Raphaela Gold ‘21 and Sarah Horvath ‘21
On Thursday, April 11, the Heschel high school community gathered in the gym to elect the new executive board for the student government. After speeches were given for each position, students voted by advisory and waited in trepidation for the outcome. In the end, junior Olivia Domansky became Student Body President, junior Tara Glick became Vice President (VP) of the Programming Council, junior Neve Benyamin became VP of Spirit, junior Talia Levin became VP of Student Affairs, and sophomore Ariella Mann was elected VP of Hesed. The new executive board is excited to begin work on improving Heschel and ensuring the happiness of all students.
Junior Olivia Domansky, the newly elected Student Body President, is incredibly excited to begin work in her new role. “I’m obsessed with this school. I love Heschel so much and I want everyone to love it as much as I do and appreciate their high school experiences,” she commented with sincerity. When asked about the experience of running for the position and writing her speech, Domansky responded, “To be completely honest with you, I almost started crying of happy tears and it just sort of came to me.” She noted that for a long time, Heschel had a balance between academic rigor and fun school culture, but that recently, academics were becoming more emphasized. She wants to bring the “culture” back to Heschel and ensure that it is a place that people enter and think, “This is my community.” Domansky has a multitude of ideas to restore the school spirit, such as having a schoolwide lunch in the park or a carnival for students to enjoy. She also hopes to make Hesed more meaningful and suggested a run or walk in the park where members of the Heschel community can get excited about the Hesed cause.
Programming VP and junior Tara Glick has exciting ideas in store for the Programming Council. Two of her major proposals are to introduce a peer-leading initiative and a bigger event for homecoming. Regarding the former, Glick plans on having “seniors take on leadership initiatives and work with six to eight incoming freshman, once a week, who have an opportunity to talk and ask them questions.” This is inspired by Glick’s own experience as a freshman, as she would have liked support from a senior during her adjustment to high school. Her second idea includes working with all four councils to making homecoming a larger event. Glick plans to hold “a bigger event where there would be sports game on Saturday night, and there would be day games on Sunday.” Introducing this initiative would increase school pride and would be “a really fun idea.” Glick believes that her ideas will appeal to a large range of people and she intends to work toward inviting a diverse range of speakers. Additionally, she intends to bring back a two-night shabbaton. To do this, Glick will work closely with the administration. She comments, “We’ve had a two night shabbaton before, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have it again.”
Junior Talia Levin, who will now assume the role of VP of Student Affairs, hopes that she will be able to find a passionate group of individuals willing to collaborate with the administration to make changes that students believe to be important. She stated, “I want to think beyond workload changes, the test calendar, and the schedule and also think about other details of our student experience to create as comprehensible and enjoyable an experience as possible.” Levin wants to improve the transparency of the council to ensure that all students are informed of and understand the decisions that are being made. It is her wish that more students will attend meetings to voice their opinions and give feedback.
Sophomore Ariella Mann, the newly elected VP of the Hesed Council, has many ideas for the council to increase student involvement and the amount of money raised for the cause. To start, Mann wants to “send out surveys that allow students to have input on causes and organizations that we choose.” Mann will translate her passion for hesed into impactful new programs: “I want to institute monthly games and competitions that relate to something in the news, whether that is a sports game we won at Heschel or something going on in America or Israel, and I want to try to find a way to make it relate back to our cause, and then raise money and awareness for the cause.”