On Tuesday, April 30, Central paused its morning classes to remember Israel’s fallen in honor of Yom HaZikaron. Mrs. CB Neugroschl and Mrs. Audi Hecht, who both have sons serving in the Israeli Army, began the program with opening thoughts and T’hilim for the soldiers, and a few students lit candles in their homes, each in memory of one of Israel’s wars.

The Central community was then privileged to hear from Mrs. Sivan Rahav Meir, Israeli news personality and current World Mizrachi shlichah to North America. Mrs. Rahav-Meir shared that living in America had afforded her an increased appreciation for Israel, where Judaism is the norm, rather than a minority counterculture.

Following her presentation Mr. Brad Eckman, an oleh to Israel who recently concluded his army service, spoke about the bravery of his parents in moving to Israel with his family and his experience of Yom HaZikaron as a soldier. Finally, Central heard from Joely Metz and Maayan Berman, two recent alumnae from the class of 2019, who are currently serving in the IDF. They shared their experiences as soldiers and their pride in serving their country. It was extremely moving to see two recent members of Central’s community in uniform! The program closed with the communal singing of Hatikvah.

Yom HaAtzmaut at Central this year was an entire day of Israel-themed Zoom color war! Color war, which was missed this year in school due to the coronavirus, broke out on Tuesday night at the Central Yom HaAtzmaut Zoom concert with Simcha Leiner! After the initial excitement and shock, team captains met that night to begin planning their routes to victory.

Wednesday was a full-blown day of competitions: Teams had to put together Israeli meals on the clock, dress up as chayalim as best they could with whatever they could find in their homes, and compete in the full range of standard color war activities, including banner, alma mater, chidon Tanach, a 3D-printing competition, and, of course, a Tik Tok competition.

The entire school met again in the evening for final presentations, which included a teary farewell address to Mrs. Miriam White, who will be making aliyah this summer after a decade of working at Central. The day was an amazing display of creativity on the part of the color war committee, led by Ms. Leah Moskovich and Mrs. Rebecca Teper, as well as on the part of the entire student body.

Despite the four-way competition, it was also an incredible opportunity to unite in school spirit and in love of Israel. Congratulations to the senior class on their well-earned victory!