Graduating TSTI students share favorite memories at ceremony

Photo Courtesy of TSTI
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel graduates include, front row, from left, Sophie Alvarez, Rachel Horwitz and Samantha Lu; middle row, from left, Ian Lowenthal, Maya Goldner, Maya Cherins, Izzy Cotenoff and Noah Jaffe; and back row, from left, Ben Rothstein, Ethan Bernstein, Lauren Yelner, Jay Ascher and Aran Wollard.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, the Reform synagogue in South Orange, bade a fond farewell on May 4 to its latest graduating class from Hebrew High, senior youth group STISY and the religious school’s madrichim, or classroom aide, programs. The 12th-grade students, who led the Friday evening service, spoke about their experiences as Jewish teens as well as their experiences at TSTI; some have been in the community since preschool.

The various teen programs at TSTI have helped the students develop their identity as contemporary Jews, taught them to see social and global issues from a Jewish perspective, provided opportunities to volunteer and engage in social justice programs, and reflect on how their experiences at TSTI have shaped them, according to a press release from the synagogue.

This year’s graduates include Maplewood’s Ian Lowenthal, Maya Cherins, Izzy Cotenoff, Ben Rothstein, Lauren Yelner, Jay Ascher and Aran Wollard; South Orange’s Sophie Alvarez, Samantha Lu and Maya Goldner; and Millburn/Short Hills’ Rachel Horwitz, Noah Jaffe and Ethan Bernstein.