The Benefit Auction Art Preview will be on Feb. 12 from 6-8 PM at Phillips New York. Viewing is open to the public on Feb. 11, 12-6 PM and on Feb. 12, 10-6 PM. Our Admissions team (Kineta, Harriet, Lorena, Sarah, and Claudine) are featuring a work by Tom Slaughter. Summer, is a screenprint in edition of 60 and the 4 pieces measure 25 3/4 x 17 3/4. #FSartauction2019
Congratulations to the Indoor Track team as they prepare to close out another successful season next month. Be sure to check the calendar for the complete sports schedule. #GoFSOwls
Veteran civil rights activist Nell Braxton Gibson visited the Meetinghouse on January 14, 2019 to urge Friends students to engage in something bigger than themselves. “This is a time in your lives when you can decide to make a difference in your lives,” Gibson said at an Upper School assembly in honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, “and I challenge you to do so.” Gibson, who is the mother of the late Bert Gibson III ’87, also spoke at length about the civil rights movement, its unfinished character, and what Dr. King's legacy invites us to do in the present. Read more about her visit and read the transcript of her speech at www.friendsseminary.org.
Kristen Fairey, chair of the History Department, introduced her Upper School US History class to a collection of books and documents donated to the school by parents Henry Hershkowitz and Peter Holleran. These 18th and 19th century materials are primary sources of information on the social, political and economic history of New York City. They were previously part of a large collection of materials on New York history amassed over a lifetime of collecting by Henry Hershkowitz’s father, Leo Hershkowitz. That collection is now housed in New York University’’s Tamiment Library. The books and documents donated to Friends Seminary will give students the opportunity to learn how to examine and learn from primary sources. They will be housed in the school’s Archive Room.
On January 7, Upper School students, faculty and staff participated in Friends’ annual Day of Concern, which focused on this year’s academic theme: American Landscape: Explore, Engage, Transform. The annual Day of Concern, spearheaded by the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice (CPEJ), aims to examine a wealth of issues affecting society from various perspectives with the hope of encouraging more thoughtful and empathetic solutions. The Upper School dedicated the day to examining areas on both a local and international level through a series of workshops facilitated by outside experts or Friends students and faculty. Our world is profoundly affected by homelessness and climate change, the rise of fascism, and educational equality and immigration policy. The need for empathy and ethics in our personal responses are more critical than ever. The day began with renowned Colombian-American poet Carlos Andres Gomez, who injected a bit of humor into the morning session with honest reflections on manhood, identity, flaws, cultural expectations and how politics is shaping our society. He tackled a range of everyday elements from how race plays a role from college relationships, applying for an apartment, to being pulled over by police. His poignant stories on stereotypes invited and challenged his audience to look at themselves, their own stories and how they engage with others. The closing session at the end of the school day featured a film viewing and discussion — facilitated by students — with Catherine Gund, a Friends Parent and the Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures. She was joined by Arielle Knight, Associate Producer and Impact Coordinator at Aubin Pictures. They featured two episodes from Dispatches From Cleveland, a powerful documentary that examines one of the most racially divided cities in America in the wake of the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November 2014. Rice was fatally shot by police because they believed he had a gun, though it turned out to be a toy. The film dissects who in our political system holds the power, how it is abused, and the importance of voting and community organization to fight social and political apathy.
The Boys Varsity Basketball team enjoyed a week-long trip to Arizona over winter break where they played three games and took time to enjoy a desert tour, Phoenix Suns games and an ASU basketball game. Congratulations to the team as they defeated all of their opponents: Maryvale High School (AZ) 63-55, Brecksville High School (OH) 57-53, and Shorewood High School (WA) 47-37. Join them for the next home game this Friday, January 11 and cheer them on! Be sure to check the calendar for the complete sports schedule. #GoFSOwls
During Homecoming on Friday, December 21, Friends Seminary alumni returned to campus to speak with current students during the Alumni-Senior Networking Panels and College Panels before joining the All-School Holiday Assembly and the Alumni Basketball Game. Thank you to all who were able to attend, with special recognition to those alumni who lead our thoughtful panels. The Alumni General Career Panel included: Ely Key ‘03 Laura Kilberg ‘05 Alex Winter ‘08 Amanda Miller ‘84 Christian Hoyos ‘13 The Alumni Journalism Career Panel included: Sami Liebman Elbaum ‘94 Sofia Hollander ‘98 Collier Meyerson ‘03 Stephen Yang ‘03 The Alumni Law Career Panel included: Derrick Gibbs ‘72 Laura Ward ‘71 Sarah Paul ‘78 Fred Isquith ‘00
Friends recently celebrated a decade of being the only independent school in New York to offer Arabic in Grades 5-12 — teaching more than 125 current students and alumni to be proficient in the language. During the School's annual Art of Teaching lecture on December 20, 2018, Friends teachers Nadim Bawalsa, Joseph Sills, Belal Joundeya and Anna Swank Bothwell (former faculty) shared their experiences and motivations in helping build the program. The evening was also a homecoming for Anna, who is now teaching Arabic in Michigan. Many of her former students attended the lecture to hear how she helped foster the program at Friends in its infancy. She described being attracted to Friends because of the progressiveness and “open mindedness and strength of character” to nurture this program. Nadim added that “there are not many other schools in this world that value peace the way Friends does.” Beyond this, students are truly the core of the program. Joseph detailed the Middle School program in particular noting the “passion, energy and talents they bring” to the classroom each day. Belal, who is in his second year at Friends, added that these “students are the best he’s ever taught in the past 10 years. He said he was pleasantly surprised with their maturity and eagerness to learn Arabic. The Arabic program at Friends was born from the desire to build bridges of peace, to explore, appreciate and respect cultural differences, and to teach students to listen with intent and give back in their own ways. The program offers an eclectic curriculum with a focus on real world scenarios that includes poetry, music, games, and past spring break trips to Morocco, Palestine and Israel, marrying rigorous academics with the aesthetic beauty of Arabic culture.
Friends held its annual holiday assembly this afternoon. A candle was lit by the youngest student and oldest student, and song filled the Meetinghouse — including the highly anticipated 12 Days of Christmas rendition performed by the entire school. The candle was then extinguished, signaling the end of the assembly and the start of winter break for students and faculty. Season’s Greetings from Friends!