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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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Israel’s War Echoes at Beth Tfiloh

AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File

“If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no Israel.” -Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 

War has broken out in Israel. A headline I never thought I would write about, but us at Beth Tfiloh cannot turn a blind eye to what happened this last week. Nearly 6,000 miles away from Israel, every Beth Tfiloh family is personally affected by the war as family and friends fight on the front lines. On Shabbat morning, word soon spread to teachers, students, and faculty that Israelis were under bombardment by thousands of rockets and an unknown but large number of Israelis were brutally murdered and taken hostage by Hamas.

Ms. Manhoff, 6th grade advisor and Middle School English teacher, was awakened at 3:55 a.m. on Saturday by a telephone call from her son, Max, a BT Alumni now serving in the Golani Brigade, an IDF combat unit. Ms. Manhoff said she was in a “state of shock.” Gavri L. (‘20) brother of Shalhevet L. (’27) and Yonah L. ’20 finished his service two months ago in the Nahal Brigade and was called back to serve in northern Israel. Like many others, Shalhevet was sitting in synagogue, surprised to hear a war was unfolding. She said she is “proud” of her brother’s service and is grateful to the men and women protecting Israel. 

 “Everybody knows someone who was killed on that dark day.” – Morah Shachar Cohen 

Morah Cohen, chair of the Hebrew department, was heartbroken to find out about her former student in Israel, Osher Shmaya. At first, he was reported as kidnapped by Hamas, but a few days later his body was found; he had been brutally murdered. Osher’s father was dropping him off at his military base when Hamas terrorists attacked them. Morah Cohen remembered Osher as a nice, quiet kid whom she taught English during high school. 

Meanwhile, the brother of Elana H. (’26), Ari H. (’20), is serving in the Paratroopers Brigade, Unit 202. He is fighting near Kibbutz Be’eri, where more than 100 Israelis were murdered, and many others taken hostage. Elana trusts him to stay safe and be strong and also believes we should come together and support each other even in these tough times.  

“When war began, we cried and prayed together, knowing that our loved ones were suffering unimaginable damage. Although we are in the diaspora, our Zionism compels us to help our people no matter the cost.” Adrian Maydanich (‘24)

Adrian, BT Student Government president, is working tirelessly to help Beth Tfiloh students find ways to give and volunteer. They include:

  • Giving to Daniel M.’s (‘24) Kfar Aza campaign. It supports his family’s community from that Gaza border community. 
  • Supporting the effort of Skylar Wood (‘24), a bracelet-making that raises money for the family of Moreh Matan Shefler, BT’s teacher and shaliach. Moreh Shefler has returned to Israel to serve with his paratroopers unit. 
  • The Student Government’s FIDF (Friends of the IDF) campaign, which supports lone soldiers and Israeli civilians working to keep Israel safe. 
  • Outside the lunchroom, students have set up cards to write to IDF soldiers so we can “give them another source of strength to continue fighting,” Adrian explained.

 So, from afar, Beth Tfiloh students and teachers are helping Israel through small steps that can make a difference. In fact, as of October 15, BT students have raised $5,886 for Golani and $745 for FIDF, Adrian said. 

As we look forward with hope and determination, we are reminded that our strength lies not only in the actions of the few but in the collective spirit of many. With each letter written, each dollar raised, and each prayer recited, we demonstrate that we are part of a greater whole, a global community that remains committed to defending our homeland, preserving our culture, and standing together, whether 5,865 miles away or just across the street.

In times of hardship, we prove, once again, that unity is our greatest strength, and the Jewish people endure as a beacon of hope, resilience, and unwavering support for one another and for the State of Israel. 


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About the Contributor
Nir Friedman
Nir Friedman, Reporter
Nir Friedman is a freshman at Beth Tfiloh and is in his first year writing for Kol BT! Nir enjoys traveling, volunteering, and playing tennis. Nir’s favorite city is Tel Aviv, Israel. Nir is excited about a great year in the newspaper! 

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    Eli friedmanOct 17, 2023 at 12:51 am

    Nir Friedman , very very interesting . well done.
    Eli Friedman , your grandfather.