On Tuesday, November 26, Yeshiva High School for Girls / Central hosted its first ever “Talia Talks”.
Three students and three faculty members were selected to share personal narratives about immigrating to this great nation. These speakers shared what America has represented to their families and to the national fabric in shaping their individual stories and life paths.
Here is the opening speech given by Ms. Audi Hecht, Chair of the History Department.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.”
These beautiful words were uttered by Abraham Lincoln our president who officially designated Thanksgiving as a National Holiday in 1863. Today we gather at Central to Give Thanks, To Reflect, and To Share Stories. These stories build upon the original epic journey of our Puritan ancestors who in 1620 decided to create and fulfill a new vision for their futures. After enduring a host of impediments and challenges they chose to express “thanks” early and publicly, setting for us a shining example of the prime example of Gratitude. Researchers in Positive Psychology has found that gratitude and happiness are always strongly correlated. A possible theory is that gratitude moves people to experience more positive emotions, to thoroughly enjoy the good experiences, better their health, face adversity, and develop and maintain relationships of strength, which in turn makes you happier. So expressing thanks appropriately and consistently not only reflects good character it is enriching oneself in the process.
Today, we have the honor of hearing from several beloved members of our school community in our First Talia Talks Series who will share personal narratives about how and why they are Thankful to be in this great nation. America the land of the free, home of the brave has been a beacon for millions who have sought its shores from the minute the Mayflower arrived and with the multitude of ships, boats, flights, and migrants on foot have followed. We are here to listen to their messages, celebrate their stories and give thanks.