The name Hebrew Academy of Nassau County High School might imply a student body limited to the boundaries of a small area in that county. In fact though, HANC HS prides itself in an enrollment of students hailing from Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. But the distance does not stop HANC teachers and students from connecting, as can be evident from the recent excursions of one dedicated rebbe across the three counties.
On two consecutive Fridays, Rabbi Aharon Friedler took to the road to visit his students at their homes. Not being content to just meet with his students in person for the first time since the initiation of online distance learning, Rabbi Friedler wanted to simulate a real Friday morning at HANC HS. For many years, Rabbi Friedler has treated his students to an occasional Friday morning pareve cholent lichvod the upcoming Shabbos Kodesh. Reaction to this tradition, and the excitement it generates, is high enough that it has become one of the top items bid for at the annual Chanukah auction. But how to serve a piping hot cholent while on the road for over six hours required a little bit of creativity. Rabbi Friedler connected his car battery to an inverter, allowing him to plug the cholent into a regular outlet. From Forest Hills in the west to Dix Hills, 35 miles to the east, from King’s Point on the North Shore to Cedarhurst on the South Shore, and with West Hempstead and Plainview in the center, Rabbi Friedler replicated the Erev Shabbos Kodesh atmosphere of HANC High School. His students (and quite a few parents) enjoyed the treat and experienced the tradition of toameha – tasting the beauty of Shabbos before sunset.
The experience could best be summed up by one parent who exclaimed, “I’m not sure if my son will remember, 30 years from now, what he learned during those online learning months. But one thing is for sure: He will always remember that Friday morning cholent brought to his house by his rebbe.” This is but one of many acts of the HANC faculty that demonstrates the concern and care for the HANC family.