First Grade-level Tefillah of School Year Led by Eighth Graders Sets Tone for Younger Students

Today, the eighth grade class led their final tefillah service for the entire student body. In a new tradition, the eighth grade tefillah is the first grade-level tefillah of the year, “so they're setting the tone and setting an example for the younger students,” says Judaic studies teacher Jennifer Baumer. Poised and confident, eighth graders led the morning prayers by introducing each one and reflecting on their years at Brandeis by sharing special memories. “My sacred space is Poetry Slam,” said student Avital D. “Poetry Slam is a place to feel confident and proud of everything that is you.” Noted Morgan S., “Just like how we are grateful for the renewal of the new day, we are grateful for the renewal of our friendships, and the light in the strength of the class of 2019.”
Faculty and staff who have had a baby in the last year were honored with an aliyah, and thirteen students chanted from the Torah. And as is Brandeis tradition, the class concluded the service by leading the school community in the “Alef-Bet Song,” which they had learned for their first grade tefillah in 2012. “When I was in first grade, I watched the eighth graders throw their letters in the air and cheer at their last tefillah at Brandeis,” said Max K. “And now to think that it is our turn, it fills me with happiness and sadness. I don't want to leave Brandeis, which has been my home for 9 years. On the other hand, I am excited to pursue my passions and step out into the world.” Yasher koach (well done) to the eighth grade class on leading a beautiful morning tefillah. MORE PHOTOS