Hadar Bet Yaakov hosted a beautiful end-of-year celebration this past Sunday that featured students’ performance in a production and dance, as well as improv games and a dance party, where mothers and daughters joined together in vibrant activity. The event was billed as a “Mother-Daughter Evening of Theatre” and it commenced with an exciting flash mob start, where girls entered the stage from all points in the auditorium as they danced their way on stage. Mothers and relatives clapped to the beat, followed by principal Mrs. Friedman’s introduction of their play. She explained that the production wasn’t a stand-alone activity, but rather the culmination of what they had done in drama classes with drama teacher Mrs. Leora Nadtouchy over the year. Drama was about character exploration, much in the same way literary analysis is, and she underscored how particularly important that skill was in developing one’s self-awareness and growth as a bas Yisrael.

The production itself was unique, as it featured all characters in their own “rooms” at night having “phone conversations” with each other throughout an evening filled with many dramatic misunderstandings. The story is conveyed through the characters’ conversations, complete with dial tones, ring tones, and hang-up sound effects. Much emphasis was placed on girls understanding their characters and their motivations throughout rehearsals. The play was followed by a dance led and choreographed by Mrs. Irit Friedman, where girls sported pink hoodies and sneakers.

“Now comes the interactive part of our evening,” Mrs. Friedman announced to the audience. “Now you get to join your daughter in drama and dance class and participate with her!” Mrs. Nadtouchy led an improv session with a variety of games with teams of mothers and daughters competing with each other, followed by dance teacher Mrs. Irit Friedman’s “dance party.”

A beautiful Mother-Daughter Dinner followed the theatre activities, and mothers and daughters enjoyed a dairy buffet together. The program began with a moving slide show to Duvie Shapiro’s “Ima Sheli” song with a myriad of HBY mother and daughter pictures. Girls and their mothers enjoyed seeing their baby and toddler pictures as a testament of hakaras ha’tov, gratitude, to their mothers. The video was followed with each student presenting her mother with a framed poem she wrote and designed along with a wrapped rose. Students also presented flowers of hakaras ha’tov and thanks to teachers, and Mrs. Ribowsky, Kodesh Principal, spoke about the importance of always saying thank you as she introduced GO awards of thanks to Miss Chavie Ribowsky and Miss Perel Schwartz, GO Coordinators, as well as all student committees.

Rabbi Robenov, school Menahel, spoke at the end to thank everyone who came together to create an amazing evening, and culminated with his own announcement of a new school building for next year. “We’re moving into a much bigger building,” he beamed. “We have over ten classrooms, a full gym, a lunchroom, a stage, a library, and we’re keeping access to our pool, as well!” The news received strong positive responses from both students and mothers as the evening ended on a high note.

“Thank you so much for putting together such a beautiful event,” one mother commented as she was leaving. “My daughter and I had a great time! The activities were great and the evening really moved.”

“Showcasing our students and making them feel good about themselves is vital to growth,” answered Mrs. Friedman. “Tonight was a great blend of mothers and daughters connecting by watching their daughters perform and then getting up and doing it with them. Some of those mothers can really dance,” she smiled.

By Shoshanna Friedman