Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
"וַיְהִי כָל הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים":

What was so sinister about the Tower of Bavel? With the generation of the Great Flood at the beginning of the parsha, the Torah delineates their sins: moral decay, corruption, sexual immorality. But over here? With the Tower of Bavel? What exactly did they do wrong? The Torah is not clear. They had “one language and a unified way”? What does that mean? And why was that deserving of the punishment they met?

The Netziv, Rav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the great Rosh Yeshiva of the Volozhin yeshiva at the turn of the twentieth century, offers a fascinating approach. The pasuk tells us that the people were: “Am echad, v’safa achat” -- one people with one language. He explains that they were developing a society which forbade critique. They were to have a common language and, with that, common ideas. There was no room for people to think differently. They were attempting to build the world’s first echo chamber. 

He explains that the Tower was actually a watch tower. They wanted to make sure that no-one escaped this “cultural prison” so that they could control the citizens’ thinking. The Netziv also links this with the famous midrash which tells us that Avraham (Avram at the time) got thrown into a furnace for espousing his monotheistic beliefs. This was here. The pesukim here in our parsha mention that they made a kiln to build bricks, and this very furnace was to be the one where Avraham would be thrown. One was not allowed to think differently. Hashem reacted by dispersing them and creating language barriers, thus frustrating their grand plan. 

Now our question becomes: What is so dangerous about an echo chamber? Is this necessarily bad? I would answer that intellectual honesty only comes about when interacting with other people. When there is a free marketplace of ideas, your ideas might be met with critique, which causes pause for thought and reflection. Ultimately this helps you in the search for truth. 

This week, as we returned to school after the Chagim, it was great to get back to our friends and teachers where we got to engage in learning, discussion and debate. These interactions, if we know it or not, help us on our way to defining our ideas, and ultimately our identity.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Dovid Kimche
KYHS Commemorates the Tragedy of 9/11
Students Got to Hear from First Responder Mr. Medjuck
Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
This past September 11th was the twentieth anniversary of the horrendous tragedy that was the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. To educate about and commemorate this day, our school organized a series of programs that communicated the weight and tragedy of the event through a variety of perspectives.

Upon walking into school, students encountered a 14-panel exhibit from the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, which displayed images and information about the events.

Later, we gathered in the Beit Midrash for an assembly. Poignantly, due to Covid safety protocols, our September 11th assembly marked the first time our entire staff and student body have gathered together since the beginning of the pandemic. For me, this served to greatly emphasize the meaning of the day. The collective sadness and feeling of loss swept through the packed room as we learned about the tragedy.

We first were shown an introductory video, a montage of news reports and coverage from September 11th. These videos conveyed the initial shock and fear felt by Americans across the country. We watched as regular civilians -- not so different from ourselves -- were placed in a state of grave danger while merely going through their day-to-day lives. 

We also watched testimonials from various members of the KYHS staff. They shared their individual experiences on September 11th and stories of people who perished. What emerged through all of these accounts was a sense of tremendous discomfort, fear, and of security being undermined. 

We were privileged also to hear from Mr. Bruce Medjuck, a retired Lieutenant of the FDNY and a first responder to the scene of the attack on 9/11. He gave a detailed account of his experiences that day. His story was heroic and deeply moving. The commemoration was an incredibly meaningful way to understand the gravity of the day. 

Article by Avigail Levine ('22)

Greetings from Your Teachers
Parents Meet their Children's Teachers

Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22) and Eitan Kaminetzky ('25)
Before sukkot break, KYHS had its annual Meet the Teacher Night. This night is a great opportunity for parents to meet the people who spend all day with their children and for the teachers to meet the people that their students go home to. Every parent was given a schedule with seven-minute periods for every class that their child takes. Parents were given five minutes in between each period to get between the classrooms because as hard as it is for us students to find our way around school, it is even harder for our parents who are unfamiliar with the building!

Parents new and old were able to put faces to the teachers’ names. Each class that parents attended was an information session led by the teacher discussing their curriculum, goals, and their respective backgrounds. As a student, I am now looking forward to Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences because I can’t wait to see how my parents and my teachers interact with each other!

Article by Molly Seghi ('22)
Club Fair Mania
Students Enjoy a Memorable Club Fair
Graphic by Rebecca Adler ('23)
On Wednesday, we were introduced to the numerous clubs that KYHS has to offer at the first annual club fair. Representatives from each club promoted their respective clubs and described what goes on during club meetings. This was a great opportunity for students to find an outlet for their hobbies and interests. A variety of clubs came together such as the Finer Things Club, Environmental Club, Sports Debate Club, Chess Club, and many more! 

Atara Sredni and Hila Blanka, two juniors who are the co-heads of the Disney Club remarked, “we created the Disney club to give stressed high schoolers a nice break and an opportunity to connect to their childhoods with classic and favorite Disney movies and get a chance to forget about the stress of their days."

President of the Bee Club Emma Schenker commented, “I’ve been in the Bee Club since freshman year and it is such a unique thing that our school offers that no other school does.” 

With all of the diverse clubs that are offered, there is sure to be one that catches your interest. If you have not signed up for a club yet, it is not too late to do so! Clubs are a great way to get involved with KYHS student life and an amazing opportunity to meet new people. We can’t wait for an exciting year of KYHS clubs!

Article by Lizi Bugay ('22)
By the Numbers
 Girls Night Seder and Boys Mishmar Off to a Great Start

Graphic by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)
After an entire year of Zoom activities, in-person events at school are finally getting back into full swing! Night Seder is one of the highly anticipated after-school activities that began this Wednesday. “I am so excited to be back in person! I think this is going to be one of the best night seders yet! With a great group of learners and yearners, there is going to be some amazing Torah!” said Rabbi Hochman, one of the faculty advisors for girls’ night seder.  

Girls’ night seder is something that students look forward to each week and enjoy participating in. It is an opportunity for friends to come together, have delicious pizza and ice cream, and learn Torah! What makes girls’ night seder so special is that students are the ones who create and give over chaburot. This week, there were six different chaburot with several topics to choose from. Discussions included: “Should We Learn the Reasons for Mitzvot?”, “Behind the Song”, “The Mabul and Creation”, “Seeking the Right Honor”, “Chava’s Punishment”, and “A Game of Taboo about Modesty”. Chana Schandelson, who gave her first chaburah this Wednesday, said: “giving a chaburah for the first time was a really amazing experience! I was able to get out of my comfort zone and connect with girls in different grades than me! Overall, it was extremely rewarding, especially when it felt like the girls in my chaburah were really connecting to what I was explaining. I cannot wait for a year full of many night seders!” 

At boys’ night seder, chavruta pairs of upperclassmen and underclassmen who are part of our school’s Masmidim program learned gemara together, reviewing what they are learning in their classes. Everyone else participated in a shiur given by Rabbi Nachbar. It was a great opportunity for students from different grades to connect and learn together. Both boys’ and girls’ night seders were a huge success! We are so excited for a great year filled with amazing learning! 

Article by Rebecca Henner ('22)
So You Think You Can Dance?
 Students Celebrate Rosh Chodesh with a Fantastic Chagigah and an Ice Cream Truck
Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23)
After a long month of Tishrei filled with many joyous celebrations, we have entered Cheshvan. The month of Cheshvan is called Marcheshvan, the Hebrew word “mar” meaning bitter. This month is called bitter because after the holiday-filled month of Tishrei there are no holidays in Cheshvan. However KYHS made sure to start Cheshvan with celebration instead of bitterness. 

On Wednesday and Thursday the junior and senior girls gathered in the upstairs rotunda for a beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring communal Hallel led by seniors Hailey Gately, Ariella Greenberg, and Emma Schenker. “The all-girls Hallel was truly inspiring because it gave me the opportunity to sing and celebrate with girls who I do not usually have the chance to celebrate with,” remarked Chantal Newman (‘22).

On Thursday the student body piled into the Beit Midrash for the first school-wide chagigah since the 2020 Purim chagigah right before Covid. A large part of the KYHS experience is being able to come together as one school and dance at chagigot. So many students have missed out on this incredible experience, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ariella Mayer (‘23) commented, “I have not experienced a true KYHS chagigah since freshman year. It was so nice to see all the grades and teachers dancing together in honor of Rosh Chodesh after so long of not being able to.” As a part of the new KYHS Covid-19 protocols, the grades are no longer “podded”, which allowed for this event to occur. 

The chagigah was DJ’d by the extremely famous Rabbi Akiva Wolk, with song input from Chana Schandelson (‘22). The student body really brought the spirit with tutus, fun socks, and face glitter. After dancing and sweating, students and teachers had the chance to go outside for a refreshing ice cream snack. Eitan Kaminetzky(‘25) said, “After the first chagigah I feel like I have experienced what it means to be a part of the KYHS community. The ice cream treat was the perfect way to end such an amazing event.” 

Article by Highlites Staff
Sophomore Schmooze
Get the Inside Scoop on the Sophomores' First Year of Real School Post-COVID
Graphic by Technical Staff
Judah Frohlich: What is the biggest advantage of having a mainly non-Covid start to the school year?

Naftali Leizgold: There won’t be Zoom or online class so it is easier to learn because you are in class and not in online class. 

JF: Do you miss pods, or do you like socializing with other grades?

Naomi Toronczyk: While I like having pods to spend time and get to know your own grade, having the whole school in the hallways is better to make connections and friendships with upperclassmen and learn from them.

JF: What is the most disappointing thing about the school year not being a Covid one?

Rivka Reich: The most disappointing thing is that the breaks and lunches are shorter than last year so I don’t have a lot of time to hang out and get to know my friends.

JF: Are you excited to participate in more sports this year because of the greater variety? Which ones and why?

Zevi Kay: Yes, I am excited for a longer soccer season with more games. There are more opportunities to meet new people with a longer season and a greater variety of teams.

If these answers are any indication of the sophomore class as a whole, clearly the sophomores are excited for a mainly non-covid year and are ready for the changes that they will face!

Article by Judah Frohlich ('23)
This Week in Snapchat
KYHS Week Recap
Video by Eduardo Kornworcel '24
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