Over 200 parents and guests recently filled the Bal Harbour ballroom for the commencement dinner of the After School program of Chabad Hebrew School (CHS). The children, ages 5-12, performed “Around the Year,” singing songs about the Jewish holidays in 4 languages. South Florida is a melting pot of so many nationalities and Chabad Hebrew School is a mix of children from varied backgrounds.
For many children, Chabad’s program is their only connection to their Jewish roots. “This is my child’s second year in the program and she absolutely loves it,” said the event’s MC, Sylvia Vega, mother of 7-year-old Miriam. “She comes home each day relating something new she learned. The teachers are warm, friendly and responsible. It’s incredible to have this program offered in our own backyard. We owe so much to Chabad and the Kievmans.”
Three generations beamed as children received awards for their accomplishments throughout the year.
Eight-year old Solomon Assouline told the crowd he loves going to CHS so much that “If I had my choice, I would skip all my public school classes and just come to Hebrew School all day!” He then introduced his teacher, Morah Yakira Leah Dorfman, who was honored as Teacher of the Year. “She has a way with words to bring the stories of Torah to life,” said her young student.
Parent of the Year Marcia Specht was honored for her dedication and devotion. When Marcia first came from Brazil two years ago, one of her first stops was to sign up her son Eric for Hebrew school. She ended up also signing herself up. Marcia volunteers at least three times a week with the 1st and 2nd graders. “Marcia has this contagious enthusiasm that uplifts everyone around her,” said CHS principal Layah Kievman.
Eleventh-grader Moshe Frey was honored with the Young Leadership Award. “Every day, Moshe walks to our Chabad House to help complete the kids’ day, just giving them a great time,” said Rabbi Moishe Kievman, who directs the program together with his wife.
Rabbi Kievman announced that in the coming academic year transportation will be available from three more public schools; Highland Oaks, Ojus and Aventura Charter. “Our goal for next year is to have three hundred-plus happy students. We want to outgrow the new building before we even start building,” he said.
CHS is open Monday to Friday for boys and girls ages 5-12 offering Hebrew language, holidays, traditions, art, ceramics, martial arts, music, drama and more.
To register, apply for a position or learn more about CHS, go to www.HebrewSchool.info or call 305-770-1919.Morris Levy