Students Against Terrorism
In March 2002, six Yavneh Academy students attended the Yeshiva University Emaitai Leadership Conference in Connecticut that focused on active leadership and various ways to improve the situation in Israel.
As the students returned to Dallas, they formed Students Against Terrorism (SAT) which demonstrates solidarity and supports victims of terrorism in the State of Israel.
SAT is committed to raising awareness in the community about the devastating effects of terrorism on Israeli civilians, and has raised more than $500,000 through the sale of StandStrong4Israel wristbands, learn-a-thons, film nights, and its successful flagship program, the annual Points for Peace 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
Funds raised by SAT have had positive effects on many victims of terrorism in Israel. They have been used to purchase an ambulance for the Magen David Adom and send children to the Koby Mandell Foundation’s Camp, a summer camp for teens who have lost family members in terrorist attacks.
Other beneficiaries include the Keren Malka Foundation that provides long-term, no-cost use of specialized home equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, bath inserts, bed lifts, and ATZUM, which supports families whose lives have been shattered by terrorism.
Students Against Terrorism has been recognized internationally as a model for student leadership, with SAT officers featured as speakers at the Yeshiva University Eimatai Conference and the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C.
Uniting Students of Dallas
Uniting Students of Dallas (USD), built at the Eimatai Conference, has raised over $30,000 to benefit the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Guests at the project’s annual events have included Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson (Texas Supreme Court), the Honorable Robert Jordan (former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia), and Roland Johnson and Terry Tottenham (Immediate Past President and President of the State Bar of Texas).
USD also hosts the annual Mix-It-Up diversity event. Held each October, students from a number of schools in the Dallas area meet with Yavneh participants for education, lectures, and more, in an effort to grow and understand one another.
Kol Hakavod to Yavneh's Students4Students organization has raised $23,700 to build a school in Ethiopia, and a second school in Sudan. "This is fantastic and we extend a 'Thank You' to the kids, and to Yavneh and their parents for instilling the values of tzedakah and gimilut chasadim, of charity and of acts of loving-kindness," said Stan Rabin, a representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. "Our community has had a great impact and it is wonderful to see the youth of Dallas putting forth such great efforts and with such success."
Students4Students also raised the funds to build a school for the children of Addis Ababa. This project was spirited by the efforts of Dr. Rick Hodes, an American doctor who has devoted his life to helping the most desperate of Ethiopians in need of medical treatment. The group has held a screening of Dr. Hodes' story in "Bewoket: By the Will of God" and "Making the Crooked Straight," and a book signing, with Marilyn Berger, the author of "This is a Soul; The Mission of Rick Hodes."
Helping Hands for the Homeless
Yavneh's Helping Hands for the Homeless (HHH) event posted a strong success with close to 130 guests helping to raise almost $25,000 in their effort to support the children and programs of Jonathan's Place, a Dallas shelter for abused children.
Previous projects of HHH include volunteering at the North Texas Food Bank and The Bridge Soup Kitchen, as well as collecting clothing, school supplies, and toiletries, to distribute to those in need.
Yavneh’s Helping Everyone Live Peacefully (HELP) organization was founded by students in 2005. Since then, the group has raised more than $25,000 to assist Mosaic Family Services, Operation Promise to help Ethiopian Jews immigrate to Israel, the SAVE DARFUR campaign, children in Argentina, American Jewish World Service Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund, and a group in Malawi that supports that area's thousands of orphaned children.
Theatre Arts and Music Ensemble
Yavneh's Music Ensemble is a collective group of students that perform at Yavneh's Fall Arts' Night and Spring Lit Cafe, as well as at other programs throughout the year.
As an elective for students interested in studying the history and elements of theater, Yavneh Academy offers both classroom and performance opportunities in theater arts. In 2005, Yavneh produced its first public dramatic performance, Antigone.
On stage in Yavneh's Harold & Leah Pollman Hall, audiences have since enjoyed:
- 2005-2006 Three Sisters
- 2006-2007 Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
- 2007-2008 The Diary of Anne Frank and Alice in Wonderland
- 2008-2009 Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
- 2009-2010 The Miracle Worker
- 2010-2011 The Importance of Being Earnest
- 2011-2012 The Secret Garden
Since 2001, Yavneh students have been learning the ABC’s of objections, "your Honors," public speaking, and the experience and learning that its Mock Trial program provides. Yavneh's incredibly popular and successful Mock Trial Team, founded by former Yavneh Dad Warren Abrams, has taught our students much through its educational and stimulating programming.
Yavneh's Mock Trial season, which runs through most of the year with matches from December through March, follows the outline provided by the Dallas Bar Association, including each year's case. While Yavneh's team does not compete in the Dallas arena, because most events are held on Saturdays, Mr. Abrams arranges for matches between Yavneh students and other high school programs in the community.