The email sent to the students of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls on the second night of Chanukah read “Dress warmly.”
When the SKA students entered the building on Tuesday, December 1, no one knew what to expect. After davening, the girls boarded buses for a truly enjoyable Chanukah Winter Wonderland, bonding with each other and teachers at an ice skating rink in Great Neck. For those who needed a break, there were games, coloring books, hot cocoa, and snacks. It was a wonderful way to start the festivities of Chanukah at SKA.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Chanukah at SKA without chesed, and each grade had the opportunity to share in the mitzvah. On Wednesday, while the 9th Graders baked for a chesed Bake Sale, the 11th Graders packed clothing to send overseas. The 10th Graders entertained IVDU students with Chanukah projects and games in the SKA auditorium and the Seniors went to Queens to share yom tov simchah with Gymnasia students.
Thursday began with an interesting twist. SKA’s Chanukah Across the Curriculum ensured that each class in every subject connected Chanukah to the day’s lesson in a creative and meaningful way. Graphing menorahs as linear functions in Math, yeast fermentation and donuts in Biology, and light source and shading in Forensics were some of the concepts explored, in addition to Maoz Tzur and Al Hinism in Tanach and Ivrit and the real history of Chanukah in Torah Shebeal Peh, among others.
The eagerly-awaited annual Chanukah Auction also took place on Thursday; in the “bowling alley,” long rows of colorful boxes offered opportunities to bid on class parties, lunches and outings with faculty members and Shabbat invitations. Since the funds raised go to tzedakah, this has always been a very popular event and bidding is friendly but fierce. To cap off the day, the school hosted a lovely Chinuch luncheon to show appreciation to SKA faculty and staff, many of whom opened their homes to students for Chanukah parties and mesibot.
Friday’s faculty pareve Cholent Competition was a beautiful send off to erev Shabbat Chanukah as was the special ruchniyut of Chanukah that was shared every day.SKA’s Beit Midrash Fellows, together with SKA student contributors, published Ignite: Learning By The Lights each evening of Chanukah with d’var Torahs, halachot, stories and suggestions for bringing light into the darkness. SKA’s Lasting Lights Campaign, designed to help students disconnect from technology and connect with something more meaningful, entered participants into a raffle, and there were many entries submitted.
The annual SKA chagigah on Zos Chanukah culminated the Chanukah week with spirited dancing and ruach. We hope everyone had a freilichen Chanukah. The students and faculty of SKA certainly did!