HANC schools celebrate the Shabbos Project



HANC High School pulsated with excitement as it celebrated the year’s first chagiga and embraced the Shabbos Project.

The day began with divrei Torah from Board Chair Jeffrey Lichtman who discussed the sanctity of Shabbos and honored Rebbitzen Goldie Fendel in whose memory this year’s Shabbos Project was dedicated.

The activities included music by Dovid Klaver and Pinny Schachter, dancing, a tisch led by Rabbi Yisroel Weingot, a boys’ chorus debut, chulent cook-off, and a challah bake sponsored in memory of Tziporah bat Gittle V’Yaakov Ziv.

HANC HS thanks Rabbi Daniel Mezei, director of student life, and his team, Rabbi Aharon Friedler, Rav Yitz, and Ms. Nomi Bensoussan, for organizing the program.



HANC’s Samuel and Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School was alive with the sound of zemirot, as students prepared for the Third Annual Gila Reinstein Shabbos Project.

Kindergarten students decorated Lucite trays on which they could place their Shabbat candles. The students in first grade baked chocolate cake as a tasty erev Shabbat treat. Second graders focused on the conclusion of Shabbat by making beautiful Havdalah sets to enhance their families’ Havdalah ceremonies.

Third and fourth grade students learned wonderful zemirot and after spending the week perfecting their singing, they participated in a spirited zemirot sing-off. Mazal tov to Rabbi Mordechai Harris and his energetic fourth grade boys, who were chosen as the winners.

The hallways were filled with enticing Shabbat scents as fifth and sixth graders participated in a kugel cook-off won by Rabbi Gary Hoffman’s sixth grade boys. Students in kindergarten through second grade danced and sang to Shabbat songs.

On Wednesday evening, the auditorium was filled with mothers, grandmothers and girls who came to prepare challah for Shabbat, led by Rebbetzin Katie Lichter of the Great Neck Synagogue. She explained the importance of challah and how its ingredients symbolize all of the things that make our lives special. She taught them how to braid the dough and bake the challot to perfection. Sixth grade girls and the faculty members prepared over 200 pounds of dough before this event.

Following the challah baking, the entire HANC community came together to sing and dance to the music of Rabbi Mordechai Shapiro. The ruach and excitement on the faces of the children and their parents and siblings was amazing.

The week of Shabbat activities was dedicated in the memory of Gila Reinstein, a strong supporter of HANC as a parent and someone who worked tirelessly to assist the PTA in enhancing the education and extra-curricular experiences of all the students. Since she loved Shabbat so much, HANC has dedicated this Shabbos Project in her memory for the past three years. May her memory be a blessing.



HANC Middle School had the opportunity to join a very meaningful initiative, called the Shabbat Project. All last week, leading up to the Shabbos of Lech Lecha, we had many special programs each day.

The seventh and eighth grade girls had a wonderful time baking challah, with world-renowned kosher chef, Naomi Ross. The students learned the beauty and meaning of baking challah. The gym was set up beautifully, with all the supplies needed to make our delicious challah.

First, Ross demonstrated how to make challah. She explained to us what each ingredient represented relating to the Jewish people. The girls were not only able to make the dough themselves but also have a detailed demo on braiding the challahs they made.

The Jewish people first became obligated from the mitzvah of hafrashat challah when they entered the land of Israel. After the challah rose, one girl from each group said hafrashat challah out loud and all the girls answered with a strong “Amen.”

Afterwards, Ross demonstrated how to make a six-braided challah and the girls each braided two challot for their Shabbat table. The entire program was truly a special and meaningful experience for everyone and it would not have been possible without the extensive planning from Rabbi Hecht and Morah Hakimian.

We had the privilege to listen to Mrs. Gottesman and her inspiring words about the amazing Rebbetzin Fendel. She talked about Rebbetzin Fendel’s love for our illustrious yeshiva, HANC. She explained what a true friend is and how lucky she was to have Rebbetzin Fendel as her true friend.

While the girls were baking challah the boys had a cholent cookoff. The seventh graders made their cholent with Rabbi Harris, while the eighth graders made theirs with Rabbi Olshan. They let the cholent cook and on Friday, the next day, the whole middle school came together and got to try our very own seventh and eighth grade boys cholent.

As we were eating cholent we got to watch videos created by the students about what shabbos meant to them and their favorite part of shabbos. We also got to hear a wonderful story about Shabbat from our very own and illustrious Rabbi Hecht.

Along with the cholent, videos, story, and challah bake we got to have a meaningful kumzitz where everyone sang songs and got to enjoy the spiritual ruach before Shabbat.