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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Falcons Sweep Doubleheader at DRS

In the first doubleheader of the season, the Flatbush Boys Basketball JV & Varsity teams travelled to Woodmere, Long island and swept the home squads for the varsity’s second win on the year and the first for the JV’s in the 2014-15 campaign.

In the opener, the JV Falcons jumped out to an early double-digit lead they never relinquished, rolling to a 49-25 dominating victory in a rematch of last season’s MYHSAL JV Championship game. Holding the Wildcats to only 2 points the entire first quarter, it was evident from the tip that these Falcons were ready to pick up where they left off last year. Seamlessly incorporating the new freshmen to the group led by the returning sophomores, the Falcons offense looked in mid-season form and the high-octane pressure defense led by Kevin Haddad (4 steals on the night) stymied the home team all over the court, yielding a grand total of 7 points in the entire first half. Flatbush dominated the glass, with Abie Rosow, Jackie Mishaan and Yoel Goldberg gathering a combined 28 rebounds. As a result, the coaches were able to provide the reserves with extensive minutes, gaining significant game experience that will surely serve the team well as the season progresses.

The Varsity, playing its third game of the pre-season, had to work much harder to earn the victory in the nightcap. Like their younger counterparts, the Varsity Falcons jumped out to an early lead. Behind a continuing flow of half-court trapping pressure and solid interior defense, Flatbush maintained a 6-point cushion throughout the first half. But the offense could not establish a consistency and could not extend a bigger lead. Thankfully, tough defense coupled with a number of miscues inside by the Wildcat offense allowed Flatbush to maintain the lead into the fourth quarter.

But, a burst by the home team late in the game gave the Wildcats the lead for the first time at 33-31 with 5 minutes left to play. At this point, the Boys from Flatbush could have caved. But they did just the opposite. Albert Richter sank a huge 3-pointer to give the Falcons back the lead. Spurred on by his fiery oration and emphatic fist pumping that he would not fall to DRS again (a reference to the JV loss in last years championships), the team never relinquished it the rest of the way as they closed out a hard-fought 45-39 road win. Afterwards, Co-Captain Ray Braha reflected, “Al Richter was outstanding! After giving us back the lead, we weren’t going to let them score again. We were going to win this game!” Braha played a key role in anchoring the defense down the stretch to seal the victory.

Nest Notes:
The JV Boys were led by Jackie Mishaan and Abie Rosow, scoring 18 points and 14 point respectively. They both led the team in rebounds as well, with Rosow pulling down 11 and Mishaan 9. Yoel Goldberg added 8 rebounds as well.

For the Varsity Boys, Mayer Kamkhatchi recorded a double-double(11 points and 10 rebounds). Albert Richter recorded 9 points and 5 steals. Sam Siverman added 7 points on the night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cooking For A Cause: Getting Ready for Rosh Hashanah

On Wednesday night, September 17th students had the opportunity to cook for less fortunate families in a Yeshivah of Flatbush program known as "Cooking for a Cause." Each week the students cook something different and the food is donated to a Chesed organization. For the first event of the school year students made food specially for Rosh Hashanah. Students made Swiss chard with chickpeas, leek edgeh, blackeye peas, sweet gourd, sweet tongue bolognese and even Tzimmes. Thank you to master chefs, Ami Sasson, Rochelle Dweck, and Esther Mishan for leading the event and the Fishel family for sponsoring the event. Special thanks to Mrs. Shifra Hanon for coordinating. All participants had an amazing fun Chesed experience!!
Cooking for a Cause allows students to learn how to prepare a variety of entrees, dinners, and desserts while participating in a Chesed event. All of the food prepared in these events are sent to needy families who can then enjoy delicious homemade dinners.

Falcon's Nest Notes: Falcons Athletes to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness Throughout October

Recent research shows that Jewish women “who tested positive for cancer-causing genetic mutations during random screenings have high rates of breast and ovarian cancer even when they have no family history of the disease.” (New York Times, “Study of Jewish Women Shows Link to Cancer Without Family History,” Sept 4, 2014)

While this is not a real surprise, it serves to emphasize the importance and immediacy of advancing the research already in place seeking a cure to this increasingly treatable, but still deadly disease, and its impact on the Jewish community in particular.

To raise awareness of this need, in conjunction with October being recognized throughout the country as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Flatbush Falcons will take to the court and field during the entire month of October in special warm-up jerseys. The black warm-ups will sport the Falcon logo on the front and the trademark cancer research ribbon on the back in the traditional pink, with the notation “Falcons for the cure.”

Additionally, starting October 1, these shirts will be on sale to the entire student population. Pick one up and show the community that Flatbush cares, and hopes to be a part of making cancer a thing of the past. When the teams take to the court clad in these shirts, send a message of community support, filling the stands similarly dressed and making the Falcon’s Nest a sea of black and pink!

Nest Notes:
The special shirts can be purchased in the Flatbush Athletic Office starting October 1 and will continue to be on sale throughout the month. The cost is only $10.00, which covers the cost of production.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Defense Reigns Supreme in Riverdale

Flatbush outscored SAR 24-7 in the second half to notch the Varsity Boys basketball team’s first victory of the 2014-15 season. Balanced scoring, solid rebounding and dominant backcourt pressure keyed the Falcons victory on the road Monday night in Riverdale, NY.

On the heels of an opening season loss that showed only that this team could run a stifling press, there was major concern about where points would come from. For the second time, the offense was slow to start, and it began to look again like the lion’s share of the scoring would come from Bobby Soffer, who tallied all 7 of the team’s 1st quarter points. To compound things, SAR reeled off 13 points to 2 from Flatbush to start the 2nd quarter, building a 20-9 lead that had the Falcons back on their heels and on the verge of getting blown out.

But up stepped the Falcon defense, and rookie point guard Eli Cattan. With Co-Captain Ray Braha and Junior Albert Richter alternating at the top of the team’s “13” defense, the Falcons staunched the flow of the Sting offense, and Cattan caught fire, scoring 8 straight points to end the half and close the gap to only 3, with SAR clinging to a 20-17 lead.

Then, the defense took over. The press began to take its toll on the Sting players. Frustration and fatigue set in, and SAR could generate only 4 points of offense in the 3rd period. David Dayan, seeing his first action of the season, dominated the defensive paint, blocking 3 shots and hauling in 6 rebounds. Allan Maleh and Ray Braha combined for 9 points at the other end, and the Falcons took a 6 point lead entering the final period.

The Falcon defense was even stingier in period four, yielding a total of 3 points behind the interior play of Senior Mayer Kamkhatchi and the tenacity of Junior Elliot Beyda anchoring the press. The offense continued to flow, with Senior Sam Silverman breaking out for 5 points, leading the Falcons as they coasted the rest of the way to the 14-point victory.

Nest Notes:
Eli Cattan led the Flatbush scoring attack with 8 points on the night. Allan Maleh and Bobby Soffer finished with 7 points each. Sam Silverman added 5 in the winning effort. David Dayan led all rebounders with 8. Soffer collected 6 steals. Flatbush was 18-27 from the free throw line, a marked improvement from the opening night effort a week ago.

After the Rosh Hashannah break, the Falcons Varsity will return to action on Thursday, 10/2, in the second game of a JV/V doubleheader at JEC in Elizabeth, NJ with the JV scheduled for a 7:15 pm tip-off. The JV Boys open their 2014-15 campaign on Tuesday, 9/30, at DRS in Cedarhurst, LI. Game time is 7:30 pm.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

EKO Commission Marches to Save the Planet!

A group of students from our EKO Commission together with Rabbi Haber headed for Manhattan on Sunday morning with intentions of making history. The train was crowded but that didn't deter us, the Eko Commission had an agenda worth completion. We disembark the train at 72nd street and Central Park West and we're met with thousands upon thousands of zealous and prideful marchers with one goal, Save Our Planet. The People's Climate March gathered over 300,000 people from all over the world united under the one cause: raise awareness of Earth's changing climate. We saw only a fraction of those marchers, but that was enough to fuel us with excitement for what was to come. People of all ages came to support the cause. We all left that day with a sense of accomplishment. We know we made history and forever serve as the testament that as a people we care dearly about our planet. SAY TREES!!!

Special thanks to Rabbi Haber, Mathew Bukobza, and Noam Menashe for this wonderful experience. ~ Merle Cohen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday Morning Learning: September 5774

This past Sunday, September 21st / 26 Elul was the first Sunday Morning Learning program of the school year. Parents, students and faculty all learned and enjoyed the special morning together. We first prayed shachrit and then went downstairs for a great breakfast. The breakfast included French toast, scrambled eggs, bagels and a variety of salads.
After our delicious breakfast we went back up to the Beit Midrash for the shiur. We were given sources to learn in groups and then had the opportunity to hear elementary school middle division principal, Rabbi Dr. Hertzberg, give a wonderful shiur on the connection of Abe Lincoln, Rosh Hashanah, and slavery. Thank you Mr. Engel for coordinating and sponsoring this event in memory of his beloved father, Aryeh Leib ben Yaakov Altaar, A”H. Hope to see everyone at the next Sunday Morning Learning on November 23, 2014. 
~David Idy

Pathfinders Update: Spending Summer Part of Women in Science

Sabrina Abrahim with Dr. Karamitopolous
This past summer, I had the prestigious opportunity to get a sneak peak into the medical field with the help of the Director of the Pathfinders Program, Mrs. Hanon. I was accepted into the Women in Science program at Maimonides Medical Center, led by Dr. Karamitopolous, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Maimonides. This program was established to give women interested in medical research and the medical field in general a chance to explore what might someday become their future career. I was able to see the distinct difference between the hospital versus the office environment. The highlight of my internship was that I able to do hands-on work rather than filing papers and cleaning out test tubes. I was permitted to shadow doctors in the office, interact with patients, and join various attendings as well as residents in the Operating Room. Yes, you read correctly. I watched real, live surgeries, side by side with my mentor. In addition, I joined residents and interns in the simulation lab to practice techniques including suturing and casting. I attended lectures about women in society, writing articles about medical research, and balancing family and career. Every now and then, I spoke with different surgeons and gained wonderful insight about college, medical school, and the path to success. Within a few weeks, I formed strong, lasting relationships with the entire Orthopedic team at Maimonidies! ~Sabrina Abrahim

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Volleyball Alumnae Return to Benefit IDF Soldiers

Great turnout of alumnae and current students for Chesed Volleyball Tournament
Set – Spike! “I got it!” “Mine, mine!” For many in the YoF HS Gym on Sunday afternoon, these are things they haven’t heard for quite some time. But for four hours, former players took to the court alongside members of the 2014-15 Flatbush Falcons JV and Varsity Girls Volleyball teams – and some of their fellow classmates – to relive memories, reconnect with the Flatbush community while at the same time raising funds for our soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces. The proceeds from the event are earmarked specifically for “Thank Israeli Soldiers,” an organization that provides support to the soldiers of the IDF, particularly many of the lone soldiers with no family on the ground in Israel.

Coaches Evelyn Shterenzer and Lauren Zalta organized all the attendees into teams, and set up matchups throughout the afternoon. The highlight for many was provided by the return of two squads of alumnae who battled both each other as well as teams made up of members of the present varsity roster.

Feedback from the alumnae was extremely positive. “This was so much fun!” remarked Sally Shatzkes (HS ’99 and current faculty member), who attended with her young children in tow. “For me, volleyball [and other extra-curricular activities] was such a big part of my Flatbush experience. We should do something like this more often!”
Similarly, the students and players in attendance were equally excited about the event. “It was so cool! And I like that it was before the start of the regular season,” noted Rochelle Tawil, co-captain of the present Varsity squad. “Now we have more of an idea of what we need to work on for the season. This was awesome!”

When it came time for the playoffs of the day’s contests, play finally got serious. The crowd was focused on each point, and cheers erupted at the end of each play.

Perhaps inspired by the return of so many alumnae, and seeing their passion for the game still present years after having departed Flatbush, Co-Captain Rebbeca Zami lobbied for added practice time during the season. You can bet that team will get more than just their regular Tuesday slot to train for the season going forward.

Nest Notes:
Both the Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball teams will practice twice between Rosh Hashannah and the Sukkot holiday break. During that time, the MYHSAL schedule will be finalized, and the teams are looking forward to their first tastes of competition towards the end of October.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Phoenix 2014-2015: Issue 1

Falcon's Nest Notes: Late Rally Falls Short; Falcons Drop Opener to HAFTR @ MDY Tournament

Bobby Soffer pushes the ball in transition
Behind a barrage of 3-pointers from Senior Co-Captain Bobby Soffer, Flatbush closed the gap late in the fourth quarter, but the rally fell short and the Falcons dropped the season opener to HAFTR in the opening round of the MDY Pre-Season Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, 9/16, 56-46.
Joe Gindi helps position the full court press alignment
Though the team has a majority of seniors, this game marked the first varsity action for the most of the players on the roster. And, it was clear from the outset that there was a serious case of opening day jitters for this new group of Falcons. The boys found themselves in a deep deficit early, but behind the leadership of Soffer at both ends of the court, and the inspired play from varsity newbies Elliot Beyda and Albert Richter, Flatbush clawed its way back, closing to within one point, 22-21 with under 4 minutes to play in the first half.
Allan Maleh converts from the free throw line
Another bright spot for the Falcons was the effectiveness of the trademark Flatbush full-court press. The pressure applied caused 23 turnovers by the HAFTR offense. But as effective as the press was, the Falcon offense was equally careless with the ball, handing it back to the Hawks nearly as often, committing 20+ turnovers of their own. As a result, HAFTR’s lead ballooned to nearly 20 points in the fourth quarter, before the stellar shooting of Soffer closed the gap late.

The Falcons will look to get on the winning track with a number of pre-season matchups before entering MYHSAL play after the Sukkot holiday break.

Nest Notes:
Bobby Soffer paced all scorers with 29 points, dropping in 7 baskets from beyond the arc. Albert Richter added 8 points for the Falcons. The team shot an abysmal 5-13 from the foul line, a statistic that must improve of the team is to be successful this season.

The Varsity boys return to action on Monday, 9/22 when they travel to SAR to take on the Sting in another pre-season tune-up. Game time is 8:15 pm. The JV will begin its 2014-15 campaign on Tuesday, 9/30, when they travel to DRS for a rematch of last season’s JV championship game. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 pm.