The fast day of Asarah B’Teves, on Tuesday, December 14, gave members of the Israel Awareness Committee of SKA a special opportunity to deepen their understanding of emunah and Jewish unity.  Accompanied by Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, SKA Principal, Judaic Studies, and faculty member Ms. Sara Meira Weissman, the IAC students were invited to hear from Mrs. Bat Galim Shaer, the mother of kidnapped and murdered Gilad Shaer a”h, who spoke about the secret of Jewish survival.  Gilad was one of the three boys in Israel who was killed in June of 2014 after being kidnapped by terrorists. The Asarah B’Teves event, held at the Young Israel of Woodmere and coming after a weekend of neighborhood tragedy, gave depth to what emunah and Jewish unity really entail.

Mrs. Shaer, who with her husband founded SONSHINE - Bringing Light to the World in Their Memory - spoke of how the unity of klal Yisroel helped her through her pain.  Noting that Jews turn to each other in difficult times, she urged the listeners to be united in good times as well as bad.  IAC member Orli Flug comments: “I found it empowering to hear how Mrs. Shaer used this tragic event to create such an incredible organization to work for Jewish unity.”  When the SKA students returned to the school, the girls discussed the morning with Mrs. Kaminetsky and wrote their impressions in their reflection journals.

Although the school day officially ended early, SKA’s Meaningful Fast program for Asarah B’Teves continued.  SKA students remained in school to attend an interactive shiur and Chesed Chabura given by Beit Midrash Fellow, Ms. Sara Bienenstock.  The SKA Beit Midrash Fellowship initiative, under the direction of Rosh Beit Midrash, Mrs. Avital Braun, continues to contribute to the vibrant Torah atmosphere of the school, while developing impactful educators.