Every year comes the bittersweetness of Hebrew Academy’s graduation, a culmination of hard work and determination by children, most who have attended since preschool. While parents and teachers both kvell over the fact that these children have reached this milestone, this particular rite of passage often leaves their parents in a state of bewilderment. Such was the condition of many who attended this year’s June 2 ceremony for the HAT Class of 2014. Heard in the hallways: “Where did all the years go? Weren’t our little ones just toddling around in footie pajamas, singing the ABC’s and drinking out of sippie cups?”
As expected, the Hebrew Academy graduation was another unforgettable passthe- Kleenex-Hallmark-card moment with all the regal accoutrements from cap and gown to awards and speeches—not to mention those larger than life twinkling faces that shined brightly when accepting their diplomas. Each one proudly crossed the stage to accept that very special parchment, shaking the hand of Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, head of school, and stopping to pose for a commemorative photo.
Rabbi Wecker offered the following: “Continue to learn, continue to grow. Continue on your upward trajectory as students, and always retain that child-like curiosity about your world that was the hallmark of your time spent here at HAT. Continue to grow as Jews, learning more about your sacred roots, and your responsibilities to G-d.”
Awards and Presentations
Nine year awards (from preschool, age two– 5th grade)—Mushky Brashevitzky, Shayda Rahimzadeh, Blake Brown, Gabe Foleck, Leo Kamer, and Danial Watts.
James London Memorial Athlete of the Year—Danial Watts.
Middot Award (for the student who most exemplifies the values we strive to live)—Gabe Foleck.
Shirley Helfant and Ruth Josephberg Award for Visual Arts—Lara Leiden.
Abe and Anna Rudolph Award for Excellence in Mathematics—Blake Brown.
Rabbi Charles J. Mantel Memorial Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies—Mushky Brashevitzky.
Hyman J. Stromberg Memorial Award for Academic Excellence—Leo Kamer.
Most Improved in General Studies— Shayda Rahimzadeh.
Members of the HAT Class of 2014 will attend the following schools:
Beth T’filoh, Baltimore, Md.
Cape Henry Collegiate School
Great Neck Middle School’s AVID program with advanced classes in English and Science
Kempsville Middle School
Norfolk Collegiate School
Virginia Beach Friends School
Hebrew Academy alumni who are graduating as seniors and continuing on to college next year are:
Edan Cohen, Hannah Diehl, Andi Eichelbaum, Danuta Epstein, Alaysia Freelander, Elliana Friedman, Rose Goodman, Matthew Gordon, Josh Konikoff, Alex Kramer, Lake Maizel, Bessie Miller, Sydnee Millison, Dara Pomerantz, Katelyn Schneider, Sabine Segaloff, Jillian White, and Adam Zelenka.
College destinations as reported at publication deadline
College of Charleston
James Madison University
University of Mary Washington
University of Miami
University of Virginia
by Dee Dee Becker