The Epstein School graduated a class of 61 eighth-graders Monday evening, May 22.

Speakers such as Head of School David Abusch-Magder, board President Darrin Friedrich and former Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Chairman Marty Kogon said the large size of the class set it apart — the students and their chaperones filled two buses during an 18-day trip to Israel that included Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut — but its range of talents made it special.

The graduates, many of whom had been at Epstein together since preschool or kindergarten, now are dispersing to high schools including the Weber School, North Springs, Riverwood, Dunwoody, Pace and Woodward.

Head of School David Abusch-Magder takes time to say goodbye to the families whose final child is graduating from Epstein. Two of the families had been part of Epstein for more than 20 years.

Epstein Middle School Principal Myrna Rubel urged the 61 students to make many new acquaintances in high school but, in keeping with the ceremony’s theme of “staying connected,” to draw strength from the lifelong friendships they have forged as “the talkative group” at Epstein.

Congregation B’nai Torah Rabbi Joshua Heller, who has spoken to the Class of 2017 every year at Epstein, said it is now up to each graduate to determine what it means to be Jewish.

“My hope, my prayer for you,” Rabbi Heller said, “is that you leave here knowing who you are.”

Photos by Michael Jacobs

Epstein School Class of 2017
Lihi Barel
Tea Barton
Roy Ben-Haim
Eli Benveniste
Tess Berman
Shane Bernstein
Mitchell Cohen
Morgan Cohen
Ryan Cohen
Lauren Cohn
Rachel Cohn
Ryan Diamond
Hannah Dobkin
Amir Dressler
Emma Estroff
Sam Feldstein
Ben Fox
Sydney Fox
Noam Friedman
Bradley Friedrich
Ella Gamson
Simon Gersten
Roy Ginzberg
Jonah Glenn
Nolan Goldklang
Maya Granath
Elizabeth Grant
Gabby Greenwald
Caleb Heller
Harris Jacobs
Isaac Jaye
Joshua Kardon
Lauren Katz
Eve Kogon
Jamie Kornheiser
Maddie Lampert
Lindsey Lewis
Hope Lindner
Rachel Mayer
Mika Mazor
Hannah Miller
Zack Naturman
Talia Neufeld
Jacob Panitch
Lilah Juliet Presser Weiss
Celia Rappoport
Micah Reich
Hallie Schiff
Gray Schneider
Jordan Shoob
Carly Spandorfer
Lily Stoumen
Ava Sturisky
Kiefer Sturisky
Ryan Sturisky
Alex Tovin
Rene Walter
Annie Rose Weinstein
Anna Wohlberg
Owen Woodman
Max Young