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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

How I’d Like to Start My Day at HBHA

Gabrielle Sosland reading Torah during Thursday morning services.
Elia Ellis
Gabrielle Sosland reading Torah during Thursday morning services.

After coming back to school this August, the HBHA high school Egalitarian Prayers Minyan learned that it was going to have a totally different look this year.

 

While talking to the school Rabbi Elizabeth Bonney-Cohen, we discussed how these changes came to be for the Egalitarian Minyan. She said while looking at other Jewish day schools in America, they all have different Minyan options.  With the amount of kids we have at HBHA, we aren’t able to have the same experience.  

 

Rabbi Bonney-Cohen explained, “Parent feedback [helped change the Egalitarian Minyan]. Last spring, Zohar and I conducted a listening tour where we listened to 80 parents in the school.”   

As an alternative prayer, every Friday we have musical prayers led by a couple of high school students in the egalitarian minyan. (Avital Mullokandova)

Every morning since Kindergarten, I have started my school mornings by attending prayers. To me, starting my day with prayers relaxes me and allows me to clear my head of all the things I am going to work on at school for the rest of the day,  allowing me time to plan how I can accomplish everything that needs to be done.  

 

This year, we only have traditional prayers on Mondays and Thursdays. The reason for this is because these are days required for reading Torah. On those days, I  feel more awake in my classes and less worried about what’s to come because we had a time for traditional prayers. 

 

One of the biggest prayer changes this year was Tuesday morning’s alternative prayers.  Students are required to plan an activity and relate it to prayers in a creative way. These activities can be anything ranging from Just Dance to building decorations for the Sukkah. Even though these prayer activities can be a fun way to start the day, it does not give the same wake-up messages to my brain as traditional prayers do. 

A picture from one of the alternative tefillahs this year outshining the tradition of our traditional prayers found in the Siddur. (Elia Ellis)

Last year, I had to take a class outside of HBHA on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and so I could only attend prayers on Tuesday and Thursday. At the time I thought it was nice not having to go to prayers on those mornings, however, I now realize that not having time in the morning was harmful to my learning experience. 

 

These changes have made some students unhappy attending prayers in the morning this school year. There have been a couple of students who have changed from the Egalitarian prayers Minyan to the Mechitza Minyan, so they can continue having the traditional service every morning. 

 

While looking at how prayers are going so far this year, several other high school students and I would like to see prayers return to the original way we have always done them.

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About the Contributor
Elia Ellis
Elia Ellis, Writer
Elia Ellis is a sophomore at HBHA, and this is her second year of publications. She enjoys playing volleyball, dancing, and cooking in her free time. She is looking forward to writing articles and taking photos for Rampage. This year she will also be the EIC of HBHA’s yearbook Chronicles. Elia is excited to be a part of the publication team in the 2023-24 school year.