Twenty-five HAFTR alumni studying in Israel spent a rainy morning together in Jerusalem last week. Zionism instructor Tuvia Book, also a licensed Israeli Tour Guide, took them through the City of David to the Jewish Quarter.
In the City of David the archeology added a third dimension to the Tanach, as the group discussed Sefer Shmuel. The alumni were joined by a group of religious Zahal soldiers from the elite combat unit of Givati for part of the tour. This allowed the students to both connect with the text talking about Jewish warriors capturing Jerusalem, and the modern Jewish warriors keeping our dream alive!
The group then proceeded through the newly opened Second Temple period tunnel to the Kotel excavations. The contrast between the last Jewish group in these tunnels, who were fleeing the Roman army in 70 CE, and this group who were ascending to our holy site was highlighted by Mr. Book. The group was overcome by emotion on seeing the subterranean foundation stones for the Kotel resting on the bedrock, a sight no Jew had seen since the engineers for the Temple laid them there 2000 years ago.
After some food for thought, the group finished of the morning together shmoozing over a hearty lunch with their former HAFTR teacher in the Jewish Quarter.
HAFTR Administrators Attend Jewish Day School Conference:
Reuben Maron, HAFTR’s executive director, Rabbi Dovid Kupchik, HAFTR Middle School menahel, Rabbi Gedaliah Oppen, HAFTR High School principal of judaic studies, and Stephen Wallach, HAFTR board member, represented HAFTR at the North American Jewish Day School Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. They each attended workshops pertaining to 21st century skills ranging from educational approaches to financial planning.