Entering the Gates of Greatness

Junior High Shabbaton… Grandfather/Father Son Brunch… Sebets…
First Grade Humash Celebration… Annual Choir…

This list of extracurricular activities details just a few of the many events Shaare Torah Boys Elementary school runs each year to ensure that their students not only receive the gold standard in education academically, but also have the best possible foundations in Torah hashkafah(outlook) which will guide them in their futures in the  community. In providing these exciting programs, Shaare Torah is fostering a wholesome environment in which the beauty of Torah, proper middot(character) and appropriate forms of leisure activity are celebrated. To that end, Shaare Torah goes above and beyond expectations by constantly providing the boys with activities and events that celebrate the Torah and uphold all the values we know are vital for our children’s religious upbringing.

This year’s first grade Humash Celebration on January 1, 2014 was a glorious event which the first graders proudly shared with their parents and grandparents. The gym underwent a total transformation to make it worthy of this grand ceremony, and the boys were outfitted in formal attire befitting the day. Each student proudly received his Humash from the Rosh Yeshiva, who declared a new meaning of “New Year’s Day” before a crowd of 200 guests. The fanfare and festivities made a powerful impression on the boys, showing them just how special and important the Torah is to their families and educators.

The Grandfather/Father Son Brunch is an annual treat the younger boys anticipate and the older boys fondly remember. The morning begins with the 2nd-4th grade boys praying alongside fathers, uncles, grandfathers, rebbeim and the Rosh Yeshiva. Tefillahis followed by a beautiful breakfast, pizmonim, songs and divreTorahgiven by selected boys. This is a special event that celebrates the bond with the men in our students’ lives, and reinforces the love of prayer and of the beautiful tradition that is handed down from one generation to the next.

Each autumn, Shaare’s fifth graders enjoy a special Sebet, where, together with their fathers and rebbeim, they are greeted by the Rosh Yeshiva and celebrate a beautiful Shabbat together. The event includes tefillah, a devar Torah, and, of course, a sumptuous meal, all of which combine to demonstrate the warmth and beauty of our Torah and our customs.

This year’s Junior High Shabbaton was a stellar example of the way Shaare Torah nurtures the whole child and is able to provide the boys with wonderful experiences that perfectly complement their education. The boys and their rebbeim embarked on their unforgettable trip on Thursday and enjoyed a bonfire, a trip to The Castle and sport leagues, among other exciting activities. Shabbat was spent at Ingleside Resort, where their highly anticipated Torah Bowl competition took place. They returned Saturday night, after a weekend of connecting with their rebbes and friends in a warm yet thrilling way.

Another exemplary event Shaare produces is the Shaare Torah Boys Choir, now 13 years strong, which has become nothing short of a sensation in the community. The boys selected for the choir are fortunate to study under two esteemed professionals – Hazan Rabbi Mordechai Salem and renowned singer Rabbi Chaim Block. The culmination of their effort is a special, one-night performance attended by a packed house of friends, family and others who know that the Shaare Torah Choir is always an entertaining night out for their families. This year’s annual Boys Choir was just as heartwarming and entertaining as it was when the tradition began over a decade ago. A song and a moving slide show were featured, honoring the boy’s parents and grandparents. In a moving tribute to Hacham Ovadia Yosef, the boys performed a song dedicated to his memory. The boys sang to a full house, and each child had a solo, his very own moment in the spotlight. The costume changes, choreography and presence of our Rosh Yeshiva made this event extra special.  The younger boys, who are not yet eligible for the choir, walk out singing and looking forward to their chance to be a part of this uplifting school event.

The job of every yeshivah is to educate its students in both religious and general studies to preparethem for life. What Shaare Torah provides goes above and beyond these minimum requirements, giving the boys memorable, uplifting experiences that will not only preparethem for life, but enrich their lives, as well, by inspiring them with the warmth and beauty of our Torah tradition.