November 7th, 2019
10th of Cheshvan, 5780 

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    Parshat Lech Lecha
Candle Lighting at 5:17 PM

          Avraham went through ten tests and passed them all. So our Sages teach us in Pirkei Avos. The Mishna doesn't enumerate the ten tests, and the classical commentaries debate what to count as a test, but notwithstanding, Avraham passed them with what seems to be flying colors. Nowhere do we ever find struggle and momentary failure as part of the narrative and so we often walk away thinking of Avraham as a flawless personality, breezing his way through.

          At least for one of them, the first one, there is some texture to the narrative. Rabbeinu Asher (14th century medieval commentary) notes the following in the sixth chapter of Yevamos. Based on series of discrepant numbers as to the length of our servitude in Egypt, our Rabbis have established that Avraham was 70 years old at the ברית בין הבתרים, the Covenant of the Pieces. This covenant is found later in this week's parsha. Assuming that it takes place in Israel, it leaves us with a glaring problem. The beginning of this week's parsha tells us that Avraham was 75 when getting on his nefesh b'nefesh flight. (As for the lack of sequence, we know that the Torah does not follow chronological order.)  To put this as a question, how can Avraham be in Eretz Yisroel at 70 and then leave for Israel at 75?

          Rabbeinu Asher writes that at 70, Avraham tried aliyah, and it simply didn't work out. He went back to Charan.  The beginning of our parsha takes us through his second attempt to live in the Promised Land (I strongly encourage the reader to look at the Rosh inside to see his language מסכת יבמות פרק ו, סימן יב).

          From our patriarch, it's important to learn to take all tests, and ace each one of them. It's also important to remind one another that success is not a seamless process, and failure and perseverance and tenacity are equally important parts of the process. It took Avraham more than one jump to make aliyah, and we should remind one another that every failure has right behind it the potential to make that successful leap.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ben Sugerman
Chief Sefardic Minyan Rabbi
Upcoming Events
  Nov. 6th - Nov. 10th
Shalhevet Basketball Tournament

Nov. 24th
Open House
Nov. 25th
Last day of the trimester

Good & Welfare

Didi ('11) and Eliana Weiss on the birth of their daughter, Naomi Malka
Art by Andrew Galitzer ('20)
AIPACking a Punch
Zionistic Leaders Attend Student Summit
Graphic by Naomi Reichemberg ('22), Leanne Mizrahi Mann ('23) and Abby Rosenthal ('23)  
  Article by Rachel Moses ('21)
          This week I attended AIPAC High School Summit, which was an absolutely amazing experience. It not only widened my knowledge about the United States-Israel relationship but also taught me what it means to be a true leader. We lobbied a staff member of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, explaining how grateful we were that she signed the Luria/Zeldin letter that was made to remedy the matter of UNIFIL not doing their job, combat growing threats towards Israel, ensure that U.S. continues to fight against Iranian influence and stand with its greatest ally, Israel.
         Not only was it a major learning experience, but also an opportunity to meet new people from all over who have the same goal of learning how to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship as a high school student. It was truly exhilarating.  
         Many of us may think that we can't make a difference because we are just in high school, but the truth is, we are not just the future, we are the now and we can do anything that we are truly passionate about.
Teacher Spotlight!
Does Morah Oshrat Cohen Secretly Double as Israeli Superspy Eli Cohen? Find Out Below
Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23) and  Devorah  Lome ('22)
Interview by Al Dimont ('20)

Where were you born? What was your childhood like?
  I was born in Jerusalem, Israel.  My childhood was magical, filled with a lot of friends and playing outside.  I grew up where my friends lived very close to me, and we were able to see each other every day after school and hang out and spend time together. 

What was your experience in school when you were younger?
My experience in school was pretty good. During these years, I gained a lot of knowledge and made many friends for life. I learned to never give up, even when I faced a problem. It helped shape me into the person I am today.
"Reach for the moon even if you fall short, you'll land among the stars". 

How did you become interested in teaching?
Since I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher.  Teaching is one of the most direct ways to make an impact on an individual.  When I served in the army I was also in a teaching position where I taught soldiers the recruiting content. I also taught education and enrichment classes that raised motivation, helped the soldiers deal with difficulties, taught them self-esteem, empowerment and adaptation and preparation for the military setting. 
Basically,  I was always a teacher... 

How did you end up here at KYHS?
After many years of teaching in a school in Plantation, I was on a one-year break from teaching.
This break showed me how much I missed being in the classes and teaching the new generation of students. When I was on my break from teaching I missed the feeling of inspiring students to reach their potential and become their best selves.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of school?
Outside of school, I like spending time with my family!  I have three teenagers, and they always make sure to keep me busy.  I like traveling, reading Hebrew/ English books. 

What are some of your favorite memories of teaching?
One of my favorite teaching memories is when my class and I created a project of a tour of the cities of Israel for our school.  My students had to research and write about the different unique cities and their history in Israel.  The students in the school received passports and stamped them while they visited the different cities.  This helped them strengthen their knowledge and their relationship with Israel.  I was proud of my students for the accomplishment of putting together an amazing project, including stations with different activities and information. 

If you could choose one place to travel to, where would it be and why?
Africa is one of the places I would want to travel to.  I would want to go to Africa because I want to volunteer in an organization. I want to volunteer because it gives me the chance to give something back to others and the community. I also would want to help young children and make a difference in their lives. I know that traveling there will be rewarding to me and to the organization. 

College Deadlines Bear Down on Seniors
Thankfully College Guidance is Keeping them On Track 
Graphic by Aerin Tripp ('22) and Penina Kahane ('22)
Ariella's Angle
Ariella Explains Your Power to Vote
Graphic By Rebecca Adler ('23) and Abby Rosenthal ('23)
Article by Ariella Gross ('21)
    On Thursday, the Social Activism club hosted a voter-registration drive to ensure KYHS students' participation in next year's election. While young people's (ages 18 through 29) votes have become increasingly vital in recent years, many still don't recognize their vote's importance and fail to cast ballots in November's biennial elections. 

    According to the Pew Research Center, young voters can potentially be extremely influential in the next election as their size nearly matches that of the baby boomer generation. However, historically, young voter turnout has been far lower than that of the general population, with only 19.9% exercising their civic duty in the 2014 midterm elections. Nonetheless, their participation in 2012 essentially caused Barack Obama's reelection, with approximately 67% of them favoring the democratic candidate. The young voters' turnout rate surged this past midterm election, jumping 79% between 2014 and 2018. As the younger generation further outnumbers older voters and their participation continues to expand, they are becoming increasingly important in determining election results. 

    However, young voters can only sway future elections if they understand and fulfill this civic responsibility. Many Americans over 18 do not vote because they missed the registration deadline or simply lack interest in politics. However, it is crucial for American youth - even those under 18 - to immerse themselves in today's politics and develop their own opinions on important issues. Even though their age bars them from running for a governmental position, young people still have voices to be heard and can give power to individuals who reflect their interests. Furthermore, while young voters constitute a large percentage of the voting population, politicians will only prioritize their interests if they actively participate in elections. The younger generations grew up in a vastly different society than older voters; they witnessed terrorism and school shootings at younger ages and have been more affected by the student debt crisis. But, their prioritization of these issues will only be reflected in legislation if young voters show up to the polls. Additionally, many voters view each election as inconsequential (after all, a president only has 4 or 8 years to enact change), but any laws passed and Supreme Court justices appointed by this next president can live on for decades. Therefore, the effects of each election linger long after the president retires, which makes voting even more vital. 

    Voting is extremely important for KYHS students in particular. While many states tend to vote in the same direction each election, Florida is a swing state and therefore its electoral votes are more likely to determine the outcome of an election. In 2000, for example, George Bush defeated Al Gore in the presidential election because he won the state of Florida by 537 votes out of 6 million. This proves that every vote is crucial and that several individuals can have a national effect. Therefore, it is vital for young people to cast ballots in the upcoming primary and presidential elections and remember that their generation can be the most influential demographic in 2020.

This Week In Pictures
The Yeshiva Highlites Staff