Finals and Regents exams are always a chance for students to demonstrate what they have learned over the course of the year, but Wednesday evening was the first of its kind at Central: a siyum to collectively celebrate all the Torah learned in the building over the course of the year, without any connection to grades or evaluation.
Students, faculty, and parents filled the auditorium for Time 4 Torah, and Mrs. CB Neugroschl introduced the event by speaking about the importance of celebrating learning just for its own sake. The focus of the evening was on a particular piece of this learning: Central’s Rambam Bekiut Program, in which students learn the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah over the course of five years, extending until after graduation. Rabbi Zvi Lew, who founded and directs the program along with Ms. Bracha Rutner, shared his vision for Rambam Bekiut as an opportunity for students to make contact with every realm of Jewish life and law, while also learning to set aside daily times for Torah learning.
Sophomore Tiferet Weissman, a current student in the program, delivered a d’var Torah and spoke about the importance of robust learning in developing a religious personality and orientation. Alumnae Nitzana Penn, Tali Edelman, and Tali Greenberg, all from the Class of 2015, and Dodie Weinberg, Class of 2018, shared their experiences as some of the first participants in the program, and some of the first to be making a siyum on the entire corpus. They began learning in their junior year, and continued for years after graduation.
Tali Greenberg made the siyum, reading the last halachos from Rambam’s Hilchos M’lachim U’Milchamos, before everyone was invited upstairs for a delicious celebratory meal, topped with a chocolate fondue! A big yasher koach to Mrs. Sari Dratch, Director of Community Engagement, for organizing the entire evening, and, of course, to Rabbi Lew, Ms. Rutner, the entire Judaic Studies faculty, all of the mesaymos, and all of our students for the amazing learning they did this year!