Green was the dominant color in the halls of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls on Tuesday, April 25, in recognition of and solidarity with Israel and Yom HaZikaron. The observance of Israel’s Memorial Day at SKA was an inspiring way to acknowledge the contributions of the thousands of Israeli soldiers who gave their lives defending the State of Israel, and to mourn with the families of those who lost loved ones to terror.

After standing in silence at the sound of the siren, the SKA students assembled in the auditorium to hear from former IDF soldiers Hilal Bisan and Ohad Roisblatt, who shared their stories. This moving program was made possible through the Elami-Elatzmi organization, which promotes strong Zionist and Jewish identity in Israel and around the world.

In the afternoon, the SKA girls joined together for a special student-led kumsitz, conferring a deeply spiritual aura to the day. Then, in a “from darkness to light” moment, the pain of remembrance turned into joyous celebration, as the girls decorated the school building and hallways for the next day’s salute to Yom HaAtzmaut.

Blue and white were the colors of choice on Wednesday, April 26, in honor of Israel’s Independence Day. After a meaningful davening, SKA’s morning classes honored “Israel Across the Curriculum,” as faculty members in each discipline addressed Medinat Yisrael and Zionism in different ways. With topics ranging from “Israel by the Numbers,” an analysis of Natan Alterman’s poem, “The Silver Platter,” discussing Ezer Weitzman’s statement that Israel would not be given on a silver platter, and exploration of Israeli innovations in technology among others, SKA students were immersed in Israeli history and culture. The sessions were filled with creativity, as the girls used various candies to illustrate Biblical themes and cities in Israel, made origami models of DNA connected to Israeli breakthroughs in cancer research, and “signed” HaTikvah as they sang!

The chagigah held after the school-wide lunch of Israeli cuisine was full of spirited dancing and simchah. A highlight of the day was a tribute to and hearing from SKA Global Studies teacher, Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, who is making aliyah this summer. Mrs. Leibtag has taught countless SKA students and shared her love of Eretz Yisrael and am Yisrael throughout her years in the school.

The ruach all day on Yom HaAtzmaut was incredible; the students of SKA really expressed their love and yearning for the State of Israel!