Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

In Parashat Vayeshev, Yaakov confronts a typical parenting challenge - how can one recognize the talents of one child and celebrate a relationship with them without creating jealousy and animosity amongst the other children in the household? The Torah is unafraid of sharing with us that Yaakov's family was impacted by his post-return-to-the-land-of-his-fathers choices, as well as the choices that Yosef made, which led to a fracture in the household. In my family, the children are super confident that they know who owns the Most Favored Child status (they're wrong, of course!). Thankfully the ramifications in our household relate mostly to who has to take out the recycling and the trash, and who has to peel vegetables for the soup, and not who gets to be tossed into a pit and sold to the international slave trade care of a bunch of camel-driving capitalists. It takes a few parshiyot, but the end of Sefer Bereishit makes clear that relationships are evolving entities, and Yosef is able to re-establish his relationship with his brothers and pick up the severed relationship he onced enjoyed with his father. 

School leaders similarly are wise not to announce their favorite team, their favorite club, or their favorite JED talk. However, Mr. Leon Pardau, a 101-year-old Cuban-Turk-French-American, blew us away last Friday with his tale of passion/desire, his commitment to Jewish identity and Jewish values, and his food regimen, which goes light on the red meat but calls for one or two glasses of wine daily. His majestic voice alone told us how much he cares about imparting important messages from a remarkable life, a fascinating journey that should continue in good health until 120. See the full write up in this edition of Highlites!

KYHS loves Israel and we also love Rabbi Uri Pilichowski! Storm for Israel sent a delegation of lobbyists earlier this week on the Rabbi Pilichowski-chaperoned and NCSY-sponsored effort to make sure lawmakers in Florida are informed about issues and decisions that impact on Medinat Yisrael. Details below. 

Zoology is not a course of study (yet) at KYHS, but this past Saturday night, KYHS Ambassadors ran another spectacular 8th grade recruiting event featuring the "Build A Bear" chesed activity. The food, the building, the upperclassmen, and a crew of teachers spent the evening showing the 8th grade participants why KYHS is the place to be for high school.

And while Lurianic Kabbalah is also not yet a staple of the KYHS limudei kodesh program, we do offer a club on Tanya and we do celebrate 19 Kislev, the '”birthday” of the Chabad movement. If you can't yet spell farbrengen, be sure to practice so that you too can score extra credit points on Doc's tests. Read more about the 19 Kislev festive events at KYHS in the articles that follow. 

Ahead of us: The Girls' Shabbaton and the Lights of Chanukah! KYHS wishes all of our families a spectacular Shabbat Shalom and a Chag Urim Sameach!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Levitt

Storm Spirit Through

Israel Pride

KYHS Students Lobby for Our Country and Get the Opportunity to Hear from Israeli Ambassador Michael Herzog

Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)

On Monday, ten KYHS juniors and seniors in the Storm for Israel club had the privilege to go with the Scheck Hillel senior class on a lobbying trip with NCSY’s Rabbi Uri Pilichowski and Daniel Geller. The kids from Boca drove down and kids from Hollywood and Aventura met up at Scheck Hillel, received t-shirts, and then we were off! 

Our first stop was at the AIPAC headquarters where Evan Philipson spoke to us about his job overseeing AIPAC’s political activity across the state of Florida. He educates and trains AIPAC activists, facilitates grassroots lobbying efforts, and builds and manages relationships with members of Congress. It was impactful to hear that someone just like us could achieve so much and help Israel-American relations in so many different ways. 

After that, we drove up to Hollywood to Club Vault where Joe Zevuloni, an Israeli activist and businessman, generously sponsored a pizza lunch followed by a riveting debate with Rabbi Pilichowski. Zevuloni assumed the Israeli position while Rabbi Pilichowski assumed a Palestinian standpoint. Both made compelling arguments about each viewpoint and taught us how deeply complicated this issue is. 

We took a short break and then had the privilege to talk with David Milstein, an advisor on Governor Ron DeSantis’s re-election campaign specializing in Jewish and pro-Israel outreach. He also served as a research analyst for Senator Ted Cruz before taking a break to study at Yeshivat Aish HaTorah in Israel. After that, he became an assistant to David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel. Suffice to say, David Milstein is very involved in US-Israeli politics and supporting Israel as best we can from our home here in America and we were incredibly honored to have the opportunity to be able to hear from him and learn about his experiences. 

Senior Mishael Sommers (‘23) said, “I had an interesting time at the AIPAC Israel advocacy trip this past week learning about American-Israeli relationships with politicians locally in the role that AIPAC has with lobbying and voter representation, and it was an amazing experience.” 

Thank you so much to our Storm for Israel Club, Rabbi Pilichowski, Daniel Geller, NCSY, and all the esteemed individuals who we had the honor to meet with on Monday!

Another educational Israel event this week at KYHS was having Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, come to speak to the entire student and teacher body on JNF’s invitation. Ambassador Herzog discussed the importance of Israel’s relationships with other countries and factors that are vital to maintain the Holy Land’s safety. After his speech, he opened the floor up to questions straight from the students. Students were eager to ask their questions, all of which were insightful and demonstrated previous knowledge on the complex topic. We are grateful to Ambassador Herzog for taking his time to share his wisdom with the students. 

Article by Aliza Bokor ('23) and Zohara Lam ('23)

Build-a-Bear, Build-a-Bond

8th Grade Girls Learn about Chessed, a Key Component of Life at KYHS

Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23)

This past Motzei Shabbat, eighth graders and select KYHS students filled the cafeteria for a fun night of chesed and learning. The night started with some delicious pizza. Prospective students got to enjoy their pizza with their friends while getting to know current students and asking any questions they may have.

After pizza, the girls split up into groups and learned with current students. They learned about the different levels of chesed and what each one entails. The learning was tied in all together with a beautiful Dvar Torah by our very own Mrs. Sarah Warman. She spoke about the importance of putting yourself into the chesed you do. This learning gave students a taste of what KYHS learning is all about. 11th grader Shoshana Weinstock adds, “I loved getting the opportunity to learn with these girls and hear the sources from their perspective. It was so special to be able to share with them why I love learning at KYHS.”

After the learning, everyone had the special privilege of making and donating bears for Chai Lifeline. The girls not only stuffed the bears with stuffing but they also included a personalized message. Adding the message really showed us what it's like to “put yourself into your chesed.” Students wrapped up the bears and wrote a Hanukkah card for the recipient of the bear.

12th grader Mia Kogan says, “Saturday night was a special opportunity to meet prospective students. I loved answering their questions and promoting the school but most importantly I loved getting to know them.” This turned out to be an incredible event and we are excited to show prospective students more about what our school has to offer. 

Article by Atara Keehn ('23)

Food and Fun at the Farbrengen!

KYHS Celebrates Yud Tes Kislev with Great Ruach and Good Times

Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

This past week the Chabad and Katz Yeshiva High School community celebrated י״ט כסלו, commemorating the day the founder of Chabad Chassidus, Rabbi Schneur Zalman, was freed from his incarceration in czarist Russia in 1798. The 19th of Kislev marks the beginning of the Chassidic New Year or “Chassidus Rosh Hashanah”. This holy day is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s Rabbi, the Maggid of Mezeritch, also known as Rav Dov Bear who was a student of the Baal Shem Tov. The Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, started the Chassidus movement, which is mystical beliefs on the Torah that have only been passed down through specific Kabbalists in each generation. The Maggid of Mezeritch kept the Baal Shem Tov’s work alive; when he passed away on this day he said to Rabbi Schneur Zalman, “This day is our Yom Tov’’. Ever since then, this day has been a joyous celebration with spiritual learning, beautiful music, and delectable foods at a farbrengen. 

Every time the Chabad minyan at school prays, it is with unique songs and tunes and always with added happiness. The minyan is led by Doctor Yosef Wolf. On Tuesday during lunch, Doctor Wolf and other teachers hosted a Yud-Tet Kislev celebration outside the cafeteria. There was a large crowd of students waiting to hear about this day and eat a delicious meat meal. It was an amazing combination of memorable Divrei Torah and sunny weather. In addition, Rabbi Brodman played his guitar for students in the rotunda. He played joyous melodies that enhanced the festive mood of the day. Students gathered around him to participate in the songs, and it set the tone for a positive week. 

י״ט כסלו is a day that commemorates the birth of Chassidim which is a philosophy to have mysticism and extra holiness. The chassidic movement involves a major part in growing in Torah studies and how to lead a better Jewish life. Let us all take a lesson from the Chabad community and serve Hashem with even more gratitude and happiness.

Article by Gabriella Asher ('25)

Leon 101: The Key to a Long Life

Seniors Have Privilege of Hearing Words of Wisdom from a Remarkable Guest

Graphic by Josh Haik ('24)

Last Friday, the seniors had the incredible opportunity to hear 101-year-old Mr. Pardau, grandfather of Judah (‘23), speak about his life experiences and the lessons he has learned. Mr. Pardau shared his fascinating life story and bestowed immeasurable wisdom upon the students. He began by outlining his childhood in France and Turkey. He later moved to Cuba and subsequently emigrated to the United States with little to his name. He was able to build a life for himself with next to nothing, and his story is highly motivational.

Mr. Pardau’s story gave us insight into what life was truly like for Jews in each of these countries. Mr. Pardau shared stories about the antisemitism he faced in each country he lived. Despite antisemitism, he endured and went on to lead a successful life and start a family in the United States. He additionally discussed the story of how he met his wife and their life together.

Mr. Pardau’s story is truly one of perseverance and was highly inspirational for the seniors to hear. It was a reminder that we are very privileged to receive a Jewish education. Senior Elior Basson (‘23) remarked that, “it was truly inspirational to hear the life experiences of a 101-year-old. He inspired me to work hard and made me appreciate the life that I have and the opportunity to attend a Jewish school like KYHS.”

Article by Hannah Shapiro ('23)

Highlites Staff