Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
Last Monday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke directly to American Jews, asking them to stand in solidarity with his war-ravaged country. 

KYHS responded on Wednesday with a rally in support of Ukraine, the details of which are recounted in Judah Frohlich’s article below. After faculty and students listened to the haunting lyrics of the Ukrainian national anthem and said Tehillim, Dr. Isaacson, our History Department Chair, spoke compellingly about the events that precipitated Russia’s attack on Ukraine and implored us all to “show those whose lives have been torn apart by war that we are not indifferent to their plight.”

In keeping with the reality of life, this week’s edition of Highlites features the inspirational and fun alongside the sobering. As we marvel at the heroic military service of Rabbi Kimche’s uncle outlined in the latest JED Talk, sing along to Binyamin Hadar’s new hit “Purim High,” argue inexplicably about doors and wheels, heed the wise words Jamie Berger heard in the halls, and giggle at Naomi Reichenberg’s hot takes on hamantaschen, we should also pause to remember those whose sorrow will find no temporary solace today. 

In his aforementioned speech, President Zelenskyy recalled the sympathy he had felt for Americans on 9/11. “Despite the fact that I’m a Ukrainian citizen with Jewish blood,” he asserted, “it was as painful to me.” May the grief of the Ukrainian people, then, be as painful to us. 

Have a restful and reflective Shabbat,
Ms. Crowther
Seniors Hear from Rabbi Shlomo Kimche about the Hashkacha Pratis and Meshuga Things that Happened to Him in the Army
Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

Last week’s senior JED Talk featured Rabbi Kimche’s uncle, Rabbi Shlomo Kimche. He told us his fascinating life story, leaving the seniors inspired. Rabbi Shlomo Kimche grew up in Israel in the city of Haifa. He went to school on a kibbutz where he first understood the importance of balancing both an education and practical work. After attending a hesder yeshiva he joined the army, where he became a specialist in tanks. Rabbi Kimche recounted specific stories from his army experience that amazed us all. Since he was a specialist in his specific category, he led all of the other tanks into battle.

At one moment in the battle, Rabbi Kimche told us, they had been resting in a field when the enemy started sending a barrage of missiles. They all feared for their lives. Unbelievably, after 20 minutes when the attack ended, all the soldiers peered through the tanks and saw that not a single tank was hit. The field was filled with tons of holes, showing just how much damage could have been done. After this crazy experience, Rabbi Kimche, being the only religious soldier in his unit, took out his tefillin and began to daven. When he got a tap on the shoulder that he needed to start hurrying up, he thought it was because he was holding the rest of his unit up. However, to his surprise, when he turned around, he saw all the soldiers lining up to try on his tefillin!

Rabbi Kimche went on to tell us about the major significance of that pair of tefillin that he later learned about. This incredible story, and the dvar torah that Rabbi Kimche shared with us afterwards, offered the seniors deep insight and a new perspective. We are very thankful to Rabbi Kimche for spending the time with us and sharing his story!  

Article by Rebecca Henner ('22)
We Stand with Ukraine
KYHS Held a Beautifal Assembly to Raise Awareness for Ukraine
Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)
This past Wednesday before Mincha, the entire school gathered in the Beit Midrash for an assembly dedicated to informing the student body about the current situation in Ukraine and what we can do about it.

The program began with Dr. Bob Isaacson (DBI), head of the KYHS history department, speaking about relevant Ukrainian and Russian statistics and the historical context leading up to the war. To describe the magnitude of the conflict, Dr. Isaacson explained how in one short week of fighting, already two million Ukrainians have fled as refugees to neighboring countries, and hundreds of civilians as well as thousands of soldiers have been killed. Furthermore, he broke down what led up to the war and why Russia felt a need and obligation to invade Ukraine. From the 1770s until 1917, Ukraine was Russian under Habsburg control. Then, in 1991, Ukraine became its own country. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and consequently the Eastern bloc, Russia desired a buffer zone between itself and the “hostile” western nations. This can account for Russia’s supposed claim over the territory. DBI further stated that all Russia is attempting to do is destroy the unique Ukrainian culture, and if Russia successfully conquers Ukraine, a unique culture and lifestyle would disappear from the world.

After DBI’s informative speech, Rabbi Levitt followed with a few points on the Ukrainian issue. Most importantly, he quoted Martin Niemöller who said: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” This goes to show that it is always important to stand up for what you think is right, even if you yourself are not being targeted.

Many of our KYHS students have been doing exactly this. “United with Ukraine” is a student-run KYHS organization that fund-raises through donations, food sales, and raffle sales in order to distribute money to members of the Jewish community in Ukraine. Everyone is encouraged to donate as much as you can in order to stand up for what is right and for your fellow Jews.

Article by Judah Frohlich ('23)
Doors Vs. Wheels
Emma Schenker (‘22) Interviews Eilat Berger (‘22) and Jacob Freedman (‘22) to Find Out Their Hot Takes on the Doors Vs. Wheels Debate
Graphic by Technical Staff

This week, the debate that has dominated the internet has made its way to the halls of KYHS. The pressing, thought-provoking question: are there more doors or wheels in the world? Representatives from each side of the debate have offered to fight to defend their sides, hoping to convince the rest of the school that their answer is correct.

Representing Team Doors is none other than our Storm for Israel president, girls basketball team captain, and Sharsheret club head, Eilat Berger (‘22). Team Wheels is being spearheaded by the revered president of both the philosophy and Chai Lifeline clubs and star tennis player, Jacob Freedman (‘22).

Each player fought long and hard to prove why they are correct, so I would like to offer you some of their most captivating reasons. Jacob contends that for every room with a door, there are far more wheels in that room. Think of rolling-chairs, drawers, and even some household appliances like vacuums. He also sights the 18-wheeler truck, the Hot Wheels, and conveyor belts, which some might have forgotten when accounting for the wheel population of the world.

Right when beginning her argument, Eilat wants the actual definition of a wheel. She argues that by using the Oxford dictionary definition of “a wheel that rotates around an axle on the ground,” one is effectively eliminating a lot of things that so-called “Wheelies” like Jacob would argue have wheels. Since the definition of door is far more ambiguous, there is more room for doors to win, argues Eilat. Coffins, lockers, cruise ships, and dollhouses all are used as evidence in Eilat’s door argument.

While this argument is a tremendously good way to spend your time, there is no actual answer. If you wish to share your opinion email to support the DOORS and if you are a WHEELIE for life. 

Article by Emma Schenker ('22)
Perfectly Pointy Hamantaschen
Chap a Naomi’s Nosh for the Heilige Chag of Purim
Graphic by Shoshana Weinstock ('24)

Shalom Aleichem, Chevre! With the chag of Purim quickly approaching I thought it would be a most marvelous idea to bake a Purim delicacy, the stars of the seudah, the hamantaschen (insert grogger sound here). You’re gonna need a few important ingredients and utensils for this extremely special recipe. First, you will need farm-fresh eggs, avocado oil, lots of sugar, and very sifted flour. Then you will need a bowl and… wait… I’m remembering my recipe and realizing that this is way too much of a potchky. To the Grove we go!

First, you’re gonna wanna grab your keys and Ima’s credit card. Then you need to get in your Mazda CX-5 and drive to your nearest Grove Kosher Market and head to the pastries section, where they will be making the most decadent gavaldik hamantaschen the world has ever seen. When picking hamantaschen it is important to note which hamantaschen has the perfect pinch factor. In order to determine this, you must look at the corners of each hamantaschen and observe which one has the pointiest points in the Boca Bubble.

The next thing you have to take detailed notes on is the flavor of hamantaschen available. If you ask me, sprinkles deserve to be reported to the police and therefore have no place in a beautiful dessert such as a hamantaschen, but I am aware that the oilam wouldn’t necessarily agree with that hot take. The most enjoyable and coveted flavor is obviously chocolate and therefore you are going to want to be sure to pick up a chocolate hamantaschen at the Grove. Did I mention you should buy your hamantaschen at the Grove?

Once you pick up your perfectly-pinched chocolate hamantaschen and place it into the box or bag that the Grove provides you, you may head to the checkout counter where Jordan Berger would be ecstatic to ring up your perfectly-pinched hamantaschen or you. Once that’s all done you should head back to your humble abode, make a mezonos, and stuff the entire perfectly-pinched hamantaschen into your peh. Chew it with your beautiful shinayim from the Borei Olam and swallow it before you have time to think about the perfect pinches stabbing your mouth. This is the only acceptable thing to do on Purim day and throughout Adar.

Haman (booooo) may have made an evil plot against Klal Yisroel, but his cookies sure are mmmm mmmm good. Purim Sameach to all who hate sprinkles as much as I. The rest of you, have a mediocre 14th of Adar. 

Article by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)
Purim High
Binyamin Hadar (‘22) Tells Ariella a Tale Tale Tale about His New Purim Song
Graphic by Olivia Kahane ('23)

Binyamin Hadar recently released a brand new song just in time for Purim. This week I interviewed him about his flourishing music career. Binyamin got started in the world of music because music is something that he has always been passionate about and he wanted the opportunity to be a positive influence and a great name in the industry. 

Binyamin started his career out with a little songwriting and Maccabeat-style parodies. Over time he began to pick up skills like playing the guitar, production, songwriting, singing, engineering, DJing, and more. 

As I’m sure everyone remembers, Binyamin released his first hit song back in December, “Al Hanisim 2.0”. The story behind the Chanukah bop is that Binyamin was in the car listening to the song that “Al Hanisim 2.0” is a parody of, and he began humming to himself, “menorah, menorah”, and he realized it worked! He sat down for about five minutes and wrote all the lyrics to the version of the song you know and love today. Binyamin then produced the rough draft of the song and showed it to some friends and his family. About three months later, his father reminded him of the song and told him he should release it. Then, after a stressful week of recording and video production, the hit was released just a few days before Chanukah!

Binyamin says: “It felt great.” But it also gave him a sense of wanting more, but not more views or followers. Binyamin wanted to make more songs. After seeing hundreds of people sing “Al Hanisim 2.0” and receiving amazing videos of people watching it with their friends and family, Binyamin felt like he had so many great things to put out into the world and share with people. 

Binyamin is also a DJ, if anyone is interested. If you couldn’t tell by now, he is quite invested in music and has pretty solid taste in it. About six months ago, when Binyamin realized he had a gift for making a party come alive, he began to take on DJing and it’s been great! If anyone reading this has any questions or inquiries about this, shoot him a message on instagram @binyaminhadarofficial. 

Purim Highis Binyamin’s new single, now available everywhere! The song-making process was quite rushed, but every element you hear in the song is something he wrote, recorded, produced, and engineered. In the future Binyamin would certainly like to work with people that are more talented and better than he is in certain areas to improve the quality and depth of the music. This project, however, is something Binyamin is extremely proud of and he hopes it is a song that brings light and joy to everyone that listens to it leading up to Purim.

Binyamin is ecstatic about his future. Each night when he goes to sleep and every morning when he wakes up, he is thinking about doing things that will positively impact his future self. He can't wait to see what he can create! 

Binyamin has BIG plans for next year. He has to keep most of it to himself, but one little teaser he can give is that next year BEZ”H he plans on starting a record label in yeshiva and gathering the most talented and creative yeshiva guys from around the world to release some of the best Jewish music of all time! He also has many songs and albums planned and being prepared at the moment, so that’s something to look forward to!

People often get caught up in matters of life, ideas, dreams, the past, the future, and the present. Sometimes you have to just ground yourself and remind yourself where you are, where you want to be, and what you want to do to get there. People often get caught in repetition, routine, and saying things that they want to do but don’t end up doing. If you are pursuing music, or really anything, the trick is to just DO, to make moves, and to put your best effort and time into what you really want to accomplish. 

We can’t wait to see what is in store for Binyamin’s career. Stream Binyamin’s new hit, “Purim High”, today!!!

Article by Ariella Greenberg ('22)
Heard in the Halls by Jamie Berger ('23)
 Quote Jamie Berger, She May
Quote You Back
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

Many people can agree that getting up in the morning can be one of the most difficult parts of the day, especially if you didn’t sleep well or went to bed late after watching an entire season of a Netflix show the night before. Even after you finally wake yourself up, maybe you spend your entire ride to school tired and in a bad mood, in desperate need of a few cups of coffee to get your day going.

Jonathan Davidson (‘23) was recently telling me about a mindset which helps him have a productive and positive morning which sets him up for the rest of the day. He said, “I get happy when I get out of bed because I get another chance to do something great.” I was absolutely shocked and inspired when he told me this. I kept thinking about it and how it might change my mood in the morning and help me to be more awake and ready to take on the day. I decided to try it one morning.

I woke up really tired and then remembered what he had told me. As a result, I just smiled. I was so excited to get up and strive to do something amazing that day. That had to be one of my most productive days ever. If you can try to think about what Jonathan said next time you wake up in a bad mood, I’m sure you will have an amazing and productive day, too!

Article by Jamie Berger ('23)
Highlites Staff