They returned to the school they had attended as children. They looked around. They reminisced.
And then they played some ball!
Graduates are a constant presence at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy; the hallways downstairs are lined with photographs of every graduating class since the first, that of 1960. Students lined up outside the gym or the computer lab often study the pictures, pleased to spot a parent, other relative or even one of several teacher.
But Penny Eisenstein, GHA’s Head of Health and P.E. and Athletic Director, was really glad to see many of those alumni back at school in the flesh, playing volleyball and soccer with the current crop of GHA students.
“We wanted alumni who are college-aged and over to play with our Wolves,” she said. “The guys would go out to the field and play soccer with our boys’ team; the women would join our girls’ volleyball teams in the gym. We thought, ‘It’ll be fun! We’ll bring them back, mix the generations a little.’”
The GHA Wolves have been fielding great teams for the Metropolitan Atlanta Athletics Conference this year. The boys’ soccer team, finished for the year, showed great improvement over the course of the season. The B volleyball team, which has also completed its season, came in second in their division.
Meanwhile, the A volleyball team holds the no. 1 position, remains the only undefeated team in the league and just brought home the Metropolitan Atlanta Athletic Conference Championship trophy.
Alumni who returned for the recent scrimmages against current students revisited old memories, checked out how things have changed at GHA and saw the new addition to the trophy case. Eisenstein said that she loved seeing her old students back and sharing their expertise with the Wolves who have followed them.
“The majority of our volunteer coaching staff is alumni,” she added. “It’s a wonderful way to feel like you’re really a part of the GHA family.”
GHA Head of School Rabbi Lee Buckman concurred.
“Our alumni are powerful role models for our students,” he said. “They have already built upon the lifelong lessons that we teach here at GHA, and they really demonstrate how our graduates are poised to contribute to the world around them.”
BY LEAH LEVY / AJT CONTRIBUTOR
Editor’s note: Leah Levy is a paraprofessional at GHA and the author of “The Waiting Wall,” a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for 2010.