Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

Immediately following the counting of Bnei Yisrael at the opening of the parsha, we find Hashem giving specific instructions to Moshe as to how each tribe was to camp during their travels in the desert. In addition, each tribe was to have it’s own flag -- representative of each tribe’s own respective identity.   
The late Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky zt”l makes a simple observation.

He asks: Why now? Why wait until now to give each tribe their own flag and identity? Bnei Yisrael have been travelling in the desert for a while now. Why not divide up the tribes, with unique flags, immediately upon leaving Egypt? Is there anything significant to the timing? 

While Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky’s question may seem innocuous, his answer is fascinating and offers a penetrating insight into human and group psychology. He explains that while developing a group identity is important, it comes along with a danger. Firm group identities come with the risk of factionism -- that groups may break off and distance from one another. How, then, to create cohesion within a nation with different subgroups? The answer is that once the nation has developed a common core, with a common identity, then the risk is muted. 

The Jewish People, when they left Egypt, were a ragtag group of people. They left Egypt as refugees, and did not have much in the way of a national identity rallying around a common cause. At Sinai, Bnei Yisrael received the Torah and gained their national mission and identity as the People of Hashem. All the various groups and subgroups within this new nation rallied around this central principle and these central ideas -- much like the many different states of America rallying around the constitution to become the United States of America. Once they had their core it was now safe and healthy for the smaller subgroups to develop their own cultures and identities. This is why, explains Rav Kaminetsky, the directive for flags appears only now, after the giving of the Torah. 

Much ink has been spilled, and many blogs have been filled, with commentary about the (sometimes very) different segments of world Jewry. Truthfully, I believe it is a sign of strength that we are not monolithic, and that we are composed of segments that are, at times, very different from one another. This is with a caveat -- that we understand that we have a common core, a common identity, and a common destiny. We are, ultimately, all playing for the same team. 

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Kimche
Stop the Stigma
KYHS Educates Students on Domestic Abuse on Purple Day
Graphic By Penina Kahane ('22)
Purple Day was an incredible success for both the students and the program. Purple Day was created by the Shalom Task Force, an organization that works to combat domestic abuse in Jewish homes, as a way to educate thousands of students in different schools about domestic abuse. At KYHS, this day was planned and run by students Molly Seghi (22’) and Kira Jacoby (‘22).

Students were told to wear purple and recieved purple stress balls for dressing up. Along with the stress ball giveaway, students and staff members were able to purchase tickets for a raffle with all the proceeds going to the organization. Aside from prizes and raffle tickets, there was an educational aspect to the day as well. Students watched a pre-recorded video of a survivor speaking about her experiences as the victim of domestic abuse. The video resonated with so many students, like Rebecca Henner (‘22) who said, “The woman’s story provided us with a deep understanding of domestic abuse, its warning signs, and what to do in a situation where we may encounter it. Although the program was heartbreaking, it was extremely educational and a great opportunity to learn about such a huge issue”. The Purple Day programming will hopefully allow people to become aware of the cycle in an effort to prevent future domestic abuse.  

Article By Kira Jacoby ('22)
Counting Down the Days
Students Celebrate Lag B’Omer with Incredible Icees in Loggers' Run Park
Graphic By Dan Himelstein ('24)
The radiant sun was glimmering. The sweet taste of snow cones was refreshing. The laughs with friends were exhilarating. The blasting music was joyous. What an amazing way to celebrate Lag B’Omer. On Friday, April 30th, KYHS left on a festive excursion to Loggers Run Park, where Lag B'Omer celebrations took place. It was such an amazing experience to enjoy this holiday and forget about the stresses of school and Covid, to just be besimcha with friends. Students played sports with teachers, engaged in tactical water fights, enjoyed a barbeque, and just ran around in the sun. We really felt the euphoria of the day. R’ Akiva’s slogan, “Love your neighbor like you love yourself,” echoed in our minds.

However, at the same time this day was filled with pain and suffering over the devastating tragedy at Meiron, where our brothers and sisters in Israel perished after participating in the same Lag B’Omer festivities. What do we make of this? How do we balance this sadness with the original happiness of the day? This was the challenge of our Lag B’Omer this year. As much as it was a time to indulge in the day's joy, it was also a time to reflect on the event and mourn with the families.

I personally had a difficult time balancing this paradox of feelings and when I researched more about Lag B’Omer, I came across something interesting which helped me understand this day. While it's true that Lag B’Omer is marked as the day when Rabbi Akiva’s students stopped dying, it is also in honor of the day Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai died. I never truly internalized that the sad death of a huge Rabbinic sage is on such a festive day. I learned from this that I shouldn’t get lost in the glory of the day and rather understand the importance of acknowledging and experiencing the sorrow in the day as well. 

Article By Gavi Melnitsky ('23)
 They Like to Move
it Move it
Drama Club Puts On Yet Another
Marvelous Musical
Graphic By Abby Rosenthal ('23)
On Monday night, May 5th, KYHS drama students performed Madagascar in the annual girls musical. Students, teachers, friends, and family were incredibly excited to enjoy a night full of music, dancing, and more! From the moment that the curtains opened, it became clear that the audience was in for a very fun night. The show was a top quality performance! Everyone had fun singing and dancing along to the familiar songs of Madagascar.

Hailey Gately, a junior who has been in the KYHS plays since freshman year, explained her love for drama and this play in particular: “Performing in this show was so incredible, especially to be able to do so during the pandemic. We were able to be with different grades and make unforgettable bonds with the cast, and that is something that is super important. This show was super fun to work on and perform, and I can’t wait for drama next year!!”

At the conclusion of the night, the director, Jill Lustig personally thanked and highlighted each senior member of the cast. A special applause was given to Lielle Lasko, who has been the stage director for four years, allowing the drama productions at KYHS to be as great as they are. A special thank you to Jill Lustig for directing such an outstanding show. 

Article By Rebecca Henner ('22)
Time to Say Goodbye
Soon-to-be Graduates Share Words of Wisdom at the Senior Kumzitz
Article By Aaron Newman ('24)
On Friday of last week, the girls of KYHS gathered together in the beit midrash to sing off the senior girls on their last day of high school. The traditional “Senior Kumzitz” is a way for the senior girls to share their advice and wisdom with underclassmen as the seniors wrap up their high school career. 

With bittersweet tears, the girls, along with their teachers and faculty, sat together in a circle as they sang and made time for the seniors to stand up and give meaningful speeches. They all mentioned the impact that their relationships with students in other grades had on their high school experience, the importance of forming close bonds with teachers, the significance of taking advantage of the resources our school provides, and the positive effects of a unified grade.

The event was emotional, impactful, and influential as the underclassmen and rising seniors have much to take from the advice of their peers. This was a tough year to be a senior; nonetheless, the seniors gave it their all, worked hard, pushed through, and ultimately made it an amazing year. We are going to miss our cherished seniors and wish them all the best in their future endeavors!!

Article By Eilat Berger ('22)
54 Years of Yerushalayim
KYHS Celebrates Yom Yerushalayim
with Bissli
Graphic By Rivka Reich ('24)
On Yom Yerushalayim, KYHS students had the privilege of hearing from alumni about their experiences in Israel this past year. It was exciting to see Talia Stauber, Yoni Kurtz, Sivan Mussaffi, Andrew Gallitzer, David Abir, and Neshama Pickholtz on video from the Holy Land! They shared their favorite things about Israel and spoke about how interesting it was to not only learn Torah, but to look out the window and see it for themselves. Additionally, as students entered the building on Yom Yerushalayim, they enjoyed the Kotel model that was made in the lobby. During lunch, many people got the opportunity to pin a note on the “Kotel”. Students enjoyed Bissli given by the KOSL during lunch. We are so thankful to all the teachers who made this day so special. Zach Gross ‘23 noted that, “it was really great to listen to the alumni of Katz Yeshiva High School and hear about their experiences in Israel.”

Although this day is marked as a celebratory day, this year’s Yom Yerushalayim will never be forgotten due to the numerous missiles sent into Israel by Hamas terrorists. The popular saying, “אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני” should forever be ingrained in our hearts. We should not forget to always have Israel in our prayers, and never take it for granted. 

Article By Marielle Askenazi ('23)
Tehillim for the Ones
We Love
Students and Faculty Join Together to Daven for the Safety of Klal Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael
Graphic By Chantal Newman ('21)
Over the course of the last few days, there have been over 1,000 missiles launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. The conflict began when Arabs in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem were supposed to be evicted according to an Israeli Supreme Court decision. Hamas quickly got wind of the decision and began to rain Qassam rocket fire on Israel on Yom Yerushalayim, a joyous day celebrating the Israeli victory of reclaiming Jerusalem. Due to the conflict, several Israelis have been killed and thousands continue to be threatened by the rockets.

In response, after davening Shacharit this Wednesday, the whole school congregated on the Great Lawn for a Tehillim service to pray for our sisters and brothers in Israel. “Everyone was so into the singing and we were all moved by the program,” remarked Hila Blanka (‘23). After a siren was played, demonstrating what Israelis hear daily when they have to go to the bomb shelters, a perek of Tehillim was said followed by a united singing of Acheinu.

To summarize, in the words of Hila Blanka, “Overall, the program was a short but informative and moving experience that really enlightened me as to what my brothers and sisters in Israel go through.”

Article By Judah Frohlich ('23)
Summing Up Sports
Sports Spotlight 2021
Sad to See You Go
Honoring and Praising Our Stupendous Senior Highlites Staff
Graphic By Orly Dimont ('23) Olivia Kahane ('23)
Ariella Gross: Thank you, Ariella, our Writing Editor, for making sure that Highlites had exciting and informative articles to read every week! Thank you for your hours spent editing articles, guiding the writing staff, and for being patient when articles weren’t turned in on time. We will truly miss reading your thoughtful perspective in “Ariella’s Angle”. The Highlites writing staff will not be the same without you, but we wish you lots of hatzlacha in your future endeavors! - Ariella Greenberg (‘22), 2021-2022 Writing Editor 

Levi Stein: You have contributed so much to Highlites over the years, and that does not go unrecognized. You were extremely helpful to the people who needed to learn how to maneuver the website for the first time. All this work that you have done, we are incredibly thankful for. Your dedication to Highlites is out of this world and truly incredible! You have been a big part of making Highlites into what it is today. Good luck in your future endeavors! Thank you so much. -Max Danis (‘23), Layout Editor 

Adin Blumofe:  Thank you for all of your clever titles and for helping to make Highlites what it is. Your creative mind really enabled each graphic to come to life, and for that we are extremely grateful. Best of luck in your future endeavors whether that be in yeshiva, college, or beyond. We know your creativity will take you far. - Naomi Reichenberg (‘22), Creative Editor  

Saphira Samuels: “Saphira’s Solutions” has become a staple of Highlites. Thank you for sharing your wise advice to your fellow students. It has without a doubt helped many people succeed in high school. Your advice on how to take on the challenges that this past year offered has exemplified your great journalism talents. We have no doubt that you will succeed in all you set out to do and wish you much luck doing so. You will be greatly missed.

Thank you to all Senior Writers for your hard work and dedication to Highlites over the past four years. Your articles made Highlites a success, so thank you! You will be greatly missed next year. We wish you much hatzlacha in everything you do!
Kol HaNearim
Featuring Our Own Naomi Reichenberg('22)
Highlites Staff