Graphic by Ariella Mayer ('23)
In this week’s parsha, we are introduced to the paradigm of Jewish leadership, Moshe Rabbeinu. We are taught that the great spiritual level of Moshe was unparalleled, and that his clarity of prophecy was sharper than all other prophets. As students of our great teacher, it is important to learn from the traits of Moshe Rabbeinu. What can we learn from the leadership of Moshe? What practical tactics and tools can we implement in our lives?

We do not know much of Moshe’s early life in Egypt. In fact, the first thing we learn of Moshe is that when he steps out of the place, he “sees his brothers in pain” -- “וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם” (Shmot 2:11) and he witnesses the backbreaking labor that the Jewish people endured. Later, upon looking for a lost sheep, Moshe sees a physical anomaly, a bush that was “burning but not being consumed” -- ”בֹּעֵ֣ר בָּאֵ֔שׁ וְהַסְּנֶ֖ה אֵינֶ֥נּוּ אֻכָּֽל” (Shmot 3:2). The Torah describes that the instant that Moshe noticed this strange thing, he proclaimed, “I must turn and look at this marvelous thing!” -- “אָסֻֽרָה־נָּ֣א וְאֶרְאֶ֔ה אֶת־הַמַּרְאֶ֥ה הַגָּדֹ֖ל הַזֶּ֑ה” (Shmot 3:3). Hashem takes notice of the fact that Moshe took notice of this sight. The pasuk says: 

“וַיַּ֥רְא ה’ כִּ֣י סָ֣ר לִרְא֑וֹת וַיִּקְרָא֩ אֵלָ֨יו אֱלֹקים מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַסְּנֶ֗ה וַיֹּ֛אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֥ה מֹשֶׁ֖ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי”
“When Hashem saw that he had turned aside to look, Hashem called to him out of the bush: “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.” 

The first lesson of leadership is to look and to notice the world around you. Moshe Rabbeinu was the paragon of this trait. When Hashem saw that Moshe took a moment to look and reflect upon a wondrous sight, he knew that it was time to deem him the leader of the Jewish people. One must first look around, in order to see what needs to be done. 

Moshe, after seeing the burning bush, reflects and asks, “מַדּ֖וּעַ לֹא־יִבְעַ֥ר הַסְּנֶֽה׃” -- “why is the bush not being consumed?” (Shmot 3:3). Perhaps this is a second lesson of leadership, and that is to question and analyze what one sees. We are not supposed to take things at face value, there is always something deeper beneath the surface. We should be encouraged to dig a little more and to pry open the doors of mystery. To lead is to never stop questioning. 

Finally, we learn the third lesson of leadership from the argument Moshe has with Hashem regarding his appointment as leader of the Jewish people. This time, however, it is Hashem who is teaching the lesson. Moshe and Hashem go back and forth with Moshe claiming he is not fit for the job. Moshe finally exclaims and asks Hashem: “וְהֵן֙ לֹֽא־יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ לִ֔י וְלֹ֥א יִשְׁמְע֖וּ בְּקֹלִ֑י כִּ֣י יֹֽאמְר֔וּ לֹֽא־נִרְאָ֥ה אֵלֶ֖יךָ ה’” -- “What will happen when the people do not believe me? And they say that you did not appear to me!” (Shmot 4:1). Hashem answers this question with, “מזה בְיָדֶ֑ך” -- “What is in your hand?” (Shmot 4:2), to which Moshe replies, “a staff”. Hashem then commands Moshe to throw the staff on the ground, and immediately it turns into a serpent; then he is commanded to pick it up again, and it immediately turns into a staff again (Shmot 4:2-4). What exactly is happening during this exchange? Did Hashem not know what was in Moshe’s hand? Why did Hashem need to clarify this? Perhaps what Hashem was teaching Moshe in this moment is the most important lesson of leadership: to believe there is more than meets the eye. Of course Hashem knew Moshe was holding a staff, he did not need confirmation! What Hashem was teaching Moshe was that just because it looks one way does not mean it must be that way. Just because it looks like a staff does not mean Hashem can not change it’s form to that of a serpent. Just because it may seem like the Jews will not believe, does not mean that is set in stone. The lesson Hashem imparts to Moshe here is to believe that there is more to the Jewish people; it may seem like 200 years of slavery has dampened their hope, but a leader must look deeper and realize they can be something else entirely. The third lesson is to believe in your team, your organization, and your people. 

Hashem should bless us with these three lessons: to notice the world around us, to question the world around us, and to believe in the world around us -- to become leaders like our great leader, Moshe Rabbeinu.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Nachbar
Dinosaurs, Chess, Mr. Scott is Hot Off the Press!
 Meet KYHS’ Newest Addition to the
History Department 

Graphic by Dan Himelstein ('24) and Chantal Newman ('22)

Aryeh Scharf: What inspired you to go into history? What do you love about it?

Mr. Scott Sulzener: At first, my love of history was just a byproduct of my love of reading. Both offered a way to see beyond my own too-familiar Midwestern surroundings and learn about how other people thought and lived. Unlike novels, history also had the advantage of being true! Since then, I’ve come to love history mostly for the way it goes about creating that truth. History is both an art and an argument. Like poetry, historians have their own meter: verifiability. And the skills required to craft effective arguments about the past are the same ones required to analyze the present. In short, what I love about history—and, more specifically, about teaching history—is that "history" is always about much more than history!

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

I’m from New Philadelphia, Ohio, a town a couple dozen miles from not much of anything. My childhood largely revolved around the slow cycle of shifting sports seasons. My father is a long-time coach in the area, and I played football, baseball, and basketball all through school, so most of my memories are colored by the particular exhaustions, elations, disappointments, and friendships typical of that life. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

Outside of playing dinosaurs with my daughter, my ideal free-time activity is still reading. Genre-wise, I try to be as omnivorous as possible, and thus follow a good friend’s three-tiered reading formula: a “good” one, a “fun” one, and a non-fiction one, with ample short stories thrown in between as palette cleansers. Otherwise, I play my guitar too rarely and online chess too often.

What do you love about KYHS? 

The whole school community has been warm and more than welcoming to me, which has turned what could have been a rather jolting mid-year start into an enjoyable, and (mostly!) smooth transition. What I love, then, is that the longer I am here, the more I realize that this attitude is much more the rule than the exception! 

What are you excited for about this school year?

Primarily, I’m looking forward to getting to meet more KYHS students and getting to know my current students more! It’s already clear that they’re a promising bunch of amateur historians, and I’m excited about continuing our work together.
Article by Aryeh Scharf ('24)
Eye Love Biomedical Club
A Look Into the Excitingly Brilliant
Bio-Medical Club
Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)
Last week during lunch, the students in Mrs. Hegna’s Biomedical Club performed a sheep eye dissection. This dissection was a great opportunity for students who are interested in biology to enjoy hands-on experience and learn about the eye. “It was very informative and a great experience,” recalls club member Rebecca Henner (‘22).

Students learned about different parts of the eye and their functions, including the muscle that controls eye movement. They also examined the coloring of the eye, which is reflected when an animal uses night vision, and put on gloves to cut open the cornea and remove the retina. Junior Chantal Newman described the retina as “blue and pretty inside.” Thank you Mrs. Hegna for helping us with this experiment, and we can’t wait for more in the future!

Article by Molly Seghi ('22)
Sensational Senior
Paint Night 
Taking up the Brush for Senior Paint Night
Graphic by Abby Rosenthal ('23)
On Monday January 4, about 40 students from the class of 2021 gathered together after school to “get colorful and crafty” at the senior paint night! Senior class co-presidents Saphira Samuels and Adam Dennis organized the program, along with Mrs. Stein, Rabbi Nachbar, and Shimmie Kaminetzky.“Mrs. Stein helped us a lot; she created the logo, got us brushes and paint, and led the program,” Samuels said. “Rabbi Nachbar helped us coordinate and buy supplies, and Shimmie helped us with logistics.”

The activity began with round robin, where everyone wrote on everyone else’s canvases. At the end of the program, we spray painted a class of ‘21 logo onto our canvases. “It was really nice to have a fun activity with friends,” senior Levi Stein said. “Everyone there seemed really happy as it was the first activity we could have as a grade in a really long time. I’m looking forward to more!”

Article By Carol Kornworcel ('21)
Should They Stay or
Should They Go?
Seniors Set Out to Make Decisions Regarding Gap Years Next Year
Graphic by Olivia Kahane ('23)
Though the number of students who took a gap year increased due to the pandemic, typically less than 40,000 out of over 3 million high school graduates do so ( But for KYHS, the prospect of a gap year has long been a popular phenomenon. Some of our students opt to earn college credits through programs such as Bar Ilan’s Israel XP, others travel or volunteer, and the majority of KYHS students spend a year in yeshiva or seminary.

Most students view their gap years as an ideal time for independence and self-discovery. Without the constraints of an eight hour school day and work-induced stress, gap year students are freer to travel, uncover new interests, and meet new people. Additionally, many students worry that college will be devoid of downtime and even summer breaks will be full of extra classes, internships, and other professional endeavors. With this mindset, many fear that a gap year during or post-college would be detrimental to their education and career. Therefore, most deem the time after high school—when students usually have fewer responsibilities—the optimal window for a year with less formal education. 

KYHS students primarily spend their gap years in Israel to enhance their Torah learning experiences and Jewish development. There, they also immerse themselves in Israeli culture and improve their Hebrew skills. Yeshivas’ and seminaries’ sole focus on Judaic subjects positions students well to sharpen their independent learning skills, which are essential for life-long Torah study. Senior Donie Zak, who will be attending seminary in the fall, explained, “I am really excited by the opportunity to grow spiritually and religiously in our homeland and I believe this coming year will greatly impact the rest of my life.”

The prospect of a gap year may be frightening, especially for those who have never been so far from home. However, many students don’t decide if they are taking a gap year until twelfth grade when they begin to plan for college and the future. Whether your goal is to travel, volunteer, learn, or something else, having a concrete plan for your year is essential. Without one, you’ll find yourself bored quickly and devoid of the fulfillment gap year students typically feel. I, for one, plan to expand my knowledge of Judaism and Torah and leave for Israel this August.

Article by Ariella Gross ('21)
Get Your Head in the Game
See What the Stars of the KYHS Roster Have to Say About Athletics During COVID 
Graphic by Orly Dimont ('23) and Rebecca Adler ('23)
Highlites Reunites
Highlites Alumni Liora Mayer ('20) and Mayrev Saketkhou ('20) Join
for a Rememberable time
Highlites Staff