October 27, 2017
  7th of Cheshvan, 5778 

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    Parshat Lech Lecha
Candle Lighting at 6:23 PM
The Promised Land Within Yourself
The first words of this week's parsha are puzzling. When God instructs Avram to go to Israel, He commands, " lech lecha ." The second word seems extraneous. In modern Hebrew we would simply say " lech " -- "go."
What does the phrase " lech lecha " mean?

Ramban explains that this is just part of normal Biblical Hebrew and there is no significance to the double wording. The Malbim, however, interprets our pasuk differently: " lech lecha " means literally "go to yourself." In other words, "Leave your surroundings and go to a new place so that you will discover who you really are, what your essence is." Life in high school is essentially about the process of self discovery. Who am I and who do I want to be? How am I similar to my parents and how will I be different? High school is an opportunity to be like the Malbim's Avram - to "go and become yourself." Our students are involved in so many different learning experiences and activities as we guide them on the process of self-discovery. Please enjoy this edition of Highlites and get a sense of the path that our students traverse as they become themselves.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Sun. Oct 29  
AIPAC High School Summit
Morning Mishmar  

Mon. Oct 30 
AIPAC High School Summit

Tue. Oct 31 
Early Dismissal
Parent Teacher Conferences
AIPAC High School Summit

Wed. Nov 1
Late Start
Sun. Nov 5 
Open House for Prospective Students and Families
Good and Welfare 
Lilly Katz ('14) to Ezra Gontownick from Englewood, NJ.
Jordan Stauber ('15) to Jordyn Katz of Ft. Lauderdale. 

Y U Should Go To YU
Students learn all about Yeshiva University
Graphic by Sydney Freedman ('20)
Article by Jacqueline Zimmerman ('19) 
This week, 11th and 12th graders were privileged to receive a presentation from Yeshiva University. The representative from YU spoke about the incredible academics and extracurricular activities that are available at the school, while also emphasizing the religious component that the university offers. YU makes it extremely feasible for a religious Jew to have a genuine college experience while comfortably observing Judaism. YU attracts students from a variety of religious backgrounds while ensuring that their specific religious preferences are accommodated. In addition, YU is a rigorous college that effectively challenges students both secularly and religiously. The university even offers a prestigious honors program for those applicants who display exceptional academic success. To top it all off, Yeshiva University is located in New York City, making its environment lively and exciting, especially for a college student. It was greatly beneficial to learn about this option presented by the college guidance team.  
Article by Yoni Mayer ('18)

On Tuesday, the senior class was granted the privilege of sitting down with one of the many admissions counselors as practice for interviews in general and as a way for the admissions office to get to know us by face as well as name. Parents of high school students, and prospective Yeshiva University attending seniors also took part in the YU week with a presentation given by the admissions team at the Englander house. Overall, the YU admissions staff made their presence known in Katz Yeshiva High School and its attending families with their efforts to impress and attract future YU families.  

Floating Freshman
Freshman Bond During a Boating Adventure
Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19) and Akiva Groman ('19)
Article by Aleksandra Shapiro ('21)

     This Monday, immediately following lunch, the freshman class went on an outing; water-tubing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, for a bonding experience, and the weather was certainly perfect for the activities. The trip was a fun way to get to know others in the grade and become closer as a whole. This outing will forever be a great experience for the freshman class to look back on as the first of many memorable events.
Soulful Satiation
Rosh Chodesh Breakfast and Chagigah Usher in the New Month
Graphic by Eitan Ben-Aaron ('19)
Sara's Scoop: Are You L8?
The Success of the 8:20 Start Time
Graphic by Highlights Staff
Article by Sara Deichman ('19)

Whispers of the rumored 8:20 am start time occupied the hallways of KYHS last year, filling students with hope of a few more minutes of peaceful sleep in contrast to the 8:03 start time. The rumor became reality once Rabbi Kroll announced to the student body that school would in fact begin at 8:20 am during the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. To begin the evaluation of the effects, I recognized one main reason as to why the later start occurred. For years, students traveling each and every morning from Hollywood, North Miami Beach, Boynton, and other cities beyond Boca Raton have commuted for periods of time that seem extenuating to local Boca kids. This division fueled a schism; the commuters versus the students living on Montoya Circle itself, or nearby. Commuters felt they were at a disadvantage, with homes they could not walk to, and parents that could not drive five minutes to pick them up when necessary. For this reason, commuters spend time at local friend's houses, often sleeping over, and simply cannot wait to get a license of their own. The location change of the new building has certainly altered the commuter vs. local perspective. For years, Montoya circle residents lived in bliss, with school just a minute away, however, now they too are commuters, and while the drive may be shorter, Boca kids have begun to know how it feels. The light on Glades road also seems to be an area of aggravation. Many students entering the school through the north entrance must wait for minutes on end at the light entering the federation campus through Glades. It's a good thing the school has two entrances, because many students are forced to wait at the entrance light and are in turn late as is. Due to the location change, many more students are required to drive to school.
According to many studies, the brain of a teenager is not fully alert until 10 am, and adolescents should not be woken up before 7. Our later start time may in fact, even by very little, help student brain function in the future. With an extra fifteen minutes of sleep, students have more time to become alert and take on the school day with full force.
    Glancing around during daily davening, it is easy to see improvement from the 8:20 start time. While arrival of buses from the south still depends on morning traffic, the school as a whole seems to be more on time! Many Boca residents recall arriving to school late in the past years due to their short distance from the building. Therefore, it was easy to arrive a few minutes late and take their time in the mornings, assuming that with such a short commute, they could take their time. However, this mirage has evaporated, and many Boca residents now say they have a significantly smaller number of lates this year. On the other end, that is not the case for Hollywood residents. The overarching answer received is that students coming from the South either arrive late to school more often or have the same number of late arrivals as last year. Both coffee consumption and average student bedtimes are evidently the same as last year within the student body according to collected data. The new start time is proving beneficial thus far with more precise arrivals within the Boca Raton community, However, the response of those coming from the south varies, and the true effects of the start time are inconclusive. Hopefully our students are no longer L8!

Putting The Student In PTC
Parent Teacher Student Conferences
Graphic by Daniel Gross ('19)
Article by Adina Hirsch ('19)

This year is truly a new beginning for KYHS with a new building, new staff, and even new parent teacher conferences! This year students are included in these parent teacher discussions. KYHS's change in conferences is beneficial, as it allows for teachers, parents, and students to solve problems that they may have in the classroom together, as a group. Mrs. Kanner explains, "we believe that the conferences will be far more productive for our students when given the opportunity to engage in the discussion and hear first hand their teachers' praises and constructive criticism." Furthermore, these new conferences give the teachers an opportunity to give and receive feedback from their very own students. Normally, the teacher is the one who criticizes and gives positive feedback but with new conferences, students are also able to express their concerns and compliments regarding the material and class.
Practice Makes Perfect
9th-11th Graders Take the PSATs to Prepare for SATs
Graphic by Justin Isaacs ('19)
Code Name: Girls Who Code
Empowering Girls Through the Power of Code
Graphic by Yosef Linzer ('18)
Article by Lexi Cohen ('19)

Girls Who Code is a relatively new, and revolutionizing club at Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida. It was pioneered by Michal Amar at the beginning of last year, who is now a senior at KYHS.
"The club itself is for any girl, whether or not they have prior experience in coding, to be made aware of the world of technology and their potential role in it," Michal passionately explained to me. The club revolves around the idea that there is a severe lack of females in the STEM industry, and its main goal is to engender an interest and enthusiasm for computer coding. The club has grown significantly, attracting over 20 members. Meetings are led by Michal Amar ('18) and Batsheva Schecter ('20), co-presidents of the club. Batsheva elaborated on her initial thoughts about the club, stating "I've always been interested in technology, but after switching to the engineering elective, I'm learning to code and I very much enjoy that. I want to be able to share that with other girls. I hope to work in the technology field, although it's mainly just men."  
The club's goal is to introduce computer coding to its members, who are mainly all novices in the world of coding. While in another club, no prior knowledge may be seen as a deterrent, in Girls Who Code, that's one of the allures of the club. The club aims to teach the members collectively, with the leaders of the club accumulating experience as well. The members of the club all had positive responses to the first meeting, in which concepts were delineated and chocolates were handed out. Ensuing the first meeting of the club this year, Galia Palmer ('20), a new member, states, "As a member, I feel that KYHS is giving young girls an endless opportunity by allowing us the time to explore our future through technology." Girls who Code offers a unique and hands on introduction into computer coding, built on the foundation and principles of passion, encouragement, creativity, and above all, equality.

This Week in Pictures

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff