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November 19, 1993 - Image 93

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Nor•••ir 4.1.-4111



Be Yourself

No Longer R Tourist

Making the transition from private to public school
isn't that bad.

A student recalls her semester in Israel.



"Enjoy being the
biggest kids in

"You just have to be yourself
and hope that others will like
you," she said.
I agree. As someone who
graduated from Hillel to Harri-
son, I believe that the best way
to fit in is to act natural. Re-
member that a lot of students
are in the same boat. They're all
looking for friends.
Finding a social niche isn't
the only challenge, however. Ac-
climating oneself to the over-
whelming size of Harrison can
be a major feat. Then again,
Shari and Yaneev say large
crowds of people and a huge
building were exciting — a new
and different experience.
Now for academics: Your par-
ents obviously want you to get
good grades in high school. If
you're coming from Hillel, you
have a head start.
"It is easier to concentrate on
each of (my six classes) since
half of my day is not devoted to
Hebrew," said Shari. "I am en-
rolled in honors and advanced
placement classes due to my
coming from Hillel."
Three out of four '93 Hillel grad-
uates who have continued their ed-
ucation at Harrison have received
academic letters and no less than


Josh Herman

got off the plane and
took my first step. I
didn't know what to
expect. This is it, I thought...
I am in Israel!
I spent the second semes-
ter of the 1992-93 school year
on a Youth Aliyah village in
Jerusalem. The four-and-a-
half month program was
sponsored by the Project Dis-
covery-Tichon Ramah
Yerushalayim group.
The semester is one I'll nev-
er forget.
I was astonished by the in-
credible amount of public
transportation in Israel. I
learned to get around on my
own. Though everything
seemed within walking dis-
tance, buses and taxis were
I was able to visit Mea
Shearim, an Orthodox section
of Jerusalem, where I saw
how fellow Jews observe their
traditions. I truly felt like a
citizen of Israel.
After about a month, my
group and I were no longer
simply tourists.

Case in point: When my
friend, Davi, and I attempted
to enter a disco, we were told
by an employee: "This is
tourist hour. You can't enter.
Please come back later."

(ie. when the planes break the
speed of sound).
Ironically, the "Boom!" was
a comforting sound. It re-
minded me that the Israeli
military is always preparing
itself to defend the country.
Today, it seems strange to
me that upon embarking on
the trip at Metro Airport, I
had actually turned to my
friend, Shira, and said: "What
are we doing? We're leaving
everything we have in Michi-
Before boarding the plane
back home to Detroit, I turned
to Shim again and said, "What
are we doing? We're leaving
everything we have for Ameri-
Everything about Israel was
a shock to me — at first. But it
became a way of life.
The trip will continue as a
memory of my sophomore year
in high school. The culture and
every special detail about Israel
are things all Jews should ex-
perience and appreciate. I thank
my parents for this incredible
journey. ❑

a 3.3 grade point average.
But there are some draw-
backs to attending a Hebrew
Stephanie Lovinger
day school. Shari believes Hillel
did not offer her the opportuni-
In Israel, the walls of build-
ty to excel at organized school
ings sometimes begin to shake
while airplanes, practicing mil-
"Hillel needs more extracur-
itary maneuvers, thunder up
ricular activities," she said. "If I
above. The phenomenon, I
try out for the girls basketball
learned, is called a "sonic boom"
team, I am in competition with
girls who have played on their
middle school team. They have
experience and coaching, and
this training gives them an ad-
vantage over me."
Another public-vs-private
school perk is the "open cam-
pus," which enables students to Akiva Hebrew Day School students have different plans for their futures as Jews.
leave school during lunch hour AVI EBENSTEIN, AKIVA HEBREW DAY SCHOOL
to satisfy their fast-food crav-
ings at local restaurants.
But not all students share
Surprisingly, religion is a
Orthodox; others predict they
those feelings. Some not only
non-issue at Harrison. At Hil-
will become less observant.
lel, one is always made aware of
"I see how much my par- have doubts about Orthodox
one's Jewishness. Every day,
ents appreciate Shabbat, and Judaism, but also complain
boys must remember to wear
I honestly believe this is the about the private education
their kipot. Each morning, stu-
way God wanted us to prac- they receive.
"I want to go to public
dents greet teachers with the
tice religion," said sophomore
customary "Shalom."
Sarah Chopp, who says she school and leave the sheltered
Orthodox world," Randy Mod-
The analogous greetings at
will remain Orthodox.
Harrison are: "Buenos Dias,"
Marcy Eisenberg, a junior, ell said. "I wish I could be on
more sports teams, but Shab-
"Guten Tag," or "Bonjour," de-
bat prevents me. I don't think
pending on one's choice of for-
religion should interfere all
eign language electives.
the time."
Parting advice from recent
Other Akiva high school
Hillel graduates to current Hil-
students are happy with their
lel eighth-graders can be
education, but disgruntled
summed up in these words of
about their daily religious
"Enjoy being the biggest kids
"I want my kids to have the
in school. That will all change
Randy Modell
same solid Judaic education
next year," Shari said.
that I got at Akiva, but I don't
"Don't take your education for Avi Ebenstein
know whether this tradition-
granted," said Yaneev.
hen it comes to did not hesitate to forecast al lifestyle is for me," said
As for me, I say:
carrying on her future.
Shaina Stark, a junior.
People and teachers will try
the precepts
Elana Nussbaum, a sopho-
to scare you about the "horrors
"I wouldn't think twice
of high school." Don't believe and practices of their religion, about not raising an Orthodox more, says she will probably
them. It's not that bad. If you Orthodox students at Akiva family," she said. "I plan to marry an Orthodox Jew.
"Once married, I'd probably
are successful at Hillel, you will Hebrew Day School have dif- make aliyah and continue my
be successful at a public high fering agendas.
present religious lifestyle in stay Orthodox," she said. ❑
Some say they will remain Israel."
school. ❑

Will Students Stall Orthodox?

"I want to...
leave the
Orthodox world."





ow will I find some-
one to sit with dur-
ing lunch?
This is the biggest concern of
Hillel Day School graduates
who later attend Harrison, a
public high school in Farming-
ton Hills.
Although the transition from
private to public school might
seem daunting, many former
Hillel students found the going
easier than expected. So if you're
a Hillel student who plans to "go
public" in high school, take note:
For Yaneev Golombeck, a
10th grade student at Harrison,
the toughest part about the
transition was saying farewell
to Hillel.
"It was difficult leaving a
school with 40 people in my
graduating class — 40 people
I've grown close to over a 10-
year period — and coming to a
school where I only knew four
kids," he said.
Yaneev made new friends
while keeping in touch with for-
mer classmates and teachers.
So has Harrison ninth-grader
Shari Katz.


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