May 27, 2016

19 Iyyar 5776


     Parshat Behar
Candle Lighting at 7:49 PM
The Joy of Wisdom Gained

Today was the last day of regular classes and we are excitedly or perhaps anxiously looking forward to final exams. How should we approach the completion of a school year? The midrash in Shir Hashirim points out that we have the custom to celebrate the completion of the Torah based on an episode in the life of Shlomo Hamelech. God offered to grant Shlomo any request, and instead of material wealth Shlomo asked for a "wise heart." Appreciating the thoughtful request, God granted Shlomo wisdom and threw in the material wealth as well. Shlomo responded by going to the Beit Hamikdash and celebrating. The midrash explains that because of Shlomo's celebration, we have a custom to celebrate when completing the Torah. This doesn't seem to make sense!  Shlomo wasn't celebrating the completion of the Torah; he was celebrating the wisdom that God gave him! Why does the midrash connect Shlomo's joy at acquiring wisdom with our celebration when we complete the Torah? Rabbi Soloveitchik explained that our reason for celebrating the completion of the Torah on Simchat Torah or the completion of a masechet when making a siyum or the completion of a school year is not that we are happy to be done. Rather, we celebrate because of the wisdom we have gained from that learning experience. We are proud of what we have learned and accomplished, and we are eager to apply that wisdom to other experiences.

As the school year comes to a close, it's remarkable to look back on all of the learning and educational opportunities we have experienced. Whether in the formal education, the informal education, the arts, the athletics, or the mishmars and night seders that make up each student's life here at YHS, we are grateful for the opportunity to grow. Thank you to the Highlites staff for making everyone aware of all of the wonderful things going on at our school. I especially want to thank graduating seniors: Ariella Mamann, Tamar Ciment, Daniel Feldan, Bailey Frohlich, senior editor Shara Saketkhou, and editor in chief Simcha Stadlan and for all of the creative expertise that they have brought to the Highlites.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Upcoming Events
Mon. May 30
Memorial Day - No Classes
Tue. May 31
Senior Formal

May 31 - June 7

June 2-5
Senior Trip

June 7
Good and Welfare 
Jake Abitbol ('10) to Shoshana Staschover
Yaron Jacobovitz ('04) to Erica Jankelovitz
Ari Shachter ('10) to Atara Tannenbaum
Faculty Mazel Tovs
Dr. Yosef & Mrs. Rivka Wolf on the birth of a boy
Freshman Shabbaton 
Friday Water Sports and Warm Hospitality Highlight Year End Shabbaton
Graphic by Justin Isaacs ('19)
Article by Sara Deichman ('19)

Last Friday, I along with the rest of the freshman girls headed to Pompano Beach, while the boys headed to Boynton Beach to begin the Freshman Shabbaton. The girls piled onto boats taking them out on the water for a great hour of laughing, water tubing, and swimming. The boys spent their time kayaking and paddle boarding, putting their strength to the test and gaining some major sunburns, despite applying liberal amounts of sunscreen. Everyone had an amazing time, but that was only the beginning!

For Shabbat, the class traveled to Presidential Estates in North Miami beach. We were generously housed by residents of the area and felt right at home. Over Shabbat, we were entertained by fun games, fascinating divrei Torah, and inspirational singing.

Thanks to everyone who made it possible, the Freshman Shabbaton was unforgettable on so many different levels. As we headed home Saturday night, the grade felt united; spending those 36 hours together as a class created an incredibly special bond that we will remember for the rest of high school and beyond.
Dog Days
Newly Founded Humane Club Brings Therapy Dogs for Pre-Finals Stress Relief          
Graphic by Akiva Stadlan ('19)
Interview by Mathew A. Samilow ('17)
This week, Zack Ben-Ezra ('18) brought in therapy dogs from the Therapy Dog Foundation and Canine Assisted Therapy in order to help students de-stress before final exams. I sat down with him to discuss the rather unique event.

MAS: So what was your motivation in bringing these stress-relief pooches to YHS?
ZBE: Well, I saw that students, particularly underclassmen, are stressed out during the time period surrounding finals. I had also recently learned that many colleges bring in animals to help relieve stress, so I figured I would bring the idea to YHS?

MAS: Is this an isolated activity, or part of some larger endeavor?
ZBE:I am planning to launch a Humane Club at YHS next year, so I decided to launch a tad early and make bringing in the dogs our inaugural event. I see this as the beginning of many other animal related programs.

MAS: How do you think the student reaction was to this rather eccentric program?
ZBE: Overall, I think people really enjoyed themselves and saw the ability animals have to reduce human stress. We had a MASSIVE crowd and people seemed to become more relaxed as they interacted with the mutts.

MAS: Will you do this again next year and try to make it a YHS tradition?
ZBE: Most definitely.
Student Leadership
Annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet Recognizes Student Leaders Before Students Elect Next Year's Student Council
Graphic by Alec Gelman ('17), Lana Rosenthal ('17)
Article by Max Wiederhorn ('18)
Yesterday the Yeshiva High School ran its annual Student Council elections. This was one of the most unique elections to date filled with engaging speeches, background music and fancy shirts. The cabinet spots were won by Gabi Englander ('18), Daniel Portnoy ('18) and Aaron Senfeld ('17). Next, Ayala Broide ('17) and Jonah Rose ('17), who donned his American flag shirt for the occasion, were elected School Presidents.

In addition to these higher ranking student council positions, each class elected their own class presidents.  Congratulations to Marisa Avni and Ziv Markovitz who will serve next year as 10th grade class presidents, Shaina Agami and Yonah Freiden who will serve the 11th grade and Tamara Kahn and Matthew Samilow who will lead our seniors.

We also had the pleasure to enjoy S.L.A.B. the Student Leadership Awards Banquet, which gave recognition to many leaders in our school. Some clubs and leaders recognized were the Sign Language Club, Humane Club, the Geography Club lead by the charismatic Ilan Gritzman who received the team's Geography Bee championship trophy, Chesed Club, and the Interfaith Dialogue Club. After Rabbi Danny Kroll's speech about leadership opportunities and the importance of enriching one's experience at YHS by getting involved, we watched a fantastic video of our year at YHS, created by an extremely talented group of juniors. Thursday was absolutely exhilarating and a great way to end off the year.
From Our Halls to Halls of Higher Learning
Class of 2016 Go Places Near and Far
Graphic by Ariel Shneider ('17), Noa Markovitz ('19)
 We Say Goodbye to Some Pretty Awesome Highlighters :(
Graphic by Gabi Frohlich ('17), Ariel Schneider ('17)
Article by Ariel Schneider ('17)

For the past three years, I had the opportunity to work with some of the most dedicated and inspiring people to have ever been on Highlites. Because of their creativity and leadership, Highlites will continue to stay strong with its beautiful graphics and writing. We thank these Seniors for being in the cave every Thursday night to make sure Highlites is perfect every week.

Shara: From fonts to pictures, you were always there to make sure that our graphics were perfect. Your technical, creative, leadership, and song choosing skills will truly be missed.

Simcha: You led Highlites for the past two years with so much dedication. You always worked during your free time on Fridays to make sure Highlites was flawless each week. We thank you for everything you have done to keep Highlites going strong.

Ariella:  Your creativity to implement every activity each week was impeccable. You helped Highlites have a fun side for some graphics and a serious side for others. Thank you for keeping the graphics new and awesome every week.

Tamar: The truth is, you do make the best graphics. You have always stayed consistent by putting RDK's head in your graphics and without you, Highlites would not have been as energized and fun as it was.

Daniel: Our Penguin King was always there to make sure our graphics always made it to Highlites. Sometimes, your little penguins were beautifully hidden in the graphics. Though your spelling was intolerable, we will truly miss your 6'5" figure.

Bailey: In your sophomore year, you made your first graphic on the Freshman Shabbaton. Now, you have helped every single staff member with your creativity and managing skills.

Thank you for the amazing years we have had together and for the unforgettable friendships we have made along the way.
This Week In Pictures 

The Incoming Yeshiva Highlites Staff