Looking Forward to KYHS 2021
This is my 17th year of bringing you the Highlites, and each year I have more fun showing off all the wonderful "happenings" at Katz Yeshiva High School. If you didn't know this already, you can see all the past issues on our website.  Click here  for the link. Looking through issues from years past, you will clearly see the different talents and creativity of each year's editors and staff.
 
The Highlites is a student-run publication from top to bottom, from creating the template and layout to designing marvelous banners and graphics that take my breath away every week. We also include articles, videos, and images to help you feel that you are part of the amazing KYHS experience. I compliment the Highlites staff on a great job this year! All their hours of hard work is memorialized as part of the KYHS record.
 
But of course each issue is also a reflection of the administration, teachers, student activities team, and staff that make every program unique and special to the students. KYHS is a unique blend of school and what I feel is a kind of camp-like experience that demonstrates the special relationship between our staff and our students. 
 
So as I look back over the past year and thank the Highlites staff for all their hard work, I also thank you, the parents, who have given us these talented students and allowed them to spread their wings for the benefit of KYHS.
 
And if I may, I'd like to show special appreciation for Rabbi Avi Levitt, who came to KYHS expecting a normal school year and instead faced the challenge of COVID-19, which turned our whole world upside down. Thank you also to Shimmie Kaminetsky and Mrs. Ora Lee Kanner for making the "Zoomosphere" (as Rabbi Levitt likes to call it) work for our school community and for working hard to keep us all safe in the upcoming year!
 
I hope everyone has an amazing summer, stays safe and healthy, and I really hope we are back in our beautiful building in the fall so that we can continue to report all the special events and happenings at KYHS!





Shabbat Shalom, 
Claudia A. Cohen

Class of 2020
Mazel Tov to all the Graduates
Positive emotions flowed at months-long highs during the Class of 2020’s recent graduation, which took place right in the KYHS parking lot. Thanks to KYHS’s graduation committee and Executive Director Shimmie Kaminetsky, the parking lot was transformed into a drive-in movie theater venue that was both safe and worthy of a truly iconic group of Storm students.

With each family safely nestled in their respective cars, the graduation ceremony began with Shimmie Kaminestky’s performance of both “Hatikvah” and the national anthem. Shimmie effortlessly nailed every single note in a vocal clinic that was fit for a Super Bowl halftime show. The mic and podium were then wiped clean of Shimmie’s otherworldly aura (and any particulates) and the speaking lineup of Rabbi Avi Levitt, Mrs. Ora Lee Kanner, and Student Speaker/School President/All-Around Legend Yoni Kurtz all took the podium to deliver their remarks. Each speaker touched on different aspects of this unique class’s experience at KYHS. Rabbi Levitt implored the graduates to emerge from the pandemic as the next wave of society’s leaders, Mrs. Kanner emphasized Hashem’s ultimate plan for the senior class and society at large, and Yoni used his trademark wit and humor, along with the phrase “Gam Ze Ya’avor,” to remind the senior class of the importance of mental strength during both good and bad times.

As the audience recovered from the bombshells each speaker had just dropped, Rina Ciment’s emotional senior video flashed on the movie theater-sized screens set up in front of the school. Rina’s video was truly a work of cinematic excellence (not kidding at all this time). The video left parents around the parking lot sighing as they lovingly put their arms around their children and thought, “Why can’t my kid make something like that?” 

The final part of the graduation then began, as each student heard a teacher speak about him or her while embarrassing pictures from freshman year (among others) graced the screen. Graduates were called out of their cars in groups of 20 to receive a diploma and customized siddur in a socially distant, COVID-proof manner. This continued until all 79 graduates crossed the stage. Tehila Zaghi suffered one final time with a surname that has placed her last in every alphabetical list throughout high school. 

Diplomas in hand, the graduates watched from their cars as Rabbi Levitt closed the first-ever KYHS parking lot graduation and officially sent off the Class of 2020. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one student said, “This … was the best high school graduation I’ve ever [attended]. I honestly didn’t expect much, but this completely surpassed all my expectations. With all the positivity and excitement around the graduation, it seems like KYHS may have just discovered a new tradition.” 

Let’s hope if there ever is another parking lot graduation, it is by choice and not necessity. 

Congratulations to the entire KYHS Class of 2020!




Article by Yoni Kurtz('20)
Senior Girls Leave on Last Impact on their KYHS Family
Seniors come together one last time to sing and share wise words to grades below.
Graphic by Penina Kahane ('22)
The Senior Kumsitz is one of the highlights of the end of senior year. Seniors have a chance to share with the underclassmen their experiences and the lessons they learned throughout high school. This year as a result of the switch to distant learning, the Senior Kumsitz happened on Zoom.
Seniors, underclassmen, and their teachers joined together virtually on Memorial Day to celebrate the seniors’ graduation and to gain advice about high school. Around 20 different senior girls shared the advice they gained from their experiences, ranging from not underestimating your abilities and keeping an open mind to trying new things and not being intimidated by the upperclassmen. The seniors enjoyed reminiscing about their time in high school and hope the underclassmen gained from their shared advice.
Good luck to the seniors as they leave KYHS and begin a new chapter of their lives.

Click Here for the Video of THe Kumsitz Zoom Session

Article by Batsheva Shekhter ('20)
What a Ball

Storm Athletes Receive Awards for Astounding Athletic Capabilities
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)

On May 26 and 27th, KYHS hosted their annual sports banquet on everyone’s favorite app, Zoom. Despite the inability to host the ceremony in person, the Zoom platform allowed us to see our teammates and coaches and to celebrate with them ”in person.”
Senior athlete and MVP of tennis and volleyball, Odelia Citron, said, “Coach Ruffo set up an amazing ceremony on Zoom to ensure all of the athletes felt appreciated and recognized. It was so nice seeing and hearing from all of my coaches and teammates one last time.”
We cheered for our teammates as awards were presented and reminisced about our hard-fought and fun-filled seasons. There were emotional farewells to all the senior athletes who contributed so much to their respective teams, and there was excitement about future seasons. The coaches expressed their enjoyment of coaching their players and spoke about the camaraderie that bonds them as a team forever.
As a member of the tennis team whose season was cut short due to the corona pandemic, I felt it was particularly meaningful to be acknowledged for our accomplishments that were achieved during the course of the shortened season. Though we couldn’t complete the spring season, the banquet gave us the opportunity to interact with our team once again. Congratulations to all the athletes for their dedication and competitive spirit. GO STORM!

Article by Shoshana Stadlan ('22)
Student Spotlight
KYHS is proud of their Alumni
Meyer Grunberg here, I graduated from the then WYHS back in 2014. Hope all is well with you in these new times. I wanted to reach out to let the KYHS administration know about a project I've started called " On This Day in Jewish History
 Currently, it only exists on Instagram, but we are planning to take it to YouTube soon as we prepare a weekly podcast to dive deeper into the topics we touch on the Instagram page. I am running the account with a good friend from NY named Isaac Simon and we've realized that to get the most of ourselves and the overall project, we need to delegate certain tasks. 
 I am attaching "job descriptions" we've drafted. I put them on quotations here since it would be more of an unpaid internship - students would participate on a volunteer basis and gain significant experience of startup / remote work. If the school wants to incentivize using extra credit for participation, that would be great. I am happy to also offer recommendation letters for all of those involved. 
 I would love to speak on the phone with somebody from the administration, history department, or Judaic Studies to discuss the opportunity further in case there is an interest in partaking in this initiative. 
 Looking forward to hearing from you.

Article by Meyer Grunberg ('14)  
Mazal tov to Adam and Zachy Dennis!!!
And Mazal tov to the entire Katz Yeshiva High School!! Adam and Zachy placed 2nd and 3rd place in the YU Bekiut Program - a national Gemara program, run by Yeshiva University.
Tens of Modern Orthodox high schools and hundreds of students throughout the country and world participate in this program.
The KYHS Masmidim boys, along with a number of additional students in our school, worked hard all year, participating in this program. KYHS students, in general, did very well.
The KYHS family is so incredibly proud of all of you! We look forward to see Adam, Zachy, our "Masmidim", and all our students grow to become TRUE BNEI TORAH! We look forward to helping you and watching you become  the top talmidim in yeshivos in Israel, in YU, and in Batei Medrash in colleges throughout the country . And we can't wait seeing you populate South Florida, Israel, and cities throughout the country and the world with YOUR TORAH!! Mazal tov! Keep going strong!! Go KYHS!!

Article by Rabbi Stohl
After graduating KYHS in 2004, Zev studied at Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim (OJ) in Israel for 2 years. Zev continued his education at Lander College where he participated in their kollel program. Zev and his wife, Michelle moved to Lakewood, NJ where he currently learns in kollel at Beth Medrash Gavoha. Zev is learning in a program that prepares students to become Judges in Jewish courts.
Zev recently published two short Halachic Seforim in English. One is about the custom of women to refrain from work on Rosh Chodesh. The sefer was inspired by his daughter who related that her friend’s mother doesn’t do laundry on Rosh Chodesh. After discovering that the source is in the Shulchan Aruch, Zev was inspired to know more and turned his notes into a sefer. The other sefer is about reciting brachos on Shavuos morning after being awake all night. Zev realized that since many people were not going to daven with a minyan this year, no one would be able to say brachos for those that stayed up all night. Therefore, he devoted extra time to clarifying those halachos. 
  "I’m very fond of my years at the high school. I’m still close with some of my rabbis! I have a tremendous hakaras hatov for all they’ve done for me. Thank you KYHS!" 
Article by Zev Kilstein ('04)
Adam Dennis ('21)
Zach Dennis ('23)
The Polls are closed and the results are in
The winners are...

Graphic by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)
Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Student Council Winners:
Jamie Berger - 10th grade president
Shlomo Ganz - 10th grade president
Eilat Berger - 11th grade president
Eitan Pitch - 11th grade president
Saphira Samuels - 2th grade president
Adam Dennis - 12th grade president
Eliana Broide - KYHS student council president
Tans Rosen - KYHS student council president
Literary Magazine
The Article's a Real Catch
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22)
Attached is this year’s edition of our school’s literary magazine, Allie’s Mitt. The title of our magazine is a reference to The Catcher in the Rye, a novel you read in your 10thgrade English class. Here’s the excerpt where Holden Caufield, the main character, talks about his brother Allie’s baseball mitt:
“My brother Allie had this left-handed fielder's mitt… he had poems written all over the fingers and the pocket and everywhere. In green ink. He wrote them on it so that he'd have something to read when he was in the field and nobody was up to bat.” It’s a cool little symbol and the mitt means a great deal to Holden.
I like the whole image of Allie, sitting in left field, bored out of his mind, reading poetry. In many ways, the nature of reading is always somewhat solitary. You may read poems in class, and discuss novels with your friends, but the experience of reading – and of writing – is always yours alone. In times of loneliness and boredom, when Netflix or Fortnite just won’t cut it, creative expression soothes the soul.
This collection of art and writing is just a sampling of the talent in our school. I encourage you to read it, to enjoy it, and to use it as inspiration to find your own creative voice. Allie's Mitt is already staffed for 2020-2021, but we are always looking for new talent and new voices.

Article by Mrs. Ciment
Next on the Agenda
KYHS parents get the inside scoop
Graphic by Naomi Reichenberg ('22)

A number of years ago I attended a meeting between one of our local day schools and an expert advisor on education. The main gist that became crystal clear through the course of that seminar was that communication and transparency was the key to positive relationships between our school administration and the parent body.  
As a parent, I was extremely grateful that Rabbi Levitt, Mrs. Kanner, and Shimmie Kaminetsky ran a June 7th meeting over Zoom to update the parent body on some of the challenges the school is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the plans that are being developed to facilitate an outstanding upcoming school year. Rabbi Levitt emphasized the school’s goal to have all the students back in the school beginning August 28th. Numerous possibilities were discussed, including separating grades into quadrants or possibly rotating grades in the building. Mrs Kanner informed us of the academic adjustments which have been implemented, including specialized staff training to enhance technology skills, as well as switching to a quarterly system to allow for more feedback and quicker interventions.  
Shimmie informed us of the challenges of transportation and athletics, which will likely be modified to accommodate social distancing. Financial decisions including no tuition increase, frozen teacher salaries, and flexibility in the event of future lockdowns were also brought to our attention.  
This effective communication gives me great confidence as a parent that, despite very difficult circumstances, the KYHS administration is putting in great thought and effort to meet the

Click Here for Video of the Town Hall Meeting

Article by Ed Reichenberg
Top Secret
No Students Allowed
On June 4th and 5th, as the school year was coming to a close, KYHS faculty and staff met together to reflect on the year behind us and the road ahead. It was a welcome opportunity to see each other’s faces and connect with colleagues after many weeks of distance learning, as well as an opportunity to strategize and share ideas about how to keep our school experience safe, rewarding, and effective.
On the first day of meetings, all faculty had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Laya Salomon of Yeshiva University, who shared insights on crafting performance-based assessments that mirror real-world experiences, helping faculty reconceptualize assessment in the age of distance learning. Each department also had the opportunity to reflect on their teaching over the past year and to set priorities for the year to come. The highlight of the day, however, was meaningful words of encouragement from colleagues and administrators celebrating those of our colleagues leaving KYHS at the end of the academic year as well as our successes as a community.
School guidance staff also offered a timely session on "teaching in times of uncertainty." The agenda on the second day of meetings shifted gears towards the practical nuts and bolts of school business and keeping our school safe amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19. The day began with professional development sessions devoted to maximizing student engagement and outcomes in Zoom learning. Administrators then briefed faculty and staff on their plans for the 2020-21 academic year, plans which include a broad range of scenarios and contingencies designed to maximize communal health. While administrators made it clear that they will tailor their planning to reflect changing conditions, students, families, and staff alike can take comfort knowing that our COVID-19 health committee (and, indeed, the entire faculty and staff) are hard at work, helping to ensure the coming year is our best yet.

  Article by Dr. Isaacson
Highlites Staff