January 5, 2018
 18th of Tevet, 5778 

School Logo


    Parshat Shemot
Candle Lighting at 5:25 PM
E Pluribus Unum
Out of Many, One

What's better--the individual or the community? Should we celebrate and develop the unique skills and qualities that highlight how different each of us is than the other, or should we do our best to create a cohesive community that serves Hashem as one unit? To what extent does serving Hashem involve losing one's sense of self as opposed to celebrating that individuality?
Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch offers a penetrating insight into this issue in his commentary on this week's parsha. Why did Hashem choose to encounter Moshe through a burning bush? What is the symbolic message of the bush burning yet not being consumed by the fire? Rav Hirsch explains that when one is devoted to God, his own identity does become consumed. We can each serve Hashem with greater enthusiasm and integrity if we do so by recognizing our own unique sense of individuality.
One of my greatest joys over the course of the school shabbaton is listening to individual students argue with one another about issues of vital importance to the Jewish people and to their religious identity.  I'm proud of the environment that we've created in which individual students can respectfully work with each other and challenge each other in an effort toward a deeper sense of avodat Hashem .  
Thank you to the Highlites staff for putting together another fantastic edition that celebrates individuals united in their service of Hashem.  
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Sun. Jan.7  
Entrance Exam for 8th Graders 
Thu. Jan.11
Girls Musical
Good and Welfare
Jenna (Girnun '02) and Max Sredni on the birth of their daughter, Orah Chaya.

Yoni Levenson ('09) to Leora Apfelbaum from New Rochelle, NY

Elana Linker ('09) to Yoni Spector

Shelly Senfeld on the passing of her beloved mother, Mrs. Irva Senfeld.
Linda Struhl on the passing of her beloved father, Mr. Morris Schnur.

Shipshape Shabbaton
KYHS Students Attend the Annual Shabbaton Extravaganza in Orlando
Graphic by Sydney Freedman ('20)
Article by Sara Deichman ('19)

Each and every year, students look forward to the school-wide shabbaton on which they have the opportunity to make everlasting memories and take a break from the school setting to relax and enjoy themselves. This year, students were promised an exciting weekend, labeled: "Fujiwhara". Fujiwhara is the meteorological term for the event that occurs when different storms converge. Our students, the Katz Yeshiva High School Storms, came together for an epic weekend in Orlando, Florida. The most uplifting and growth-promoting element of the whole trip is the Shabbat experience. Despite diverse family customs and different hometowns, ranging from Miami to West Palm Beach, students spent a Shabbat together, completely unified, as one student body.  
Shabbat began with davening and was followed by dinner, singing, and a session, where students and teachers discussed this year's shabbaton theme, Orthodoxy in the Modern World. On Shabbat morning, students attended davening and then a session of their choice pertaining to the Shabbaton's theme, for example, our relationship with non-Jews, or technology in the modern orthodox world. The day continued with lunch, a town-hall discussion for each grade, and of course, more singing. The Shabbat experience was one of pure unification, and the KYHS students had a truly wonderful time making memories upon memories.
Boppin' Benny  
Benny Friedman Brings the Ruach to Orlando
Graphic by Yosef Linzer ('18)
Article by Ninette Mamrout ('19)
The first annual Fujiwhara was a blast, thanks in part to our special guest singer. Students and faculty members became united as one storm under the soulful and powerful voice of Brooklyn's own Benny Friedman! From original songs to fan-favorite covers, upbeat songs to slow melodies, the ruach
was palpable at Saturday night's concert and throughout the Shabbat davening.  
When Benny Friedman sang, I truly felt a connection to everyone else in the room! When "Ivri Anochi" or another one of his hits came on, everyone immediately formed circles and started rejoicing together. This was the perfect end to a meaningful Shabbat as it truly emphasized the power of music in the modern orthodox world. Benny Friedman's Motzei Shabbat concert was a hit. Yasher koach to Benny Friedman and the rest of the band!

Islands of Adventure
KYHS Students Enjoy an Action-packed Day at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Graphic by Avi Linzer ('19) and Noa Markovitz ('19)
Robots and Rashis
KYHS Students Receive Sizable Grants Towards Funding Their AI Initiatives    
Graphic by Akiva Splaver ('18)
Article by Adina Hirsch ('19)

Earlier this year the Jewish Education Project, with generous funding from The AVI CHAI Foundation, challenged students across the nation to propose a solution to enhance Judaics learning with technology. Under the guidance of KYHS's STEM Director, Dr. Yosef Wolf, two groups of students were awarded a significant grant to design and build a custom computer capable of meaningful Artificial Intelligence research: Learn to Lain, by Noah Bernten, Max Frohlich, Tans Rosen and Adding Nekudot to Rashi & Tosafot by Jacob Bean, Yonah Freiden, and Justin Wolff.  Yonah Freiden, class of 2018, noted "My group came up with our idea so that students new to learning Gemara, and older students who tend to struggle when learning Gemara, will gain a better understanding of commentaries that are traditionally studied only in Rashi Script."  
KYHS is proud to have such innovative and hard-working students, and is looking forward to their many successes in the future. Bean looks ahead, saying, "while building the computer was informative and exciting, I am looking forward to the future where we can use this hardware and soon-to-be developed software to enhance our understanding of machine learning and Jewish studies."
Blood Drive
Students Volunteer in Droves For KYHS's Blood Drive
Graphic by Liora Mayer ('20) and Shaina Fein ('20)
Article by Al Dimont ('20)

On Tuesday, over 50 students graciously decided to take time out of their day in order to help save lives at KYHS's highly successful blood drive. A big red bus pulled up in front of the school and students entered and exited throughout the day, donating their blood for a worthy cause. Once a student boarded the bus, a nurse took blood, and students then eagerly awaited a t-shirt gift and colorful bandage. Shmuel Belizon, class of 2020, gave blood and recalled, "It hurt a lot but was totally worth it." It is remarkable to be part of a student body willing to do such great acts of kindness.

Sickness Afflicts Students En Masse, But Students Power Through
Graphic by Justin Isaacs ('19)
Article by Jacqueline Zimmerman ('19)

The flu hit KYHS hard this year as several students and faculty members were forced to stay home as a result of the flu's severe symptoms. The amount of absences per day at KYHS has greatly increased over the past two weeks. The sickness began about two weeks ago, forcing some to leave the shabbaton (nicknamed "FLUjiwhara") early, or avoid coming altogether. The flu also impacted the learning environment at KYHS, as several classes had so few students present, both students and teachers having been affected by the virus. One day last week, 152 students were absent, reaching record numbers. Thankfully, the KYHS family soldiered through its sickness and members seem to be steadily recovering. This week the maintenance staff sprayed mazezot with antiseptic and Purell was distributed in bulk. Hopefully the flu will not make an appearance again any time soon. God willing, 2018 will bring only health and happiness to KYHS.
Pina B'Aravit
Learn Some Arabic Phrases 
Graphic by Highlights Staff

This Week in Pictures

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff