Yeshivat Frisch marked the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel’s independence with meaningful, creative programming for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. On Yom HaZikaron, students watched a moving film titled “After the Smoke Clears,” which featured the stories of injured soldiers from Brothers for Life (Achim L’Chaim), an organization which helps and supports disabled and injured Israeli combat soldiers as they get their lives back on track. The film explored the effects of serious injury and the loss of friends on the battlefield, and delivered a powerful message of hope, resilience, and emerging from trauma and help heal others. The program was dedicated in memory of Morah Dafna Zilberschmid’s son, Itai Zilberschmid z”l.
Mourning gave way to joy on Yom Ha’atzmaut with the theme of “ve-tzipita li-shu’a” (the anticipation of redemption), outlined in the Gemara (Shabbat 31a) as an obligation for every Jew and thematically connected to the rebirth of the Jewish state—which is described in the Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel as “reishit tzmichat ge’ulateinu” (“the beginning of the first flowering of our redemption”).
After an uplifting, meaningful davening, the program featured four round-robin historical and literary sketches, performed by Frisch faculty. Topics included: the Ramban’s aliyah to Eretz Yisrael during the Middle Ages; Ben Gurion’s declaration of statehood and the challenges that the declaration entailed; Natan Sharansky’s imprisonment for Zionist activity in the Soviet Union and his psychological and spiritual perseverance; and an imagined trial in the Heavenly Court on the theme of anticipating redemption.
Then, students enjoyed an exuberant chagigah, with Shim Craimer, complete with singing and dancing, followed by a BBQ sponsored by the Frisch Parents Association. The outstanding, creative programming was put together by Assistant Principal Rabbi David Goldfischer and Director of Programming Rabbi Jonathan Spier.
In addition to school programming, some classes used Yom Ha’atzmaut as inspiration for creative classroom learning. For example, juniors in Mrs. Shira Teichman’s Algebra II class had recently learned about piecewise functions. Teichman wanted to do something a little more out-of-the-box in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, so decided to challenge the students with a unique activity: draw the Israeli flag on a coordinate plane using their knowledge of piecewise functions. The day after Yom Ha’atzmaut, she had the students log on to desmos.com and showed them how to limit the interval of a graph on the computer program. Then, she simply gave them the go-ahead to start graphing. The active-learning assignment integrated math, art, technology and the Jewish calendar, and was open-ended since there is no one correct way to draw the Star of David within the program!