The North Shore Hebrew Academy Middle School graduated 59 students, including two valedictorians, last Wednesday in the Great Neck Synagogue.
Sarah Hamerman and Ella Shusterman, each 14, were named valedictorians based on calculating the highest combined GPA from Judaic studies and general studies, with approval of their character by the faculty. “There was a tie because the top two students were within .03 of each other,” said Abigail Weiss, the director of institutional advancement.
In addition to Hamerman and Shusterman, the salutatorian, Shira Cohen, presented prayers for the U.S. and Israeli governments.
Academy President Daniella M. Muller welcomed students, family members and faculty to the event, commending all of the students for their hard work and wishing them best of luck in their high school endeavors.
Rabbi Jeffrey Kobrin the academy headmaster, spoke at the graduation as well, encouraging students to continue their Judaic studies and will to improve their environment.
“We are proud of each of our graduates. As they continue to their secondary education, we know they will continue to excel in both their general studies as well as their Judaic studies,” said Kobrin. “More importantly, they have shown a deep commitment to one another and to building and improving the world around them.”
Student speaker Jasmin Edalati presented the George and Shirley Weinstein Memorial Address, named after academy founders.
Another student, Eric Kalimi, gave the Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf Memorial Address. Wolf was the first principal and also a founder of NSHA.
Class speakers were selected by faculty members based on writing samples and approval of their character.
Weiss said, “The mission of the school encompasses four core values which include committing to Jewish values and teachings, instilling an overall joy of learning, innovation and intellectual pursuit, dedicating oneself to the serving the community and always displaying respect for, sensitivity to and acceptance of others in thought, speech and action.”
Weiss said that most of the students will move on to the academy’s high school.