Graphic by Highlites Staff
Perhaps one of the most dramatic scenes in this week's parsha, Parshat Vayigash, is the emotional reunion of Yosef and his father Yaakov. It is interesting and somewhat peculiar that the Torah describes Yosef as having readied his chariot to greet Yaakov upon the latter’s arrival in Egypt. While one can imagine Yosef, the Egyptian Viceroy, must have been replete with royal servants and maids who could have ordered the chariot, when it came to honoring his father, the Torah tell us “וַיֶּאְסֹ֤ר יוֹסֵף֙ מֶרְכַּבְתּ֔וֹ וַיַּ֛עַל לִקְרַֽאת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל אָבִ֖יו” -- “Yosef ordered his chariot and went to meet his father Israel” (Bereishit 46:29).

The Midrash Bereishit Rabbah tells of three other instances in the Torah where an individual readies their own means of transportation, highlighting their fervor and determination to accomplish a task. On the morning that Avraham embarked on the journey to Akeidat Yitzchak, the Torah tells us “וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם אַבְרָהָ֜ם בַּבֹּ֗קֶר וַֽיַּחֲבֹשׁ֙ אֶת־חֲמֹר֔וֹ” -- “Avraham arose early in the morning and saddled his donkey” (Bereishit 22:3). Surely Avraham, who was a wealthy man, had attendants and workers to prepare his donkey for travel? Yet in his zeal to fulfill God's commandment, he saddled his own donkey. Once again, in Parshat Beshalach, the Torah describes Pharaoh attempting to pursue the Jews who had left Egypt. Pharaoh did not simply call for his chariot, rather the Torah tells us that following his change of heart, “וַיֶּאְסֹ֖ר אֶת־רִכְבּ֑וֹ וְאֶת־עַמּ֖וֹ לָקַ֥ח עִמּֽוֹ” -- “Pharoah harnessed his chariot and took his nation with him” (Shmot 14:6). Clearly, Pharaoh had servants and workers who could easily ready the chariot for him, and yet he spent the time and exerted the effort to ready it himself. Finally, Bilaam, the great seer sent by King Balak to curse the Jews, personally prepared his donkey. One can imagine that Balak gave Bilaam all the necessary means to hire a driver or a steward, yet in his passion to fulfill the task at hand, the Torah tells us “וַיָּ֤קָם בִּלְעָם֙ בַּבֹּ֔קֶר וַֽיַּחֲבֹ֖שׁ אֶת־אֲתֹנ֑וֹ” -- “When he arose in the morning, Bilaam saddled his donkey” (Bamidbar 22:21).   

Yosef, Avraham, Pharaoh, and Bilaam were passionate individuals who were so determined to accomplish their missions that they involved themselves in the minor, even tedious details. Steve Jobs, the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, was known to be involved in every detail of his company. Lee Clow, his ad partner, attests that when Apple was starting to open new retail stores, "Steve made us spend a half hour deciding what hue of gray the restroom signs should be." 
While we may not have to harness chariots, saddle donkeys, nor determine the gray of a restroom sign, there are details in our lives that beg our attention. May we dedicate and commit ourselves to perfecting them in order to achieve our larger missions.

Good Shabbos,
New Year’s Rockin Resolutions
 Ariella Gives Impeccable Insight Into
New Year’s Resolutions
Graphic by Highlites Staff

Welcoming the new year will undoubtedly feel different this year, given the challenges of 2020 and the inability to celebrate together. Many of us are excited to turn over a new leaf—a desire often manifested in New Year’s resolutions.

The concept of New Year’s resolutions emerged in Babylon roughly 4,000 years ago at the start of a new growing season. Since then, their popularity has skyrocketed— estimates 164 million Americans partake in the practice. However, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. This begs the question: how can we ensure our New Year’s goals come to fruition? 

The first and most important piece of advice is to be realistic. Whether you’d like to journal every day, exercise more often, or devour more books, keeping any New Year’s resolution requires tremendous discipline. Therefore, start with something more attainable; a new three-day-a-week workout routine, for example, would be easier to uphold than an hour of physical activity every day. This way, you are more likely to adhere to your goal and, later on this year, your exercise routine can evolve. 

Tracking progress is also vital. One of the most important motivators for all humans is seeing how far we have come. Keep a list of every book you read or every new recipe you invent. Then, on a day you feel discouraged, you’ll be able to see your laudable commitment—in other words, exactly why quitting would be a mistake. Additionally, concretizing your accomplishments spotlights your potential and will perhaps inspire setting the bar higher in 2022. 

Lastly, choose a specific goal. Maybe you aspire to learn a new language, but you also wish to study harder and sleep more. All of these goals are commendable yet time-consuming and difficult to sustain. Therefore, start with one objective and make it a habit to ensure it will last.

I hope we all achieve our goals for the new year and that 2021 is replete with blessings and happiness. 

Article by Ariella Gross ('21)
The Show Must Go On
KYHS Art Students Make Creative Posters Dazzlingly Describing the Covid Rules
 that Keep the School Running
Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23) and Rebecca Adler ('23)
 All art students in grades 9-11 spent weeks learning how to do digital art on their iPads. We uploaded a free graphic design app called Adobe Fresco and practiced skills to create campaign posters for COVID safety rules. Then we voted by grade for themes to represent each grade. Within grades we made teams to work on posters as a group, coming up with images, campaign slogans, and designs for the posters. Finally we created the actual posters and met with the Judaic staff to add Hebrew text to each one. The themes for each grade were:
9th grade: Wizard of Oz -- Follow the Yellow Brick Rules
10th grade: Friends (the TV series) -- No One Told You Life Would Be This Way
11th grade: Disney -- Where are you going after COVID? I’m going to Disney!

Article by Mrs. Stein
Totally Terrific
Teacher Grant 
 Mrs. Holly Seidenfeld Wins a
Major Teacher Grant!
Graphic by Abby Rosenthal ('23)
The Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship is an initiative of the Tikvah Fund, an educational organization that provides high-level learning opportunities for students, parents, and teaching professionals in subjects like western history and literature, American democracy and culture, Zionism and modern Israel, and more.

Mrs. Holly Seidenfeld, our Dean of College Guidance, was awarded this fellowship, along with a group of other exceptional leading educators from among over 200 applicants. The KYHS community is very proud of Mrs. Seidenfeld and her accomplishments.  

Eilat: Can you tell us a little about the Tikvah Fund and the Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship? 

Mrs. Seidenfeld: Tikvah is an organization committed to supporting political, religious, and educational Jewish leaders. The Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship is specifically intended to help day school educators engage the ideas of American history and strengthen how we teach. (For more information on tikvah and the Abraham Lincoln Teachers Fellowship visit and

Eilat: What made you decide to apply to this fellowship? What did you like about it? 

Mrs. Seidenfeld: I have always been interested in the study of history and majored in history in college. For my first five years at KYHS, I taught American History and it's been one of my greatest experiences. When I became Dean of College Guidance, one of the downsides was not being able to teach that course! 

Eilat: What do you hope to accomplish through this award? 

Mrs Seidenfeld: I obviously hope to learn a lot, but I also love connecting with other educators and learning from my peers. It's exciting to talk with others who are interested in education and thinking about how we teach. 

Article By Eilat Berger ('22)
 Super Spectacular
Cyber Security
Tans Rosen (21’) Gives us the Low Down on Coding Skills to Educate Students on Cyber Security
Graphic by Dan Himelstein ('24)
Tans Rosen (‘21) recently launched a website focused on cyber security ( and shared some of his experiences with us.  

Can you tell us a little about your website?
It’s called Rosen Cyber Security. It provides protocols for both students and teachers on what to do if there is cyber bullying. 

What is your experience with cyberbullying?
I took a course on cyber security in the summer.

What inspired you to start Rosen Cyber Security?
There was an anti-Semitic cyber attack at a Jewish high school in New York that could have been prevented with a few easy steps, but no one knew. That really made me want to educate people and show them what to do if they are in this kind of situation.

What do you hope to do with Rosen Cyber Security?
Not a lot of people know how to protect themselves from cyber bullying but it is important to learn. I want to educate students and teachers on how to protect themselves and prevent cyber bullying in schools.

What is your biggest piece of advice on how to avoid cyber bullying?
My main piece of advice is think about what you’re doing before you do anything. For example, if you get an email from someone you don’t recognize, don’t just respond! If something seems weird, don’t do it! 

Article by Hannah Shapiro ('23)
Remembered but
not Forgotten
Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter Eulogizes the Life of the Late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks ZT”L
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

This year’s Yom Iyun was different than ever before, mostly notably because it took place on Zoom. Usually, the program is in school and students go from classroom to classroom with their parents to hear Divrei Torah from various staff members.

This year, everyone used links to access classes, which is far easier than locating classrooms throughout the building. Another difference with this year’s program is that students were assigned to specific classes instead of choosing from a list of options. This way, they experience learning from their regular teachers in a new way, focusing on topics related to Asara B'tevet and this week’s parsha instead of their formal curriculum.

As Naomi Reichenberg (‘22) explained, “the Yom Iyun program was extremely inspiring and was an incredible experience to share with our parents.” The unique program this year is reflective of the times, and we are so glad to have had a safe and uplifting Yom Iyun!

Article by Kira Jacoby('22)
Saphira's Solutions
Saphira Helps You Stay Connected 
in More Ways Than You Can Count
Dear Saphira’s Solutions,
I am on Zoom this week and quarantined. I am so frustrated! Any tips?
- Quarantined Quack

Dear Quarantined Quack,

I am sorry to hear that. No one likes to be quarantined. However, these are the rules we must follow to remain safe. While you’re at home, keep in mind that you’re helping keep the community safe. There are many things to do while in quarantine. Board games with family are always fun, outdoor social distanced hang outs with friends have been an option from the start, and baking and cooking are always awesome activities. Take advantage of your time at home! There are many perks of being on Zoom. If you’re tired, you can nap during lunch. If you are a Hollywood or North Miami Beach resident, you don’t have a long schlep home. Hang in there and try to make the best of it!
Good luck!

Article by Saphira Samuels ('21)
Highlites Staff