Captain Yaakov Yitzchok Selavan - Class of 2002
The middle school students were mesmerized as Captain Yaakov Yitzchok Selavan of the IDF Armored Corps quoted Rambam, saying that, when one goes to war, one's thoughts should not be on family, friends or self, but rather, on Klal Yisroel, the entire Jewish Nation.
In separate sessions, with much emotion mixed with Jewish pride, Yaakov described to our middle school boys and girls his experiences during this past summer's military operation, Protective Edge. He countered the rumors of the Israeli's firing on places such as hospitals and private homes when he told of losing one of his good friends to gunfire coming from a sniper located in a hospital in Gaza. Yaakov noted that as a commander, when going into a terrorist's home to make an arrest, he makes certain that his soldiers act with strength tempered with restraint because to go into a home and arrest a terrorist in front of his/her family using brutality or unnecessary violence will perpetuate hatred and distrust. He feels that it's very important for the Israeli soldiers to always act in a moral and ethical manner. Yaakov commented that one of his biggest lessons learned during Operation Protective Edge was that he could feel the love and support from Jews around the world through the letters and gifts the soldiers received. If an Israeli soldier commented that he had not been able to cut his nails in two weeks, there would be hundreds of nail-clippers delivered the next day from people across the globe.
Yaakov made a surprise visit to the first grade boys' class where his cousin, Tuvia Hirsch, is enrolled. He expressed to the students his appreciation for the year he spent in Atlanta and specifically his eighth grade year at TDSA. Captain Selavan is a TDSA alumnus and is the grandson of long-time TDSA supporters Mr. Ben and Mrs. Jacqueline Hirsch.
Moshe Caplan - Class of 2003
May 18, 2012 was a proud day for Torah Day School of Atlanta when Moshe Caplan, TDSA graduate class of 2002-2003, addressed nearly 1000 undergraduate and graduate students, their families and friends, and faculty members of Polytechnic Institute of New York University as valedictorian. Moshe stated in his moving speech, liberally sprinkled with humor, "Success marks a completion, but failure is an opportunity to reassess and improve your idea." He then went on to recount his first assigned project at Polytechnic in which he and his classmates failed miserably, but clearly fully recovered.
Graduating with a combined Bachelors and Master's Degree in Computer Science and Cybersecurity, Moshe's thesis "Cybersecurity of Critical Infrastructure: Recent Attacks and Research in the Field," reflects his keen interest in computer science as well as the safety and security of our country, many organizations and individuals within it. Currently pursuing job opportunities with the Federal Government, Moshe interned with the United States Secret Service, and local universities, Emory and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Born in Boston, MA, Moshe grew up in Atlanta Georgia. His family spent one year in Israel when he was 11 years old. When asked about his experience as a student at Torah Day School, Moshe responded, "TDSA taught me to always challenge myself; to always attempt to accomplish more than was expected of me." He added, "This is something I think about every day in my academic studies, religious activities, and interpersonal interactions. All of my accomplishments today began many years ago as a student at TDSA. This is a testament to the excellent and extremely dedicated faculty and administration at TDSA, each of whom has inspired me to constantly work harder to achieve my goals in all areas of my life."
Moshe's sentiments regarding his education clearly reflect the Torah Day School's mission to "inspire each student to love G-d, to observe the Torah, to strive for personal excellence, and to pursue life-long learning."
Hadassah Morris – Class of 2007
TDSA graduate, Hadassah Morris, is the winner of the 2011 Young Writers Contest and recently launched her very own book, Rapunzel: Retold. The description on the cover of her newly released book states, "Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel, right? The story you know is incomplete. Here's what REALLY happened... The first-time author created a tale inspired by the witches of Shakespeare and the macabre fantasies of the Grimm Brothers. Through details of Rapunzel's own diary, Rapunzel: Retold shares a glimpse into how the forlorn Rapunzel really felt about being locked up in her tower, both with and without her prince. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all..." After graduating from TDSA, Hadassah attended Temima High School for Girls, Afikei Torah Seminary in Israel, and is currently planning to attend Georgia Perimeter College.