Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

Sefer Bereishit begins with the idea that man, created b’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God, has a moral imperative to: “Be fruitful and multiply and spread throughout the world and conquer it” (Bereishit 1:28). A few perakim later we are introduced to Avraham, whose quest to find God leads him on a journey to explore ethical monotheism. He and his descendants not only embraced the notion of tzelem Elokim, but they understood that it was to be combined with the idea that Hashem was the only God and they were therefore promised that “God will be with you and will return you to the land of your fathers” (Bereishit 48:22). By the end of the sefer, this small family is on the cusp of becoming a nation. Hashem tells them that because of their commitment to Him, He will make them fruitful and that He will make them multiply “into an assembly of peoples and give this land to your offspring after you as an everlasting possession” (Bereishit 48:4). 


Whereas all of mankind has an obligation to act in a way that is moral and ethical – since all human beings were created b’tzelem Elokim and were therefore commanded to multiply and spread throughout the world – Yaakov and his children are promised that they will have a close and personal relationship with Hashem whereby He will be the one to make sure that they multiply and become a nation. Together they engaged in a partnership where Hashem promised that He would protect them and they promised that they would serve Him.  


Over the past two weeks, the students at KYHS were privileged to hear from two particular speakers who stressed the unique and special nature of the relationship between B’nei Yisrael and Hashem.  The first speaker represented a family who found the story of the Avot and the nation of Israel so compelling that they converted to Judaism and started their own Jewish community in Guatemala.  They so wanted the relationship with Hashem that Judaism has to offer that they turned their lives upside down in order to pursue it. The second speaker was Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky, who spoke about the need to serve Hashem through true simcha as opposed to just going through the motions.  He stressed how a person who finds joy in doing mitzvot and serving Hashem will live a more enriched and meaningful life than someone who walks through life without pausing to appreciate the experience.  


We at KYHS, proud descendents of our Avot, have the zechus to serve Hashem each and every day. Our relationship will grow stronger when we not only recognize the power of the mitzvot but when we also find an inner joy and beauty in these same mitzvot.

Shabbat Shalom,

Mrs. Perl

Robotics Champs!

KYHS Students Put Their Minds to Work

and it Payed Off

Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

Two weeks ago the KYHS robotics team traveled to New York to participate in the Vex robotics competition. Out of forty teams, the KYHS team came in second place! The goal of the competition was to make a robot from scratch that would earn the most points by scoring yellow discs into either a frisbee catcher or the corner of the arena. In the qualifying round, the KYHS robotics team was in first place, but their robot had a slight malfunction, unfortunately sending them to 13th place. They were still able to qualify for the finals, along with only fourteen other teams. In this round they did exceptionally well! The KYHS team was ahead by a ton, but their robot started to act up! Nevertheless, they were able to expand their robot, earn some extra points, and stay on the podium, securing second place. 

Sophomore Benjamin Klinger (‘25) remarked, “The competition was intense, but very rewarding. Our team was able to persevere and win second place. I learned a lot and had a great time!” We can all learn from the experiences of the robotics team that no matter the setback, we can still recover. All we need is a little determination and hard work.  

Article by Kira Kornbluth ('25)

JED Talks: Guatemalan Jewish Hero and Chinuch Power Couple

Seniors Have the Privilege of Hearing More Inspiring Stories from Remarkable Speakers

Graphic by Shoshana Weinstock ('24)

The week before last, seniors heard from some very unique individuals. Guests of Mr. Dan Katz shared their story and experiences of finding Judaism and building a religious community in Guatemala, a place where there are hardly any Jews. The featured speaker, Abraham Shlomo (Fernando) Flores Castañeda, was accompanied by his niece, who is of high-school age. Hearing from someone so close in age who chose Judaism and worked so hard to live a life of Torah was profound. It was truly inspirational to hear these dedicated individuals share stories of what it means to live a Jewish life in places outside of the mainstream Jewish community. The experience taught students about finding emunah in even the most unlikely of places and the effort and dedication it takes to live as a Jew. We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to hear from this special family.

This past week, the senior class had the privilege to hear from Rabbi Yisroel and Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, the principals of DRS and SKA, respectively. On top of being long-time educators involved in teaching teens how to live meaningful Torah lives, Rabbi Kaminetsky is the brother of our very own Shimmie Kaminetsky! During the JED Talk, Rabbi Kaminetsky addressed the grade with several meaningful anecdotes and lessons from his experiences as the principal of a Yeshiva Day School, as well as a long time mentor to teens. His lessons included the emphasis on the importance of feeling passionate when learning, doing mitzvot, or just serving Hashem in general. What Rabbi Kaminetsky wished to impart to the students was that just going through the motions will not lead to a fulfilled and complete Torah life the way serving Hashem with genuine emotion will. 

Once Rabbi Kaminetsky finished speaking to the grade, the girls and the boys split up. The boys had the chance to hear from the Rabbi alone, and he spoke to them about the importance of having a rebbe who can understand the complexity of a person as well as a situation. To have a person you look up to, receive advice from, and guide you is much better than just having a book of instructions to read from.

While Rabbi Kaminetsky spoke to the boys, Mrs. Kaminetsky spoke to the senior girls about the importance of making choices, particularly in regards to the important life decisions the seniors are currently making, such as college and seminaries/yeshivot. She discussed the different tactics people employ to avoid the tension of making a choice and identified some of these strategies so that the students were more aware in the future. We are so grateful for the opportunity to hear from these influential people who are involved in the education of our generation. 

Article by Aliza Bokor ('23)

Teacher Spotlight: Get to Know Mr. Toms

KYHS Scores Big with Fascinating New Forensics Teacher

Graphic by Josh Haik ('24)

Atara: What inspired you to go into Forensics? What do you love about it?

Mr. Toms: I was asked to do it at my previous school so I went to train with other Crime Scene Technicians and was certified in multiple areas. I loved getting to teach police officers and lab scientists different areas of forensic science.

Atara: Where are you from? Can you tell us a little about your childhood?

Mr. Toms: Ohio. I’m an only child. 

Atara: How do you feel about being an only child? 

Mr. Toms: I didn't have to share my stuff…lol. But seriously, I've got two daughters and they are best friends so I am sad that I missed out on that. I am close with my wife’s family so that’s always been special to me. 

Atara: What do you love about KYHS so far? 

Mr. Toms: Everyone is legitimately so nice and kind, all the students and teachers are so welcoming and it feels like they really want me here. 

Atara: What are you excited for about this school year?

Mr. Toms: Getting to teach forensics again will be fun since I haven’t done it in four years. 

Atara: What are some of your hobbies and things you like to do in your free time?

Mr. Toms: I raced top alcohol dragster cars for 20 years. I raced for money. I had my own car but once my kids started playing travel soccer I quit so that I don’t miss their games and time spent with my family. 

Atara: What is your biggest accomplishment?

Mr. Toms: My two children. 

Atara: If you could choose one place to travel to, where would it be and why?

Mr. Toms: There are two places, Israel and Ireland. I’m not Jewish, I’m Christian, so I would like to see Israel for those reasons. Ireland is just so pretty from what I’ve seen in pictures so I would love to see it in person

Atara: How do you feel about working at a Jewish school? 

Mr. Toms: Although our religious backgrounds are different, it's cool to see how we both have our beliefs. I think it's very interesting but I have to get used to the Hebrew words.

Interview by Atara Keehn ('23)

Storm Speaks

New Year, New Me: Dreams and Resolutions from the KYHS Student Body

Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)

Highlites Staff