The new class of High School Apprentices graduated last Wednesday, and with that came the culmination of four months of seminars, tours, and immersion into Jewish history; the room was alive with energy. The audience of devoted family, teachers, friends, and HSAP Alumni listened to remarks from Ivy Barsky, Elizabeth Edelstein, and Gallery Educator and hidden child Sally Frishberg about what kind of impact these 15 adolescents would make on the world. The Apprentices are trained to give tours to young people all summer, to teach them about Jewish culture and history, while making them feel a part of the Museum.
I’m still kvelling (to feel great pride) over Javier Medina’s speech on behalf of the graduates. I will not excerpt the entire speech, but I will share my favorite part:
On the first floor, there’s an artifact displayed called a huppah. It’s a tent of sorts, decorated with Hebrew writing and symbols. At traditional Jewish weddings, the bride and groom are wed under the huppah, which is usually held up by poles and is open on the sides. The fact that the huppah is open on all sides is meant to show that the couple, united under the Jewish faith, is still open to the world and all its elements.
In a similar way, this museum is a sort of huppah for all of us here. We are united under the cause of continuing the mission of this museum. While doing so, however, we stay open to the different cultures of the world, as many of them can connect to Jewish heritage. For example, there is currently a special exhibition about the Chinese game mah jongg, and how it is a part of Jewish culture. Forging connections like that is one of our primary roles in this museum.
To Javier, Jairo, William, Clarisse, Frederick, Devina, George, Rebecca, Laila, Siddiqa, Dashawn, Mayra, Haja, Oseia, and Okeem I say welcome to the Museum family, and thank you for sharing in our belief that there is hope for our future.