This year, we are excited to be piloting a Town Hall in the Upper School. The Town Hall will take place in the Upper School Beit Midrash for 20 minutes every Friday after Tefillah. The goal of the Town Hall is to create and promote a sense of community and provide a forum for students and teachers to have a voice within the community. As such, the Town Hall will feature both discussions on community issues as well as opportunities for announcements and presentations on activities and events relevant to school and student life.
The Town Hall will always begin with a short, student-delivered D’var Torah, followed by a welcome and short presentation from the Student Council President. After this, the Town Hall will adopt one of two formats:
- A group conversation around community issues
- A presentation and announcement format highlighting upcoming or timely events/activities/topics
Group Conversation Format:
Students and faculty will be able to submit topics to discuss at the Town Hall Meeting, and the Student Council, together with the administration, will choose a topic for the group conversation. Students will make brief presentations, and then the floor will be open to students. The Student Council will follow up on the topic with the administration at their next meeting.
Presentation and Announcement Format:
Club advisors and leaders as well as faculty will be invited to make presentations and announcements. These announcements would include, for example: a sports team sharing their recent standings as well as an invitation to an upcoming game, a brief announcement about an upcoming fundraiser for a club, an announcement about a new club that’s starting, a short “skit” of a scene from HADAS player to entice students to come to an upcoming play, a teacher and/or students presenting about a recent accomplishment (such as the awards won from the Statistics class), news from the Israel Action Committee about recent occurrences in Israel with next steps (such as, “come write a letter to your congressman during breakfast today in the cafeteria”), a Siyum made by a class on the completion of a Seder of Mishna, presentation of Merit Semifinalists from the administration, etc.
We are excited about the Town Hall idea, and we are looking forward to using the next few months to pilot this program, assess the results, and make adjustments—to build a stronger community in the Berman Upper School.