Freshmen and seniors bond on the ice

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Freshmen and seniors bond on the ice

BP Photo by Rachel Lester

BP Photo by Rachel Lester

BP Photo by Rachel Lester

SLIDE: Senior Yonah Nimmer, center, guides freshmen Max Newman and Avishai Rabin around the rink at Culver City Ice Rink Feb. 16.

Jacob Elspas, Staff Writer

About three-quarters of the way through lunch period Feb. 17, freshmen all around the school were surprised when music teacher Mrs. Joelle Keene’s voice came on the loud speaker and told them all to go to the Beit Midrash.

There she announced they were going to a concert of the Budapest String Quartet in Culver City. Yes they could write a Concert Report on it, no they didn’t have to. Just go and enjoy it, she said, and be careful not to clap between movements, in the pause without applause.

With Student Activities director Raizie Weissman and Judaic Studies teacher Mrs. Ruthie Skaist, the freshmen then headed out the cafeteria doors into a waiting bus. But when they got to Culver City, what greeted them was not a concert hall but the smiling faces of their senior buddies. It was the infamous annual “freshie snatch,” and the classes of 2015 and 2012 were going ice skating.

What followed was an afternoon of wobbling, falling and sliding built around games meant to help Shalhevet’s oldest and youngest students forge a bond that would connect them to one another while ensuring a continuation of the culture and closeness of the school.

“it’s a great way for the freshmen and seniors to bond, and they have lots of fun,” Raizie said.

Having the event at the Culver City Ice Rink on Sepulveda Boulevard was a first. Past years’ festivities have been at either Pan Pacific or Rancho Park, which Raizie said were unavailable this year.

The ice rink seemed to be a hit.

“I enjoyed it a lot, even though I am not that great at skating,” said freshman Rina Katzovitz,

After putting on rented skates, everyone went out on the ice. While some freshman and seniors started doing spins and jumps right away, other were not as hasty. But seniors and freshmen helped each other out, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Also, a get-to-know-your-friends game was put into play at the rink. Each person was given an envelope with a picture of someone from his or her own grade. On the picture were two questions, and you had to get them answered before rink personnel got all the skaters off the ice to groom it again.

When that time came, everyone gathered on the bleachers and read out their answers. Questions ranged from what is your favorite breakfast cereal to who would be your neighbor if you lived on Sesame Street, and everyone found things out about their peers that they never knew before.

Then, everyone went back out to the rink, although some spent more time on it than actually skating.

“I think i got the high score for the most falls,” said freshman David Ohana.

After davening Mincha in the parking lot, everyone said their goodbyes and freshmen climbed back on the bus. Then Raizie told them that they were going to get back to school early, so they would have to wait on the Sport Court until school was over

However, right as the freshmen stepped outside, they were ambushed by the seniors with an assortment of water guns and water balloons. Latecomers watched as the senior class lay in waiting for them outside the doors.

Eventually, everyone went outside, though seniors had to carry out some who resisted. When the balloons and guns were all gone, then came the hose and trashcans full of water. Random freshman were drenched with a huge bucket of water, and some more than once.

“i remember when I was a freshmen,” said senior Laura Melamed, “and besides water balloons they had people squirting ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, and lots of other stuff. However, I still had a lot of fun.”

After everyone had gotten soaked, things died down. As the bell for the end of school rang, everyone walked inside, dripping wet, to pack up and head home.

Freshie Snatch 2012 had passed, and memories of the day would stay fresh for much longer than a pause without applause.  But there would be no concert report on it.