North Shore Hebrew Academy High School
Great Neck, New York
THE MINCHAH PROJECTDirectly due to support from Legacy 613, North Shore Hebrew Academy implemented the Minchah Project in 2016-2017. About 30 students from 9th and 10th grades dedicated to sincere tefillah with kavanah (intention) and a focused, quiet minyan davened Mincḥah together every day. The students had to apply and be accepted to join the minyan. It was mostly student-led, though a faculty member was present and taught the students about the blessings of the Shmonei Esrei weekly, delivered brief teachings about tefillah that inspired their davening, and helped students prepare Divrei Torah that they delivered at the minyan.
The Minchah Project students also attended a “Reflect and Reconnect” meeting every two weeks during the students’ lunch period. The session included both an educational and reflective component. At the start of each session, the facilitators allowed time for students to reflect on their current experience in the Minchah minyan. They shared concerns, offered suggestions and one student or faculty member taught an excerpt of a particular prayer that was meaningful to them or to the minyan. The students are so excited about the special davening environment created by the Minchah Project that they are hoping to expand it to Shacharit and to other minyanim at the school.