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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


HBHA Students Welcome Refugees Through Artwork


“Without Immigrants there would be no USA”, “#refugeeswelcome”, and “The Great American Melting Pot” were just a few of the many posters that were hung by eighth grade students at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) in Feb. 2017. The goal of this public display is to publicize the welcoming community that HBHA and the connecting Jewish Community Center (JCC) have to offer refugees. The effort to create and display these posters was spearheaded by eighth-grader Abby Kreisler with assistance from HBHA faculty and her classmates.


Eighth grade girls posing with “The Great American Melting Pot” poster. Photo credits: Gabrielle Abrams

Kreisler remarked that stumbling upon the quote by David Slack, “Remember sitting in history and thinking, “If I was alive then, I would’ve…You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would’ve done,” sparked her inspiration to welcome refugees.


This quote reminded Kreisler that, “people are sitting around doing nothing” and she did not want to be one of those bystanders to the injustices of present day, that will become our nation’s history.

Before hanging the signs throughout school, Kreisler contacted Lower and Middle School principal, Dr. Jessica Kyanka-Maggert, to ensure that all of her hard work would be well received by the administration. Kreisler included in her email a sampling of posters that she made at her home and expressed the intended goals of her artwork. Kyanka-Maggert, following consultation with Upper School principal Todd Clauer, willingly agreed and encouraged Kreisler to hang the posters with her classmates.

She saw the signs as, “a positive experience for students to share their voices of accepting refugees.”

Kreisler’s project was also enacted through the enthusiastic donation of class time by her United States history teacher, Josh Goldberg. Kreisler saw Goldberg as a fitting supporter of her poster idea because he is always telling his students to, “do what you believe in” and for her, this project was just that.

Goldberg himself was mutually inspired by Kreisler’s artwork saying that, “…it gave me a lot of heart and encouragement of society and the future, especially juxtaposed with recent political developments.”

Kreisler’s “KC Loves Refugees” poster hanging in the JCC. Photo credits: Gabrielle Abrams

Junior Yoni Mehari was inspired by the posters and appreciated that his school is, “sending a strong statement of inclusion of everyone which is beautiful to see.”

The eighth grade students’ beautiful artwork with a powerful message of welcoming strangers to our community are continuously displayed in the hallways of HBHA, the JCC, and McLain’s Bakery in Kansas City, MO.

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