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El Al Celebrates 65th
EL AL Israel Airlines celebrated its 65th anniversary of when the airline was officially incorporated on November 15, 1948.  Merely a vision in 1948, EL AL is today one of the most well-respected global carriers and maintains its role as Israel’s national airline.  Having both been established in 1948, EL AL and the State of Israel have evolved together, serving as a bridge in uniting Israel with the outside world.
In September of 1948, the new State of Israel wanted to bring President Chaim Weizmann home from a meeting in Geneva in an Israeli aircraft.  Improvising, an Israeli Air Force aircraft was converted to a civilian plane, the pilots and an in-flight crew were recruited from the Israeli Air Force, furnishings were borrowed and Kosher food was ordered.  It was decided to call the airline “EL AL,” taken from the book of the Hebrew prophet Hosea, meaning to the skies.  The name “EL AL” was painted on the aircraft, as was an Israeli flag on the tail.
Celebrating almost 65 years of service, EL AL Israel Airlines offers the most nonstop flights between New York (JFK/Newark) and Israel as well as the only nonstop service from Los Angeles.  Worldwide, EL AL flies to 36 destinations from Israel and serves dozens of other destinations throughout the world via partnerships with other carriers.  Only EL AL has first class service on nonstop flights between the U.S.A. and Israel.  The airline has annual revenues of about $2 billion and carries 3.6 million passengers every year.  EL AL embodies Israel’s values of innovation and the promise of a genuine Israeli welcome.

TVT Students Recognized by NMS
Seven students at Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) Community Day School in Irvine received recognition in the 59th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and two were named as semi-finalists.
The seven – Jordan Berman, Ethan Bogart, Matthew Cohen, Roy Elzur, Tristan Levinson-Hayes, Nathan Price and Lahna Sheron – represent 18 percent of the graduating class at TVT.  They are among the top 50,000 students of 1.5 million who took the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test.
Elzur and Berman, the semi-finalists, are part of a group of 16,000 students who will continue in the competition to receive some 8,000 scholarships worth $35 million to be offered in spring 2014.  About 90 percent of the semi-finalists will become finalists, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
“This is very exciting for the students and the whole school,” said Keren Wolf, dean of students.  “These students have worked so hard at increasing their learning, and it’s paid off.”
She added, “They’ve gone above and beyond the requirements to avail themselves of what we can do.  They have a natural curiosity that the school has helped them to develop.  TVT ignited a spark that they have developed into a flame.”
Most of the students were both surprised and pleased at the recognition.  Many want to decide later about their career choices.
Elzur, who has spent his entire academic life at TVT, likes the fact that he knows students and teachers personally.  Excelling in math and science and interested in art, he is thinking about parlaying his skills into industrial design or architecture and hopes to go to college in a big city on the east coast.
Berman, who also has been at TVT since kindergarten, said, “To say it has shaped my education would be understatement of the year.  I learned the definition of learning in the hallowed halls of Tarbut, and my experience has been understandably positive.”  He said he was delighted that his hard work paid off.
Cohen, who also placed in the top 25 in an essay contest sponsored by the American Foreign Service Association, hopes to have a career involving public policy. Also at TVT since kindergarten, he credits the English and math departments with this achievement and likes the sense of community at the school.
Sheron, the only girl in the group, said that TVT is “an environment where teachers encourage you to love learning rather than stressing a need to win.”  Also a “lifer” at TVT, she likes history, math and science, as well as poetry, music and the trampoline.  She hopes to explore multiple career options at Tufts University.
Bogart, also at TVT since kindergarten, hopes to get a computer science degree “and maybe do something with music as well.”  Adept at math and science, he plays several musical instruments, is on the baseball and cross-country teams, does competitive imrpov, is in National Honor Society and serves as co-president of his synagogue youth group.
Levinson-Hayes, who started TVT in the sixth grade, was glad to see his friends get recognized. He likes TVT, because “there’s a lot of teacher-student connection, small classes, the Jewish aspect and great teachers.”  He hopes to go to the University of Chicago, Washington University or Brandeis.
Price, who did the accelerated math program at TVT and culminated with multivariate calculus, is also a musician in a garage band.  Also undecided about his career choice and applying to multiple colleges, Price is excited that his hard work resulted in this accomplishment.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) was established in 1955 to award scholarships.  The scholarships are underwritten by NMSC and 440 business organizations and academic institutions to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and enourage the pursuit of academic excellence.
TVT is a pluralistic Jewish day school with nearly 600 students.  Its mission is to challenge students to think critically and creatively to achieve their fullest potential in an inclusive, pluralistic environment; to prepare students to be leaders, active learners and responsible citizens; and to succeed at the finest colleges and universities.  TVT also strives to strengthen its students’ Jewish identities and inspire them to lead meaningful lives, steeped in Jewish values.
For more information on TVT, 5200 Bonita Canyon Drive, Irvine, CA 92603, contact (949) 509-9500 or www.tarbut.com.

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