May 20, 2016

12 Iyyar 5776


     Parshat Emor
Candle Lighting at 7:45 PM
Freedom to Fulfill Our Mission
What is the purpose of the mitzvah of Sefirat Ha'omer, counting the days between Pesach and Shavuot? The Sefer Hachinuch offers a beautiful explanation. Whenever we count the days leading up to something it's because we are excited about approaching an important goal. Students (and teachers) may count the days toward summer vacation. A bride and groom count the days until their wedding. We count down toward the launch of a rocket. The Sefer Hachinuch explains that we begin counting the omer on Pesach in order to emphasize that physical liberty from Egyptian servitude was not our goal. The goal was to achieve our religious mission by accepting the Torah at Har Sinai. By counting toward Shavuot, we declare that we celebrate not just freedom from slavery but freedom to worship Hashem and fulfill our mission. In a democratic society that celebrates freedom and rights it is critical to remember that our Jewish identity is focused not simply on the freedom we celebrate at Pesach but the responsibilities we assumed by accepting the Torah on Shavuot.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Thu. May 26

Fri. May 27
Last Day of Classes 
Good and Welfare 
Sasan Peimani ('08) to Yael Lalehzarzadeh
Sports Banquet 
Evening Recognizes Accomplishments of Student Athletes with Special Tributes to Seniors
Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17)
Article by Jonah Rose ('17)

"Close your eyes and picture the following scene." If an article begins by directing the reader to close his or her eyes, it is a poorly constructed piece of writing as the reader could not possibly carry on reading the article with his or her eyes shut. Therefore, for this article, please keep your eyes open and picture the following scene: half-full aluminum foil pans of General Tso's chicken and egg rolls on a fold-up table covered by an orange plastic tablecloth. For many, this image may be associated with honeymooning or Entenmann's powdered doughnut holes; for YHS students, however, this image procures associations with YHS's annual sports banquet.
Each year, YHS athletes from all backgrounds, religions, and creeds congregate at the annual sports banquet to celebrate the ups-and-downs of YHS sports. Following dinner at overcrowded tables and the overconsumption of typical sugary beverages, the athletes are joined by parents, friends, teachers, mentors, guests, religious leaders, neighbors, parents, and friends for an award ceremony. All athletes are recognized for their commitment, and stand-out players are awarded for their excellence.
Beyond the festivities, this year's sports banquet was highlighted by the tribute made for the senior athletes. Each senior athlete received a well-deserved speech of appreciation from their respective coaches. Tears were shed, hugs were embraced, and destiny was fulfilled, all in one magical night for our graduating senior athletes. To my seniors: 6.98 million people visited the Eiffel Tower in 2011; be the Eiffel Tower of 2016. Shabbat Shalom.  
Please click on the links below to watch videos produced by our 9th Grade Videography class for the Sports Banquet
Engaged Dialogue
Local Muslim Leader Speaks and Converses with Students and Faculty about Islam in Contemporary Society   
Graphic by Alec Gelman ('17), Justin Isaacs ('19)
Article by Izy Muller ('17)
Shaikh Shafayat Mohamed is the leader of an Islamic congregation in Pembroke Pines. Over the past 25 years, Shaikh Shafayat has been given many awards for his work in interfaith relations and he lectures throughout the world on Islam, interfaith issues, and cultural diversity. This past Wednesday, Shaikh Shafayat came to Yeshiva High School to address some of the misconceptions many have about Islam. To begin, he spoke about his own personal background and how that inspired him to study Islam strictly from a textual perspective. Then, he discussed how the origin and background of both Judaism and Islam are almost identical, drawing parallels between the prophets, the stories, and overarching beliefs of both religions. He stressed that if the Quran were to be translated within its context, one would see that there are absolutely no verses that incite violence or promote hatred; rather, the religion has been perverted due to regional tensions as well as political agendas . The second half of the talk was done completely in question-answer form. Both students and faculty asked a variety of questions, ranging from terrorism to Sharia law to specific texts from the Quran. As Shaikh Shafayat left, there was no doubt that this man had created an immense impact on many of the students at YHS and opened a dialogue unique in the school's history. We hope to have him back as soon as possible! 
Dream Makers, Not Dream Breakers
Former NFL and College Football Stars Preach Importance of Good Character and Decision Making
Graphic by Highlites Staff
Article by Max Wiederhorn ('18)

Thank you to the Steven Frager Memorial Foundation for making this event possible.
This past Tuesday students had the pleasure of hearing a motivational speech from former NFL player Keith Davis, and current NFL free agent Dominic Miller. Davis and Miller stressed the importance of keeping away from the negative influences and temptations in our life. The pair urged us to succumb to peer pressure and that we should stay true to ourselves. Both Davis and Miller emphasized the importance of having a dream and following the dream. They revealed to us that  in life we will face challenges and to overcome these challenges we must "P.U.S.H. (Persevere Until Something Happens) Finally, they taught us that when we go through a rough-patch in our lives, we will always have a "second half" to turn it around. In the evening a follow up program was held for parents and faculty where Davis and Miller spoke to adults about implementing strategies for enabling students to make the right decisions. Davis and Miller were entertaining and inspired us all at Yeshiva High School!
On Display
Students' Art Earns Accolades in Congressional Art Contest
Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19)
Article by Highlites Staff

Recently several YHS students, with the guidance of Mrs. Loren Stein, submitted their artwork to the Congressional Art Contest.  Sara Khambalia ('17) won first place in Congresswoman Lois Frankel's district.  Sara won a trip to Washington D.C. and will have her art on display in the Capital Building for a year.  To read more about the contest, please click here.
Senior Seminar 
 Seniors Learn Important Lessons as They Prepare for Life Outside of YHS
Graphic by Simcha Stadlan ('16)
Senior Kumsitz
Seniors Say Goodbye and Share Heartfelt Messages with Student Body in Final Kumsitz of the Year
Graphic by Tamar Ciment ('16)

The Yeshiva Highlites Staff