This moment of silence caused a lot of noise.
Students at the elite Beacon School were asked to pause from their studies last week to pay tribute to the victims of violence in Gaza, where some 60 Palestinians were killed the day before by Israeli soldiers.
The school-wide announcement Tuesday stunned some students and has outraged parents who question why the school is entering into the divisive Palestinian-Israeli conflict with what they see as an anti-Jewish bent.
"I am extremely upset because I did not send my child to a New York City public school to pray for Hamas operatives," said one father, who is Jewish.
Violence erupted along Israel's border with Gaza Monday on the same day as the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. A Hamas leader said two days later that 50 of the 62 people killed belonged to the militant Islamic group which rules Gaza, and the rest were "from the people."
The US, which has labeled Hamas a terrorist organization, has stood by Israel in the wake of the killings and criticism of the Israeli response.
"I just don't think any school should be promoting a moment of silence for terrorists. What if it was Islamic terrorists in ISIS?" said one student's mother, who is Jewish. "No school would be having that over the loudspeaker."
The Zionist Organization of America, a pro-Israel group, said it would send a letter to the Beacon School demanding an apology.
"It is disgraceful to mourn the death of Hamas terrorists," said Morton Klein, the organization's president.
The highly selective Hells Kitchen school tends to lean left. Students, some with the permission of their teachers, walked out of school in November 2016 to protest Donald Trump's election.
Beacon principal Ruth Lacey did not return request for comment about whether she sanctioned the Gaza announcement, which was made by a student.
Students said such silent tributes at the school were rare. They did pause for the victims of the Parkland High School massacre, but that moment of silence took place during a school walkout against gun violence in March, students said.
"As a Jewish student, I could see a lot of my Jewish friends get very weird when the moment of silence started," Sophie Steinberg, a junior from Brooklyn, said about Tuesday's tribute.
"They don't know how to feel. They don't know how to fit into all of this."
Steinberg said the contemplative moment was not out of place at Beacon.
"I think that's Beacon's nature — to not be divisive but to bring up the things that no one wants to talk about," she said.
But another student said she had hoped for more discussion surrounding the announcement which, she said, seemed to come out of nowhere.
"I wish there was that conversation afterwards," said Fortune Ndombo, a junior from Manhattan. "There was no follow-up."
Some parents say they've reached out to the principal, who has been unresponsive.
"We support civic engagement and advocacy amongst students, and encourage schools to provide inclusive environments where students are able to respectfully discuss current events," a Department of Education spokesman said.