What happens when a Thursday night mishmar becomes an overnight event? Mishmover, of course: an annual Ma’ayanot event where a majority of the student body remains in school from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, mostly learning Torah, but perhaps catching a few moments of shut-eye as well. Ma’ayanot’s Mishmover tradition was started in 2006 at the suggestion of then junior and Torah Committee Chair Michal Novetsky (’07) who viewed the program as yet one more way to entice as many students as possible to participate in Torah lishma learning events.
Over the last almost-decade, Mishmover has grown into a highly anticipated and especially beloved program that the majority of the students attend. As such, the schedule of events for the evening has become diversified to cater to many different interests and learning. A quick perusal of the numerous and varied shiurim offered by both Ma’ayanot teachers and guest speakers throughout the evening proves this point:
Shiurim given by Ma’ayanot faculty members:
• Ms. Devorah Wolf (Talmud teacher) – “Expect the Unexpected”
• Ms. Sarah Gordon (Talmud teacher) – “Getting your Green Card on Yom Ha’atzmaut and Other Tales of a Zionist in Chutz La’aretz”
Shiurim given by guest speakers:
• Rav Baruch Gigi (Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat Har Etzion) – “Nothing but the Best: Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin and Nerot Chanukah”
• Rabbi Menachem Liebtag (Ram, Yeshivat Har Etzion) – “Chanukah, a Jewish Holiday or a Winter Holiday?”
• Mr. Seth Dimbert (Director of Educational Technology, Noam) – “Mankind’s Essential Illness: Studying the Yetzer Hara through Star Trek”
• Rabbi David Katz (Director, Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim) – “Chana and Her Seven Sons: Justifiable Martyrdom”
In addition to a wide variety of shiurim, there was also a Q & A Discussion Panel that offered students the opportunity to ask questions–halakhic, hashkafic or otherwise–of community leaders. The panel was comprised of Ma’ayanot parents, Dr. Adena Berkowitz, Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, Rabbi Shaul Robinson and Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, and Ma’ayanot faculty members, Mrs. Rivka Kahan and Mrs. Shoshana Samuels.
Other highlights of the evening included a d’var Torah delivered by seniors Shoshana Marder and Sarah Hiller during halftime of a JV Basketball game between the Ma’ayanot Rapids and the Ramaz Rams; a chesed activity with visitors from Yachad; and numerous chaburot (small learning groups) led by Ma’ayanot seniors. Finally, food, including a pizza dinner and a late-night ice cream party, both fueled students late into the evening and provided opportunities for socializing across grades.
When asked about his goals for the program, Rabbi Donny Besser, Mashgiach Ruchani at Ma’ayanot, explained that “Mishmover provides an opportunity to unify the student body through Torah study. Most extracurricular Torah learning is appealing to a specific segment of the student body, but Mishmover allows us to diversity Torah learning opportunities in a way that appeals to everyone.”
When asked if the evening achieved its goals, junior Chana Weintraub replied, “The learning was great; we got to learn because we wanted to, not because we have to.”
Freshman Miri Cohen concurred and added, “I especially liked it because the upperclassmen learned with us and gave us advice; it made us all as one.”