David Reitano, Adena Cohen Address HANC High School Graduates
On Wednesday evening, June 12, the 9th of Sivan, HANC high school seniors graduated before an audience of several hundred proud family members, guests, administration, and faculty members. The ceremony took place at The Space in Westbury, New York.
The program opened with a poignant video presentation filmed by faculty honoring the graduating class. The video featured administrators, teachers, and juniors reflecting on their most meaningful memories with the graduates.
Following the processional of graduates and the anthems sung by Bernie Maslin, Rabbi Shlomo Adelman, principal of the high school, welcomed guests and graduates and introduced co-valedictorian David Reitano, who delivered the valedictory invocation.
Mrs. Marie Palaia, associate principal, greeted the graduates with an upbeat congratulatory message. She reminded students to strive for excellence, find balance in life, and laugh and smile each day.
In her outstanding valedictory address, Adena Cohen encouraged her classmates to continue making positive choices based on the foundations each student received while at HANC. Additionally, Adena expressed her hakarat ha’tov to her beloved school, family, and friends, and thanked Hashem for bringing the class to this milestone.
Ms. Tziporah Zucker, assistant principal, addressed the graduates with a heartwarming dvar Torah, reminding them of the unique qualities of HANC and how it has impacted each individual throughout their four years. She then introduced the class speaker, Aeton Rabanipour who reflected on his four years of high school.
Graduate Bernie Maslin, accompanied by music teacher Mr. Jacob Spadaro, performed an original composition called “Appreciate” in memory of Rabbi Moshe Gottesman, z’l, dean emeritus of HANC.
Prior to the distribution of the diplomas, Dr. Ruchi Kushner, HANC’s president, congratulated the class on their accomplishments.
Rabbi Adelman, Mrs. Palaia, and Ms. Zucker distributed the diplomas to the graduates who were also greeted by the dean of students, Rabbi Etan Ehrenfeld, and the director of student life, Rabbi Daniel Mezei. Graduates received a personalized autographed copy of Unlocking Greatness written by Mr. Charlie Harary. The books were distributed by the chairman of the board of education, Mrs. Loren Daitch, and the chairman of the board of directors, Mr. Duvy Maryles.
HANC’s menahel, Rabbi Shlomo Adelman, in his humorous yet heartfelt charge to the graduates, recognized his special bond with the graduates and encouraged students to always stay close to Hashem.
Salutatorian Jonah Rocheeld administered the benediction, reminded fellow graduates to “keep close to their teachers,” and thanked Hashem for bringing the students to this milestone.
Closing out the ceremony was a moving rendition of Nafshi performed by Chazzan Yosef Karavani, father of graduate Noy Karavani. After the proceedings, graduates and guests enjoyed an elaborate collation.
Mazal tov to all the graduates and their families!
HANC Middle School’s Eighth Grade Graduation
HANC Middle School’s eighth-grade graduation took place on June 20. It was held in the school’s auditorium. The room looked festive with balloons and a “2019” arch. The graduates looked extremely proud as they walked down the aisle and their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were certainly schepping a lot of nachat.
After the procession and the national anthems, Shira Rothbort and Leba Weissman, pras hitztaynut award recipients, delivered the invocation. They spoke about the theme of the graduation, which was “l’ma’an achai v’rei’ay—for the sake of my brothers and friends.” Following the invocation, Mrs. Morey, the assistant principal, offered words of greeting. She spoke about how the students started in seventh grade not even knowing how to open the lock to their locker, and now as they graduate they accomplished so many fantastic things. Judah Ehrenhaus, one of the Torah Umada Award recipients, spoke next. Judah spoke about two meaningful experiences he had related to the theme of the graduation. One was when he volunteered with his family at a Thanksgiving banquet run by an organization that offers support to the Jewish elderly population. The second was the Names, Not Numbers© program that the school participated in.
The program continued with a performance by the graduates on the theme of the evening. This was followed by a montage of the students’ years in middle school. Adina Lippman, Torah Umada award recipient, spoke about the mitzvah of tzedakah and how everyone in HANC has a big heart full of love and devotion towards everyone. Rabbi Hecht, principal, spoke about realizing that everything comes from Hashem and He can change anything in an instant. Two students, Jason Brand and Tzippora Friedman, shared their reflections on their years at HANC Middle School.
The evening concluded with a benediction delivered by Yishai Kaufman and Moe Newman, pras hitztaynut award winners, who spoke about hakarat ha’tov and derech eretz. The boys shared that these were messages imparted by beloved Dean Emeritus Rabbi Moshe Gottesman, zt’l, who passed away earlier this school year. We wish all of the graduates and their families much berachah and hatzlachah!