Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)

Chesed is a trait that runs through our blood. The pasuk in Micha states, "Give truth (emet) to Yaakov, kindness (chesed) to Avraham..." (7:20). That pasuk teaches us that the fundamental attribute of our first patriarch was his attribute of chesed. Of the three parshiyot that deal with Avraham Avinu -- Lech Lecha, Vayeira, and Chayei Sarah -- it is in Parshat Vayeira that the Torah chooses to highlight examples of this primary characteristic of his.

One example is providing hospitality on a hot day to three strangers only three days after surgery and when Avraham was 99 years old! The second example is praying for the welfare of the people of Sodom, despite the fact that those people stand at the polar opposite of what he represents. These are the two primary examples from throughout the Torah's narration of Avraham's life where we see his dedication to the attribute of kindness.Is it not ironic that in both these incidents, the effort exerted by Avraham went virtually for naught?

Everyone knows that there is nothing worse than doing chesed for nothing. When I do chesed, I want results! I want my tzedaka to go to someone who really needs it. I want all the minutes I’m holding my children at night to be productive and enable them to fall asleep. Yet with Avraham, we see the very opposite!

The angels did not need the food Avraham labored to prepare for them. Angels don't need food. They are not physical creatures! Similarly, all his prayers for Sodom were apparently wasted. Ten righteous people were NOT found in the city and the city was destroyed. Is it not strange that the two representative incidents of chesed from the life of Avraham which the Torah highlights are incidents where the recipient did not really benefit from the kindness? Why did the Torah choose these acts of chesed as classic depictions of Avraham's primary attribute?

To answer this question, let’s consider a comment of the Rambam dealing with the laws of charity. The Rambam tells us that when one is planning to give money to charity, it’s better to give the money broken up into smaller amounts rather than one large sum. For example, if I usually give $3 every day at Shacharit, the Rambam would tell me to instead give $1 at Shacharit, $1 at Mincha, and $1 at Maariv. But if the mitzvah is to give charity, why does it
matter if I give the amounts separately? The reason is because not only does charity help the poor, it also helps the giver. When we give charity, we are working to cultivate our own sensitivities to become givers.

This is something we can learn from Avraham: when a person gives – whether they fail or succeed does not make a difference, because they have become a better person simply by the act of giving. May we have the ability to benefit from the process and leave the results to Hashem.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Shulkes
Storm Sports Spotlight
A Storm is Brewing

Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24) and Shoshana Weinstock ('24)
KYHS has provided a fun and active environment for students to participate in the activities they love. Sports are something that the KYHS community takes quite seriously. From flying the girls basketball team out to Los Angeles for tournaments to home games on the Donna Klein field with all of the students cheering from the bleachers, we do not mess around. Physical health is a value of KYHS. There is mandatory physical education for most grades in which students have the option to workout or play sports.

There are many more sports teams at KYHS than just the classic basketball and soccer. The captain of our golf team, Molly Seghi (‘22), shares that she is excited about the growing female presence on the team. She remarked that “the girls used to not play with other teams and now we do! I’m the first ever female captain!” Her enthusiasm is evident. Practices start off with putting and chipping, and then on the range. While it is a skilled sport, KYHS’s coaches are here to help us grow.

Chantal Newman (‘22’), captain of the girls volleyball team, shares that “the coaches are phenomenal.” While their season recently ended, the girls’ volleyball team shared a special Senior Night at their last game to honor Chantal Newman (‘22) and Penina Kahane (‘22). Chantal was very pleased with this night. She remarked, “we bonded so well! My teammates bought me stuffed animals and made a poster…it was cute and emotional.”

At KYHS, sports are so much more than physical activity. They are a way of gaining skills and bonding. We wish the fall sports good luck with the rest of their seasons!

Article by Liad Mussafi ('22)
Geshmak to be Masmid
Upperclassman in the Masmidim Program Gather for a Motzei Shabbos Basketball and Learning Program with Prospective Students
Graphic by Dan Himelstein ('24)

This past Saturday night, Katz Yeshiva High School’s Masmidim hosted prospective eighth grade students for a Junior Masmidim basketball-and-learning event.

Members of Masmidim from the senior and junior classes acted as ambassadors and led the program. “I dedicated my weekend to coming to school to learn with these future Masmidim,” said Jacob Freedman (‘22), a veteran member of Masmidim. “We learned, shmoozed, and played basketball. It was just an amazing time.”

After learning in chaburot led by upperclass Masmidim, the prospective students participated in a shiur with Rabbi Stohl, the head of the Masmidim program. They then split up to either play basketball or gain exposure to KYHS’s incredible STEM curriculum. 

BMA Eighth grader Ilan Attias, who attended the event, remarked that “the Masmidim program was very fun and interesting and made [him] feel more excited about going to KYHS next year.”

“It is the best experience you’ll ever have,” Freedman said when asked why he loves Masmidim. “Great Rebbeim—like Rabbi Stohl, Rabbi Grajower, Rabbi Brodman—are amazing people who allow you to get into it. They’re feisty; they have energy; they have passion; they love what they’re teaching. And that allows you to love what you’re learning.”

He continued to emphasize another salient aspect of the Masmidim program: the community. “Outside of school we do events together. We have fun. We hang out. We go to other Masmidim’s houses, and we learn and we grow.”

Freedman and the other Masmidim ambassadors spread that fun, that learning, and that growth with future KYHS students to help expand the ever-growing Masmidim program at the Junior Masmidim Motzei Shabbat learning event.

Article by Boaz Edidin ('22)
Challah Extravaganza
Female Students and Their Mothers Gather for a Sharsheret Challah Bake
Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

This past week the Sharsheret Club had their very first event -- a pink Challah bake!

The program kicked off with Emma Schenker (‘22) sharing a Dvar Torah about the mitzvah of challah. Emma said, “each part of the challah-baking process allows us to bring Hashem into our homes and thus into our lives. We hope that He will bless us with all the ‘ingredients’ we need to live a happy and healthy life.” She also spoke about how when we separate challah we are acknowledging that we are partners with Hashem and He is allowing us to feed our families.

After Emma’s Dvar Torah, club leaders Eilat Berger (‘22) and Leila Brown (‘22) spoke about the Sharsheret mission. Sharsheret has helped to spread awareness for breast cancer and helps women and their families that are struggling with any and all aspects of the illness.

Guest speaker Mrs. Jessica Baitner, an active member of the KYHS community and parent of two current KYHS students, spoke about her personal experience with Sharsheret. She mentioned that through the challenge of breast cancer, she was able to see the good and look at the positive side with Sharsheret’s help and support. Mrs. Baitner said that as soon as she was diagnosed, Sharsheret stepped in right away, sending care packages and pairing her with someone who had gone through the experience that she was about to go through. Sharsheret was by her side throughout the entire experience.

To finish off the night, Mrs. Zisquit demonstrated two ways to braid our pink challah dough. The event was beautiful and we are looking forward to more Sharsheret events in the future.

Article by Merav Berger ('25)
Decisions, Decisions
Mrs. Shayna Goldberg Gives JED Talk on Decision Making

Graphic by Technical Staff
This past Friday, the seniors had the merit of hearing a JED Talk from Mrs. Shayna Goldberg. In addition to being the head of the American program at Migdal Oz Women’s Beit Midrash in Gush Etzion, Mrs. Goldberg recently wrote a book titled What Do You Really Want?

The purpose of this book is to help readers gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their decision-making processes. As seniors are faced with choices about the future surrounding college, seminary, and yeshiva, it can feel impossible to make decisions. Mrs. Goldberg’s JED Talk was a great guide to help seniors make these decisions without letting fear stop them.

Mrs. Goldberg argued that self awareness and trust are the best tools for making strong decisions. She gave detailed examples about the idea of trust versus fear in the decision-making process and how to differentiate between the two. When asked about their most common fears in decision making, the seniors responded with the fear of “failure, being judged, and making the wrong choice”. Even though these are valid fears, Mrs. Goldberg offered a guided plan towards good decision making.

This plan includes researching and collecting information with regard to our options, extreme honesty regarding consequences, hesitations and fears, focusing only on the best next decision that can be made, making sure that the decision is not motivated by fear, and trusting what it is that we want.

Senior Denise Mann remarked that, “this speech was really helpful right before this new stage where we need to make all of these hard decisions. I feel very calm and comfortable facing all of these new challenges now.”

Overall, this JED Talk was a life-changing experience and Mrs. Goldberg’s advice was crucial in this season of college and Israel decisions. It is very important to figure out where you truly want to go without letting fear or anything hold you back. We can use the list of good decision-making tools to make sure that we are going to be the most successful in whatever we do.

Article by Lizi Bugay ('22)
Tummy Talk 
Biomedical Club Has a Lot to Digest About the Digestive System
Graphic by Rebecca Adler ('23)
KYHS has a vast variety of fascinating clubs. One of the coolest clubs that KYHS has to offer is the Biomedical Club. Run by seniors Rebecca Henner, Gavi Kahn, Micheal Deakter, Elie Loberfeld, and Chantal Newman, and under the leadership of Mrs. Hegna, the Biomedical Club teaches students about biology and how it relates to the human body, disease, and medicine.

On Wednesday, the Biomedical Club met for the first time this school year to kick off this month’s topic: the digestive system. In order to introduce this topic, they did a fun food competíon since the digestive system is how food gets processed. Each team of players got a blank printout of the human body, and snacks like licorice, marshmallows, pretzels, and Mike and Ike’s. On the board were the names of eight different parts of the digestive system. Each team was tasked with constructing the system and labeling each part using the snacks that they were provided.

Afterwards, they were shown how the system actually looks. The team with the most accurate diagram was named the winner! Some other topics that the Biomedical Club will explore this year include the brain, sports medicine, cancer, and the Covid-19 vaccine. The Biomedical Club takes a hands-on approach to learning. Club leaders make it fun and entertaining to learn about the body by doing several activities throughout the year. Some of the events run by the club include hosting guest speakers from different hospitals and various areas of medicine, conducting fascinating labs and dissections, and other fun activities.

In addition to these hands-on learning opportunities, the club educates the attendees with engaging conversations about the topic of the month. The information that is learned in the Biomedical Club is not only of benefit to the club members now -- the science that they are learning in the club will be useful to them even after high school.

Gavi Kahn, a club leader, remarked that, “we are helping kids who are interested in a medical career learn about the science that they will be using in their daily lives”. Going into medicine is the dream of many high schoolers and this club gives them both a taste of what the future will look like and the opportunity to kickstart the learning that is necessary to pursue such careers. If you enjoy medicine or just want to have fun learning about it, then Biomedical Club is definitely the club for you!

Article by Amira Kahn ('25)
Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day
Students Celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day with the KOSL
Graphic by Eitan Kaminetzky ('25) and Olivia Kahane ('23)
This past Monday, after davening, Student Council handed out delicious chocolate cupcakes in the cafeteria in honor of National Chocolate Cupcake Day.

Every year on October 18th, this holiday is celebrated. Chocolate cupcakes can be traced back to 1796, when the cookbook called American Cookery was published. The goal was to bake chocolate cakes in bite sizes. Ever since that day, people all over the world have been eating chocolate cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes were such a hit that over time, new flavors were created such as peanut butter chocolate, chocolate caramel, and mint chocolate. According to the National Day Calendar, this special day is to be celebrated by baking different cupcake recipes, and tasting them of course. While doing this, people generally watch Cupcake Wars, which is a popular Food Network competition show. 

National Chocolate Cupcake Day brings so much joy and pleasure to this world. On this day, everyone appreciates the flavorful chocolate cupcakes and the satisfaction they bring. Chocolate cupcakes are a very tasty treat, but they are more than that. They remind us of good times and times of celebration, like a birthday. The cupcakes were a great, sweet treat for the beginning of this week.

Article by Miriam Marcus ('25)
An All Star On and Off
the Court
Shoshana Stadlan (‘22) Gets Honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program
Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23)
Shoshana Stadlan is a senior here at KYHS. She recently received an award from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for her nationally top-ranking PSAT score. This Friday, KYHS seniors gathered to celebrate this incredible accomplishment of their friend and peer. 

Emma: What is the award for the PSAT score?

Shoshana: The award for the PSAT score is recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Students who get excellent grades may be recognized.

Emma: What does it mean to you to win this award?

Shoshana: Winning this award to me is very validating. It shows that the hard work I accomplished in school finally paid off. It’s not just about the score, but the overall achievement.

Emma: What work did you put in to receive this award?

Shoshana: I didn’t study much for the PSAT since it was a practice test, although I have put in a lot of work in order to receive this award. The work that I have put into my previous classes has helped me prepare.

Emma: What advice would you give to the 9th, 10th, and 11th graders who took the PSAT and will eventually take the SAT about studying and their overall attitude towards the tests?

Shoshana: Some advice that I would give to the other grades is that the PSAT is nothing to worry about. You should feel prepared going into the test because you have been prepared by all of your other classes with this information. Particularly on the day of the test, don’t be nervous! If you are nervous you might make mistakes on questions that you know the answers to. 

We are so proud of the stellar example that Shoshana has set for her peers! 

Article by Emma Seghi ('25)
Highlites Staff