Hindi Krinsky and Dovid Kanarfogel through mutual friends. “[Krinsky] influenced our decision to come to HAFTR. It represents a strong Jewish community and a great education,” said Shmuel, who met Jen while both were volunteering in Israel, where they married and became parents. They recently moved to Cedarhurst.

Welcoming families, especially ones with children attending the Early Childhood Center, is important to that division’s principal, Cyndy Goldberg. “To me HAFTR itself is a family,” she said. “It’s exciting every time to see how we invite and embrace new members into our family.”

Veteran Lower School Principal Joy Hammer said that the event sets the tone for HAFTR parents and is a great way to begin the school year. “I’m proud of my HAFTR families who are welcoming our new families,” she said.

Joshua Gold, the middle school principal, believes that being involved is vital. “My message to new families is to take an active and enthusiastic role in HAFTR because it is and will always be true that our school’s potential is founded upon the strength of the partnership between home and school,” he said.

Rose stern has three children, a fourth-grader, third-grader and a pre-K student at HAFTR. “It’s amazing to see year-after-year so many new families coming into HAFTR,” she said. “I’m sure they will be impressed and excited by the school’s new STEM program where kids can learn technology and engineering skills.”

Executive Director Ari Solomon noted that the families acclimate quickly. “That is something HAFTR takes so much pride in,” he said. “It’s so very important for us to make sure our new families feel right at home from the minute they enroll in our school.”