An inspiring and truly memorable Hakhel gathering took place on Sunday, 24 Elul (September 13th), in the Beth Rivkah Montreal auditorium. The event was attended by 200 former students and teachers. The participants were left with elevated spirits and a desire for more reunions in the future.
The highlight of the interesting program was of course the interaction between women of all ages, who absolutely delighted in the opportunity to reminisce and “catch up” with old school friends and teachers.
Everyone was treated to a walk-through “memory lane”, by looking at the fascinating display of old school photos that lined the lunchroom and auditorium walls. There was also an exhibit of old yearbooks and photo-albums. The “World of the Jewish Woman Fair”, based on the three mitzvos of women, emphasized the common bond shared by all Jewish women.
During the tasty lunch, there were moments of laughter and moments of seriousness. Mrs. Solline Feld (Abenhaim), Alumni class of 1989, expressed her feeling that the uniqueness of the school is that it’s truly a place where students with diverse backgrounds and minhagim are made to feel like members of a single family.
Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, long-time principal of the school, welcomed everyone and described his pride in the accomplishments of the hundreds and hundreds of graduates, many who are located throughout the world. He encouraged them to instil the values they learned in Beth Rivkah in their personal lives, and to inspire others to do likewise. He thanked everyone who helped contribute to the outstanding success of the reunion.
Rabbi Mendel Marasow, executive director of the school, asked the Alumni to remain committed to the school. Rabbi Eliezer Wenger, a well respected staff member, recited the Rebbe’s kapital tehillim and kapital chof.
The laughter and nostalgia were generated by both videos and a “Back to School” game, which was mc’d by the hilarious Mrs. Yael Ostrofsky (Bouhana), Alumni class of 1991.
Valuable prizes were raffled off. Shoshana Sultan (Dahan), Alumni class of 1997, was the lucky winner of the grand raffle for an exquisite bracelet valued at $1000, donated by Mrs. Julie Gniwisch.
Each woman received a gift souvenir packet put together by Mrs. Rivkah Chriqui (Cohen), Alumni class of 1982, and a stylish fresh water pearl bracelet courtesy of Mrs. Gniwisch.
However, everyone agreed that the greatest gift of all was the warm feeling of friendship and achdus that permeated the event throughout the program. It was easy to understand why the most popular comment was “This is amazing, we just have to do it again!”