The new academic year kicked off in Israel this week. This year, September 1st coincided with Rosh Chodesh Elul, so that students in the five OTS seminaries and yeshivot joined students in OTS’s six junior high and high schools in going ‘back to school’ after the long summer holiday.
The fresh smell of school supplies mingled with hot lunch and a sense of excitement and expectation as the 3,500 students reunited with friends and classmates, attended orientation meetings, met their new teachers and generally found their bearings.
Pictured: At the Oriya High School for Girls in Alon Shvut, tradition has the senior class welcoming the new crop of 9th graders by embracing them after they pass through a “bridge” of balloons, signifying their entry into the warm and inclusive Oriya family. The seniors are wearing specially-made T-shirts emblazoned with the word “Malka” – “Queen,” a nod to the noble and ethical characteristics they have nurtured over the course of their high school careers.