During the coming days, Jews throughout the world will celebrate Rosh HaShanah with the sounding of the Shofar -- a sound that calls us to a higher aspiration and asks us to commit ourselves to a year that is filled with meaning, purpose, and service to causes greater than our own self-interest.
Kol Hakavod to the Class of 2021 Salutatorian Micah Reich and Class of 2021 Valedictorian Sam Feldstein! This achievement reflects four years of hard work and dedication; their love for academics, their Jewish community, and helping others is a true reflection of Weber School values.
The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) recognizes the senior from each participating high school who achieves the highest SAT score on any single test date and is in the top 10 percent of their class based on grade point average. This year, Weber's STAR student is Micah Reich.
The STAR student program allows the STAR student to name the teacher who has been most instrumental in his/her academic development. Micah chose Director of Technology & Design teacher Chris Chapman as his STAR teacher.
During the past days, we have been deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred last week on Lag B’Omer when 45 worshippers, gathering in a large group at Mt. Meron in Israel, were killed in a stampede. As we have learned more about this terrible event and the families and communities devastated by loss and injury, we have taken steps in different settings to understand and reflect and, most importantly, answer the question required by Jewish tradition: what might we do to engage, albeit from afar, in acts of Nichum Aveilim (comforting the mourners) and Bikkur Cholim (caring for the injured).
With appreciation to Morah Michal Ilai, working with leadership for Unpacked Education for Israel, Weber students lit a yizkor (memorial) candle and shared written condolences and personal sentiments in relation to the tragedy. It is our hope that other partner schools will add their students’ reflections to this project. Once these notes are published through the Unpacked Website, we will share them in an upcoming edition of What’s Up Weber.
On Wednesday, Morah Ilai and I met with the rising leadership of Rams for Israel to discuss other ways that we might offer support from The Weber School. With appreciation to these students, we decided on some initial steps:
(1) During lunch today (Thursday, May 6), students and teachers gathered together to offer a communal Misheberach Le’Cholim (prayer for healing) to all of those injured and hospitalized during the stampede, with special concern for young children who are managing injury along with the loss of a loved one. We will work with Weber’s partner organizations in Israel who, in the coming days and weeks, might share this video with those suffering in Israel with hopes that our prayers and wishes from afar might offer comfort and support.
(2) We ask that all members of The Weber School community consider a contribution to two organizations that are working to provide financial support to the families directly impacted by the event and facing the costs of burial and medical costs: The Chesed Fund and United Hatzalah of Israel.
During the past days, we have been inspired by the response of Israelis, including Jews and Arab citizens from across the country, who have worked together to provide a meaningful emergency response. At Weber, we will continue to work with our partners in Israel to enable our students and faculty to take whatever steps might be possible to support those who lost and experienced injury as we all learn more about their long-term needs.
We wish Zichronam Le’Vracha – that the memories of those lost will be for a blessing, and that all of those injured at Meron experience a Refuah Shleimah – a full recovery.
Congratulations to the Boy’s Tennis Team on a fantastic season. Led by seniors and captains, Quinn Korach and Harris Jacobs, the team finished the season with a total record of 13-4 and a perfect region record of 10-0. Congratulations to our 1st and 2nd Team All-Region Winners:
Congratulations to the Weber Track and Field team on an outstanding performance at the Region Championship track meet and moving on to the finals. Several members have already qualified for GHSA sectional track meet next weekend:
Toby Parker: Pole Vault
Miriam Raggs: Shot Put, Discus, Triple Jump
Seth Shapiro: Discus and Shot Put
David Leavitt: Triple Jump
A special shout-out to Senior Logan Sucan who broke the Weber school record in the 800m!
Morah Michal Ilai’s Honors Hebrew Film Courses recently completed an activity aimed to ease the students’ discomfort with writing poetry in Hebrew. By writing Haikus—short form poetry originally from Japan—students had the opportunity to integrate previously learned vocabulary with the strict grammatical structure that a Haiku requires. Students chose to write about one of the following topics: Dealing with Covid, End of High School, What will I Do in the Future?, My Family, or Hebrew Studies.
Held virtually over the course of a week, the Weber-DZA Rambots recently competed with 33 other Georgia teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge State Competition. In its third appearance in as many years, the Rambots had a strong showing.
Each semester, Weber junior and senior Spanish National Honor Society members participate in a community service project. This semester, Weber joined its longtime community partner Los Niños Primero for a virtual reading buddy program. Spanish content dean and teacher Olivia Rocamora said, "While the pandemic made it challenging to engage in meaningful service learning, we were determined to continue deepening our relationship and commitment to our neighbors at Los Niños Primero."
April and May are full of a series of events celebrating and honoring the Class of 2021, and we'd like to share a few highlights!
The celebrations began with Senior Day at Six Flags! Students -- and a few courageous chaperones -- braved the heart-pounding attractions while adhering to the park's extensive safety protocols. We have a week of Senior Celebrations at the end of April that includes a Senior Spirit Week, Senior Siyum, and the Commitment Day Drive-Thru. The Senior Siyum recognizing the Class of 2021's Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and Star Student includes a musical tribute from Rabbi Harwitz and a special surprise for the seniors from the Class of 2021 parents. In its second year, the Commitment Day Drive-Thru offers faculty the opportunity to celebrate our seniors and their college decisions with a festive car parade.
Weber Theatre is hard at work on a unique production for this spring. Capitalizing on all of the strengths and talents within our student body, Theatre Director Brad Bass and musical director John Burke paired a one-act play, The Struggles, together with an engaging one-act musical, The Strengths. Together, they tell a poignant story about a high school girl facing and overcoming her struggles. Click here to hear senior Hope Linder share her thoughts on playing the production's lead role.
This creative and unique story will be told on the Weber stage Thursday, May 27th. More details to follow.
Kol Hakavod to sophomore Liana Bernstein who competed in the state-level competition of Poetry Out Loud. Her performance, advancing from regional to state, is the farthest any Weber School Champion has gone in the competition! Click here to view the full State Championship, with Liana’s introduction about 32 minutes in.
Students in Hebrew Teachers Almog Yehuda and Sheri Arotchas’ Hebrew 2 and 3 classes recently completed a unique unit that allowed for an exciting cross-cultural communication opportunity.
While students studied specialized schools in Israel, comparing Jewish values, Jewish studies, Hebrew, and the sciences and arts to their Weber equivalent, Ms. Arotchas connected the students with a peer at an Israeli school. Together, the students discussed, in Hebrew and English, the similarities and differences between their schools.
Nearly two-thirds of Weber students are directly involved in the Sports Science Academy offerings through competitive athletics, fitness and training programs, and academic classes, creating a culture of health, wellness, and fitness as a core value embraced by faculty and students. Three Weber students, senior Noam Friedman, sophomore Izzy Wachter, and junior Elisa Rosenthal, share how Weber has supported their Health and Wellness journeys.
Kol Hakavod to Noah Meltzer, Jonah Gordon, Eli Medof, Danny Kobrinsky, and Ari Gabay who competed in the Maimonides Moot Court Competition. The studied case was whether universities should consider the disciplinary backgrounds and criminal records of applicants during the admissions process. The Maimonides Moot Court Competition is powered by the Hadar Institute and supported by the Maimonides Fund.
Congratulations to the Weber Track team on a stellar performance at their 1st Track meet of the season! The track team placed 3rd overall with many athletes placing in the top 4 in their individual events.
Kol HaKavod to Jason Feldman (Class of 2010) on being appointed to the LGBTQ Advisory Board of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. On this board, he will work alongside other LGBTQ leaders and City of Atlanta staff to move LGBTQ equality forward in Atlanta.
Weber Alum Adam Podber (Class of 2008), who credits Weber with playing a pivotal role in his journey to becoming a full-time artist and muralist, was invited to participate in the Jewish Street Art Festival (LINK) in LA -- currently reimagined as a mural festival across the US and Canada. Adam is one of nine participating artists painting a mural in their city during Hanukkah, with a unifying theme of "light over darkness."
Mazel Tov to Josh Klein (Class of 2003) and his wife Rebecca on the birth of their son Jonah Berel Klein on November 17, 2020. His big sisters Ella and Sadie look pretty happy to have a younger brother!
Liana Slomka (Class of 2018) and Zeke Siegman (Class of 2018) have published a Jewish satire site (imagine like if The Onion ate a college Hillel) with content subconsciously inspired by their time at Weber. Subscribe at theschmear.com!
Live theatre is rooted in collaboration and working closely together, pushing live productions to rethink how to engage audiences while COVID prevents people from gathering en masse. For Weber's fall production of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," Director of Theatre Arts Brad Bass turned to film to safely stage the show for an online audience.
Kol HaKavod to The Weber Vols for collecting 285 food items for the Solidarity Food Pantry of Sandy Springs! These donations will help the food bank restock after a demanding holiday season. Congratulations to the Sophomore Class for donating the most food items.
Congratulations to freshman Rob Liberman who made first chair bassoon in the District V honor band. This year's event is scheduled to be virtual with a potential, in-person all-state performance late spring.
For many years, The Weber School has partnered with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival to sponsor a film showing and find ways to incorporate the film's subject into relevant Weber coursework. This season, Weber sponsored The Invisible Line -- a documentary about a famous social science experiment at a California high school in 1967 (The Third Wave). Hebrew teacher Michal Ilai was excited to host, via Zoom, Emanuel Rotstein (the film's director), educator Ron Jones (creator of The Third Wave 1967 educational experiment), and Mark Hancock (a student of Jones').
Missy Davis, Olivia Rocamora's maternity substitute for her Immigration Lit class, found a creative way to connect a core text, "Tortilla Curtain," to the podcast Scattered, featuring comedian and writer Chris Garcia. The podcast details Chris's journey to uncover information about his recently deceased father, delving into his father's struggle under Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba and the events that led to him leaving Cuba and immigrating to the US. The podcast paired well with the core text as both depict the struggles immigrants face when coming to the US and some of the atrocities they have endured in their home countries. After listening to the podcast and discussing what they heard, students were thrilled to have an opportunity to hear from Mr. Garcia himself!
Weber's Daniel Zalik Academy has earned the College Board's AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women's access to AP Computer Science A (CSA). This award acknowledges 1,119 schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2019-20 school year—nearly 37% more than the 818 schools recognized last year. Weber is one of only 232 schools to be recognized for achieving this important result in CSA!
Last week, Weber's small but mighty seven-person swim team competed in their first meet of 2021 vs. Our Lady of Mercy, the second of three planned meets for the season. Weber's diving team has also been competing regularly, with three meets already completed and two more to come. "Due to COVID limitations, it has been more challenging to compete," shared Coach Riley Clark. "Our focus this year has been not only on skill development but on team camaraderie and positive group dynamics."
Hebrew teacher Linda Parmet continues to innovate with a special "Only at Weber" approach to Jewish Studies unique to our school. Ms. Parmet has been collaborating with The Teacher Institute for the Arts program (TIA), which provides Hebrew, Jewish Studies, and Art educators with innovative Toolkits to explore Jewish texts and values through the visual arts.
Congratulations to senior Hunter Siegel who received his Eagle Scout Award in a ceremony held at Weber last Sunday. Hunter is a member of Weber's Rams for Israel and an avid member of NFTY. Click here for more information about this impressive recognition.
For the first time in school history, Weber has a competition cheerleading team. "With student interest in sideline cheerleading growing every year, it was the perfect time to expand our cheer program." shared Associate Director of Athletics Jessica LaGala.
Like many things this school year, the Weber English Department's participation in Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition for high school students, has adapted to a new, digital format.
In December, students in Weber's sophomore Reading the World classes were tasked with selecting poems from the Poetry Out Loud online anthology to memorize and recite. English teachers Sam Bradford and Sarah Roquemore worked with students on analyzing and understanding their chosen poems, and challenged students to apply their analysis through the art and skill of poetry recitation. On the last day before winter break, students participated in digital classroom competitions by submitting video recordings of their recitations. From those competitions, five sophomores were selected as class champions. These students then advanced to the school-wide competition, also digital, where a panel of judges reviewed and scored each recitation.
Weber's Sports Science Academy was recently featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"It's the cultural impact that I'm most proud of. In one way or another, about 175 of the 266 students are directly involved through competitive athletics, fitness and training programs, and different classes, and that's created a culture of health, wellness, and fitness as a core value embraced by faculty and students," said Head of School, Rabbi Ed Harwitz.
Students in CP Hebrew 2, 3, and 4 recently finished studying a unit on Hanukkah foods with their teachers Sheri Arotchas, Almog Yehuda, Yaira Auz, and Iris Greber. You could hear rumbling stomachs across the school as a total of 6 classes and 86 students learned the history of Sofganiyon (Israeli donuts), Levivot (Israeli latkes), and Sfinge (Israeli Moroccan donuts) and how to cook them! After an asynchronous workshop with Israeli pastry chef David Mendes, students were set loose in their home kitchens, tasked with videoing themselves cooking the foods for their families while discussing the process in Hebrew.
The students had a great time experimenting in the kitchen and their families appreciated having traditional Hanukkah foods for the holiday!
Weber's Young Women In STEM organization is led by The Daniel Zalik Academy Lab Manager Madi Anderson. Along with five additional Weber coaches, Mrs. Anderson is leading a growing group of 9th-12th grade young women as they explore their interests and opportunities in STEM fields.
The Weber School, a Jewish Community high school serving students from all Jewish backgrounds, prepares students for success in college and in life with comprehensive academic and co-curricular programs that inspire student exploration, leadership, and Jewish social consciousness. Many of our programs and academies are unique to Weber and can't be found at any other Atlanta-area high schools.
The Felicia Penzell Weber Jewish Community High School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.