AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

Class of 2008 Reunited

A few months ago, recent Brandeis University graduate, Abby Kirshbaum, reached out to the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School to bring back her eighth grade graduating class of 2008 for a reunion. On Friday, June 3, the graduating class spent the afternoon back at Heilicher sharing memories of their time as students and providing words of wisdom to this year's seventh and eighth graders. It was a pleasure to have past Heilicher students on the campus, and this is a tradition we hope to continue for years to come.

As I began my senior year of college at Brandeis University last fall, I started to reflect on my time at school, all of the lessons I had learned and all of the special memories I had made. I also began to think about what I wanted to do after school: what career path I would go down, where I would live, which friends I would stay in touch with, and which friends I would reconnect with.

All of this future planning also had me thinking about where I have come from and what aspects of my life have pushed me and encouraged me to be my best self. One of the first things on that list would be my schooling at what I called the Minneapolis Jewish Day School (now the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School). Although I do keep in touch with a number of my HMJDS friends (and would call some of them my very best friends), I realized that there were so many classmates of mine who I had only kept up with on Facebook. Therefore, after sharing my idea with a few friends and getting their support, I decided that my class needed to have a 10 year reunion for the class of 2006 and 8 year reunion for the class of 2008 (we were the last sixth grade class to graduate before the school became a K-8 school, and, two years later, the first eighth grade class to graduate from HMJDS).

Throughout the year, the fabulous Julie Ziessman, Admissions and Outreach Director, and I planned an afternoon that my classmates and I could share together catching up, sharing old memories, seeing old teachers, taking a tour of the school, speaking with the 7th and 8th graders and even participating in all-school Kabbalat Shabbat. I think I can speak for all of my classmates when I say that walking down the halls reminded us of all of the silly, funny, important, difficult, creative, inspiring and meaningful memories we made throughout our years as students at the school. As we shared our words of wisdom for high school and college to the 7th and 8th graders, I felt so thankful that even though I didn't spend the last 8 years with all of my elementary and middle school friends, years later we were still such a cohesive unit that enjoyed spending time together as much as ever.

As a recent college graduate and an upcoming middle school math teacher, I have begun to wholeheartedly appreciate my time at HMJDS, the core values I was taught, the connections I made and the ever lasting community in which I will always feel welcome.

Abby Kirshbaum recently graduated Brandeis University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business and Social Justice & Social Policy. Next year she will be attending the Sposato Graduate School of Education in Boston to receive her masters in middle school math education. But before she leaves for Boston, this summer she will be going back to Herzl Camp (for her 12th summer) as Mama Ozo.



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