The Hebrew Academy (RASG) said goodbye to the Class of 2017 and welcomed 31 new alumni into the fold during a Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 25, in the Jacob C. and Dora Cohen Auditorium on the Schwartz-Jacobs Campus. As the graduates get ready to dive into the real world, they will be headed to revered institutions such as Harvard College, Cornell University, New York University, George Washington University, the University of Florida and more. Other graduates will be spending their first year in Israel by studying in yeshivot or seminaries or serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Regardless, all graduates were admitted to a college of their choice.
Salutatorian, Malka Suster, who will be heading to Midreshet Amit in Israel and after will be attending the University of Florida, addressed her classmates and credits the Hebrew Academy for making her into who she is today. “I feel fulfilled academically, but there’s so much more Hebrew Academy has offered us. The school’s close-knit environment, balanced curriculum, and insightful programming has opened my eyes to meaningful experiences. From leaning on each others’ talents during color war to Yom Haatzmaut celebrations that infused us with a love for Israel to our school-wide forums-- it is these cherished experiences that have helped shape who we are.”
Gabriel Apoj, Valedictorian, urged his classmates to spread the message of tolerance as they enter the world and leave behind the comforts of community they built at the Hebrew Academy. “It is our heavy yoke to now go onto the world and remain true to our Torah values, and have them guide us. But this is easier said than done, as we will be put to a test almost each and every day in making the change in us that we wish to see in the world...My deepest wish is that we, the Class of 2017, carry this message of tolerance and inclusivity onward and teach it to our children and influence others to do the same.” Gabriel will begin his studies at Harvard College, with a focus on Biomedical Engineering, in the fall.
Student Council President, Daniel Yerushalmi, spoke to his fellow graduates about how much the school has given him and also thanked his mother and all the mothers of the graduating class in the room for the influence they carried and asked them all to rise and be acknowledged. “If you were to ask many other kids from different schools what they want to be they will tell you their ‘to do’ list of all the things they want to accomplish. They want to go to this school, and take these classes, however for us in this school we have been given the foundation of our ‘to be’ list and this is the list that truly leads us to happiness. The incredible teachers of this school have given more than knowledge but self understanding of how to be the type of people we want to be in this world. For me there has been many important figures in my life but I would like to shout out one...thank you to my mom.” Daniel will be spending his first year in Israel at Mayanot Yeshiva and then New York University.
Before receiving their diplomas and becoming alumni, Fana Holtz High School co-vice principals Dr. Dara Lieber and Rabbi Aharon Assaraf wrote personal reflections about each graduate, which made for a truly special and intimate evening.
Hebrew Academy (RASG) wishes all of our graduates and families a mazal tov and much success in the future!
For a full list of the Class of 2017 college acceptances, click here.