The staff and students of Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Joel Braverman High School found themselves especially connected, as its faculty member, Ms. Hanny Zaltzman, grew up in Toulouse. In fact, she was a student in the first class of elementary school at which the shooting took place.
On Thursday afternoon (Mar. 22), Ms. Zaltzman was the featured speaker at an assembly in which the Yeshivah of Flatbush showed its solidarity with the Jewish Community of Toulouse.
After a brief introduction by Assistant Principal Rabbi Joseph Beyda, Ms. Zaltzman addressed the entire student body. She described the peaceful nature of the city of Toulouse and the spiritual caliber of its Jewish Community, which has roots going all the way back to the Middle Ages. She then relayed conversations she had had with her mother and her niece. Her mother is the Principal of the elementary school which the young victims attended. Her niece was with the victims just moments before the shooting and witnessed it firsthand.
Rabbi Beyda and Ms. Zaltzman explained to the students that the Jewish People are unique in that we are all connected and we share each other’s pain and lend each other support. This is the meaning of the concept “Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh BaZeh.”
Ms. Zaltzman was followed by a hashkavah (memorial prayer) delivered by Rosh HaYeshivah Rabbi Raymond Harari, who also led the entire Yeshivah together in a spiritually uplifting mincha prayer service. As part of their expression of solidarity and support for the Jewish community of Toulouse, each student in the Yeshivah is writing a note in Hebrew to them.
May Hashem comfort all of the bereaved amongst the Mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.