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Monday, October 14, 2019

Yeshivat Noam commemorated the 13th anniversary of 9/11 with two very meaningful programs. In the morning, 5th through 8th graders gathered in the Middle School gym to learn about the events of that fateful day. Additionally, they were honored to hear from David Gluck, brother-in-law of 8th grade science teacher Mrs. Barbara Seghal. Mr. Gluck, who worked on the 11th floor of one of the Twin Towers, told stories about 9/11, including how he carried several people down numerous flights of stairs to safety.

In the afternoon, the Yeshivat Noam Middle School gathered in the Beit Knesset for an inspiring program to learn about the term “Meaningful Adjacency.” Through discussions with peers, presentations from teachers, and enlightening videos, the students learned how the designers of the 9/11 Memorial placed the names of the victims on the monuments. Names were placed not at random or in alphabetical order, but were specifically placed next to individuals who they worked with or next to people with whom they shared a unique relationship.

To help concretize this idea, students heard an emotional presentation from the family of Mr. Abe Zelmanowitz, a worker on the 27th floor at the World Trade Center, who decided to stay in the building with his friend Ed Beyea, a quadriplegic who was not able to go down the stairs. The family spoke of his amazing qualities and how he was a true Mekadesh Shem Shamayim, someone who sanctifies the name of God. The students were truly inspired by this unique story.

Yeshivat Noam thanks “Facing History and Ourselves,” who with our new partnership, was able to bring the Zelmanowitz family to the school. The mission of “Facing History and Ourselves,” is to enable transformative dialogue, foster empathy and reflection, and improve students’ academic performance. Through rigorous investigation of the events that led to genocide and mass violence, students in a Facing History class learn to choose knowledge over misinformation, compassion over prejudice or bullying, and participation over indifference or resignation. It’s active–rather than passive–learning.”

Becky Troodler, Assistant Principal, Middle School General Studies, is excited about the new partnership with “Facing History and Ourselves.”

“This partnership has enabled us to add depth and meaning to teaching history to our Middle School studies. Their experiential approach mirrors our teaching philosophy as we partner together to ensure that our lessons are dynamic and engaging,” she said.

By Rabbi Jeremy Hellman