by: Ari Mayblum ’25
Earlier this month, during the weekend of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Israeli citizens were massacred by Hamas. It has been a very challenging last couple of weeks for our entire school community, and these events have placed Israel in the national spotlight. In this difficult time, TLS has been extremely supportive of students.
There have been multiple Tekes’ for the entire high school. Rabbi Pell delivered a detailed explanation of the events in order to educate students and faculty, and the school facilitated a send-off ceremony for Yaniv Cohen. Cohen is a beloved Hebrew teacher in the high school and following this massacre, he was called back to the IDF. Although we were all sad to see Yaniv leave, this ceremony was filled with joyous celebration and gratitude for Yaniv, including several students who recounted their favorite memories from his class.
On Friday, October 13th, TLS pivoted from its original special program in wake of the attacks on Israel. Students had the opportunity to listen to Rabbi Pell’s Israel update, recite Tehillim, write letters to alumni drafting into the IDF, and other meaningful activities. A few of my friends attended Rabbi Pell’s lecture and spoke with me afterwards, and said that they learned about the history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and Hamas in a meaningful way. Others attended a Safety and Security program with two FBI agents who work in Westchester. They spoke about how they have dealt with terrorism in the past and were able to reassure students.
Our high school sports teams also showed their support at games over the past few weeks. Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer walked out carrying the Israeli flag and players’ cleats were customized with the flag. My teammates and I also put white tape on our wrists and colored the flag onto it. These past few games have been really meaningful to all of us because we feel that we are playing for something bigger than ourselves which in turn gives us extra motivation. At our Girls Varsity Volleyball games, the hatikvah was sung. I am extremely proud of our athletes and entire school community for their courage and pride during these difficult times.