For seniors at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, last week marked their final rite of passage at the school.
The graduation ceremony was "beautiful, dignified, and very becoming of our school," said David Goldrich, one of the graduates.
Indeed, it was a night of celebration, reflection, and pride. This year the graduating class was composed of 54 students. Speakers included: Principal Rabbi Rubin, Co-Chairman of the Board of Education and former President of the School; Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman; Alumni Dr. David Safar and Samuel Greenstein, and of the graduates, Elizabeth Berg, Allie Mayer, Eric Silverberg, Adam Blank, Shoshana Grad, and Sherri Luxenberg.
The class of 2010 was an exceptional class. More than 85 percent of the students will be attending their first choice college.
"It's exciting for us guidance counselors, that we were able to place so many kids in their top schools," said Gary Berger, head of the Guidance Department at RKYHS. This class has earned many other academic achievements as well including: four National Merit Commended Scholars, five Garden State Scholarship Program - Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars, one College Board AP Scholar, and 35 members in the school's Honors Society.
Another characteristic of the class is its fervent support for Israel, something which Rabbi Rubin made note of during the graduation ceremony, citing that two years ago the class made a petition requesting that it be permitted to attend an Israel rally in New York City. Seventy percent of the students will be spending a gap year before high school studying in Israel.
Rabbi Miller, Assistant Principal at RKYHS, commented that the graduation ceremony was a true exemplification of this trait, saying that "the graduation was a true demonstration of all that we hold near and dear in our school: a connection to Israel, a commitment to Zionism, a dedication to strong scholarship, and meaningful Judaism, and I think all of that was demonstrated here this evening."
"It's also kind of sad," said Mitchell Liebman, a graduate, "We grew up in this building. The other day, my friends and I spent a couple hours just walking around the school, and it was surreal."
Indeed, many of the graduates shared that sentiment, taking time throughout the ceremony to remind the rising seniors of how lucky they are to have another year left.
Reported by rising senior Benjamin Lewinter.