|Hativat Hasharon Graduation - First Part|
This middle school graduation was for Hativat HaSharon, a junior high school that runs from grade 7 to grade 9. (7th to 9th grade, if you prefer...). Like the high school graduation that we attended earlier in the month, the evening began in an outdoor setting with individual areas set up for each classroom. The setting was the school field and the weather was simply perfect for it. We started somewhere around 6:30 p.m. We had a few speeches - the home room teacher, the student class representative and the parent representative (someone many of you know quite well). The teachers then presented the students with gifts - a wonderful book about famous historic sites in Israel and some portable speakers. After that it was time for some food. The parents had all prepared some food items in advance and this was all set up on a table. It was a chance for the students, parents and teachers to mill around and speak about the three years that the students had spent in middle school. As with the high school graduation, it was an intimate gathering with the feeling of a family event. All of the students were there with parents or other family members.
Once the first part of the evening was over, we made our way over the school auditorium/gym for the main event of the evening. Like with the high school graduation - this was divided into two parts. First the speeches and awards. Then the student "show" - the main event of the evening.
The first part of the evening featured speeches presented by the school principal, the "coordinator" (something similar to a head guidance counselor role), the mayor of Ra'anana and the head of the Parent Teacher Association (here called "Va'ad Hahorim" - the parent association). I have to say that this was quite long. Many school staff were recognized and provided with flowers or other tokens of appreciation. While it is wonderful to see that the teachers and support staff were so appreciated, it was a lengthy process.
|Magen Manof Award|
|Hativat Hasharon Graduation - Main Event|
The evening also featured a number of skits that were pre-taped and shown on large screens. Some included the teachers who were happy to make fun of themselves. Some of the skits were quite funny. The principal mentioned after the show that she had asked the production crew to make every effort to ensure that each and every student was somehow involved in the production and this came through.
|Couples Dance Number|
Hativat Hasharon is a secular Israeli middle school. There was almost nothing included in the evening that could be described as "yiddishkeit." But the prinicipal's message to the students and parents lauded the importance of teaching the kids values of volunteerism, dedication to community, kindness and tolerance towards others as well as striving for academic excellence. The message was heartfelt and sincere. Judging from the students' obvious dedication and effort in putting together this show, it was a message that had been received.