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Author: Ayelet Schuster

Graduation on Shabbat? Students Start Petition to Change Graduation Date

Slider photo by Libby Archer St. Louis, Mo.- When the Parkway school district in St. Louis, Mo. announced its 2018 graduation date as Saturday May 19, which, in addition to being on Shabbat, happens to fall on Shavuot,  Jewish students reacted in an uproar.   Parkway Central High School senior, Hannah Maurer, started a petition in hopes of having the date of graduation changed. Maurer, who identifies as a Reform Jew, spoke out and represented the Jewish community by creating the petition. “My initial reaction to the graduation date was anger and utter disbelief,” responded Maurer by email. “A...

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Jewish Communities Around the World Come Together to Support Hurricane Relief After Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston between Aug. 25 – Sept. 1 with up to 50 inches of rain and 130 mile per hour winds, synagogues and Jewish communities were destroyed. Jewish communities all over the world have come together to support victims of the hurricane. Throughout Houston, buildings were flooded, trees were uprooted, and homes were destroyed, leaving families throughout the community in distress. In order to help families left homeless after the storm, Camp Young Judaea – Texas and URJ Greene Family Camp have opened their facilities to house members of the Jewish community. Loui Dobin, executive director...

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Israeli Science Teacher Dr. Eran Reem joins HBHA

Dr. Eran Reem has joined Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) as the new science teacher. Reem emigrated here from Israel a little over a  year ago with his wife and three children. For his first year of living here, Reem stayed at home to tend to needs there, but he wanted to return to what he did in Israel, working as a science teacher. Teaching is not new to Reem, but American schools are: “I was a teacher in Israel, but the main struggle [here] is the English.” The transition from Hebrew terms to English terms has been difficult...

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Creative Model Seder Gives Students a New Passover Experience

Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) middle and upper school students participated in a Passover model seder on April 4th. Instead of covering the whole Haggadah, the seder covered parts teachers found interesting in the Haggadah through creative presentations. Director of Jewish Life Zohar Flacks wanted to create a model seder that was different from what students have participated experienced in the past. Flacks  worked with General studies and Jewish studies teachers to select sections of the Haggadah to teach in a  meaningful way. At the seder students sat with their family groups. Families are groups of students made up...

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The Laramie Project: HBHA Theater Department Starts a New Conversation

Upper school students at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) performed the Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman as this year’s play. This play has been banned in high schools all over the world because the play addresses the themes of homophobia, death, and bigotry.   The Laramie Project depicts the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder, a gay student at the University of Wyoming who was murdered in Oct. 1998. Having heard of Shepard’s death, members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York went to Laramie to interview those who knew Shepard in order to find out more about his...

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