November 20, 2015
Kislev 8, 5776

A Word from Our Head of School
A Broader Perspective
A Poem for Peace
FJA Biz Kids
Anything Goes!
Student Spotlight
FJA in the News
Parent Council News
Putting Our Values To The Test     
The Tanach (Hebrew Bible) is replete with story after story of individuals whose faith in God and commitment to His instructions are tested. Though each character's experience varies, they all have one theme in common. The demonstration of faith and commitment is expressed through encountering a challenge.

Our political, religious and ethical convictions are theoretical until we are presented with an opportunity to actualize them. Sometimes those opportunities are commonplace and tranquil like a political election. We express our political beliefs by voting for candidates. Though we may have to wrestle with determining the advantages and disadvantages of each candidate, we make those choices and express our convictions without confronting threats to our personal safety. The story of our people, however, whether in the past several months and as recently as yesterday, or as far back as our Biblical ancestors, has been a narrative filled with hostile challenges.

If you were a Parisian last week, an American during 9/11, or an Israeli in the midst of experiencing devastating loss, how would you respond? Do you continue about your daily life refusing to allow terrorists to triumph? Do stand up for freedom and democracy even when evil seeks to destroy it? Will you champion peace even when forces obstruct it?    
Rabbi Azaryah Cohen, Head of School 
A Broader Perspective    
Margrett It has been a hard few weeks for humanity, and it is difficult for anyone, let alone our students, to make sense of what is happening in the world. Our students got a broader perspective of the situation when Rabbi Shalom Hammer spoke during Town Hall today. He recalled how against all odds, Jewish people have survived, and he emphasised the need for Jewish unity.

After Town Hall 100 students gathered in our Beit Midrash where Rabbi Hammer spoke of the IDF's approach of action (represented by the hand tefillin) coupled with thought (represented by the head tefillin). Both are needed to be able to deal with the world around us and with the current terror that Israel is dealing with. Students were actively engaged in this lively presentation and gained better insight into what their extended Israeli family is experiencing.

We were left with the message that keeping connected to and involved with Israel, in whatever way possible, definitely makes a difference.   

Rabbi Reuven Margrett, Director of Judaic Studies  
A Poem for Peace   
Earlier this year, the Greater Detroit Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee sponsored a creative writing and art contest promoting better understanding between Jewish and Muslim communities. Last evening, at the awards ceremony held at Wayne State University, Jeremy Rosenberg accepted an award for his poem entitled The Peace I Know. Among the attendees were Dr. M. Roy Wilson, Wayne State University President, and Professor Howard Lupovitch, Director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies, both of whom addressed the diverse crowd.
Mazal Tov Jeremy!
FJA Students Busy with Business  

Another in a series highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit generated by FJA students.
They are teenagers and students, which explains why their minds are in constant motion. We're not talking about the Ferris Bueller-style planning and implementation with selfish motives movies love to depict of high schoolers. What we have here is high-level business initiatives with a specific consumer in mind, and it's impressive.
Jonah Erlich (Class of '16) and Max Feber (Class of '17) have identified different needs and developed unique products to meet demands in the marketplace.
Jonah (pictured below, left) operates High School 101, providing tutorial assistance and learning skills. He defines HS101 as "an online and in-class peer-to-peer educational movement dedicated to acclimating students to the high school experience." Translation: smoothing a student's transition to the often-intimidating high school environment.
The concept emerged out of compassion. "I was inspired by helping my sister prepare for her exams," Jonah said. "After her success, I taught a class to Frankel students about exam preparation and from there High School 101 was born."
The program offers seminars taught by Student Ambassadors, featuring animated videos and interactive tools geared toward enhancing studying, motivation and organization skills. The program extends to schools in in the United States (Detroit, San Diego), and around the world (Mexico City, Brussels, Shanghai).
Max's (pictured on right) entrepreneurial endeavor is focused on a retail opportunity. A self-proclaimed "coffee snob," Max was confronted with an interesting dilemma. "I love coffee," Max mentions. "I heard cold brew was a good way to make coffee, but it was difficult because there was no effective way to filter out the grounds."
With that annoyance in mind, Max set out to invent a method to simplify the brewing process. He filed for a provisional patent to manufacture a double-sided mason jar lid that he dubbed BRUW.
"Filtering cold brew made a huge mess," said Max. "It was super inconvenient and I thought there had to be a better way. I designed prototypes and worked on figuring it out. It was an engineering problem and it took a while, but eventually I came up with a finalized design.
"This week I am launching on Kickstarter," Max continued, "to crowd-fund the product in order to produce about 1000 filters. These are meant to last and everything is Michigan-made."
Max's idea took shape at FJA. "I took a class, New Business Ventures, with Mrs. Sesi and Professor Don Reimer from Lawrence Tech. It taught me what I needed to do to get my business started," Max said.
For more information, check out 
Tickets are on sail now for FJA's production of Anything Goes!!
Check out the theatrical trailer for FJA's production of Anything Goes, coming soon!

Don't miss the boat! Take an FJA musical cruise and buy a ticket for FJA's Musical, "Anything Goes!" Filled with FJA talent and musical Cole Porter classics!!

*If 150 students attend the play, there will be a two day dress down on Dec. 7 & 8!
Spotlighting a Student: Jeremy Rosenberg ('17)
Kristine Stephens: English Instructor
As a part of a continuing effort to show appreciation and regard for the exemplary work of our student body, FJA is highlighting one of its students for showing exceptional aptitude that went above and beyond his classroom work and engagement. Jeremy Rosenberg ('17) is being recognized by FJA English Instructor Kristine Stephens for his continuing effort and contributions to the class's understanding of Hamlet.
"In this unit, he's really standing out," says Stephens, who is spotlighting Jeremy's role in the class as they work through the play. Stephens specifically mentions his contributions in verbal participation; he is taking more active roles in read-throughs that carry a stigma of being more challenging. "There's a stigma attached to it," describes Stephens referring to the classroom read-throughs, "and he's not shying away from it."
Being part of an AP level Literature course, the expectation is for students to explore deep and analytical concepts. While such an expectation can easily deter a student from taking a more active role, Stephens characterizes Jeremy's contributions as showing great insight and thought. "He's not afraid of the book," adds Stephens; "he's embracing it and I think that's really cool."
FJA is proud to highlight one of our own for displaying the exceptional classroom engagement that we all strive for as a part of this educational community, and we are proud of Jeremy for his efforts. 
FJA - In the News!
Parent Council

Join Parent Council at their upcoming meeting with Guest Speaker Rabbi Azaryah Cohen on "The Mystery and Mystique of Chanukah." 
Wednesday, 12/2 at 7:30pm in the FJA Beit Midrash. 


If you do your grocery shopping at Busch's, there has been a change to their Cash for Education program. You will NO LONGER need gift cards to earn money for FJA. Just enroll your MyWay card in the Cash for Education program.
Here's how:
Step 1. Log into your MyWay account.
Step 2. Click on Cash for Education on the far right (under Coupon button).
Step 3. Choose Frankel Jewish Academy for the School and click "Add to All Quarters".
Please enroll by December 31.
Also, please remember to enroll your Kroger's Community Rewards card if you have not yet already done so.
We appreciate your support! 

Buy an FJA winter hat to help support the senior class!
Order forms can be found here!
FJA Blood Drive

Frankel Jewish Academy, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is holding a Blood Drive on Monday, November 30 from 7:45am to 1:30pm in Handleman Hall inside the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center.  The Blood Drive is open to the public but spaces are limited.  To sign up to donate, go to and enter Sponsor Code: Frankel