Cheers in the auditorium as administration declares a ‘heat day’ and cancels school


BP Photo by Jordan Levine

HYDRATE: Plastic bottles of cold water were delivered to 3rd-floor classrooms during Period H after administration announced that school would be cancelled.

By Rose LIpner, Community Editor

UPDATED: Cheers erupted from the student body after Principal Reb Noam Weissman announced at 2 p.m. that school would be cancelled tomorrow due to the heat wave.

Reb Noam made the announcement in the auditorium just before Mincha, and Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal had sent out an e-mail to teachers about an hour before.

“This is Los Angeles’ version of a snow day,” Reb Noam said.

Instead of a half-day of regular classes, which was to have been shortened anyway because Yom Kippur starts at sundown, there will be an optional school day using only the air-conditioned portions of the JCC, Reb Noam said.

It will start at 9 a.m. with pre-Yom Kippur davening followed by breakfast and Yom Kippur learning, which will end at 12.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to learn for the sake of learning,” said Reb Weissman. “We’re going to learn, daven and eat before Yom Kippur– really great mitzvot to do. And who wouldn’t want to hang out with our great Judaic faculty?”

He said topics would include a communal annulment of vows, molding your own Selichot, technical matters of Yom Kippur and ways to approach God.

It was 98 degrees outside when the announcement was made, and by the end of classes the temperature in upstairs classrooms was 93 degrees. The National Weather Service said the forecast was similar for Friday.

But the heat didn’t drain the students’ energy.  After the announcement, students were clapping, cheering and smiling. Friends looked at one another and began to make plans for the next day or debated whether they should participate in the optional classes.

“Erev Yom Kippur is really our last chance at cleaning up and nullifying our vows, which we’ll be doing during the optional school day,” said junior Micah Gill. “I think this is an opportunity to learn, and in some ways surpasses the learning we do during the week.”

Moments after the announcement, changes were put into effect. Advisory was held on the first floor where there is more air conditioning than the third floor, and entire grades crowded into the area’s larger rooms.

On the other hand, extra curricular activities continued. The Boys Flag football game against Vistamar, for example, went on as scheduled at LACES at 5 p.m., and the Firehawks defeated Vikings 18 – 7.

“It’s later in the day so the heat is starting to go down,” said senior Jeremy Glouberman, who plays tight end on the team, when Mincha ended. “Also, we’re part of a team so we have to be committed to the team,” he continued. “This game has been scheduled since the beginning of the season, and we can’t just cancel it an hour before.”

Students were told to RSVP by 8 pm to receptionist Stacey Enoch if they planned to attend the optional school day, so she could order enough food.

“We have a school of 190 students,” said Reb Noam. “I expect 190 students to be there.”

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