February 1st, 2019
 26th of Shevet, 5779 

School Logo


    Parshat Mishpatim
Candle Lighting at 5:45 PM

Nature vs.  Nurture

The first series of laws presented in detail to Bnei Yisrael are the laws of eved ivri -- a Jewish bondsman.  

Why, asks Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, does the Torah need to make this the first series of laws presented to the Jews? The Jews just left Egypt and the experience of slavery behind.  
Why is it necessary to warn the Jews of the dangers of slavery and the importance of treating slaves fairly? Don't they already know from their own experiences how to best treat slaves?

Rav Sorotzkin offers a startling psychological insight.  Precisely because the Jews were victims of slavery, they are more likely to mistreat their own slaves or those who work for them.  
Sometimes our experiences affect our psyches in ways beyond our control. It was therefore critical for Hashem to instruct the Jewish people to overcome their experience of slavery and to treat everyone with kindness and fairness.

The environment in which we each find ourselves influences each of us in so many untold ways. It is critical to create the most supportive and warm school environment in which every student is able to grow naturally and benefit in so many ways.

Thank you for another super edition of Highlites.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School 


Upcoming Events
Feb. 2nd  
Good & Welfare
Gil ('12}
and Yardena Goldstein on the birth of their daughter, Anaelle Sophia.
Aliza (Wallerstein '09) and Yaacov Sakowitz on the birth of their daughter, Rivka Ahuva

Eli Mamann ('12) to Renya Cohen  
Adam Rosen on the passing of his beloved father, Samuel Isaac Rosen.  
Erasing The Stigma    
Shanee Markovitz Speaks To KYHS Students About Mental Health
Graphic by Avi Linzer ('19)  and Akiva Stadlan ('19)
Article by  Jacqueline Zimmerman  ('19) 
At the last JED talk, Shanee Markovitz ('16) addressed seniors about mental illness and its prevalence in society. Shanee discussed her familial and personal experiences, and openly talked about what it means for an individual you know or care about to have a mental illness. Shanee emphasized the value of therapy and, most importantly, awareness. She explained that because mental illness is an internal battle, it is important that the general population becomes more aware of the fact that mental illness affects one in every five adults! Awareness is the first step to improvement. Now, as a student at Stern College for Women, Shanee speaks regularly to diverse audiences about mental illness. Her ability to speak confidently and openly was refreshing, informative, and powerful; it was an honor to hear her speak at KYHS.
Wonderful Wintry Wowsomeness
Students Went To Unreal, Fantastic, (a little) Epic/Legendary Places This Break
Graphic by Noa Markovitz ('19) and Penina Kahane ('22)
Interviewing Isaacson
An In Depth Interview With The Most Interesting Man In The World
Graphic by Justin Isaacs ('19)
Article by Al Dimont ('20)

What made you want to become a teacher?
My passion for teaching is, I think, a function of my love of my subject matter. History and Lit are just so good, and I love helping students achieve those light-bulb moments when things seem to click together. I think there's something remarkably empowering and satisfying about knowing, and about being able to truly explain something, and that's an ability I want to cultivate in my students - I want them to fully grasp that things happen for a reason as they work to understand past and present alike! Besides, true change begins with our young people, and that makes what we do incredibly important. Finally, teaching gives me an outlet for all my bad puns and jokes.

What sparked your interest in both History and Literature?
I knew I wanted to be a writer back in high school (picture a lot of bad poetry and a "book" that will never see the light of day), and during my college years I undertook extensive literary studies as part of an interdisciplinary major in Jewish Studies. While I'd always been a bit of a history nut, these years also allowed me to see the great overlap between historical and literary analysis, and the birth of my son had catalyzed in me a strong interest in being able to understand and explain my own traditions (and those of others) to my child. In that sense my teaching is, in part, a function of my asking, "How do I introduce my own child to this world?" I moved on into a PhD program in history, got to write my book-length study of French-Israeli relations, and the rest, as they say, "is history."

What is your favorite subject to teach?
An impossible question! I love the explanatory power, ironies, and complexity of history, while I thrive on the flexibility, analytical depth, subtle humor, and attention to detail of literature. Ultimately, my favorite subject is the one I'm teaching at any given moment!

How did you end up at KYHS? Where were you beforehand?
I'm a Philadelphia native and did my undergraduate work at Penn State before moving on to Washington, DC and George Washington University for six years to do my PhD work, with occasional periods abroad in France or England for research. I was delighted to find KYHS as it allows me to teach the subjects I love, including Jewish history, to students who actually care about the subject and can see it reflected in their own lives.

What are some of your hobbies and passions?
Video gaming tops my list. Other favorites include reading, D&D, painting, schlepping to the gym, and coming up with bad jokes to use in class.

What is your favorite place to travel to? What can you be found doing there?
To be honest, I'm a homebody and would sooner stay in. The one place I ever wanted to visit when I was younger was Florida, and now I'm here! Most of my travel in the last few years has been to archives in Paris for research -- which is way less cool than it sounds! Still, the city has a special place in my heart. As my history students will tell you, all great things begin in Paris!
Humans of KYHS 
Students Extoll The Various Virtues Of Their Respective Clubs
Graphic by Akiva Groman ('19) 

Seminary Success!
Senior Girls Happily Receive The Decision That Will Shape Their Jewish Lives For Decades To Come
Graphic by Chana Schandelson ('22), Naomi Reichemberg ('22), and Aerin Tripp ('22) 

A Day at the Play!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-time Transforms Into a Marvelous, Multidimensional Experience for the Freshmen And Sophomores
Graphic by Benny Keehn ('22) 
Ask Adina
Hear Sage Advice From An Experienced Senior
Hi Adina. Please help me! I'm convinced that my teacher hates me! How can I get on a teacher's good side?


Not a Teacher's Pet


First off, I am positive that your teacher doesn't hate you. However, there are some ways to show your teacher how amazing you can be and boost your overall performance in that class. Come to class on time, be in class for all 48 minutes, stay focused, and stay positive. Make sure not to space out, play games on your iPad, or talk your friends during class. This shows unwanted disinterest to your teacher. Do your homework every night and show your teacher that you are putting effort into their class. If you still feel that your teacher doesn't like you, consider speaking to them about it respectfully after class.

Hope you become a teacher's pet!


This Week in Pictures
The Yeshiva Highlites Staff