This summer, three of our science students had the opportunity to participate in a special experience that melded their religious and intellectual values. The 2019 Garcia Research Symposium began with a private siyum ceremony arranged for Jewish students and faculty by Garcia Program Director Dr. Miriam Rafailovich. During the nine days prior to the Jewish fast of Tisha b’Av, it is customary not to eat meat unless there is a religious celebration, so Jonathan Lederer of HAFTR completed the tractate Megillah of the Talmud to allow Orthodox Jewish faculty and students to partake in the kosher meat lunch sponsored by the symposium. We are so proud of Meirav Grajower, Hannah Hamerman, and Lauren Stiefel, who presented their research projects with confidence and grace. Hannah even held her own when her research team was questioned by a professor in the audience, explaining clearly where her research had answers and where it had limitations. All of them will continue traveling to Stony Brook University during the month of September to complete the projects that they started over the summer. Mrs. Ruth Fried, Science chair and program advisor and Mrs. Miriam Chopp, program advisor, shared how the students made them proud not only because they presented with clarity and precision, but because members of the Garcia faculty complimented them for their refined behavior, commitment, and kindness to others in the program. Now that the symposium is over, the most intense part of the Science Institute Program is about to begin. As Meirav, Hannah, and Lauren complete their research and write their papers, they will enter into national and international high school science research competitions, where they will need to defend their research.

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