The lights were dim; the mood was anything but that.
Staff and parent volunteers of Yeshivas Toras Simcha had converted their gymnasium into a hall of inspiration and unity. Inviting their entire parent body, the goal was to celebrate, strengthen and encourage the growth of the school both in size and in energy. YTS now has a full roster of grades, from Nursery through their first graduating class of eighth graders, as well as a very large installment of new mechanchim and administrative positions as of this year.
It was a chance for the hanhalla – both new and old – to interface with the parents and to connect over the missions, goals and values of Yeshivas Toras Simcha. Rabbi Hillel Shepard, the school’s new Menahel who moved from Cincinnati this past summer to assume his leadership of the school this year, opened the evening with Tehillim and led the men in music and prayer, singing Acheinu kol beis Yisroel for our Nation in distress.
As the crowd enjoyed a tremendous spread, catered by Milk and Honey Bistro, lit by spotlights and served with elegance, a large screen showed an in-house video interviewing many of YTS’ own students highlighting the energy and upward growth of the school. Most of those boys interviewed mentioned their appreciation of the things that indeed set Toras Simcha apart: they noted the many programs and activities that the Program Director, Rabbi Shai Scherer, infuses into the halls and walls – and talmidim – every day; they spoke about the warm greeting that they receive every day by multiple staff members on their way into class; and they related gratitude for the friends they have for work and play. Friendship is a focus of YTS, along with attention to each student in a warm atmosphere. Tonight, the parents got to enjoy that atmosphere of friendship and warmth.
A last part of the memorable evening put the school’s Rabbeim into the spotlight. A list of questions from parents on a few chinuch categories made for the subject matter of a Question and Answer session. Parents saw the Rabbeim in a remarkable light. Their answers unscripted, the expertise and dedication of the Rabbeim in their holy calling was clear and evident. And engaging.
An evening that started as a chizuk ended that way as well, with parents taking home kernels of wisdom from the Rabbeim together with a large measure of pride and nachas from the progress and the chinuch of their children.