Yom Hazikaron

Before the joy of celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut, there was the commemoration of Yom HaZikaron.

In assembly, Rabbi Silverman told a story of a Jewish soldier who fought in the German Army during World War One for a regime that would turn on his people. He reminded the girls that for two millennia, Jews have had to fight for countries that did not care for them. With the foundation of the State of Israel, the Jewish people finally have an army to fight for and to fight for us.

As a soldier himself, Rabbi Silverman guarded his country. One Friday night, while singing Lecha Dodi when he was on guard duty, he realised that in Israel, we can only sing Lecha Dodi because there are soldiers standing out there, protecting us. He even missed his brother’s Bar Mitzva, because he was defending a Yishuv so a different family could be together. He was in Gaza, in danger for his life. But why? He asked his Rav, who explained that there is no greater honour than standing in the green uniform to defend Am Yisrael.

Each time a plane lands safely in Israel, every time you go to the Kotel, every time you see children playing in the streets of Israel – it is because of the 24,000 soldiers who gave their lives.
In the afternoon, as part of Mizrachi’s week of Inspiration, Rabbi Andrew Shaw and Rabbi Kenigsberg addressed Years 9 to 12 at both schools, reminding them that, as rockets rain down on Southern Israel, we still have to remember the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in the defence of our land.

Today’s siren stops everyone in Israel. Whatever you are doing: driving, eating, at work, in the shuk – in Israel everything stops. The students stood in silence as they watched a film of Israelis standing as the siren wailed. This was followed by a slide show commemorating the victims from this year – the last four of whom were murdered in the past few days.

The presentation included a film of ‘The knock on the door’- the moment when a family is notified. Rabbi Kenigsberg spoke of his own story, 17 years ago, when there was a phone call to his home in South Africa. He had never thought that this would happen. His brother Stephen, along with his Givati unit, were attacked in Gaza. Stephen was killed instantly. He was one of those who were willing to sacrifice his life so the people of Israel could live. Life goes on, but there is an empty space. For a bereaved family, every day is Yom HaZikaron – on Yom HaZikaron we all stand together.
Rabbi Shaw continued, reminding the students of the summer of 2014, when three boys were kidnapped and murdered. The film had a song written to commemorate the boys, this again shows how Am Yisrael comes together both in times of tragedy and of joy.

Tonight we will move from the sadness of Yom HaZikaron to the joys of Yom HaAtzmaut: we thank Hashem who has brought us back from the four corners of the earth to our homeland.

Yom HaAzmaut – 71 years young!

There was with joy and excitement at Hasmonean High School for Girls:

The morning began with a heartfelt Tefila. Rabbi Silverman gave a short speech about living the reality of a life in Israel – the meaning and the joy of having a homeland after so many years. This is what we were celebrating. After a beautiful rendition of Tov l’Hodot and HaTikva from a small choir, the Sixth Form then led Hallel.

As Hallel ended, the students burst into dance in the hall. The Sixth Form outdid themselves when they set up and decorated the hall with blue and white flags, leading Tefila and ensuring that even the youngest students joined in the ever increasing circles.
Other activities included writing letters to lone soldiers to express our appreciation for their commitment to the land of Israel. There was, as always, a separate discussion track led by Rabbi Golker and Rabbi Kenigsberg. And of course… breakfast!

To end the celebration, they sang Hatikva before the girls began their lessons.

Thank you to each and every one of you who made Yom HaAtzmaut morning so special and significant. If we can’t be in Israel today- at least we can be a part of the celebration in our corner of NW7.

Year 7 and 8 Girls defeat Whitefields!

They really are a testament to their training: “practice makes perfect”

Year 7 demonstrated great team work, skill and communication throughout the match and won 8-2!
Mia Wohlgemuth was awarded “Girl of the match” in Year 7 for her all round performance and scoring two goals. Further goals were scored by Jessie Yawitch and Ayelet Bloch.

Year 8 won 1-0 with Orli Ucko sneaking in a goal in the last 2 minutes and went onto to win “Girl of the match”. Our Year 8’s have proven to be particularly strong in defence.

Please congratulate the girls on their skills, team comradery and excellent sportsmanship.

Young Art – Yael Berenblut

Yael Berenblut submitted a poignant and beautiful painting to the 29th Young Art competition. She created a painting of her youngest brother Donnie, who died when she was fifteen. Another of her brothers, Ami, is also featured in the picture. ‘The Moment’, in Yael’s words, ‘represents how Donnie’s life was made up of millions of special moments that we appreciated that any other normal family would have considered mundane’.

Her work will be displayed at the Royal College of Art until Friday 3rd May. There were 7600 entries for this exhibition, and approximately 800 were selected to be displayed.

YOUNG ART is an exhibition at the Royal College of Art for students aged between 4-18 years raising funds for Cancer Research UK. It is a wonderful opportunity for aspiring artists to have their work judged by well-known professional artists and exhibited at the prestigious Royal College of Art and, at the same time, raise money for Cancer Research UK.


D.A.Y.S Reward Trip

On Thursday 11th April, boys in Years 7 and 8 who regularly attend D.A.Y.S were rewarded with a trip to the famous world of inflatable activities, Cloud 9 in Watford. The trip was led by Rabbi Fachler and assisted by the three very capable Year 12 Madrichim; Ilan Ostilly, David Kelaty and Sloimy Hodges.  The boys had a tremendous time

Hasmonean Welcomes Back Alumni

Hasmonean Boys’ School had the pleasure of welcoming back many of their alumni to give small shiurim to the current Sixth Form. As part of the Beis Programme, 20 alumni who are currently studying in yeshivas in Israel prepared shiurim on the topic of Pesach. The Beis Hamedrash was crowded as the current Sixth Form boys were split among the various alumni to listen attentively to what they had to say. The content was superb, and the current boys really enjoyed seeing the progress of the alumni and what they had achieved. It was an empowering day for all and a real privilege to see a motivated responsible group of alumni who still feel connected to Hasmonean Beis and appreciative of all it has done for them.