If you were driving down Converse Street in Longmeadow on June 16, an unusual sight would have met your eyes. A horse-drawn carriage transported each graduate of Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) to their one-of-a-kind graduation ceremony. The families watched from their cars in the parking lot, which was transformed into a graduation forum, stage and red carpet included.
LYA administration and staff wanted to ensure that the LYA Class of 2020 had a memorable and meaningful graduation after three months of distance learning.
“We understood that the graduation would be outdoors and we decided to be creative to give our graduates a unique experience. The horse and carriage was our way of honoring our graduates in a very special way,” said Rabbi Noach Kosofsky, LYA Principal.
The horse and carriage, from Mainely Drafts Horse and Carriage in Ludlow was sponsored by Ascher Zimmerman Funeral Home.
In keeping with the tradition of past LYA graduates, the class also presented LYA with a gift. “We felt it was very important to continue that tradition despite being physically apart,” said Riki Volovik, a graduate who traveled each day over an hour to attend school from the Berkshires. “We created a gift with a collage with ten individual frames. Each frame represents another a good deed.”
Sima Stiefel of Longmeadow was the recipient of the Rabbi Dovid Edelman Award. This award is presented to a student who exemplifies the mission of LYA that was modeled by Rabbi Dovid Edelman, of blessed memory, LYA’s longtime dean. The award is sponsored by his wife, Mrs. Leah Edelman in his memory.
The LYA graduating class are: Menucha Rochel Kulek, Chana Meyer, Leah Viktoriia Plieva, Yakov Schmidt, Rochel Leah Schwartz, Sima Stiefel, Rivka Volovik, Rishi Wolvovsky and Tzvi Yaffe.
PHOTOS BY SHANA SURECK PHOTOGRAPHY
Main Photo: Socially distanced photo of LYA’S Class of 2020 posed for a special socially-distanced class photo. They are, back row, left to right: Menucha Rochel Kulek, Leah Plieva, Chana Meyer; middle row, left to right: Tzvi Yaffe, Yakov Schmidt, Rochel Schwartz; front row, left to right: Riki Volovik, Rishi Wolvovsky, and Sima Stiefel.