HaGesher - American Hebrew Academy

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HaGesher - American Hebrew Academy
HaGesher
the american hebrew academy
newsletter
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫קיץ‬
volume 13, issue 1
‫הגשר‬
American Hebrew Academy graduates four recipients
of new Jewish Studies Diploma
The American Hebrew Academy is
proud to announce that four 2016
graduates have earned the new
Diploma with Distinction in Jewish
Studies, marking their excellence in
the field of Judaics and the school’s
presence on the leading edge of
Jewish education.
Tali Friedman, from Chicago,
IL, Miriam McDonough, from
Chariton, IA, Harel Pshitizky, from
Modi’in, Israel, and Eli Whitehouse,
from Greensboro, NC all graduated
from the American Hebrew Academy
earning both a traditional high school
diploma as well as the new Diploma with
Distinction in Jewish Studies.
The American Hebrew Academy, the only
international Jewish college prep boarding
school in the world, educates intellectually
listen, and make sense of the world
until the final experience is uniquely
their own. Our students graduating
with the Jewish studies Diploma
with Distinction have actualized
this idea of ownership. Across four
disciplines – Art, Hebrew, Research,
and Traditional Textual Analysis –
they have achieved excellence and
forged an identity.”
Jewish Studies Diploma recipients with
Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman and Mr. Jeff Spitzer
adventurous teens from across the world
to become future Jewish leaders on its
lush Greensboro, NC campus.
According to the American Hebrew
Academy’s Dean of Jewish Studies, Rabbi
Eliezer Sneiderman, “Academy students
don’t just accept someone else’s version
of Judaism; rather they struggle, and
To earn the Diploma with
Distinction in Jewish Studies,
students must complete a multidisciplinary Jewish Studies Portfolio
during the senior year.
• Tali Friedman, who will attend the
University of Vermont’s Integrated
Humanities program, produced paintings
that addressed theological challenges
Continued on page 6
American Hebrew Academy collaboration with JLI
helps students engage with Jewish texts
At the American Hebrew Academy, the world’s only Jewish
international college prep boarding school, students are
challenged, engaged, and inspired by a dual curriculum in
Academics and Jewish studies that illuminates
the relevance of Judaism in their lives. So it is no
surprise that the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute
(JLI) curriculum, developed to help learners find
relevance in the rich Jewish textual history, has
found a place at the Academy.
Rabbi Yosef Plotkin, American Hebrew Academy
Jewish Studies instructor and Director of the
Chabad Center of Greensboro, had been teaching
JLI courses to professionals in the local community
for years, when he decided to bring the curriculum
to the Academy.
“I’d been teaching JLI in the community, and the topics are
phenomenal, it’s designed well, and the structure is easy to follow
and easy to understand,” said Rabbi Plotkin, “And I’d get all
these comments from my adult learners. They’d ask
why they weren’t exposed to this material as teens,
and regret that they didn’t learn more about Judaism
as students, and I realized that I was in a unique
position to bring this content - this content that
adults felt they had missed out on - to teens because
of my role at the American Hebrew Academy.”
The American Hebrew Academy offers a
challenging dual curriculum based upon traditional
college preparatory classes together with an
enriched program of Jewish studies. Academy
students learn Jewish texts in pairs or small groups,
Continued on page 5
spring 2016 / 5776 ‫ אביב‬volume 12, issue 5
1
The Untold Story of
J. Rudolf Geigy, Righteous Gentile
Dear Academy Community, Friends, and
Supporters,
American Hebrew Academy
Founder
Chico Sabbah, z’’l
1929-2006
Board of Trustees
Leeor Sabbah, Chair
New York, New York
Glenn Drew, Chief Executive Officer
Greensboro, North Carolina
Marsha Cohen
Washington, DC
Joel Fleishman
Durham, North Carolina
Douglas Greene
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Larry Heyman
New York, New York
Bonnie Lipton
Chicago, Illinois
Jehuda Reinharz, Ph.D.
Waltham, Massachusetts
Scott Shay
New York, New York
Michael Steinhardt
New York, New York
Abe D. Tawil, MBA, MA, MD, JD
New York, New York
Joseph Weilgus
New York, New York
Academic Advisory Board
Joel Fleishman, Co-Chair
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Lee Shulman, Co-Chair
Stanford University
Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching
Stanford, California
Sharon Feiman-Nemser
Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts
Rabbi Daniel Gordis, Ph.D.
Shalem Foundation
Jerusalem, Israel
Christoph Guttentag
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Ira M. Miller
Ramaz School
New York, New York
Samuel S. Wineburg, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Stanford, California
2
As the new school year soon gets under way, it’s
easy to focus on the excitement of students and
their families experiencing the American Hebrew
Academy for the first time, as well as that of
returning students who long to rekindle friendships
with those they haven’t seen during the summer
recess.
On campus you can sense the anticipation as
faculty await the arrival of new students and
momentum builds to the opening day of the new
school year. It is always a time filled with hope. A
time in which all associated with the Academy are
uplifted and spirits renewed by the ideals of an
institution dedicated to furthering the education
of youth for the betterment of all mankind;
academically, socially, and spiritually.
Reflecting on the past few months, the summer has
seen war, terrorism, and violence around the world.
None of us are immune. While the majority are not
directly affected, our lives, our lifestyles, and our
communities are impacted by these world events
beyond our control. Most of us are unable to take
action. We stand idly by with great concern and
hope for our governmental leaders to bring about
positive change. Other individuals are inspired to
take action in ways we may never know, motivated
by the belief that one person’s leadership can help
to improve the world for all.
The founder of the American Hebrew Academy,
Chico Sabbah z”l, sought to lead by example,
leaving a legacy that he hoped would instill future
generations to do the same. He was but one
example. Many others exist around the world
including J. Rudolf Geigy, a 21st century righteous
gentile who I met for the first time this past spring.
We know that the remaining days on this earth
for those who survived the Holocaust and those
who helped them to survive, Jew and Christian
alike, are now numbered. The memory of those
who perished and those who will pass in the
years to come will never be forgotten given the
actions of righteous individuals like J. Rudolf
Geigy. A humble man whose life could have
easily taken another direction. Yes, his family
name and lineage is famous. Dating back to the
18th century in Switzerland, the Geigy family
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
founded what is today
known as Novartis,
one of the world’s
largest multinational
pharmaceutical
companies.
For over ten years,
Mr. Glenn Drew,
philanthropist J.
Academy CEO and
Rudolf Geigy sought
General Counsel
to build a memorial
depicting the tragedies of the Holocaust. While
Switzerland remained neutral during World War II,
its refugee policies were clearly anti-Semitic. Many
Swiss sought to provide aid, but the government
permitted no more than 5,000 Jews to enter the
country. The fate of most Jews who had made it
to the Swiss border ended in rejection by the Swiss
authorities.
Today, the only Holocaust memorial in Switzerland
was built by J. Rudolf Geigy, together with curator,
Reverend Johannes Czwalina. The museum site and
part of the museum structure includes the former
railway switchstation where Jewish refugees who
had crossed into Switzerland were placed back on
German trains and returned to the Nazis only a
few miles away. Litigation, government regulations,
politicians, and bureaucracy all stood in the way of
Rudolf Geigy’s
plans for the
museum but
his dedication,
Christian
values, and
moral compass
brought the
museum to
fruition.
Today the
museum
J. Rudolf Geigy
serves as a living
legacy to educate youth about the Holocaust and as
a meeting place within the community to focus on
conflict resolution. Reverend Czwalina, who earned
a degree in Archeology in Jerusalem and a degree
in Theology in Basel considers the museum to be
one of the most important social public facilities
to have been built in Switzerland. Czwalina writes,
“Man is developmental and adaptive. By changing
Continued on next page
J. Rudolf Geigy, Righteous Gentile, continued
tested over centuries. If taken seriously
and applied consistently, we can serve all
mankind.”
The Holocaust Memorial Museum to Jewish
Refugees in Basel-Riehen, Switzerland
his attitudes and behavior, he can accept
challenges constructively.”
Geigy’s ongoing philanthropic vision
continues through his organization,
the Esther Foundation, in Switzerland
and Israel. He has said, “We are devout
Christians. Judeo-Christian values play
an essential role in our lives. We are
not missionaries but we have seen and
experienced that we can offer answers
from our knowledge of Judeo-Christian
values and biblical truths which have been
The mission of the Esther Foundation
is to support Christian-oriented projects
such as the Jerusalem College of Bible
Studies in Israel. Geigy says, “I’m not a
religious person in the usual sense, but
I think religious principles like charity,
forgiveness, and reconciliation are
fundamental. My faith is as important as
my religion.”
Critics of the Academy often cite that
students attending an exclusively Jewish
school are not well prepared for the larger
secular world that awaits them upon
graduation. But much to the contrary,
Academy students, through the study
of Judaism, world religions, social and
community service, annual hosting of
the Special Olympics, weekly mentorship
to children with special needs and
participation in the Academy’s student
philanthropic fund learn Judeo-Christian
values and so much more.
As the only Jewish international college
prep boarding school in the world, our
students are imbued with examples for
lifelong learning and honor the leadership
of those of their own faith as well as
others who strive to make the world a
better place for all. J. Rudolf Geigy has
succeeded at this and so much more.
B’Shalom,
Glenn A. Drew, CEO
Editor’s Note: It is with utmost gratitude to
Rudolf & Elizabeth Geigy and Mary Gfeller
Eickoff that this article is possible. Their
hospitality during my recent recruiting trip to
Switzerland left a lasting impression which
served to inspire this writing and the meaningful
memories experienced.
Other works commissioned by J. Rudolf & Elizabeth Geigy include the “Rail Menorah” depicting two rail tracks intertwined that
rise like flames and a multi-part wall sculpture symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel and the story of Esther
J. Rudolf Geigy, Museum Founder, Glenn A. Drew, Academy CEO, Mary Gfeller-Eickoff, Academy Consultant in Basel, and Mrs. Elizabeth Geigy,
pictured in front of a bronze sculpture depicting Jewish refugees awaiting the train back to Germany while others attempt to escape through the roof.
The work was created by Canadian-Israeli artist Rick Wienecke. Pictured on the right is Reverend Johannes Czwalina
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
3
From the Head of School
I have a question to ask you.
But before I do, let me share a memory
from the late summer just before the
start of my senior year of high school.
A friend and I were playing tennis at the
country club where he worked. It was
a late Sunday afternoon, and we were
hitting the ball back and forth beneath a
brilliant blue sky. At some point, I noticed
the air changing, tangibly changing, as
we chased each other’s shots. The harsh
summer wind had quietly departed,
pushed aside by a cool breeze that gently
shook the trees. The waving branches
and rustling leaves seemed to whisper
a refrain: summer’s over, fall is here,
school’s starting.
I remember that moment so clearly
because the soft refrain of the trees
stirred up powerful emotions. I always
got excited about the start of school,
but never more so than for my senior
year. I had plans to make the year count.
I wanted to deepen my friendships, so
that they would last after graduation,
and make new ones before we left for
college. I would also spend time with
the teachers who had made an impact on
me, even if I couldn’t take their classes.
Like Mr. David, the English teacher who
had opened my eyes to the idea that
Huckleberry Finn could be read as a
political allegory. And I wanted to make a
name for myself on the basketball court.
At the beginning of the school year I
always felt that I stood at the threshold
of great and positive change, and that if
I exerted myself enough, and got a little
lucky, the results could be wondrous.
Now my question. How do you feel
about the start of school? I hope
that you are excited and eager, full of
enthusiasm and impatient to get to
AHA. Perhaps there are conversations
with classmates or teachers that paused
for summer which you can’t wait to
resume. Or challenges you have set for
yourself, like trying out for a new sport
or performing in a play. If you are a new
student, it wouldn’t be surprising if what
you feel most is anxiety, but you will soon
be making new friends, friends from the
USA and abroad, friends with peers and
teachers.
Behind my question lies another, deeper
one. Do you have a destiny? I believe
you do. We all do. I mentioned in my
recent letter of introduction that I began
to study Judaism seriously long after high
school. (You are lucky to be way ahead
of where I was in high school.) That
study helped me to understand myself
better, including understanding the source
of those strong emotions I had that
Alex Troy, Head of School
summer day. My teachers stress that
God gives each of us a unique mission.
We have to figure out what that mission
is and then undertake it. The start of
school excitement I felt that afternoon
was a signal, hinting that my mission was
education.
What is your mission? Don’t worry if
you have no idea. For most of us it takes
time to come up with the answer. Be
alert for clues because they can come at
the most unlikely moments, like when
you’re running after a tennis ball on a
summer’s day and nature taps you on the
shoulder and says, summer’s over, fall is
here, school’s starting.
Alex Troy
Geometry Students participate in unique field trip
At the American Hebrew Academy,
classroom study is always supplemented
by experiential learning opportunities.
Last spring, students in Fenna Corry’s
three Geometry classes took a field trip to
her home to see applications of some of
the concepts taught this year.
The main focus was visiting the shop of
Mrs. Corry’s son, Jared Corry, who has
degrees in Manufacturing Engineering
and Mechanical Engineering, and runs his
own business, Self Reliance Essentials,
making custom knives, swords, and
tomahawks.
Jared regularly uses math in all aspects of
his work, and students were able to see
4
practical applications of the topics they
had learned in the classroom.
Tavi Poche (’19) commented, “The trip
was great because I thought that no one
ever used geometry outside of class. But I
learned that it needs to be used for several
different careers.”
Students were also fascinated by the
handcrafted home and the extensive
gardens. They were quizzed about
various items growing, and tasted organic
strawberries (“the best ever” quipped
Director of Health Services Ruth
Hoffman, who, along with Ms. Alysia
Joost, accompanied the students).
Leo Kramer (’19) also waxed eloquent
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
about the visit, writing that “Mrs. Corry’s
house was a land of wonders, a true
masterpiece of the American dream. It
inspired me to be successful in life in
order to create such a home and heaven
of creativity. All original and creative,
it was truly magnificent. Also, her son
taught us about the practical use of
Geometry, and some other classes we
learned (Physics), in metal working and
life in general.”
And the reward for Jared and Fenna
Corry? Seeing the enthusiasm of these
students, and helping them get excited
about the practical applications of math
and science.
Academy collaboration with JLI, continued
and apply those texts to the issues that
face Jews in a contemporary world.
The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute
(JLI) was founded in 1998 with the
mission to make Jewish learning
accessible and personally meaningful to
every Jew, regardless of background or
affiliation. JLI offers courses in some 900
communities throughout the world on
topics such as Jewish ethics, philosophy,
history and culture, and belief and
practice.
“JLI's content is carefully developed to
be meaningful and accessible not only to
the adult communities we serve, but to
engage wider and broader demographics
as well,” explained Rabbi Efraim Mintz,
Executive Director of JLI. “We are
not teaching abstract texts with little to
no relevance for our day to day living.
Whatever we are teaching – whether it
is history, philosophy, law, culture, or
mysticism – we research and identify
areas of relevance, to allow students to
find relevance in the text for their daily
life. This works for adults, for college
students, and for high schoolers.”
At the American Hebrew Academy,
formal instruction, informal
programming, and experiential learning
opportunities are combined to create
a holistic educational experience in a
Jewish community like no other. Students,
who come from backgrounds across the
spectrum of Judaism, are encouraged to
find their own connections to the rich
history of Jewish tradition.
This makes the academically renowned
Academy a great fit for the JLI
curriculum, which, according to Rabbi
Plotkin, is constantly being updated
and improved in collaboration with
leading Judaic scholars such as Brandeis
University’s Dr. Jonathan Sarna.
“The American Hebrew Academy
is well known for its high academic
standards and high academic integrity, and
obviously for Jewish studies and Jewish
life, which helps the students grow and
succeed academically,” said JLI’s Rabbi
Rabbi Plotkin teaches at the Academy
Mintz. “Whichever path the students
pursue, they have now ingrained in their
schooling the importance of Jewish
literacy, a footing in Talmud, in Torah,
in the vast body of Jewish knowledge
amassed through our rich cultural history.
Those students can see the Jewish
tradition as an equal go-to place, a place
they can turn to for advice, to mold and
mentor their choices. Not as arcane and
abstract and irrelevant, but very relevant,
if not more relevant, than any other
source.”
The Academy’s Dean of Jewish Studies,
Chabad Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman, agrees,
“Rabbi Plotkin has been doing great work
adapting the adult JLI classes for his high
school students. His courses are very
popular and get students to think about
issues of Jewish existence and identity
in ways that they haven’t before. Even
the students who say, ‘I am done with
Judaism’ are engaged by this class.”
Not only are the faculty and
administration at both the American
Hebrew Academy and JLI delighted with
the success of the collaboration, students,
parents, and guests to the Academy
campus are all impressed with the
implementation of the curriculum in the
pluralistic high school’s classrooms.
“Whenever I host guests on campus,” said
Academy Director of Communications
Hillary Zaken, “I always make sure to
bring them by Rabbi Plotkin’s classroom.
They are always extremely impressed with
the way that high school students – even
those who are not Jewishly observant are highly engaged with traditional Jewish
texts.”
In addition to providing learners
worldwide a way to find the relevance
in Jewish literacy, the American Hebrew
Academy’s offerings give students and
parents another way in which to build
their relationship.
Sharon Loftspring, mother of Elana (’16),
shared her story: “During one of my
spontaneous visits to the Academy last
year, I had the opportunity to sit in on
Rabbi Plotkin’s Talmud/Ethics class with
my daughter, Elana. I didn't quite know
what to expect, but when the rabbi began
the lesson, I was surprised by what I saw
and heard. My husband and I have taken
several JLI courses over the years, and
we found the curricula to be accessible,
thought-provoking, and entertaining. The
best part has been that we always come
away with a ‘gem’ applicable to our daily
lives. I'm delighted that the Academy
students are engaging in that kind of
learning, and from the lively discussion I
observed, the students are delighted, too.”
Rabbi Mintz elaborated: “This also allows
students to connect to their parents on
another level. The parents take the course
Continued on next page
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
5
Academy collaboration with JLI, continued
in their community and the students at
school. They are learning together to
see and experience the value of Jewish
knowledge and Jewish literacy.”
According to Dean of Jewish Studies
Rabbi Sneiderman, there is also talk of
developing a new curriculum specifically
geared toward high schoolers. Bringing
together the expertise of JLI and the
innovative educational approach of
the American Hebrew Academy would
create a leading-edge Jewish high school
curricula unlike any other.
“There is a tremendous need for
sophisticated curricula for this age
group. It is a tough market,” explained
Sneiderman. “The material has to engage
the student on many different levels;
affective, cognitive, social. Much of the
material that is out there is of a frontal
nature and just doesn’t work anymore.”
After all, at the world’s only Jewish
international college prep boarding
school, developing inventive curricula
both in Jewish studies and academics is
a priority. At the elite school, students
are encouraged to discover the power,
individuality, and focus of their talents as
part of their journey to become life-long
learners.
The Academy offers many collaborative
ventures such as a dual enrollment
program at Guilford College, a Science
Research Internship in partnership
with the University of North Carolina
in Greensboro (UNCG), and a
nanotechnology course offered in
partnership with UNCG and the
North Carolina A&T State University
Joint School of Nanoscience and
Nanoengineering. Exceptional Jewish
Studies students can also earn a Diploma
with Distinction in Jewish Studies as part
of the school's innovative and challenging
dual curriculum.
“The goal of our Jewish Studies classes
at the Academy is for students to
understand the value of studying Jewish
knowledge and immersing themselves
in Jewish literacy,” said Rabbi Plotkin.
“Judaism has a lot to say about life. And
teenagers are themselves learning about
life. We offer students a Jewish reference
point about such relevant issues as the
Rabbi Efraim Mintz of JLI
ethics of privacy, whether it is ok or
not to read someone else’s email or text
message, for example.”
Hopefully the partnership between
the Academy and JLI will continue to
grow and develop. As JLI’s Rabbi Mintz
said: “We are delighted to partner and
collaborate. It has gone from good to
better. The feedback has only been
positive, and we are delighted to see
where it goes from here.”
Academy Jewish Studies Diploma program, continued
and responses to the Holocaust as well
as creative responses to Biblical texts,
penned an eloquent letter in Hebrew,
and conducted research on the different
denominational responses to the national
legalization of same-sex marriage.
• Miriam McDonough, who will attend
Simpson College in Indianola, IA,
produced various kinds of art in response
to Rabbinic stories that addressed
issues of inclusiveness, exclusiveness,
and creativity as they appear in the
Talmud. Her research explored different
denominational approaches to the
relationship between chemistry and
kashrut, and how it should apply in a
pluralistic institution.
• Harel Pshitizky, who will attend a
mechina program before his induction
into the IDF (Israel Defense Forces),
6
wrote several creative stories in which
he responded to and applied stories of
conflict among the rabbis to parallel kinds
of conflicts in a family or in school. His
research on efforts by rabbinic authorities
in Israel to annul the conversions of
converts examined various circumstances
from Talmudic sources through the
modern day.
• Eli Whitehouse, who will attend Sarah
Lawrence College, also studied conversion
to Judaism and developed a theory about
how both openness and resistance to
conversion reflect the different ways
in which we understand our relative
powerlessness and our power. Eli
combined the Hebrew language and arts
requirements by producing a chapbook
of ten complex and challenging poems in
Hebrew.
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Program coordinator and Jewish Studies
instructor Jeff Spitzer, who guided the
students through the program, said:
“We salute the work of these students
in this pilot year of the Diploma with
Distinction program, and acknowledge
their contributions to the ongoing
conversation of Torah at the Academy.”
According to Rabbi Sneiderman, the
new Jewish Studies diploma will help
these outstanding students create a
new model for Jewish leadership at the
American Hebrew Academy, which offers
a diverse, innovative, and challenging dual
curriculum in traditional academics and
Jewish Studies.
Sneiderman said: “Our students have
created something that is uniquely their
own. It is an achievement that they will
carry with them through life.”
Student Art Notecards for Sale
American Hebrew Academy student art notecards are now available for sale. These beautiful cards
showcase both current and alumni student art, displaying a wide use of creative media such as:
photography, digital design, drawing, and painting.
Each set contains 18 cards (2 of each design, shown below), 18 matching envelopes, and 18 Academy
seals for $36.00. The cards are blank on the inside so that a personalized message may be written. On
the back of the card is a description of the American Hebrew Academy which elaborates on why our
educational institution is so unique and the only school of its kind in the world.
To order, please send payment of $36 per set to:
American Hebrew Academy, 4334 Hobbs Road, Greensboro, NC, 27410
Attn: Ellen Green
You may also purchase online by visiting americanhebrewacademy.org/giving.
Indicate in the box marked “Additional information about your gift:” Student Notecards
Thank you in advance for your support!
Jerry Kurti ‘09
Steve Robertson III ‘09
Sam Moldo ‘12
Miriam McDonough ‘15
Sari Lerner ‘15
Elizabeth Ballin ‘15
Paige Feldman ‘13
Julia Sagerdahl ‘14
Hannah Ripps ‘12
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
7
Prelude to a Journey: A Report on the Thirteenth Commencement
Exercises of the American Hebrew Academy
By Dr. Richard W. Smith
The thirty-eight passengers who gathered
in Temple Emanuel on May 30, 2016 to
receive instructions before commencing
their voyage to the rest of their life heard
CEO and General Counsel Glenn Drew
offer ideas about how to make it a more
meaningful journey. “Whoever said life
is linear was just wrong. I believe life is a
series of concentric circles,” he said.
Considering the center-most point, the
American Hebrew Academy, as the point
of embarkation, the 2016 passenger
list was fortunate enough to hear from
various “mates” on the good ship in
preparation for what was to come. From
many of those officers offering advice
and reflection, two stops on the itinerary
seemed to be mentioned more than once,
the islands of humility and ignorance.
Rabbi Fred Guttman of Temple
Emanuel, welcomed graduates, families,
faculty, guests, and former graduates
to the only port venue in the history
of the Academy. This was followed by
introductory remarks from Ms. Leeor
Sabbah, Chair of the Board of Trustees
and an address from retiring Headmaster
Dr. Gary Grandon.
In what has become a graduation
tradition, Mr. Drew made two special
award presentations, the Community
Service Award and the Distinguished
Service Award. What was noteworthy was
that the coveted commendations were this
year presented to Rabbi Yosef Plotkin
and his wife, Mrs. Hindy Plotkin.
This year’s Parent Speakers included Mrs.
Gina Filtzer Yelin, Mr. Johannes and Mrs.
Anne Naude, Mrs. Alison Lerner, and Mr.
Scott and Mrs. Susan Shay. All offered
comments and reflections about the
wonderful experiences their children had
while at the Academy and how much it
meant as a formative life event.
American Hebrew Academy Poet
The Class of 2016
Laureate, Eli Whitehouse, then presented
his original occasional poem for the
graduating class, and soon-to-be graduate
Charles Freedman, along with Rachel
Rubenstein and Hilla Edri presented the
Faculty Mentor award to the beloved
Dr. Scott Culclasure. And this year’s
Student Address in Hebrew was skillfully
expressed by Eli Whitehouse.
Dr. Hal Lewis, President and CEO of
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and
Leadership as well as being a Professor
of Contemporary Jewish Studies offered
the Keynote Address. His focus was
on the invisible part of the graduates’
voyage, the interior quest. Central to his
speech was the notion that graduates
should consider what it means “to know”
and how it means to know. Noting that
most probably in some way each of the
thirty-eight explorers would eventuate in
a position of leadership it then becomes
critical for each of them to reflect upon
the process of self-knowledge. “Unless
you understand something about how you
know what you know, you will never be
able to lead effectively,” he said.
Central to Dr. Lewis’s advice about
self-knowledge for a successful trip were
those islands of ignorance and humility.
In the fields of science and exploration,
recognition of short-coming is crucial.
“…early scientists and explorers shared a
similar willingness to admit ignorance and
a compulsion to make new discoveries,”
he said.
Rather than suffer from non-productive
overconfidence, Lewis recommended a
more self-effacing approach: “What we
often find among those who claim to be
our leaders is a scarcity of humility and
doubt, and an abundance of cockiness,
reminiscent of Bertrand Russell’s famous
quip, ‘The trouble with the world is that
the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent
are full of doubt.’”
“Leaders,” he said, “make better decisions
when their egos are kept in check.”
At each year’s graduation, it is always
a treat to see what Glenn Drew will
do, how he will dress up, to make the
experience unique. The Class of 2016
didn’t have to wait long to see the school’s
CEO come onto the bema dressed as the
young man who was the first explorer to
circumnavigate the earth.
As that sailor, “Magellan” spoke about
how success could be measured in the
“voyage.” Referencing Laszlo Bok, a
Continued on next page
8
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
vice-president for recruitment at Google,
the two things he looks for in successful
employees is “one’s ability to learn”
and “leadership.” Resonating what Dr.
Lewis had just said, our Magellan added
“humility” as trait of effective Jewish
leaders. “I am confident that all of today’s
graduates are so qualified,” Mr. Drew/
First Circumnavigator said.
Following this memorable part of the
program, the song “Willing Heart” was
sung and accompanied by Gillian Blais,
Charles Freedman, Benjamin Siegel, Sean
Learner, and Mr. Andy Mock. The D’var
Torah was delivered by Rabbi Plotkin and
the student address by Gillian Blais.
The climax of the ceremony occurred
when diplomas were conferred by Dr.
Tammy Williams and Rabbi Eliezer
Sneiderman, with Ms. Leeor Sabbah
making the actual presentation of the
documents.
Final words were presented by Rabbis
Rachel Brown and Michael Schwartz and
The Class of 2016 celebrating thier graduation
the B’rakha by Rabbi Andy Koren.
With the Tassel Ceremony conducted
by Dean Williams, and the blowing of
the Shofar by Dr. Grandon, Argonauts
of the Class of 2016 set forth, from this
port, on an adventure for which they were
prepared and loved by all connected with
the Academy.
American Hebrew Academy earns
National Honor Society recognition
As the American
Hebrew Academy
enters its fifteenth
year, the school is
proud to announce
that it has been
granted membership
in the prestigious
National Honor
Society (NHS),
affirming Academy
students’ academic achievements,
leadership skills, and community service.
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the
nation's premier organization established
to recognize outstanding high school
students. More than just an honor roll,
NHS serves to recognize those students
who have demonstrated excellence in the
areas of scholarship, leadership, service,
and character. These characteristics have
been associated with membership in the
organization since its beginning in 1921.
other clubs in furthering the mission of
the Academy.”
The American Hebrew Academy, the only
international Jewish college prep boarding
school in the world, educates intellectually
adventurous teens from across the world
to become future Jewish leaders on its
lush Greensboro, NC campus.
The American Hebrew Academy’s chapter
of the NHS will begin its own history in
the fall of 2016, as the first members are
selected and inducted. This will be a fall
induction, and the members will be drawn
exclusively from the senior class. Another
induction will be held in the spring of
2017 and will include rising juniors and
rising seniors; from that time forward, the
chapter will hold annual spring inductions.
Only the most qualified students will be
inducted; the size of the chapter may vary
from year to year, but shall not exceed
twelve members.
“Not only can the National Honor
Society open up significant scholarship
opportunities to students elected to
membership, but it provides students with
another incentive to develop character,
leadership, service, and intellectual
acumen,” said English Department
Chair Dr. Jennifer Brown, who is
the Faculty Adviser to the American
Hebrew Academy’s chapter of NHS.
“It is a national leadership and service
organization that will complement our
Students interested in applying to the
American Hebrew Academy’s chapter
of the NHS must submit applications by
September 12, 2016.
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
9
Welcome to our New Academy Fellows
An Academy Fellow is a recent college
graduate who lives on campus and serves
as a member of a House Team. They
act as role models and mentors for our
students. Fellows can wear many hats,
including, but not limited to planning fun
community building programs, helping
to instill Jewish values throughout all
aspects of campus life, teaching in a
classroom, being a surrogate older sibling,
giving unsolicited guidance and advice
when necessary, chauffeuring, providing a
shoulder, giving hugs, and demonstrating
life skills such as doing laundry and
ironing. And, most importantly, Fellows
constantly seek new ways to enhance
Academy life and support students. We
welcome this year’s new Fellows to our
campus community for the 2016-2017
academic year.
Jen Abeles
.
College: University of Colorado,
Boulder - B.A. in Linguistics with a
Spanish minor
Interesting Facts: During
college, Jen was involved with
Challah for Hunger, Chabad, the
Environmental Club, and Alpha Phi
Omega. She studied abroad at the
University of Salamanca in Spain,
and loves traveling, reading, hiking,
scrapbooking, and spending time
with her three siblings.
Hannah Auerbach
Hometown: Canaan, New Hampshire
Morgan Kaplan
Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia
College: Old Dominion University, B.S. in
Sports Management, Minor in Marketing
Interesting Facts: Morgan loves to play
basketball and tennis. Morgan is a triplet.
He has traveled to Australia, Israel, South
Africa, London, and Canada with family.
He is a huge Minnesota Timberwolves fan
for some reason.
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
College: University of St. Andrews, 2016,
BSc Hons Neuroscience
Interesting Facts: Hannah grew up in
a boarding school and went to both a
boarding middle and high school. She
studied Finnish for over ten years and
has visited Finland 3 times. This past
year, Hannah worked as an Interfaith
Officer for St. Andrew’s Jewish Society
and as Secretary/Vice Convener for
the Interfaith Steering Group. She also
became an ambassador for the Holocaust
Educational Trust in London, UK. She
loves baking, science fiction, and classic
rock (not necessarily in that order).
Ben Sigal
Hometown: Buffalo Grove, Illinois
College: Tulane University, B.A. in Jewish
Studies, Minor in Public Health
Interesting Facts: While living in New
Orleans for school, Ben was involved in
both Hillel and Chabad boards, and was
an officer in various positions for two
years in his chapter of Alpha Phi Omega,
the coed community service fraternity.
Prior to living in New Orleans, he spent
nine months on the Nativ College
Leadership Program in Israel, which was
highlighted by his volunteer service as a
first responder with Magen David Adom
in Yerucham, Israel. Ben enjoys watching
the Chicago Blackhawks, cooking, baking,
and traveling.
Continued on next page
10
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Welcome to our New Academy Fellows, continued
Eli Pollack
Hometown:
Born in Boston
Massachusetts,
mostly raised in
Yardley, Pennsylvania
(just outside of
Philadelphia)
College: University
of Pittsburgh,
Degree in Public
Service with
certificates in
strategic planning
and Jewish Studies.
Interesting Facts: Eli is a sports junkie, whether playing or
spectating. He just finished a year of working at the JCC in
Greater Pittsburgh in both the departments of fundraising and
Jewish Life. He loves BBQ, college basketball, the Red Sox and
Patriots, and traveling
Justin Shannin
Hometown:
Greensboro, North
Carolina
College:
Northwestern
University (magna
cum laude), B.A.
Theatre, minor in
Creative Writing
Interesting Facts:
Justin worked as a
resident assistant,
performed in theatre
productions, and
won the Northwestern Dining cooking competition. In his free
time, he enjoys reading, swing dancing, and watching anime.
Justin attended the Academy, graduating in the Class of 2012,
and continues to stay in contact with the friends he made there.
Focus on: Parent Ambassador Debby Dunn
At the beginning of the summer
vacation, Academy parent Debby
Dunn, mother to Alon (‘14) and Shira
(’17), took the initiative of creating a
WhatsApp chat group for the mothers
of returning students to the American
Hebrew Academy from her Mexico City
community.
Dunn, fulfilling her role as Parent
Ambassador, then added mothers of new
Academy students, bringing the group to
23 members.
In addition, Dunn invited the entire
group, parents and children, to her home
for a get-together to meet each other
and, as Dunn said, “to get a sense of
community even before the kids go away.”
This exemplifies the role of the American
Hebrew Academy Parent ambassador
– creating an opportunity for Academy
students to meet their new peers, and
for parents in the community to get
together to speak about the school and
the experiences their children will have in
Greensboro, NC.
As Dunn told American Hebrew
Academy CEO Glenn Drew “There are
no better ambassadors for the school than
students and alumni and their parents.”
Mission Statement
The Parent Association of the American
Hebrew Academy serves to enhance a sense of
community among parents, faculty, residential
life, and students by helping to support and
grow the Academy by drawing on the richness
and diversity of the parent body.
All parents are considered
members of this organization.
Please ask to join the
American Hebrew Academy
Parents Association page on Facebook.
Students from Mexico City prepare for the Academy.
Visit:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ahaparents
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
11
My last night with Elie Wiesel
By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Reprinted from The Times of Israel
I was in North Carolina this week
accompanying my son and family for
a meeting at the American Hebrew
Academy in Greensboro when Elisha
Wiesel informed me that his father’s
health had taken an irreversible turn
for the worse. Elie, or Reb Eliezer as I
always affectionately called him, had been
battling illness for more than two years.
But each time he fought back. Hearing
this was now not the case I was stunned
and numb.
Elisha is his father’s foremost
achievement and only child. A man of
deep warmth humility, his gentility and
moral clarity reminds you instantly that
he is his father’s son. I have loved Elie
Wiesel my whole life and I have known
him for the past 26 years. He has served
as inspiration, mentor, guide, and loving
friend. Every moment I have spent with
him had been an honor and privilege and
I had visited with him just last week.
I decided that though we planned to
remain in the South for the 4th of July
weekend, we would begin the long drive
back so that I might have the privilege of
spending Shabbat with him. For the next
hours I lived with the constant dread that
we would not make it in time.
I arrived minutes before the Sabbath and
Elisha greeted me at the door. I offered
whatever comfort I could to Marion,
Elie’s remarkable wife of 47 years and
world-renowned translator. Marion and
Elisha then invited me into the room with
Elie. I will remember those last moments
with the man President Obama called
“the conscience of the world” as some
of the precious and haunting of my life
and I was consciously aware that I was
being granted an unprecedented privilege
to spend the last Sabbath with the Jewish
people’s greatest living son.
Elie was lying down and I pulled my chair
up close to his bed. His family, including
his daughter-in-law Lynn and grandson
Elijah, were all at his side.
12
I shared with him how much I loved him
and what he meant to the Jewish people
and the world. I told him that in the last
few hundred years the Jewish nation had
rarely produced a personality that had
made more of a global impact.
I did not know quite what to say. I felt
inadequate to the task. But I did not want
to choose my words. I wanted them to
flow from my heart.
I suddenly found myself reminiscing
aloud about some of our personal
experiences.
I reminded him that when he spoke for
us at Oxford 26 years ago he had told the
students that if the world gave the Jewish
people its children for just one generation
we would return the children to them
in a way that would greatly increase the
world’s light. Why I chose that particular
story amid the many speeches I had
heard Elie say over the years I do not
quite know. I know that when he said it
there was a hushed silence in the room
filled with more than 1000 students. He
was responding to a student who was
insinuating that the world’s Jews had
too much influence. He said quite the
reverse is true. We have had our voices
silenced. But give us your children for one
generation and we will return them with
greater love and light than when we took
them.
I told him that I remembered that as
he walked that night into the Oxford
Union chamber to deliver his lecture, he
suddenly stopped and put a Yarmulke
telling me he would deliver his speech
at the world’s most famous debating
chamber as a proud Jew.
I looked at Elisha at the foot of the bed
and remembered the herculean efforts
and endless patience this only child had
shown amid his father’s long illness the
past few years. I suddenly remembered
the story that Elie had told me about
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Elisha. It was at a kosher restaurant in
Manhattan where I had invited Elie to
have dinner with Michael Jackson. Elie
shared that Elisha had taken up skydiving. He told me that he, Elie Wiesel,
would rather throw himself from the
airplane with a parachute than see any
risk to his precious son. “If providence
decrees that a Wiesel has to be thrown
from an airplane, then let it be Elie rather
than Elisha Wiesel.”
I told Elie that his son and grandchildren
were his greatest legacy. His daughterin-law Lynn was cradling his head and
kissing him gently.
I told him he had been the Jewish people’s
great light to the nations, the man who
had lent eternity to the six million of the
holocaust. The martyrs of the holocaust
honored him for honoring them. I
shared with him that without his books,
especially Night, the six million would not
be remembered in the same way.
I suddenly recalled Elie telling me, when
Continued on next page
My last night with Elie Wiesel, continued
he was writing his novel “The Forgotten,”
about a man with Alzheimer’s, he had
said to me, “I’m writing a book about a
man who is losing his memory because I
am fascinated by the connection between
memory and identity. Without memory
there can be no identity.”
I told him that I remembered all the
special public events we had shared
together, from public conversations
with Samantha Power and President
Paul Kagame against genocide, to
speeches against Iranian brutality with
Ted Cruz at the United States Senate,
to our public discussion with Dr. Oz on
spiritual wellbeing, to the many times we
were fortunate to honor him at our gala
dinners.
And I told him how much I loved our
private interactions, the unending warmth
and affection he always showed me, the
stories he shared, the wisdom he offered,
the loving rebukes of a devoted friend
always seeking to bring out my light.
And I sat there, I remembered his
honesty and integrity, his righteousness
and unending truth.
I remembered that only a few months
ago I asked Elie at his home about the
searing honesty he expressed toward the
end of Night when he revealed that his
father, consumed with fever, asked him
in the death camp barracks for water.
Elie, emaciated, starving, infirm and
famished, had hoped that after spending
weeks taking care of his typhoid-ravished
father he would finally be liberated from
his care. When his father begged him for
water in the middle of the night, Elie,
freezing and barely holding on to life
himself, could not summon the energy to
even respond. In the morning the pleas
had ceased. Elie’s father had expired. Elie
was free at last.
“How did you write those haunting
words?” I asked. How could anyone be so
painfully honest?
“I wrote them,” he said, “because if I was
not honest in the book there was no point
in writing it at all,” he said.
That commitment to the truth allowed
Elie to become the greatest chronicler of
the greatest crime in human history.
Though I am not a Kohen, a priest, I
turned to Marion and Elisha, and said I
would like to give Elie the Priestly Biblical
blessing. I stood up. “May the Lord
protect you and keep you. May the Lord
shine his light to you and be gracious.
May the Lord lift his countenance to you
and always give you peace.”
And I kissed him repeatedly on the cheek,
telling him each time how much I loved
him.
On Shabbat night, after returning from
Elie’s bedside and sharing with my
children his struggle for life, my daughter
Shterny who will God willing soon be
married, broke down in tears. At 16 she
had written a book report about Elie and
he kindly agree to answer all her questions
at his office. He spoke to her with his
customary gentility, whispering wisdom
and truth. It was an experience she will
never forget. And now at the table she
cried. I asked her why she was crying
and she said, “If we God forbid lose
Elie Wiesel, there will be no more special
people alive any more. There will be
nobody left. He is the last of the giants.”
Zmira Sabbah (l) and Chico Sabbah, z"l (r) both pictured with Elie Wiesel, z"l
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
13
Shana Tova Greetings 2016-5777
‫שנה טובה‬
Sending Shana Tova greetings are a very thoughtful way to add an extra special dash of sweetness in the
lives of your family, friends, neighbors, and business associates for the coming Jewish New Year. The
American Hebrew Academy is offering two options for you to acknowledge these special people in
celebration of Rosh Hashanah, while supporting the Academy’s General Scholarship Fund.
Option 1: A greeting card will be sent through the mail to anyone you wish to honor for a donation of $18.00
per card, 6 cards for $90 (the price includes 1 free card), or 12 cards for $180 (the price includes 2 free
cards). Select your greeting(s) from the three cards offered below; mixing & matching is encouraged. These
beautiful photographs of Israel were taken by members of the senior class, while they attended the Alexander
Muss High School in Israel during their junior year. Greeting A: Mychaella Bowen ‘17, Greeting B: Samuel
Goldberg ’17, and Greeting C: Emilia Jacobson ‘17. Each card will include your own personal message or
you may choose from the messages shown under each photograph. (See the order form to purchase your
greeting cards.) DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016.
Greeting A
Greeting B
‫שנה טובה‬
Best Wishes for a New Year Filled
with Health, Happiness, and Peace
Greeting C
‫שנה טובה‬
Wishing You a Year of Sweet Blessings
Filled with Abundant Joy and Peace
‫שנה טובה‬
Wishing You a Sweet New Year!
Option 2: For thousands of years, the onset of fall has brought greetings of “Shana Tova – To a Good Year”
in Jewish communities everywhere. A fast and easy way to send Jewish New Year greetings to people near
and dear to you is in our special holiday edition of HaGesher filled with Jewish New Year greetings and
mouth-watering holiday recipes. Samples of the types of greetings are shown below. CLICK HERE to
view the 5775 special edition Rosh Hashanah HaGesher. (See the order form to purchase an advertisement.)
DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
1. Select Greeting Size
□ $18 (1/16 page)
□ $36 (1/8 page)
□ $54 (1/4 page)
□ $72 (1/2 page)
Wishing family and friends
a very Happy New Year
A Happy and Healthy New Year
to everyone at the
American Hebrew Academy
14
The Rosenberg Family
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
□ $108 (full page)
Shana Tova, Uncle Mordi,
May you have a sweet
and joyous New Year!
With Love,
The Weinstein Family
Shana Tova Greetings Order Form
Deadline: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
OPTION 1: Purchase Academy Jewish New Year Greeting Cards to support the Academy’s
General Scholarship Fund - $18.00 per card, 6 cards for $90 (price includes 1 free card), or 12
cards for $180 (price includes 2 free cards).
Include your contact information, along with the names and complete mailing addresses for the families,
friends, neighbors, and business associates you would like to honor with a Jewish New Year greeting
card, as well as the greeting option letter (A, B, or C) and return to:
Email: [email protected]
OR
Fax: 336.217.7011
OPTION 2: To purchase a Jewish New Year advertisement in the special Rosh Hashanah
HaGesher, please complete the form below.
1. Select Greeting Size
□ $18 (1/16 page) □ $36 (1/8 page)
□ $54 (1/4 page)
□ $72 (1/2 page) □ $108 (full page)
2. Select Greeting
□ A Happy And Healthy New Year to Everyone
□ Wishing Family And Friends a Very Happy New Year
□ May You Have a Sweet And Joyous New Year
□ Design your own greeting ____________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
3. Print name(s) as you would like it to appear in the greeting
__________________________________________________________________________
4. Provide your contact information below.
Name: ___________________________________________________________________
Address: _________________________________________________________________
City: __________________________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________
Phone: ________________________________ Email: ____________________________
5. If you’d like to send a greeting to someone who is not currently on our email list, please
provide the address and we will be happy to send them a copy of the special Rosh Hashanah
HaGesher acknowledging your gift to the Academy in their honor.
Recipient’s Email Address: ________________________________________________
Complete and return this form by: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
Email: [email protected]
OR
Fax: 336.217.7011
We will send you an invoice for the number of cards or advertisements ordered. Once payment has been
received, a letter of confirmation will be sent acknowledging your tax deductible gift to the
Academy’s General Scholarship Fund. If you prefer to mail in payment, please return everything to:
American Hebrew Academy
4334 Hobbs Road
Greensboro, NC 27410
Attn: Ellen Green
To make a payment online, please CLICK HERE
For additional information, please contact: Ellen Green, Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement – 336.217.7056
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
15
News, notes, and naches
• Dean of Jewish Studies Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman was the
scholar in residence and keynote speaker for Chabad at the
University of Nottingham in England. While in England, he also
spoke at the University of Manchester Jewish student graduation
dinner.
and supporting the teaching and writing of poetry since he
founded it in 1997.
• Dean of Jewish Life Leon Covitz participated in a course
organized by the Jewish Agency with Jewish educators from
around the world, which took place in Israel. While in Israel, he
networked extensively on behalf of the Academy.
• Drs. Brown, Dresser, and Moss participated in a weeklong
course at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.
The Yiddish Book Center is dedicated to the transmission of
Jewish culture in a broad sense, and this workshop was about
bringing literature and art that reflects the Jewish experience into
the classroom.
Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman (r) and colleague
at Chabad Nottingham
• Fine Arts and Jewish Studies instructor Dr. Karen Dresser
published a powerful piece in the Art and Aesthetics edition
of Ravsak’s HaYidion entitled, “Spiritual Healing of Memories
through Art: Holocaust Imagery and Theology.” The article
featured works of poetry and prose by Academy students.
HaYidion is the journal of The Jewish Community Day School
Network.
• History instructor Dr. Scott Culclasure delivered a lecture,
“The Life of General Greene,” at the celebration of the 274th
birthday of Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene at the Guilford
Courthouse National Military Park Visitor Center.
Drs. Dresser, Brown, and Moss
The three faculty members also were reunited with alumni Max
Nemhauser ('14) & Gabe Sklan ('15), and with former Academy
staff member Leslie Grossman.
• Jewish Studies instructor Dr. Joshua Moss published an article,
“Satire, Monotheism, and Scepticism,” which he had presented
last summer at the British Association of Jewish Studies
conference in Manchester, England. Presenters from universities
in several countries are represented in the volume. The American
Hebrew Academy was the only secondary school represented
among the speakers. Dr. Moss’ participation in the conference
was made possible by professional development funds from the
Academy.
• Mr. Jeff Spitzer, Jewish studies instructor, spent the summer
preparing the sourcebook he wrote, “A History of Jewish
Peoplehood,” for publication.
• Dr. Jenn Brown, Chair of the English Department, attended
the Fourteenth Annual Poetry Institute for Educators at Boston
University. The Institute is headed by former US Poet Laureate
Robert Pinsky, whose Favorite Poem Project has been thriving
16
Academy Reunion (l to r): Dr. Brown, Leslie Grossman,
Dr. Dresser, Dr. Moss, Gabe Sklan, and Max Nemhauser.
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Continued on next page
News, notes, and naches, continued
• Student Mychaella Bowen ('17) spent three weeks in Ghana
participating in the Global Leadership Adventures program
(GLA), where she volunteered at a village primary school. She
also had the opportunity to travel and immerse herself in the
local culture through traditional dance, language, and cooking
classes. The GLA experience gives high school students the
opportunity, through service work, to make a significant impact
on communities throughout the world.
Bowen with Ghanian students
• Student Leo Kramer participated in the Wingspan Arts
Summer conservatory program in NYC for the third consecutive
year. The program teaches students the skills required to become
accomplished actors, vocalists, and theatre artists.
Mychaella Bowen on beach in Ghana
Alumni Corner
• Alumna Miriam Smallman (’12)
graduated summa cum laude
and Phi Beta Kappa from The
George Washington University
with a B.A. in Journalism in May
2016. Currently, she is working
as a Press Officer at the Embassy
of Israel in Washington, DC,
where she monitors the focus
and direction of national media,
assists in coordinating media
events for visiting Israeli officials,
and acts as a liaison for American
media inquiries.
• Zsuzsi Kunos, who attended the Academy for the 2014-2015
academic year, will attend Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE),
a Hungarian public research university based in Budapest.
Founded in 1635, ELTE is one of the largest and the most
prestigious public higher education institutions in Hungary.
Miriam Smallman
• Alumna Alyse Feldman (‘13) just finished a semester at
Hebrew University as part of a program called The Nachshon
Project, a fellowship for Jewish leadership and innovation.
• Alumnus Bar Hass (‘12) will begin a two-year stint as a third
and fourth grade teacher of science and social studies at the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, working
through Teach for America. Hass told Dr. Scott Culclasure that
his decision to take the position was in part influenced by his
experience at the Academy.
• Alumnus Rafi Mills (‘11),
earned his BS in Mechanical
Engineering from Lehigh
University in 2015, and his a
masters of engineering (M.Eng)
in Energy Systems engineering
in 2016, where he also served
as the first (founding) president
for the school’s chapter of
Sigma Phi Delta (The Premier
International Fraternity of
Engineers). He is currently
working for Bechtel Marine
Propulsion Corporation, at
the Knolls Atomic Power
Laboratory, a high security
government facility.
Rafi Mills
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
17
Mr. Drew at Mishpacha Orphanage
and Community Center
in Odessa, Ukraine with
Rabbi Shmulik Greenberg and family
Mr. Drew at Mishpacha Orphanage
and Community Center
in Odessa, Ukraine
18
Glenn Drew and Dima Schneerman (Youth Director IGB, Basel)
Mr. Drew at Mishpacha Orphanage and Community Center
in Odessa, Ukraine with Ukranian born Igor Yasnogorodsy,
father of Michael ('19)
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
American Hebrew Academy named
exceptional Jewish institution by COJECO
The American Hebrew Academy has
been recognized for excellence in Jewish
education by COJECO, the Council of
Jewish Émigré Community Organizations,
at the group’s 15th anniversary gala.
At the celebratory gathering held at the
Museum of Jewish Heritage in New
York, COJECO supporters feted the
organization’s 15 years of service to the
Russian-speaking Jewish community of
New York, and honored the American
Hebrew Academy, along with other
dignitaries.
"The American Hebrew Academy is
a unique one-of-a-kind school,” said
COJECO Executive Director Roman
Shmulenson. “Its commitment to
Jewish values and Israel, as well as to
academic excellence are very appealing
to the Russian-speaking American Jewish
community. Honoring the Academy
allowed COJECO to recognize this
fascinating Jewish institution, and
provided an opportunity for many of
our community members not yet familiar
with the school to learn
about this top-notch
Jewish institution.”
COJECO was formed
in 2001 as an umbrella
organization for
grassroots community
organizations of
Russian-speaking
Jewish immigrants
in New York, and
today represents over
30 such member
organizations, including
young adult leadership
groups, Holocaust
Survivors, professional
associations, arts &
culture organizations,
and social justice
groups. Its mission
is to facilitate the
successful integration of
Russian-speaking Jews
into the mainstream Jewish community
and the greater American society.
The American Hebrew Academy is the
only international Jewish college prep
boarding school in the world, with a
mission to educate the next generation
of Jewish leaders. The elite school offers
students the inspiration and opportunities
to connect to their Jewish identity
while providing an exemplary academic
education. It has enrolled native Russian
speaking students from the United States
and abroad since its founding in 2001.
Academy Board Chair Leeor Sabbah
accepted the award on behalf of the
school. She commented: “We are
appreciative of this important recognition
from COJECO, and delighted to celebrate
the organization’s 15th anniversary in
such an impressive ceremony.”
Sabbah added: “The ceremony was
inspiring, and made all the more special
thanks to five Academy graduates who
attended, as well as a number of our
supporters from the New York region”
Each year COJECO recognizes
individuals and organizations that further
the cause of Russian Jewry in America
through their leadership, insight, and
service.
Alongside the American Hebrew
Academy, other award recipients were:
Leonid Nevzlin, a Moscow-born
philanthropist who encouraged the revival
of Jewish life in post-Soviet Russia;
Justice Bruce M. Balter of the Supreme
Court of the State of New York and a
recipient of the State Medal of Israel;
Michael Drob, a documentary filmmaker
and émigré from Riga, Latvia; and Semion
Belits-Geiman, a former Soviet freestyle
swimmer who won two Olympic medals.
As Board Chair Leeor Sabbah
commented further: “It is an honor to
partner with COJECO in outreach to
the Russian speaking Jewish community
around the world and we look forward
to furthering those efforts in the years to
come.”
l. to r.: Lindsay McArthur Melillo (’06), Yarden Natsia (’13), Bari Mirotznik (’13),
Jeanette Levin (’13), Leeor Sabbah, Yoav Guttman ('05).
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
19
‫דרך לעתיד‬
Derekh L’Atid
Pathway To The Future
Be Part of the American Hebrew Academy History
Derekh L’Atid, Pathway to the Future, the American Hebrew Academy
Brick Campaign has been hugely successful. The walkway into
the campus’s beautiful and picturesque Gardens of Israel grows
with attractively engraved bricks commemorating, celebrating,
memorializing, and honoring friends and family worldwide.
What a beautiful way to acknowledge a very special birthday or
anniversary, pay tribute to a friend and a loved-one, or remember
someone who left an indelible mark on your life.
Orders may be placed at any time. Below is a picture of a portion of
the bricks currently on the pathway. Detailed information as to how
you may place your order for a brick is outlined on the next page.
20
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
21
Daniel Tawil:
“It is important for the other students to know a Syrian Jew”
The Syrian Jewish community is tight
knit and proud, numbering about 75,000
people in the New York and New Jersey
areas. It is for that reason that Academy
student Daniel Tawil makes sure that
people know he is a Syrian Jew.
“I am a 4th generation American,” shared
Tawil, who comes from Ocean, NJ. “My
great grandfather, who is my hero, was
the youngest of his brothers and was
the only child in his family to be born
in the United States. He and his family
were among the people who brought and
maintained many of the Jewish Syrian
traditions in America.”
Maintaining traditions is important for
the members of the Syrian community,
and pride in being a Syrian Jew, and of
the relative successes of the Syrian Jewish
community, is taught from a young age.
“It is important for other students to
know a Syrian Jew,” said Tawil. “Syrian
Jews are usually successful and we are
everywhere. For me, it is special to be a
Syrian Jew because
of its traditional
lifestyle. I don’t
think there is anyone
else in the world that
lives their life like a
Syrian Jew.”
Tawil sees himself
as the representative
of the community
at the American
Hebrew Academy,
a school he loves!
Tawil with Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman
“Not everyone
observes the same
Tawil was a baby, and when Daniel first
way as I do, but that is what I love about
arrived at the Academy for Prospective
it. This lets me show myself and others
Student Weekend, he fell in love with the
how much my Judaism really means to
school, the beautiful campus, and the
me.”
opportunities he saw.
As the great nephew of Academy Board
“I knew I would meet people who I
of Trustees member Dr. Abe D. Tawil,
would have never met if I stayed within
Daniel feels as if the American Hebrew
my community,” said Tawil. “I am proud
Academy is in his blood. His father
of myself for making the connections I
started researching the school when
have already made with people around the
world, because it can only help me in the
future to know these people and know
about where they come from.”
Indeed, the American Hebrew Academy
offers students the unique opportunity to
meet, live, and study with Jewish students
from different cultural and ethnic
backgrounds, and with different levels
and traditions of religious observance.
The Academy community is vibrant,
supportive and culturally diverse, with
students from countries such as France,
Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Israel,
Russia, and the Ukraine. Students are
educated to be intellectually adventurous,
Jewishly identified, globally aware, and
well prepared for college or university,
and future positions of global leadership.
In addition to appreciating the diversity
on campus, Tawil also lauds the benefits
of boarding school: “I love the fact that
school is literally 40 feet from where
I sleep. It’s nice to know that teachers
Continued on next page
22
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Daniel Tawil, continued
are always there to help me and it gives
school a whole other meaning. In day
school it’s common to think that teachers
don’t have lives outside of the classroom,
but at the Academy we get to experience
their lives and they get to experience
ours.”
throughout his time at the American
Hebrew Academy, will never leave his life:
“I really don’t know exactly what I would
like to do with my life. I am only in high
school and I have time, but I do know I
for sure will always want Judaism in my
life.”
A junior, Tawil does not yet know what
he wants to do with his life, although he
has interest in both music and politics.
What he does know, however is that his
proud identification as a member of the
Syrian community, and his strong Jewish
identity, nurtured and strengthened
What advice would Tawil give a student
considering the Academy? For him, it is
simple. As he explained: “It is hard work
and not always easy to meet all these
different types of people, but at the end
of the day it pays off tremendously. If
you are not willing to put in the work
then the American Hebrew Academy is
not the right place for you. But if you
want to be tremendously successful and
live a fruitful and prosperous life, and you
are also willing to put in the work for it,
then studying at the American Hebrew
Academy will be an experience that you
will never regret and never forget.”
And Daniel Tawil makes sure everyone
who he communicates with knows that he
is a proud Syrian Jew, and a junior at the
American Hebrew Academy. Every email
he sends closes with those words.
Focus on the Faculty: Mr. Avi Lang
By Dr. Richard W. Smith
York, and Tel Aviv.
I remember last spring meeting some of
the candidates for the opening in Jewish
Studies at breakfast and being struck by
one individual in particular. Not only was
he kind, personable, informed, and clearly
very intelligent, Avi Lang expressed the
personal connectivity that gave me what
Malcom Gladwell calls a strong “Blink”
moment, and I regretted that I had little
input into the hiring process.
In 2007, Mr. Lang moved to Israel;
members of his immediate family soon
followed and continue to live in Tel Aviv.
Fortunately, for me and for the Academy,
Rabbi Sneiderman knew a promising
strong addition to the department, and
hired him.
Now, Louise Crown and Dean Covitz will
not have a monopoly on that distinctive
United Kingdom accent as Mr. Lang grew
up and was educated there as well.
The son of a teacher, Avi Lang began
developing his life-long love of teaching
and education by taking his undergraduate
degree in Modern Languages at Reading
University and following that with a
Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from
no less than Oxford University.
While growing up speaking Italian and
English at home, Avi’s polyglot includes
French, Hebrew, and Yiddish as well. His
interest in Yiddish began at Oxford and
was deepened during summer studies at
universities in Vilnius, Strasbourg, New
Avi studied at the Pardes Institute of
Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and taught at
the high school level in Be’er Sheva for a
period of two years.
In 2010, he moved to Indiana to
commence a PhD program in
Comparative Literature and Jewish
Studies at Indiana University, and,
currently he has only his dissertation to
complete and defend before he becomes
Dr. Lang of the American Hebrew
Academy. For this research, Avi is looking
at the seventeenth-century text, the Tsene
Urene, which is a retelling in Yiddish
of tanakhic and midrashic stories that
are very important in the Jewish canon.
Because women of that period most
often could only read Yiddish, the Tsene
Urene is sometimes referred to as The
Women’s Bible.
Avi’s background tends to nurture in
interest in teaching rather than research,
and for him the Academy’s strong focus
on instruction seemed to him a good
fit. “Pluralism creates a unique space to
be critical, self-reflective, and [to] really
consider what it is to be a Jew in the
modern world. I am also interested in
Mr. Avi Lang
the international nature of the student
population: I like the fact that students
have the opportunity to encounter
other cultures and languages in this
environment, something I regard as
important in our age of globalization. I
love the diversity of the curriculum and
the space we have to be creative. I like the
fact that classes are small and that we can
devote a lot of attention to each student,”
he said.
On paper and in person, Mr. Avi Lang
clearly brings strong educational assets
to the faculty, staff, and most important,
the students of the American Hebrew
Academy for the school year 2016-2017.
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
23
https://www.facebook.com/groups/164835647050141/
We encourage all of our Academy graduates (especially our most recent!)
to join the Official American Hebrew Academy Alumni Association Facebook page
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ellen Green, Assistant Director of
Institutional Advancement, Parent & Alumni Relations by phone at
336.217.7056 or by email at [email protected]
Do you ever stop
thinking about
what the future holds
for your child?
The Academy Classroom
Neither do we.
At the American Hebrew Academy, a one-of-a-kind boarding high school experience awaits your child. An
academically rigorous environment where Jewish identity is nurtured, the Academy opens the doors to your child’s future.
It’s everything a high school should be, and some things you never dreamed it could be.
What doors can we open for your teenager?
Learn more at www.americanhebrewacademy.org or call (336) 217-7070.
Now accepting applications for 2017-2018.
American Hebrew Academy
The International Jewish College Prep Boarding School
24
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Making memories at the American Hebrew Academy
International Students at the American Hebrew Academy Boathouse overlooking the 22-acre lake
Thanks to FlyByHire and Judah Rifkin
for your generous support of the
American Hebrew Academy
WHO is FlyByHire
We are an innovative, first mover, licensed, aerial photography business.
We are licensed and use our own equipment and pilots
WHAT WE DO
We provide the highest level of professional
aerial photography, with an owned and operated
fleet of state of the art aircraft.
We operate in every vertical and offer
customized solutions for every customer
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
25
‫תודה רבה‬
toda h r a ba h
It is with heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude
we acknowledge each of our Academy supporters
who have generously donated charitable gifts this
past fiscal year from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.
We thank you for sharing in our vision to educate
the best and brightest future Jewish leaders of the
world.
(We apologize in advance for any omissions we might have made.)
Founders Society
M’yasdim - ‫מייסדים‬
$50,000 and above
Academy Leaders
Man’higim - ‫מנהיגים‬
$5,000 - $9,999
Anonymous
Blavatnik Family Foundation
Kimberly & Larry Heyman
Leslie Rudd
Anonymous
Joann & William Cassell
Shirley M. Drevich-Medlock
Jeffrey Brendt Gray
Mr. & Mrs. Peter Kahn
Kimberly S. Bates Foundation
Barbara & Jerome Levin
Leeor Sabbah
Zmira Sabbah
Blanche & Neil Sosland
Academy Visionaries
Holmim - ‫חולמים‬
$10,000 - $49,999
The Daniel & Karen Berman
Foundation
The Russell Berrie Foundation
Andrea & Andrew Bowen
Dr. Charlotte Frank
Janice & Micah Frankel
Greensboro Jewish Federation
Morris Offit
Oklahoma City Community
Foundation
Temma Silberman
The Highland Vineyard Foundation
The Highland Vineyard Foundation
Pamela Wolf & Douglas Gersten
Academy Supporters
Tomkhim - ‫תומכים‬
$1,000 - $4,999
Ark Aviation
Nina Barcessat and
Fabio Vasconcellos
Marilyn, z”l and Edward Benson
Mr. & Mrs. Mark Berkin
David Cohen
Deirdre & Larry Cohen
Marsha Cohen & Ted Kleinman
Sylvia & Harry Cohen
Reid Klarsfeld
Kelly and Glenn Drew
Shoshana Dweck
Syril H. Frank
Linda & James Ginsburg
Drs. Jane Rosen Grandon &
Gary Grandon
Michelle & Stanley Jacobson
Tobee Kaplan, z”l
Dr. Eric Kozlow –
Allergy & Asthma Center of NC
Alison & Mark Lerner
Mildred Levin
Judy & Michael Lewis
Jane & Ken Liss
Melanie & Eric Lobel
Bea & David Mandel
Joan Muss and Family
Nadine & Arthur Oudmayer
Jodie & Ashley Pezzner
Dr. Heidi Rafferty
Drs. Lori & Barry Ripps
Robert Russell Memorial Foundation
Jacke W. & Lottie K. Samet
Israel Experience Scholarship
William A. Stern Foundation
Drs. Kathleen & John Webster
Rochelle Weiner
Rebecca Katz White &
Rabbi Michael White
Carol & Lawrence Young
Continued on next page
26
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
‫תודה רבה‬
toda h r a ba h ,
Academy Friends
Haverim - ‫חברים‬
$18 - $499
Myriam & Daniel Abady
Sharon & Craig Abramson
Rose & Victor Ackermann
Maurice Alley
Patsy & Perry Allred
Amazon Smile
Josh Andrianos
Harold Anfang
Suzan & Jon Antin
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Lyn & Steve Ayal
Kevin Aziz
Linda Baggish
Gisela & Dr. Ricardo Baler
Rita & Hayim Baron
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Dan Benismhon
David Benkof
Heather & Paul Benson
Stefanie & Mark Benson
Rachel Berg
Judith & Neal Bergman
Cynthia Berman
Tamir Betesh
Perla Breziner & Raul Serebrenik
Debra & Andrew Bird
Miriam Lowenberg Black
Pam & David Blais
Olga Blanga & Benjamin Amiga
Catherine & Tom Blottman
Jack Blumenthal
continued
Nina Bogdanova & Oscar Adler
Deb Brandt-Sarif & Theo Sarif
Dr. Jane & Terry Brandsma
Ayelet & David Brandwein
Martha & Saul Brenner
Olya & Jose Broitman
Dr. Jennifer Brown
Rabbi Rachel Brown &
Rabbi Michael Ross
Michael Bruell
Judith & David Canowitz
Carolina Services of the Triad
Ingrid & Jerry Cassuto
Beatriz & Ze’ev Chernys
Kilmeny & Michael Chernys
Priscilla & Philip Cherrin
Donna Christy
Pauline & John Cobrda
Barbara & Elliott Cohen
Deirdre & Larry Cohen
Gina & Alberto Cohen
Grace Cohen & Marcelo Wohlmuth
Irene & Irving Cohen
Brenda & Howard Coleman
Leon Covitz
Fenna & Christopher Corry
Dahlia & Matt Crater
Louise Crown
Nancy & Dr. Scott Culclasure
Jada & Antoine Dargan
Tommy Davis
Donna & David DeGroot
Rogelio De La Cruz
Joanna & David Delman
Emil Dere
Heidi & Dr. Joel DiCicco
Marti & Dr. Don Digby
Karina Donde &
Alejandro Merikanskas
Myrna & Cantor Steven Dress
Dr. Karen Dresser
Joyce Drew
Phyllis & Daniel Dunitz
Jay Dweck
Roni Elkiam &
Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman
Elisabeth Fagen & Michael Friedland
Kim & David Faison
Theresa & Dr. Matthew Farber
Miriam & Michael Fauth
Anne Fedler
Peggy & Jon Feder
Susan & Scott Feldman
Janis & Andrew Fields
Diane & Jeff Fisher
Alice & Dr. Marc Flitter
Crystal & Gary Flynn
Pnina Fogel
Tamar Forman &
Rabbi Michael Schwartz
Foster-Caviness Company
Kim & Donald Freedman
Amy & Jeffrey Friedman
Kim & John Furlough
M. Gabbour
Qing & Jeffrey Gabbour
Gate City Pharmacy
Eileen & Dr. William Gellerman
Jon Glazman
Hilary Coleman Goldberg
Mary Goldenberg & Eric Koesterich
Drs. Meryl & Jonas Goldstein
Aliza Gotlib
Ellen Green
Leslie & Larry Grossman
Hope Gruber
Sarah Gulley & Josh Neas
Guzman Landscaping
Carol & Jerry Hall
Membere Hailu
Margot Hanono & Jacobo Mizrahi
Harris Teeter
Sheldon Hayer
Lawrence Heath
Irene Heifetz
Constance & Richard Hensel
Erica & Andrew Herman
Continued on next page
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
27
‫תודה רבה‬
toda h r a ba h ,
Muriel Hoff
Nina & David Hoff
Ruth & Joshua Hoffman
George Holder
William Holt
Steven Hussey
Hope Electrical Service
Diana & Paul Hyman
Judith Hyman
Tara Hyman-Cupid
Lisa & Nehemia Ichilov
Tamai & Eitan Israel
Robin & Dr. Baruch Jacobs
Albert Jacobson
Emilia Jacobson
Nana Janashvill & Dimitriy Medovoy
Jenkins Peer Architects
Thomas Jessup
Alysia & Greg Joost
Shlomi Kagan
Frances Kaminitz
Kym & David Kaplan
Naomi & Stuart Kaplan
Anna Karina & Luiz Salama
Abby Karp
Evan Kern
Daniel Kilimnik
Mila & Igor Kilimnik
Jolyn P. Kimmel
Elizabeth King
Rhoda & Dr. Jay Klarsfeld
Sue & James Klau
Dinah Kleiman & Eleazar Goldberg
Alexandra & Nehemia Kramer
Sandra & Ron Krellen
Jane & David Kriegsman
Susan & Jonathan Kusnitz
Wendy & Steven Lager
Dr. Harriet Langley & Rick von Ende
28
continued
Lisa & Paul Lasovsky
Marcia Lawson
Susan & Eric Lerner
Sandra & Richard Levin
Frances & Dennis LeVine
Mary Block Levine & Alan Goldstein
Helen Levy & Ezra Sitton
Vicki & Art Lewis
Dewi Liauw & James Kallman
Helen & Harold Lindenthal
Deana & Rabbi Seth Linfield
Janet & Steve Lindholm
Lion Brand Yarn Foundation
Mary Ellen & Dr. Edward Loebl
Ziva London
Nancy Luberoff & Bruce Boehm
Rebecca & Kris Mamayek
Harry Mandel
Eve & Alan Marcus
Rhea-Beth Markowitz
Anita & Martin Masterson
Darrell McDonald
Adam McDuffie
Kathryn & Patrick McMillan
Dr. Alan Medoff
Nikki Michaelson
Adinah Miller & David Feder
Bea Mindlin
Phyllis Mirchin
Sherry Mitteldorf
Donna & Ilan Mizrahi
Moel Inda Family
Andrea & Rabbi Larry Moldo
Gina & Dr. Josh Moss
Cynthia & Dr. Donald Murinson
Murphy Wainer Orthopaedic
Specialists
NC Alpha Omicron of
Alpha Delta Kappa
Rabbi Ellen & Dr. Jeffrey Nemhauser
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
Alice & Chuck Newell
Linda & Fred Newman
Tina & Dr. Emanuel Newmark
Samra Nissan
Anthony Nottage III, D.D.S. –
Family Dentistry
Anne & Johannes Naudé
Vivian Olkin & Sim Sitkin
Pest Management Systems, Inc.
Stacey & Phil Papier
Patricia & Jerry Parks
Carole & Russell Pillemer
Kathy Pinyan
Debbie & David Pleasants
Hindy & Rabbi Yosef Plotkin
Baila Pransky
Laura & David Press
Lucy & David Pritzker
Professional Systems USA, Inc.
Bryna & Gregory Rapp
Elizabeth Ramsey
Karen & Lane Ridenhour
Amy Ripps
Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P.
Dana Robinson
Heloisa Zimmerman &
Dr. Guilherme Rollin
Sheree Rosenkrantz
Rachel & Neil Rosenthal
Allen Ross
Danielle & Eric Ross
Denise Roth
Dr. Ronald Roth
Wendy & Dr. Mark Rothman
Jodi & Leo Rubenstein
Jennifer & Chad Sachs-Forti
Wendi & Matt Sadinsky
Joan Samet
Nataly & Arkady Sandler
Dr. Vijaya & Anantha Sankaran
Jacqueline Schapiro &
Reuben Hirnheimer
Patricia & Dr. Stephen Schnall
Anne & Robert Schneider
Schoola
Nicole & Harris Schwartzberg
Rozanne Seelen
Continued on next page
‫תודה רבה‬
toda h r a ba h ,
Leeon Shamah
Richard Shannin
Linda & Jerry Shapiro
Nancy & Robert Sharff
Patricia Sharkey
Sharrard, McGee & Co., P.A.
Phyllis Shavitz
Andrew Shaw
Lisa & Fred Shporer
Danielle & Dr. Jonathan Siegel
Manette & Rabbi Steven Silberman
Betsy & Gary Silverstein
Linda & Howard Silverstein
Anne-Marie Singh & Mark Mandel
Lisa Simpson & Richard Wittenberg
Robin & Robert Skirboll
Dassi & Alan Sklan
Linda & Tom Sloan
Dayna Slotkis
Rachael Smith-Vaughan
Dr. Richard Smith
Monica & Benjamin Snaiderman
Lois Snitzer
Jessica Snouwaert
Michal & Dr. Shay Soker
Ian Solow-Niederman
continued
Tracey & Shanin Specter
Rebecca & Mark Spielman
Sylvie & Walter Spielman
Rabbi Miriam & Jeffrey Spitzer
Rose Stein
Rachel Steinberg
Helen & George Steinheimer
Victoria Steuermann & Alan Golding
Pamela & Dr. Robert Strell
Janee Studnitzer & Daniel Klionsky
Lisette Sutton & Arnon Ovadia
Danielle & Nathan Styles
Marilyn & Harry Swimmer
Swimmer Insurance Agency
Orna Tal
Target
Dr. Abe Tawil
Jenny & David Tawil
Barbara & Stuart Teichman
The Isaac & Leah M. Potts
Foundation, Inc.
The Travel Store – Joyce Taylor
Elaine Tinnin
Sherryl Tomboulian &
David Meadows
Inna Tuttle
Luda & Yruly Vaynshteyn
Beth Vestri
Osnat & Zohar Vloski
Anne & Terry Waranch
Sarah Wartell
Natalia & Gideon Wasserberg
Brenda & James Watkins
Katherine & Mike Weaver
Sharon & Howard Weinberg
David Weiner
Cheryl Weinstein
Enida & Tony Welborne
Wells Fargo
Marilyn & Clayton Westervelt
Jennifer Whitaker &
Tom Christopher
Dr. Kathleen Whitmire &
Dr. Herbert Baum
Robin & Gregg Wiener
Tammy Williams
Irvin Williamson
Abraham Wolf
Nora Wolf
Vivian Wolf & Steve Robertson II
Trudy & Alvin Wong
Debra Yampol
Ethel Yari & Zola Yari
Alia & Igor Yasnogorodsky
Gina & Joseph Yelin
Hillary Zaken
James Zeitler
Caryn & William Zoffer
To all of our donors, a heartfelt thank you, as your generosity enables the American Hebrew Academy to
continuously lead the way in providing a unique learning environment, where our students are able to pursue
their passions, challenge themselves and each other, and apply their knowledge, skills, and values to make
a difference in the world, as they become the next generation of talented and spirited Jewish leaders.
Abigail
United States
Andrea
Mexico
Omer
Israel
Erika
Russia
Ahuva
‘11
Ahuva
‘11
Mesfin
Ethiopia
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
29
AMERICAN
HEBREW
ACADEMY
TRIBUTE CAMPAIGN
Families, friends and supporters - you can make a tax deductible donation to any
of the Academy’s funds as a gift to honor or memorialize a friend or a loved one.
For a charitable donation of $18.00 or more, we will design a special tribute card
sending a heartfelt Mazal Tov to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, on the birth of a
baby, or to recognize a special birthday. Applaud accomplishments such as a
graduation, a new job, or the purchase of a new home, and send condolences to
honor the memory of a beloved family member or friend. The back of each card
describes the uniqueness of the American Hebrew Academy, the only
international Jewish college prep boarding school in the world.
By participating in the American Hebrew Academy Tribute Campaign you not only
become supporters of the Academy, you also become ambassadors or Yo’atzim,
promoting the Academy to prospective students and donors throughout the world.
It’s fast and easy. You may make your donation and tribute by visiting
americanhebrewacademy.org/giving or by calling Ellen Green in the Office of
Institutional Advancement at 336-217-7056 or emailing [email protected]
American Hebrew Academy
The International Jewish College Prep Boarding School
30
american hebrew academy - the international jewish college prep boarding school
The American Hebrew Academy Thanks You for Your Generous Support
Donate by mail, on-line, or phone.
Name _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am a: ○ Current Student
○ Alumni Student
○ Current Parent ○ Current Grandparent ○ Faculty/Staff
○ Alumni Parent ○ Alumni Grandparent ○ Friend
Address__________________________________________________ City/State/Zip___________________________________________
Email _____________________________________________________ Phone (
) ________________________________________
I am delighted to give a gift to the American Hebrew Academy in the amount of:
○ $54
○ $180
○ $360
○ $540
○ $720
○ $900
○ $1800
○ Other ___________
○ Check enclosed made payable to the American Hebrew Academy OR ○ Bill my credit card
○ Visa
○ MasterCard
○ Discover
○ American Express
____________________________________________________________
Signature
_________/_________
EXP Date:
_____-_____-_____-_____
CCV#
*Please apply my gift to:
○ Annual Giving Fund (unrestricted)
○ Maimonides Scholarship for Academic Excellence
○ Chico Sabbah Merit Scholarship for Visionary Leaders
○ Klionsky Family Science & Literature Scholarship
○ Bernard and Gloria Robinson Mathematics Fund
○ Campus Tree Planting Fund
○ Eagle Sports and Fitness Fund
○ Gordon Zacks Scholarship for Student Leadership Initiatives
○ Stanley Shavitz Merit Scholarship Fund for Jewish Studies
○ Lois & Mort Snitzer Greensboro Scholarship Fund
○ Philip Cohen Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Arts
○ Zachary Shporer Memorial Scholarship Fund
○ Zmira Sabbah Alexander Muss High School in Israel Fund
○ Theatre Fund
○ General Scholarship Fund
○ Chico Sabbah Synagogue Building Fund
Named scholarship funds may be established with a gift of $50,000 or more.
* For descriptions of merit and need based scholarship funds, please visit our website and click on the admissions tab
My gift is in honor/memory of ______________________________________________________
Please send acknowledgement to: Address ___________________________________________________________________
City/State/Zip ___________________________________________________________
Email _____________________________________________________________________
To make your donation Online CLICK HERE or visit: http://americanhebrewacademy.org/giving
For further information, or to discuss additional giving options, please contact:
Ellen Green - 336.217.7056 or [email protected]
Toll Free (855) 855-4334
Return to: American Hebrew Academy, 4334 Hobbs Road, Greensboro, NC 27410 – Attn: Ellen Green
Your gift is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
American Hebrew Academy
The International Jewish College Prep Boarding School
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫ קיץ‬volume 13, issue 1
31
American Hebrew Academy
4334 Hobbs Road
Greensboro, North Carolina 27410
HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS ISSUE
Academy collaborates
with Chabad's JLI
Page 1
Welcome from
Mr. Alex Troy
Page 4
Meet the Fellows
Page 10
FELLOWS
Academy recognized
by COJECO
Page 19
the american hebrew academy newsletter
summer 2016 / 5776 ‫קיץ‬
volume 13, issue 1
Editorial Staff
Mr. Glenn Drew
Ms. Hillary Zaken
Dr. Richard Smith
Ms. Ellen Green
Mr. Phillip Cathcart
Photographs courtesy of
Mr. Glenn Drew
Ms. Leeor Sabbah
Mrs. Debby Dunn
Dr. Jenn Brown
Mychaella Bowen
Submissions/Feedback
HaGesher Newsletter
4334 Hobbs Road
Greensboro, NC 27410
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(336) 217-7100
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PERMIT NO 669
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