GCSE Music Concerts

Over the past 2 weeks, the Music Department hosted two GCSE Specialist concerts, highlighting the talents of our students.

The boys’ concert took place on Tuesday 12th November and the concert began with an explosion of a performance combining drums and electric guitar. There was an impressive array of pianistic skills from Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata to the theme tune from the Avengers.

The concert also featured the GCSE compositions adding an exciting dimension to the concert! Hopefully inspiring the Year 9 and 10 students as they begin their compositional journey.

The girls’ school concert took place on Tuesday 19th November and also offered a mixture of performances and compositions. We had 2 violin performances which contrasted well with all the piano performances.

Some of the students performed their own versions of well-known songs. This highlights a special talent as it involves an understanding of harmony, chords and pianistic techniques.

There is always a lovely, collaborative atmosphere during these concerts and they provide an opportunity for the students to feel part of a school musical community.

Both concerts ended with a duet performance from Mr Hattingh, our Piano Teacher and Mrs Algranati performing 3 short pieces from Bernstein’s famous West Side Story.

My thanks go to Mr Hattingh and all the other peripatetic staff who support all the work that is done in the Music Department to further our student’s learning.

Thank you to our wonderful, dedicated Music department and to Miss Giannopoulou for taking pictures. and to our site team.

Thanks also go to the wonderful site team who always work tirelessly to help set up the concerts!

Editorial 28/11/19

A fascinating question emerges from the first few pesukim of this week’s sedra.

We are told that when Esav is born, he emerged red: “וַיֵּצֵא הָרִאשׁוֹן אַדְמוֹנִי “. Yet, he is only called Edom (red) as a result of an incident 15 years later when he guzzles down the red lentils being cooked by his brother Yaakov.

וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו אֶל יַעֲקֹב, הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶּה כִּי עָיֵף, אָנֹכִי; עַל כֵּן קָרָא שְׁמוֹ, אֱדוֹם. (בראשית כה,ל)

And Esav said to Yaakov, “Pour into me now some of that very red stuff for I am exhausted; He therefore called his name Edom

Why was he not called Edom or red from day one? Why wait until some obscure incident so many years later?

Rav Shaul Katzenellebogen gives a remarkable answer. Character traits are parev. They are neutral and can be directed in positive or negative ways. A person can be blessed with the IQ of a genius but act like a fool, and one can lack a high IQ and yet act with wisdom. A person may be born with strong leadership qualities or an ability to draw or sing and can use these traits positively or negatively. This is true for all abilities and capabilities.

Esav was born with a propensity towards the physical. That is what the red symbolised. He should have used his potential to be a partner with Yaakov to bring the world to perfection. Instead Esav chose to use his abilities and character traits negatively.

Esav was not called Edom or red from birth because at that stage it was all potential. It was only 15 years later where it became clear which path in life he chose.

One of the privileges and indeed enormous responsibilities of being involved in chinuch is helping students to channel their potential positively. The role of the teacher and parent is to help children discover who they are; what abilities and capabilities they have and empower them and help them actualise their potential.

May we all succeed in this critical role and see much success and nachas from all our children.

Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos,

Rabbi J Golker

Editorial 20/11/19

Dear Parent,

November is a time of remembering. There was a moving AJEX service at the cenotaph last Sunday to commemorate those who fought and died in the service of their country at which Hasmonean students, staff and parents were proud to be involved. This week the Sixth Form had the incredible experience of listening to a holocaust survivor, Mr Josef Lewkowicz and seeing the film made about him- The Survivor’s Revenge. The adage that who forget the past are doomed to repeat it has much wisdom.

I have been looking at the role of memory with my Year 9 Psychology enrichment classes – both having no memory and being able to remember everything. Each of these can wreck lives. Losing one’s memory is the more familiar one and many of us will have older relatives with dementia whose memories are slipping away, sometimes to the point when they can no longer recognise their loved ones. However, remembering everything can also be a curse as all the negative events of a life are ever-present and it can be hard to process traumatic experiences.

As parents and teachers, we need to think about just how much we want to remember about our young people and the inevitable errors made in growing up. Some children take longer than others to learn from their mistakes and deserve censure for repeatedly making the same ill-advised choices. However, having total recall of every misdemeanour does not allow girls and boys to reinvent themselves and become more mature. The increased tendency to play out our lives online does not help with this either. A fresh start can be really important and each break from school allows for a new beginning. So treasure the positive memories of your children and be forgiving when they get things wrong.

Have a very good half term,

Mrs K Brice

AJEX – By Alyssa Teper Year 12

We feel incredibly proud to have marched in the AJEX parade as representatives of Hasmonean Girls’. The AJEX march provided us with the privilege to remember and dedicate just a few hours to those who have dedicated their everything for us.

Not only were we able to express our love and appreciation for our country, something we do not do all too often, we were able to specifically recall the heroism of the Jewish ex-serviceman who have fought and contributed as part of the British Armed Forces since 1930. It is so important that our religion and the actions of our people do not go unnoticed; as said by Chazal “we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us”. The recognition of our Jewish soldiers is equally as relevant today, with hundreds of Jews serving in the armed forces; fighting for our country, fighting for us.

Our country would not be the power it is without the immense generosity of all of our soldiers, whilst the contribution of Jewish soldiers toward our country’s success has no doubt led to success in so many other areas.

Year on year, since 1930, AJEX has been commemorating the heroism of our Jewish servicemen, and we feel so proud to have been a part of something so powerful.

Football – Hasmonean V Immanuel College

It may have taken four attempts to arrange the date, but on Monday 11th November our Year 11 boys finally had their away fixture against Immanuel College.

The boys played well in the first half – even though we only took enough players to field a side and had no reserves. In no time at all one of the boys was clipped from behind, landing head first in the muddy ground below. He was helped up – covered in mud!

In the second half, the game got tenser and the mud got deeper. There were a couple of brilliant saves from Goalkeeper Lebrett. On the stroke of 50 minutes Corney unleashed a blistering rocket that smashed into the top left hand corner of the net and the ‘crowd’ went wild. This was followed five minutes later with another Hasmonean goal when Woolich defied the Immanuel keepers grasp to send the ball splattering into the bottom of the net. The last goal came from an unidentifiable muddy Hasmonean player – their numbers were so caked in mud that it was impossible to tell who was who!

Well done to all the boys for their brave perseverance in extremely dreadful conditions and coming away with a three nil victory! Thank you to Mr Tutty for braving the mud with the boys.

On Thursday morning there was a buzz in the hall! Year 7 and Year 12 girls were getting to know each other at an incredible Kesher event. It began as the girls danced and ate snacks, followed by Rabbi Zeidman from Gift introducing a thought provoking question: ‘If you had £100, what would be better, to give it all to one organisation or to 10 different organisations?’. They then decorated Tzedaka boxes, which began the 30-day challenge of giving 1p each day to Tzedaka. This is to create more giving people who will also be rewarded! W are looking forward to the girls building stronger connections with their Kesher partners, and we have already started planning for future Kesher events.

Year 7 Mums Night Out

Bagel Bar was full to capacity for the Year 7 Mums night out. Organised by the PTA, this was a lovely opportunity to get together. The PTA is open to everyone. If you’d like to get involved, please call Aviva 07940 888051

Editorial 14/11/19

Dear Parent,

Hasmonean hosted an evening last week in which representatives from PAJES and the Metropolitan Police spoke to over a hundred parents about keeping teens safe in an increasingly complex world. Although it was a difficult presentation to listen to at times, it was very reassuring to see so many parents take the message of the evening seriously and also to offer support tomembers of our community. More information regarding the evening can be found in this edition of enews.

The safety of your children (our students) is always our priority. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, when discussing the perplexing account of the akeidah in this week’s parsha, concludes that its purpose was to show Avraham and future generations that G-d is the G-d of life, of purpose, of sanctity. Avraham had the courage to offer up his child as a sacrifice, but G-d wanted something else: life. He wanted Avraham to nurture his child, to keep him safe and to help him to become an ‘independent moral agent with his own dignity and freedom.’

We all share a responsibility to keep your children safe and PG we should continue to ensure that we are successful in ensuring that this happens for many years to come.

Have a good shabbos,

Mrs D Lebrett

Year 12 go to Dyson

A group of Year 12 science students were able to visit the Dyson workshop. There, we were challenged to create a programme that would move a robot around obstacles and through to the other
side of a mat. It was a really enjoyable challenge which had all of us stretching our minds and showing how principles learned in Physics and Maths can be applied to practical uses.

The workshop was a good reminder of how fun science can be and the undergraduate engineers who ran the session were incredibly supportive, explaining about different Engineering courses with a focus on Dyson.

I found the workshop refreshing because it gets you to think differently and problem solve practically which you don’t usually do in classes. It’s also useful to become comfortable with programming software because coding will always be useful for any STEM future. I would definitely recommend having similar opportunities for future year groups – I really enjoyed it.

I really appreciated that this was organised especially for us and it was so easily accessible- it was such a pleasant surprise – thank you!

By Shira Wulwick

Yashar Programme

Year 12 and 13 boys took part in an engineering workshop run by Dyson