In this Edition

NYC Solidarity Rally | SSSQ 5K Run | SSSQ Visits the UN | Open House | Newton's Law of Motion| Chanukah Celebration | Third Grade Chanukah Play | Eighth Grade Chessed Trip | The MAA American Mathematics Competition | Innovation Nation | Camp Ramah Visits SSSQ | Schechter Shabbat | Building the Mishkan | SSSQ Annual Volleyball Game |The Robotics Club Competition | Kudos | Alumni Corner | Upcoming Events | Community News |

Monthly Highlights
NYC Solidarity Rally
Schechter Queens was proud to join a diverse group of 25,000 people in NYC on Sunday, January 5 th , to stand together and in one voice say no to hate. The event was organized by the UJA-Federation of New York and was co-sponsored by the JCRC-NY, ADL-NY, AJC-NY, and the New York Board of Rabbis. This was a solidarity rally with the Jewish community in NY, who has been subjected to numerous anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks. The rally began at 11 AM at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan for a march across the Brooklyn Bridge, and was followed by a rally in Columbus Park (near Cadman Plaza). 
On Sunday, November 10 th , SSSQ participated in their inaugural 5K run. This event took place on Veterans Day weekend at Flushing Meadows - Corona Park and was dedicated to the memory of alumnus Adam Klagler z”l, who passed away while serving for the United States military. Many of his friends attended this event in his honor. Josh Schwartz ('05) (center right) and Elad Bronstein ('05) (left) went to SSSQ with Adam Klager z"l from K-8th grade and remained close with Adam after graduating. Elad and Kyle McCaffrey (center left) met at SSHSLI where they were teammates on the varsity basketball team. They eventually started a rock band with Adam called  Nothing Is Easy , as Adam was a very talented songwriter and guitarist. Josh and Hanna (right) are recently married.

We received the following quotes from Kyle and Elad:

"Adam was a brother to me. I stayed at his place basically an entire summer. He came up to visit me and Josh in Albany more than anyone else." (Kyle).

"We all stay in touch and still make music, play basketball or workout together and we appreciated the opportunity to participate in this event in memory of our close friend and Jewish War Veteran, Adam Klager." (Elad)

All proceeds from the SSSQ 5K Run went to the Jewish War Veterans in Queens. 
SSSQ Visits the UN
The 8th grade went on a guided tour at the United Nations where they learned about how the U.N. is involved in the process of addressing a range of issues throughout the world. The students also had the opportunity to meet Daniel Flesch, Senior Advisor to Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon.
Open House
Schechter Queens had a wonderful experience at our Open House! It was a pleasure having the opportunity to meet with many new families who visited our school to see the facilities, interact with our community, and learn about the quality of education that we provide for our students. We want to thank guest speaker  Shahar Azani , board members, faculty, administrative staff, student volunteers, our alumnus Michael Chetrit, and all of our participants for making this year's Open House a big success! If you know someone that is interested in sending their child to Schechter Queens, please have them contact Lea Feldman at 718-591-9800 ext. 301
Newton's Law of Motion
Mrs. Hale's students were assigned a project to create a car that would demonstrate Newton's laws of motion when rolled down a track. The students researched what car they can make and selected a piece of wood, which they filed and sanded, and later added wheels. The results were fantastic and students had an opportunity to race the cars they made. They were proud of their cars, had fun during the activity, and learned an important lesson about the laws of motion. Kol Hakavod to our students and Mrs. Hale on a fabulous activity!
Chanukah Celebration
Volunteers from the PTA had fun in the school kitchen preparing delicious potato latkes for the entire school! They distributed jelly donuts as well. We also want to congratulate Mrs. Blum and our students for putting on a fantastic performance at our Chanukah Zimriyah! 
Third Grade Chanukah Play
The 3rd grade Chanukah play was performed at our school for our students and parents. The students did a beautiful job reenacting the story of Chanukah in Hebrew. We thank Mrs. Baruch and students for their hard work and fantastic performance!   
Eighth Grade Chessed Trip
 The Eighth grade students visited the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The residents enjoyed hearing the many Chanukah songs led by our students. The students also did an arts and crafts activity and played dreidel with the residents. Our students brightened the day for the residents, while having the opportunity to speak with them and learn about their past. We thank Morah Aharoni for organizing this lovely trip and instilling the value of spreading joy to others.
The MAA American Mathematics Competition
The SSSQ middle school students recently participated in the MAA American Mathematics Competition. This program leads the nation in strengthening the mathematical capabilities of the next generation of problem-solvers. The competition helps identify talent and fosters a love of mathematics.

It consists of a series of examinations and curriculum materials that help students develop analytical skills needed for future STEM careers. There are over 300,000 students in over 6,000 schools who participate in the competition annually.

Congratulations to all the participants!
Innovation Nation
SSSQ partnered with AIPAC Queens on "Innovation Nation" at the school. We had an opportunity to hear from several members of AIPAC and learn about their incredible work in helping to bring the USA and Israel closer together. We also heard from several Israeli Innovators who explained their extraordinary innovations, including helping the legally blind to see again. The evening was well attended by parents, teachers, students and community members.
We thank  AIPAC   for their partnership and helping to educate us further about Israeli Innovations!
Camp Ramah Visits SSSQ
Program coordinator from Camp Ramah of the Berkshires, Didi Kalmanofsky, visited our school and led a series of fun, interactive activities for our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. We thank Didi for his engaging presentation and for strengthening our long standing relationship with Camp Ramah.
Schechter Shabbat
On Saturday, January 4 th , Schechter Queens participated in the Schechter Shabbat held at Temple Gates of Prayer. Schechter Schools throughout the Tri-State area partnered on this event. Rabbi Mark Biller of Temple Gates of Prayer said, “We are so happy to be celebrating our Conservative Movement’s Schechter education, our Schechter students, and our collective values – learning, reading, praying, storytelling, mining our worlds, and making life of Torah and making, with Torah, a life worth celebrating.” Thank you to Dina Yakar for organizing, Irit Langer and Ellen Wasserman, Co-Chairs and Temple Gates of Prayer for hosting this event! 
Building the Mishkan
Morah Ben-Harari's 7th grade Chumash class learned about the portable house of Hashem in the desert, the Mishkan. They studied the structure and all the vessels the Kohanim used to serve Hashem. Students were then assigned a project to create a mini Mishkan and here are some examples of their beautiful work. 
SSSQ Annual Volleyball Game
 The students took on the SSSQ staff in our annual volleyball game. The staff was looking for payback after getting beaten by the students last year. They came out strong taking the first game. The students bounced back winning the second, and in the deciding game the staff pulled it out winning by three points. However, when the staff played just the 8th graders it was a different story, with the students ultimately winning the match up. Until next year!
The Robotics Club Competition
The Middle School Robotics Club participated in a competition right before the winter break. The Robotics Club is part of the Science, Engineering: Technology, Teamwork, and Training program as well as STEM. The Robotics Competition is run by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE) and includes over 100 Jewish Days Schools throughout the country. For this competition, two robots are assembled into an alliance. The objective is for an alliance to score the most points. Points can be scored by either placing balls into a cube or on top of a cube, or by placing the cubes in scoring corners or on platforms. The robot with the most points wins. Kol Hakavod to our students and Mr. Mushiev for their wonderful robot’s and fantastic effort during the competition!
Barry Seidel, alumni parent on publishing his first book: "Evolutions of a Law Practice" a memoir about opening his law practice right out of school and the various personal and professional evolutions that followed
On Wednesday, January 8 th , Dr. Kalman presented in a panel at the  #hiddensparks  annual retreat on our school's successes in creating a strong environment of student growth. Over 200 teachers and administrators from Jewish day schools were in attendance.
Kudos to our students and Rabbi Tomsky for helping to fundraise $447.00 in support of The Blue Card. 
Dear Alumni: If you would like to share your news (engagements, weddings, births, career milestones, B'nai Mitzvot , etc) with us or visit the school, please contact Naomi Horowitz at or 718-591-9800 ext. 323.
Rebecca Seidel '07
- Since your graduation from SSSQ where has your path taken you?  

After graduating from SSSQ, I went to Townsend Harris High School, and then Wesleyan University. At Wesleyan, I helped run our local radio station, WESU Middletown. I also hosted my own on-air show. I got really interested in working in radio professionally, and since podcasts were a growing medium, I became especially interested in that. After college, I moved back to Queens and landed a job as a podcast producer at SiriusXM, where I worked for three years. Then, this past June, I moved over to my current job as a podcast producer at Marvel.
- How did your education in high school and college influence your career choice?

I've loved writing since my Schechter days, and going to a humanities-focused high school helped me develop my writing skills. I wrote and edited for both my high school and college newspapers, losing a lot of sleep as editor-in-chief. College was where I really caught the "radio bug." Wesleyan was a phenomenal place full of creative people and energy, and I found so much community at the radio station there (and on campus in general). I didn't know how viable podcast production was as a career, but my professors and friends at Wesleyan encouraged me to try it out.
- Can you give us some insight about how a podcast works, developed?

Podcast production has a lot of steps. You have to nail down an interesting concept for a show, and figure out the show's style (is it an interview-based show, or a talk show, or a narrative show, or something else entirely?). You also have to figure out who your audience is--who are you trying to reach? When a show is up and running, the day-to-day production process includes finding and booking guests, scheduling and prepping for interviews, setting up recordings, and then editing and making sure it all sounds seamless. It's a lot to keep track of!
- How and when did you become involved with podcast production and what do you enjoy most about it?

I first got involved in podcast production in college, and then I really got the wheels turning at SiriusXM and on an independent podcast I still work on, Other Men Need Help. I love the community that has formed among professional podcast producers, and the risk-taking and creativity that the medium allows.
- How did you start your Podcast Club and how many segments are there?

Podcast Brunch Club was founded by a woman in Chicago named Adela Mizrachi. It's like a book club, but for podcast listening instead of reading. There are now chapters all over the world, including the NYC chapter, which I run. Every month, there's a new theme, with around four podcast episodes to listen to that relate to that theme. At the end of the month, we gather to talk about what we listened to (and just hang out!). Every month is different, and it's been a really lovely way to meet people and talk about podcasts.

- Describe what it felt like to be interviewed by Fox News

It was surreal! I grew up seeing Ernie Anastos' face on TV, so meeting him in person was wild. As an audio producer, I found it really interesting to see how live TV news is recorded and produced. And being at the anchor desk, with lights everywhere, was an experience I won't forget.
Onto some Schechter reflections ...
- What impact has Schechter Queens had on you - personally, spiritually and educationally?

SSSQ was the first big community I was part of, and being part of a community like that for nine years is a rare and incredible thing. As I've moved onto new stages of my life, I've grown increasingly grateful for the people I got to know at Schechter - friends, teachers, and everyone in between. Some of my classmates from Schechter Queens are still my closest friends. There were also teachers who encouraged me to write more and to challenge myself, and I have a lot of gratitude for them. ALSO, I'm always in awe of how many prayers, Hebrew songs, and conversational Hebrew I remember. It comes in handy at Shabbat services!
- Have you stayed connected with friends from SSSQ? 

Yes! There are quite a few people I'm still in touch with and we hang out whenever we get the chance.
- Are you a member of any groups/organizations - Jewish or secular?

I'm a member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), an organization based in NYC that's doing phenomenal activist work.
- What would you say to younger SSSQ alum about being involved in community service?

Giving back to the community is incredibly important. Connecting with the people around you, with the earth, and with causes that matter to you will give you purpose and perspective.
... And my favorite, if you had one take away thought/feeling/memory about your SSSQ years what would it be?

Not sure how I can pick just one thing, but here's the first thing that came to mind:
From second grade through fifth grade, I was in the Drama Club. Each year, we rehearsed and eventually put on a big show. I was a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz, a "lost boy" in Peter Pan, Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. I remember having the most fun at those rehearsals, and in the shows themselves. Schechter was an unforgettable place, and for me, those shows were the epitome of that. (And for better or worse, we still have all of the performances on VHS!)

· Podcast Brunch Club:
· Other Men Need Help (one of the podcasts I work on as a producer):
Mazal Tov to:

Ziv Alcalay ('86) and his wife, Meredith and family on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jake at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton November 16th.

 Gary Rozman ('89) and TJ Luma who have recently welcomed (and plan to adopt) an 8-year-old foster child into their family.
Daniel ('98) and Stephanie Rudolf on the birth of their son, Kieran Milo born December 3rd.

Malka (Lesnik) ('00) and Mickey Belgrod on the birth of their daughter, Melody born November 4th. Her older sister Juliena is so happy to have a baby sister!

Peter Wolkofsky ('01) and his wife, Emily on the birth of their daughter, Joanna Hila born November 2nd.

Emily Schweitzer ('04) and Ari Buchman on their wedding at Melville Jewish Center November 10th.

 Joshua Schwartz ('05) and Hanna Tessler on their wedding at the Vanderbilt at South Beach on Staten Island August 25th.
Upcoming Events
1/13- 7 PM Boys Basketball game at HAFTR
1/22- 6:30 PM Boys Basketball game at Brandeis
1/29- 6:30 PM Boys Basketball game at SSSQ
2/4 – 2/6 PTA Tile Project
2/7 – Second Grade Chumash Celebration 
Community News
If you would like to contribute material for the monthly newsletter, please contact Paul Friedman Director of Development & Public Relations at  or 718-591-9800 ext. 305.  
Connect With Us
The Solomon Schechter School of Queens
76-16 Parsons Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11366
Tel: 718-591-9800