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We're so proud of our 8th Grade Class of 2022!

These speech highlights are refreshing reminders of how Jewish education sparks young minds, forms deep roots, and nurtures the next generation of leaders at Akiba Yavneh Academy and beyond.

Judaics Principal Rabbi Chanania Englesman: “As we move forward into High School, I beseech you to continue the yearning, do not view this as an end, but a beginning, to continue your own personal and collective journeys of growth and learning.”

Mia Burke: “I can still picture Morah Miriam’s K’Ton Ton class and feel the warm, caring environment that made us feel so happy. … AYA is a special place where students strive to grow to be their best selves. … I truly feel confident and prepared for the next four years.”

Meechal Ceder: “On the first day, I was the “new kid,” yet I felt like I belonged. Our extraordinary teachers make every student feel at home.”

Brendy Eber: “A lot of my growth has been in academics. This is due to the Ma’alot program — it changed my life. … In the Book of Tehillim, the word Ma’alot is used to invoke inspiration, and that’s what Ma’alot has done for me. It has provided me with the steps and tools to succeed innate school, it has inspired me to want to learn and succeed, and also like school. (OK, not always.)”

Brendan Heger: “From Color War, to a week in Israel, to the entire Middle School going to see Sing 2 in our pajamas, I have never made so many memories in such a short time.”

Shira Levy: “Taking risks is not just doing something crazy or super cool, it’s doing something you’re not sure of, and I’m glad that I took the risk of moving to AYA. My time here has been filled with fun, kindness, laughter, learning, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Alexa Lobel: “I have learned to advocate for myself when I need help and to never back down from a challenge. In previous years, when I was given something to read, I would shove it away and not even give it a try. Thanks to the Ma’alot program, I approach reading in a different way and have gained the confidence to try and read even when it seems challenging.”

Mia Ohayon: “Going to a Jewish school has really helped me learn what being a Jew means to me and also helped me understand how important it is to be a part of a community. Through all of my classes, celebrations, and the ruach in the school, I have realized that being Jewish is something that we feel in our hearts.”

Liam Oster: “I have been to Israel with my family many times, but have never experienced a Friday night as meaningful and special as we did in the Kotel — from the electric environment, emotional reflections, talking to Hashem, and meeting Ray Allen. The faculty has done everything possible to help us become the best students, the best people, and the best menches we can be.”

Jonathan Shamir: “I have learned so many lessons and values from the people around me, and even though I still have much to learn and room to grow, I know it will be an easier journey with this tight-knight community.”

General Studies Principal Danielle Rothenberg: “It is time for you to own your Judaism, to figure out who you will become on your Jewish journey. Embrace the opportunities that being a student at AYA has given and will continue to give you to opt in fully of your own choosing and become the best YOU you can be.”