Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
One of the more impressive people we met on the tenth grade trip to Israel was Ilana Tweeg, a religious farmer who, along with her husband Doron, made the big decision to keep shemitah kehilchata (observing all the laws of the seventh year to a “T”) prior to the previous shemitah cycle eight years ago. While the Keren HaShemitah organization helps families like the Tweegs with some of their financial needs, ultimately it is their bitachon in Hahem that carries them through. It was fun to have a hay ride through the fallow farm and it was fun to cuddle the newborn bunnies. More importantly, it was supremely uplifting to hear from this Bostonian Canadian turned Israeli who inspired us with her commitment and warmth.
This week's Parsha of Behar talks about this exact mitzvah, the keeping of shemitah. Can you imagine once every seven years making your garages, your bicycles, your pools, your cars, and all of your sports equipment available to all your neighbors? The analogy doesn't begin to touch upon the income-base that is the farm of the Israelite farmer, but the idea that the possessions you thought were yours really aren't would be shocking in any culture and any economic system. That HKB”H calls upon the Jewish people to perform this mitzvah and that there are only some number of hundreds of people who actually qualify to keep this mitzvah is hard to grasp. That we met with one such family who has embraced the opportunity to be amongst the select few who keep shemitah made for just one more moment on a spectacularly momentus tenth grade Israel trip. 
The fantastic Israel trip was characterized by moments of intense davening (Kotel, Kever Rachel); electric singing and dancing (Yom HaAtzmaut, Havdala); wonderful water (Banias, Kfar Blum); Herodian stones (Kotel Tunnel Tours, Me’arat HaMachpela); chesed (box packing in Yerushalayim and Kiryat Shmona); and one very special third bus on one very special health day. Ask any tenth grader who made the trip and they will tell you about at least three amazing experiences we had over the first two weeks of May.
The month of Iyar always plays host to Lag BaOmer, and on today's version of the 33rd day of sefirah we said farewell to Claudia Cohen, a KYHS mainstay for 19 years. Her work in Tech, on the Yearbook and Highlites, and behind the lens of a variety of cameras and video equipment are but a part of the contributions Claudia has made to our school over the past two decades. She was celebrated with a breakfast, a special commemorative video, speeches by staff and students reminding us of her special talents and qualities, a speech by son Zach Cohen who gave us insight into the candy drawer and late night photo shoots during family trips, and all was capped off with a speech by the celebrant herself who said that she was going to primarily miss the people (10th grade girls especially!) when she calls it a wrap at the end of the year. 
The week was a busy one. It began with an incoming freshman math placement exam that fronts a mentor/mentee event. Once again, KYHS students were hopping on two legs through hula-hoops and pounding out rock-paper-scissors combinations in an attempt to beat the other team into submission. Terry grilled thousands (!) of hot dogs and hamburgers this week and the 8th graders and their big brothers and sisters enjoyed the lunch that accompanied the programming. 
Jill Lustig and the Drama Department featured Little Women on Tuesday night. The tale of the four sisters drew rave reviews, while many in the audience were reduced to tears during one particular scene in which the piano-playing sister draws her last breath. Yes, yes, the other actors were equally compelling, and the evening's one-act (multi-scene) play proved to be a hit.
Also scoring lots of big hits were the Storm Baseball Players who took Columbus by storm and then were delayed returning from Ohio because of another storm. Our boys went 4 and 1, and had a great three days barnstorming.
After a two year hiatus, the Athletic department returned to the in-person banquet and awards evening. Once again, Terry's grilling skills got the program off and running. Coaches awarded MVP, Most Improved, and Coach's Awards to their players, and lots of appreciation to Coach Ruffo for managing seasons still impacted by Covid. Everyone knew who was going to win the much anticipated Best Broken Femur at a National Tournament Award. The only disappointments of the evening were the no-shows by the Wrestling and Ultimate Frisbee Coaches. 
The week isn't even close to over and as we compose these words, the seniors are queueing outside the front door to Covid test in advance of the Guatemala trip. How can any week rival this third week of May? Considering that this will be the very last Highlites of the year (or so I was told, perhaps in an effort to get me to write the lead-in...), we wish all KYHS students and soon-to-be graduates an amazing summer, a few months of rejuvenation, fun, growth, and peace until we see you again at the end of August (or whenever you come back to visit). What a week! What a year!

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Levitt
Inspired In Israel
KYHS Sophomores Take on the Holy Land with Lots of Traveling and Learning!
Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

The tenth graders of Katz Yeshiva High School returned from their 10 day trip to Israel with enthusiasm and high spirits. After missing the traditional Katz Hillel 8th grade Israel trip due to the pandemic, the school leadership rescheduled the trip to this spring for the entire tenth grade.

Some of the activities the sophomores experienced during the trip were a lively Yom HaAtzma’ut celebration, meaningful prayer at Kever Rachel, and exciting boat rides on the Kinneret. Their knowledgeable tour guides, Maya Borzak (‘16), a graduate of our school, and Esti Kimche, sister-in-law of our own Rabbi and Mrs. Kimche, led the group across Israel teaching the tenth grade class about significant and spiritual sites. The sophomores toured the gorgeous Golan in Jeeps and went rafting on the Jordan River. All of the sophomores remarked that this trip was a monumental, uplifting, and spiritual adventure. 

Obviously climbing down Masada made the students exhausted, so a great way to recharge was to take a well deserved bus nap. “The bus naps were crucial after such long and exciting days, they were very relaxing”, recalls Mimi Pickholtz (‘24). Another way that the students relaxed and chilled was going to the shuk and strolling around. For the tenth graders it was enjoyable to decompress and be surrounded with all of the delectable food and creative art the shuk has to offer. It felt great to immerse in Israeli culture with a perfect pita and falafel in one hand and an Ice Kafeh in the other. 

The experience of Yom Hazikaron and Yom HaAtzma’ut were vastly different from the ceremonies in America. Leading up to Yom Hazikaron, the students had the privilege to speak with Israeli soldiers and learn about how they protect our country. A siren blared and called everyone to attention to remember all the fallen soldiers and people who died in terrorist attacks in Israel. “It was really meaningful and impactful to hear the siren in Israel”, commented Shira Goldberg (‘24).

After the meaningful and somber nature of Yom Hazikaron, Yom HaAtzma’ut kicked off with a spirited chagigah. Our KYHS students danced alongside Jews of all ages and types, all of whom came together to rejoice and celebrate Israel's independence. “It was very spiritual to see so many Jews in one place. Everyone is celebrating it and everything is closed and it’s so amazing to see and experience Yom HaAtzma’ut in Israel” exclaimed Rachel Clarke (‘24). The tenth grade class will always look back on this trip fondly and hold onto the memories for a lifetime. The class is appreciative to Mr. Dan Katz, the teachers who chaperoned, and KYHS for this one-of-a-kind experience. 

Click Here for Pictures of the Trip
Click Here for Video of Days 1 and 2 created by Eduardo Kornworcel ('24)
Click Here for Video Star Video created by Julia Stern ('24)
Click Here for recap video created by Eduardo Kornworcel ('24)

Article by Gabriella Asher ('25)
Math, Mentors, and Meat
Incoming Freshmen Get a Taste of Life at KYHS with Their Mentors
Graphic by Highlites Staff
This past Sunday, following the math placement exam, next year’s incoming freshmen had the opportunity to meet their junior and senior mentors at the annual Freshman-Mentor Barbeque. Our newest students enjoyed a delicious lunch and took some time to bond with their mentors and other freshmen. Mentors and mentees reviewed the student handbook together in order to learn about what lies ahead in high school.

There were also fun activities, including a KYHS favorite: the intense rock-paper-scissors challenge. The event was an amazing experience for incoming freshmen to get to know their future classmates and school with the guidance of their mentors. 

After the activities, students were presented with a funny video, produced by the head mentors. The incoming freshmen received tickets for the school play to help them get involved in the KYHS community before attending school next year. Mrs. Kanner capped off the program by sharing some inspirational words of wisdom to give the students something to think about and guide their transition from middle school to high school. 

Article by Hannah Shapiro ('23)
Little Women with Big Attitudes 
KYHS Drama Department Stuns
with Stellar Performance
Graphic by Eitan Kaminetzky ('25)

Last Tuesday night, the KYHS drama department performed “Little Women”. The play was adapted from the well-known novel about four sisters who are living during the civil war in England. We watched as they struggled to support themselves and stay close with one another while their father was away fighting in the war.

The production was spectacular and all participants did an incredible job. It was so nice to see how the students portrayed each of their characters with such professionalism and pride. Eva Lazar (‘23), one of the stars of the play, remarked, “the play was truly an amazing experience to be a part of and I learned so much from my fellow castmates.” This encapsulates the whole purpose of the drama department in our school, to allow people to express themselves, learn from others, and be a part of something greater than themselves that requires teamwork and practice.

Thank you to Director Jill Lustig and to the entire drama department for taking the time to make this production amazing and exciting to watch for all. Students and crew have been working for weeks on this play, and the work really paid off as evidenced by the stellar reviews from those who attended the show. KYHS students have a wide variety of talents, and we are so excited to see what our actors entertain us with next year! 

Click Here for Pictures of the Play

Article by Marielle Askenazi ('23)
Winner Winner,
Banquet Dinner!
KYHS Athletes Storm the Stage to
Accept Their Awards
Graphic by Highlites Staff

After 3 long years, KYHS finally got to once again host the sports banquet honoring each and every one of the sports teams and their members. Throughout the year, many students from all grades participated in our school’s diverse array of organized sports teams. The sports banquet was an opportunity to honor the hard work and dedication the students put into their teams and of course recognize the efforts of all of the coaches.

Before the awards ceremony, there was a delicious barbecue with a variety of foods for the student athletes to eat and enjoy. Afterwards, the athletes and their families, friends, and fans watched an incredible video filled with some great action shots and memories from games and events. The video highlighted every team and allowed everyone in the room to see the amazing sports program we have at KYHS.

Afterwards, Athletic Director Kris Ruffo began the awards portion of the evening and introduced the first sports team. To honor every team, the coaches came to the stage and called up their players, honoring the entire team and giving out three individual awards: MVP, Most Improved Player, and a Coach’s Award. Overall, it was a beautiful event that honored all KYHS students who participated in sports this year.

Click Here for Pictures
Click Here for Sports Video created by Isabella Sanders ('22)

Article by Ariela Leibowitz ('25)
19 Years Strong
KYHS Wishes Legendary Claudia
Cohen a Bittersweet Farewell
Graphic by Rebecca Adler ('23)

Mrs. Claudia Cohen, the Director of Technology, has been a part of the KYHS family for 19 years and will be retiring from her role at KYHS this summer. Although we are excited for Mrs. Cohen who will be pursuing other interests, we feel sad that she will be leaving our community.

Over the past two decades, Claudia has been completely devoted to KYHS. She revolutionized the technology at KYHS by single-handedly introducing us to digital books on Ipads and learning with Apple TVs in our classrooms. Claudia has worked to capture every moment of KYHS life from chagigas to sports events; Claudia is always there with her camera out and ready. In her career, Claudia has taken over one million pictures of all the KYHS students and we can’t thank her enough for the memories she has captured. Claudia has also inspired many KYHS alumni to pursue jobs involving photography or videography.

This past Thursday morning we had a school-wide assembly to give Claudia a well-deserved, proper goodbye. Students were privileged to hear video testimonials from current and former faculty as well as from alumni, including one individual who said, “Some people may know [Claudia] as the woman who yells at you to get off the WiFi, but I know her as a role model.”

Current students that work closely with Claudia for Highlites and Yearbook also had the opportunity to share their experiences with Claudia. Penina Kahane (‘22) said, “Your legacy is one of greatness. ”

On behalf of the entire KYHS community, thank you Claudia for everything. We wish you only the best in the future, and can’t express how greatly you will be missed.

Click Here for the Video

Article By Merav Berger ('25)
This Week in Pictures
Highlites Staff