Carmel Academy is thrilled to have honored 14 alumni at its annual Erev Tov Gala on Sunday, April 7th at the Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. The theme of the evening was “Celebrating Service”, and each of the alumni honored either serves or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Israeli Defense Forces. From combat soldiers to Naval Academy Midshipsmen, each of the honorees has chosen a life of service to protect their communities and country.
“The number of students choosing military service is high for a young school that has graduated 12 classes and 200 students,” said Head of School Nora Anderson. “Service and giving back to our community are among the strongest values Carmel Academy holds dear, and all of our alumni honorees have taken these values to extraordinary heights; we are thrilled to honor them.”
Carmel Academy has appointed Rabbi Rachmiel Gurwitz as the school’s Rabbi-In-Residence. Rabbi Gurwitz, who will formally join Carmel Academy’s faculty in August, will enrich the Carmel Academy community’s Jewish learning and living through new experiential programming and classroom teaching. He will oversee the school’s t’fillah (prayer) curriculum and collaborate with the faculty to further promote Carmel Academy’s vision and commitment to pluralistic Jewish education. In addition, he will be involved in community outreach to enrich family and adult Jewish experience.
“The Carmel community is beautifully unique in that it does what seems almost impossible in today's world. It provides a rich educational platform where students who hold diverse Jewish practices come together as a learning community to embody Jewish values and high academic standards,” said Head of School Nora Anderson. “As we embarked on our search for a new Rav Beit Sefer (school rabbi) we convened a religiously diverse parent search committee, which advised our leadership team on the creation of a job description and provided guidance throughout the interview process.”
Carmel Academy capped off an exciting basketball season by hosting its annual Seder Plate Basketball Tournament on Sunday, February 10th at its Greenwich campus.
The five-school tournament included Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, Ezra Academy, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford, and Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy. More than 70 varsity athletes competed in games throughout the day.
Carmel Academy’s girls varsity took the first place trophy, winning all of their tournament games, including a game that went into triple overtime. Carmel’s boys varsity team also placed in the tournament, taking home the 2nd place trophy.
“There was a wonderful sense of community, with athletes throughout Connecticut congregating on our campus,” said CA Athletic Director and tournament organizer Phil Goldberg. “Our students were filled with such pride to be the tournament host. Our young athletes worked hard throughout the season and played with tremendous heart, compassion, pride and spirit. They showed exemplary sportsmanship and respect for one another and their guests.”
In celebration of Black History Month, Carmel Academy’s students delved into learning about the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation's history. Each morning, as students entered school, they were greeted with an informative slide and video featuring a famous black American including: choreographer Alvin Ailey, Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, jazz musician Duke Ellington, medical researcher Dr. Charles Drew, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, and writer Zora Newal Hurston to name a few. After watching the morning video, students learned more about each featured person in their classrooms, while in music class students were introduced to musical genres from black culture including blues, jazz and soul.
“In these times, it is really critical for all students to recognize the unique contributions that people of all races and backgrounds have made on this wonderful country, and the lasting legacy these activists, scientists, writers, artists, athletes, choreographers, musicians and scientists have made on American culture. Our students have also recognized the bravery many of these historical figures exhibited,” said Jennifer Gensior, Carmel’s Director of General Studies Curriculum.
Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.
Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.