Many are unaware of the path their lives will take after graduation, but for 40 Epstein School eighth-graders, the journey seems less challenging, thanks to the values the school has instilled in them.
Friends and family packed the Sandy Springs day school’s gymnasium Wednesday, May 23, to celebrate graduation, scheduled 10 minutes before the air conditioning turned off. Despite the heat, the ceremony continued with the Class of 2018’s rendition of the “Wizard of Oz.”
Like the show’s character, the Epstein graduates are taking courage, heart and brains to high school, including the ability to think critically and see the world through multiple perspectives, according to the graduation program.
Students shared their capstone projects, a new initiative this year, and Knesset President Gabriel Kadoori presented the class gift, a printer, for the use of faculty and students in the fall. The students also spoke about what they learned in their favorite subjects and how those lessons shaped their views.
Congregation Or Hadash Rabbi Mario Karpuj delivered the d’var Torah and recited a blessing for the students. He said his hope is that each student can become a blessing by effecting change.
It was Myrna Rubel’s last graduation as Epstein’s middle school principal, but she will remain on campus to teach a class. Rubel spent a few final moments with the graduating class during the presentation of the diplomas.
She encouraged the students to never forget their Jewish identity and to stand as ambassadors for Israel. “Epstein is meant to be your cheerleader, telling you that whatever path you choose, you are supported by your teachers, by your parents and your friends.”
Epstein Class of 2018
The following are the 40 students who graduated from the Epstein School on Wednesday, May 23.
Photos by Coleen Lou