This Shabat in shul, we will hear the words “חֲזַק חֲזַק וְנִתְּחַזֵּק,” symbolizing the completion of Sefer Shmot. The parshiyot in this sefer tell the story of Bnei Yisroel becoming God’s nation, Am Yisrael, and learning of all the responsibilities that come along with this incredible relationship. These responsibilities, enumerated in the Torah, are meant to give us the means to create a strong connection to Hashem.

In this week parsha, Parshat Pekudei, the Torah repeats the phrase “כאשר צוה ה את־משה” when describing how Betzalel and Oholiav constructed the Mishkan. As the Sforno explains, this is meant to highlight that they did exactly as Hashem had commanded them. They did not deviate whatsoever from Hashem’s commands. 

This is an extremely important lesson for us in terms of how we should observe the mitzvot, making sure that we are actually doing what Hashem wants of us. However, it is not enough to simply do the mitzvot, we must do so with happiness, as it says in Tehillim: “עבדו את ה’ בשמחה באו לפניו ברננה”. This Rosh Chodesh Adar, let us embrace the theme of happiness, to truthfully serve Hashem by following His word and doing so with simcha

This week’s Highlites is packed with several incredible events that took place at KYHS this past week which have embraced this very idea. Rabbi Hochman’s eruv tour showed his senior boys class the eruv surrounding Boca Raton, allowing them to appreciate the importance of this detailed mitzvah. Just as the Mishkan was an extremely nuanced and detailed process, so is the entire concept of the eruv. It is crucial that we complete this mitzvah “כאשר צוה ה” in order to ensure that we are doing it correctly. 

The Freshmore Shabbaton and this week’s exciting activities for Rosh Chodesh Adar show the importance of עבדו את ה’ בשמחה at KYHS. The Shabbaton was filled with happiness and smiles, as students had the opportunity to connect to friends, teachers, and Hashem on this fun and inspirational weekend getaway in Orlando. It was the perfect synthesis of spirituality and fun, allowing students to really serve Hashem in happiness. The carnival and dress up day later in the week brought in the spirit of Adar Bet, filling the hallways with energy and excitement! 

Enjoy this week’s amazing Highlites edition which includes a discussion of the Russia-Ukraine information session, Purple Day, Rabbi Hochman’s eruv tour, the Rosh Chodesh carnival, and Heard in the Halls. 

Shabbat Shalom,
Rebbeca Henner ('22)
The Fun and Fresh(more) Shabbaton 
Freshmen and Sophomores Enjoy an Exhilarating Shabbaton in Orlando!
Graphic by Abby Rosenthal ('23)

This past week, the freshmen and sophomores traveled to Orlando, Florida for the second annual Freshmore Shabbaton. Throughout Shabbat, there were activities, shiurim, and bonding time between the teachers and students. The students gave beautiful Divrei Torah and the teachers taught amazing lessons on Friday Night and Shabbat afternoon. The Shabbat singing was beautiful and inspiring. There were entertaining games and activities run throughout Shabbat. Havdalah was beautiful and after Shabbat there was an energy-filled chagigah in the Shul. After the chagigah, the students and faculty were taken to Disney Springs for a night of bonding, shopping, and hanging out with friends. 

On Sunday morning, everyone packed up their belongings and headed to the buses to go to Universal’s theme parks. Universal was the highlight of my trip because throughout the day there were students running around with their friends and going on fun rides such as the Hulk, Velocicoaster, and Hagrid’s Motorcycle Ride. There was so much to do at the parks and the day was very enjoyable for everyone. Overall, the Shabbaton was a great opportunity for everyone to become closer to their friends and teachers, as well as make new friends. I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to go on such a special trip!

Click Here for Recap Video done by Eduardo Kornworcel ('24)
Click Here for Photos

Article by Ariela Leibowitz ('25)
 An Update on Ukraine 
KYHS Students Had the Privilege to Hear from Mr. Julian Waller Who Informed them on the Gravity of the Situation in Ukraine
Graphic by Shoshana Weinstock ('24)
Last Tuesday, Dr. Robert Isaacson chair of the amazing KYHS History Department, brought in an informative speaker about the impending Russia-Ukraine Crisis, which has since begun. Students and staff had the opportunity to learn about and discuss the complex political situation with Julian G. Waller, a political scientist, scholar, and research analyst who specializes in military-political issues as well as comparative authoritarianism in Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia. Waller joined us on Zoom from Washington, D.C. The room was filled to the brim, with every seat taken by students and staff who were all engaged in educating themselves about the crisis.

The speaker began by outlining the history of conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, and then moved on to an open discussion during which students and staff were able to ask questions. Everyone involved partook in a fascinating conversation about current events and politics in Russia and Ukraine and learned about the potential trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine War. Waller spoke about the impact that this war will potentially have on our everyday lives here in America, as well as the United States’s potential role in the developing crisis. It is essential to educate ourselves on current events and we were very lucky to have the opportunity to discuss this matter with an expert in the field.
Click Here for Power Point
Click Here for an audio file of Mr. Waller's speech

Article by Hannah Shapiro ('23)
KYHS Supports and Fundraises for Shalom Task Force
Graphic by Eitan Kaminetzky ('25)

On last Friday’s “Purple Day”, KHYS students had the opportunity to learn about the Shalom Task Force, an amazing organization that raises awareness and supports victims of domestic violence and abuse. “Purple Day” is a day where everyone wears purple to show our support for combating domestic abuse. I interviewed Jamie Berger, one of the organizers of Shalom Task Force Purple Day, to learn more about the experience! 

Marielle Askenazi: Could you explain what the Shalom Task Force is?

Jamie Berger: Shalom Task Force is an amazing organization that works to combat domestic abuse through education and providing a hotline. It advocates for healthy relationships between partners, friends, and family.

Marielle: Why do you think it is so important for us students to know about this organization?

Jamie: It is essential for students to know about the organization because at this age we lay the bedrock for what our future relationships will look like. If we learn now how to create healthy relationships, then it will just be reflected positively and healthily in the future. 

Marielle: Could you explain how students can help/get involved in the Shalom Task Force?

Jamie: Shalom Task Force has a fellowship every year for 11th graders, which is what I participated in. It was an amazing and enlightening experience which I highly encourage freshman and sophmores to participate in in the coming years. I encourage anyone looking to get involved, regardless of their grade, to start by looking over the Shalom Task Force website. It provides basic information of what the organization does and more ways to get involved. Additionally, students can donate to the organization to allow it to continue to help and save lives.

Marielle: What have you learned from getting involved in this?

Jamie: I have learned that emotional abuse is overlooked and a lot more common than I thought it was. People are very uneducated as to what is classified as abuse and as a result of that, they allow it to persist in their lives. It is important to learn how to create healthy boundaries in order to avoid being stuck in a future relationship where domestic abuse may be a problem.

We would like to give a big thank you to juniors Jamie Berger ('23) , Adina Spodek ('23) , and Hannah Shapiro ('23) for coordinating this program and bringing awareness of this important topic to our school. This was an extremely eye-opening experience and a great opportunity to learn about the available domestic abuse resources and to know how to reach out. 

Article by Marielle Askenazi ('23)
 Let’s Talk About Everything Eruv
Rabbi Hochman’s Senior Boys Get a Tour of the Boca Raton Eruv
Graphic by Technical Staff

Last Tuesday, Rabbi Avi Hochman took his senior Halacha class on an educational field trip around the Montoya Circle eruv.  

Rabbi David Shabtai, who is in charge of the eruv, guided the class’s tour. He taught the students how the eruv works and how he puts ancient Jewish laws into practice in real life scenarios. “Rabbi Shabtai did an amazing job explaining to our class all the intricate details,” said Rabbi Hochman.

“It was very interesting seeing how old rules could be applied to modern issues,” said Judah Cohn (‘22), a student who attended the trip.

“It was an eye opening experience,” added Rabbi Hochman. “We were able to see something that many of us have heard about and use all the time, but lack a complete understanding of how it all works to make it possible!”

Article by Boaz Edidin ('22)
Rosh Chodesh
Carnival Craze
KYHS Celebrates Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet with the Biggest Best Bounce Houses 
Graphic by Technical Staff

This Thursday, in honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet, KYHS students had the opportunity to enjoy an exciting carnival filled with bounce houses and games. Each grade and gender had a designated class period to take part in the activities. The upbeat music and warm weather created a joyful atmosphere for students and staff.

There were multiple inflatable obstacle courses, slides, and sports activities available for students to race, climb, and lounge on, making the carnival a fun and much needed break after a long week of school.

“Yesterday’s carnival was a great opportunity to let loose and have a break away from our classes. I really loved it – playing in the bounce houses made me feel like a little kid again!” commented Hila Blanka (‘23).

Aden Lyons (‘23) said, “The carnival was great, it was nice getting to celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar with everyone and start off the new month with a bang.”

After a fun hour of activities, students bought ice pops to cool off before the next class. The money raised from the ice pops was donated to help Jewish communities in Ukraine. What a special start to the month! Chodesh Tov, KYHS!

Article by Zohara Lam ('23)
Heard in the Halls by Jamie Berger ('23)
 Quote Jamie Berger, She May Quote
You Back

Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

Quite literally in the halls this week I was speaking with sophomores Gali Amar, David Winograd, and Itai Fixler. I have had conversations with my friends about what advice we would give our past selves upon entering high school, but I was curious to hear a fresh perspective on the topic from those outside my grade. I asked the group of sophomores this question and they all had so much to say.

One piece of advice that Itai Fixler ('24) gave was to “not be fake because there will always be real people who love you the way you are.”

I have to give credit to all three of them for inspiring this quote. I truly loved it, especially because I think it is a piece of advice that applies to many of us now. It is so easy to change yourself to try fitting in with kids you think you should be friends with or want to be friends with. Ultimately, that never works because some personalities click while others do not, and we can't always force a different result.

It wasn’t until this year that I realized that it is impossible to be best friends with everyone. This may sound obvious, but until this year I really tried to make that work. When I stopped forcing friendships and let myself naturally gravitate toward certain people, I found real friends who didn't make me feel like I had to change myself to fit in with them. I really suggest that everyone take Itai’s wise advice to just be yourself, and then you will find your realest friends.

Article by Jamie Berger ('23)
Highlites Staff