By Olivia Domansky ‘20
Seniors Zeke Bronfman and Lily Applbaum and juniors Eduardo Szajman, Ilan Dubler-Furman and Omri Benichou work tirelessly in order to improve school dynamics and student life at Heschel to ensure that our high school experience is maximized to its full potential. As Heschel students, we often take their hard work for granted and do not acknowledge how much they do and plan for us, the student body, and our school. Our school’s President and Vice Presidents have many projects and programs planned for the upcoming months.
Benichou’s council, the Spirit Council, has primarily been preparing for our Homecoming, which took place on November 21st. However, that was only the beginning of what Benichou and the members of the Spirit Council have planned. Benichou stated, “Throughout the year we will decide, as a collective group, what event/topic to plan, and we will put all our efforts from every single member to make that event/topic happen.” The events that the Spirit Council is dedicated to plan are worth getting excited about; some possible events include planning the Shabbaton and a Lag Ba’Omer field day. The Spirit Council is also considering inter-grade bonding through shared advisories.
Applbaum, along with the members of the Hesed Council, has been focused on planning the Winter Fundraiser on December 9th. They have been thinking of new and innovative ways to support our first semester cause, The Afya Foundation. Applbaum added, “We are working on some new initiatives that will hopefully allow everyone to engage in Hesed more despite their busy schedules.”
The Student Affairs Council, lead by Szajman, has been focusing on a variety of issues in order to address problems amongst the student body and potential issues that may come up. The group is currently constructing a survey evaluating the new schedule that will be sent out to students by the end of the month. The new schedule has sparked much discussion amongst the council, and there have been many mixed opinions. As this is the first year with the new schedule, Student Affairs, in partnership with the administration, is open to the idea of changing it, as there are imperfections. In January, there will be a Town Hall in which the students will be prompted to speak about the schedule. Szajman remains very optimistic about amending the schedule, as long as it aligns with the requests of the student body.
Dubler-Furman, the Vice President of the Programming Council, explained that he, together with his council, has been discussing Chanukah, Thanksgiving, the Shabbaton and several other programs that are being finalized. Dubler-Furman went into depth about what specifically the group is discussing and planning for the Shabbaton and said, “In regards to the Shabbaton, we have been thinking a lot recently about the theme, the structure, and the schedule. We are also planning to collaborate with the Spirit Council in the near future in order to plan fun activities and build hype.” Dubler-Furman explained that the council has faced issues with unity within itself, as members are still getting to know each other. However, he assures that group dynamics have improved significantly since the beginning of the year, and he believes that the Programming Council will continue to grow as a collective unit as the year progresses.
Bronfman, our school president, has exciting plans about how to transform the fenced-off area on the roof into a more enjoyable and accessible place. He plans on turning it into an “upgraded student lounge” for the better weather. Students could hang out there during free periods, and teachers could reserve this area to teach a class. He shared, “There are also many times when students and teachers want to have classes on the roof, but they don’t because there isn’t anywhere to sit.” This area would finally enable teachers and students to take advantage of this space and fulfill this popular desire. Bronfman sees the potential in re-embellishing this area and said, “I think the roof is an incredible asset that we do not do anything with.” He is concerned about a decrease in school spirit and believes that it would exude an “Heschelian vibe” and would be a tremendous opportunity to experience “camp Heschel.”
All five senior Student Government members are looking forward to further progress from their respective councils. Stay tuned!