Just before things went awry, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School presented an amazing musical performance of “Mary Poppins.”
There’s a song performed by Mary and her charges called “Anything Can Happen If You Let It.” Now that title could be interpreted in different ways, but this song became a kind of anthem for the remainder of the school year. It goes something like this: ”Anything can happen if you let it – sometimes things are difficult, but you can bet it doesn’t have to be, some changes can be made. You can move a mountain if you use a larger spade. Anything can happen it’s a marvel. You won’t know a challenge until you’ve met it.”
Well, NSHAHS met and far exceeded the challenge. It really has been a marvel of a year. There was even fun involved!
The year started with great Big/Little Sister and Brother events to welcome freshmen by connecting them with the older students. Then we moved on to packed Open House programs replete with student choral performances, videos and tours.
Next came the hat trick of winning best principal (second year in a row), best teacher and best school spirit on top of being voted best Jewish High School in Long Island. Being awarded reaccreditation by NYSAIS and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools was yet another highlight.
Wonderful acts of kindness were evident in creative fundraising to reach the $500K goal for a new ambulance for the Great Neck Hatzolah, a moving holiday performance by the North Shore choir and band for residents at The Bristal Memory Care Facility, and Pink Day to raise money for Sharsharet (supporting women with cancer and their families).
On the academic front, North Shore had the first ever Yeshiva student win the role of President at Yale Model Congress, three brilliant finalists at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, and twenty-four Scholastic Art and Writing competition winners!
The new year started with the return of Minimester – a one week out-of-the-box learning experience concluding with a special event. Twenty-three courses were offered with something for everyone including horseback riding, improv comedy, a deep-sea fishing trip, etiquette, and of course Harry Potter. It was a big hit.
Then, suddenly we were home. The biggest event of the year, Shiriyah (grade color war) wasn’t going to happen – or was it? Thanks to our dynamic faculty with their determination and imagination, the students got on board and had a great time with online writing, dance, music and academic competitions with the theme “Getting Through Difficult Times”. Of course the seniors won!
Since classes online can get tedious, our faculty found inventive ways to keep everyone interested and excited with things like a Zoom Challah bake, Zoom School Spirit Day, Zoom Holocaust Remembrance Day and even a Zoom Cinco de Mayo celebration in Spanish class attended by close to one hundred students. That’s a feat.
The yearbook is done, the diplomas are ready and the seniors are standing by preparing for their Virtual Graduation on June 9th. They’ve been busy signing one another’s virtual yearbooks. It won’t be what was anticipated.
It isn’t what was expected. But – it’s all theirs, and years from now they’ll talk about how they came through it and tell stories with fond memories. Because – that’s how our minds and our hearts are wired – to remember the good stuff.