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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tzedakah Commission on a Roll!

Last week was an amazing and busy week for the Tzedakah Commission. On Wednesday, the Tzedakah Commission ran their annual Goods and Services Auction to raise money for the Yeshivah of Flatbush Chesed Mission to Israel led by Rabbi Bessser this upcoming January, where the students go on a trip to Israel to do all sorts of chesed. The auction was a big hit and helped raised a lot of money for the Chesed Mission. After continuously selling tickets for a little more than an hour to waves of students eager to get involved, the first thing said by the students selling the tickets was, “that was so intense”. A student buying the tickets said, “Wow, this is amazing! I hope I win something!” From free drum lessons, to free tutoring from teachers, to home cooked goods, the choices seemed unlimited. The enthusiasm of the students to do chesed and give tzedakah was definitely pouring through during this event. The auction was a huge success and a fun way to raise money for the Chesed Mission.

We would like to thank the administration, the Tzedakah Commission, SeƱora Ovadia, and most of all the students who took part in this unbelievable auction making it a huge success. It would not have been done without you!
But wait! The Tzedakah Commission didn’t stop there with raising money for the Chesed Mission. The Chesed race has just begun! From now until finals, each class will be competing to raise the most money to donate to the Chesed Mission. The classes that raise the most will win a reward!!! The race has just begun- so to all the classes- continue bringing in money!!!! Don’t forget the winning class wins a reward! Last year, the school raised an enormous amount of money and this year, we are planning on topping it!
This coming Sunday December 21, 2014, there will be a Bake Sale and Chinese Auction from 10am - 6pm at the home of Ziv and Iris Bukobza. Rabbi Besser will be speaking at 3:00 p.m. so don’t be late! All of the proceeds will go towards Rabbi Besser’s Chesed Mission. Bakers are needed! If you would like to bake, please contact Danielle: 917-734-5343 or Stephanie: 347-587-9102.
Hold on! Lets not forget the amazing bake sale for Cookies for a Cure!!! Cookies for a Cure is an organization to raise money for kids cancer research. On Friday, the day of Junior Seminar, Mrs. Sally Franco and daughter Stephanie Franco, and the rest of the high school committee partnered up with Magen David Yeshivah High School and had a bake sale in the lobby throughout the school day selling cookies. Bakeries such as, Ostrovitsky, Baked By Melissa, BJ’s, and Chantilly all appeared at the bake sale. By participating in this bake sale, you were getting a delicious snack and donating money to charity; a two for one deal! It was happily said that EVERYTHING was sold and all the money went to research for kids' cancer research. The kitchen brand, OXO, has agreed to match the donation dollar for dollar! Students walked by and said, “This is amazing and delicious! They should do this every week!” We want to give a huge thank you to the entire high school committee of Cookies for a Cure for all their hard work and delicious treats. The bake sale was an absolute success!

The Tzedakah Commission has many more plans and activities for this year! Don’t forget to always check when something new is coming up!

Tizku L'Mitzvot!
~ Judy Shalam
~ Sarah Sasson

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chess Team Plays HANC

On Wednesday, December 3rd, Yeshivah of Flatbush hosted a chess meet against HANC. Many intense matches ensued after a pizza lunch. Racing against the clock and obfuscating mind games were prevalent in the Study Hall. Flatbush tied HANC, both with 7 wins. We plan to learn from this meet and better ourselves for the next one. The team would like to thank Rabbi Taler for coaching our team.. And we'd like to thank Mr. Cohen for his fervid leadership. I'd like to congratulate all the players for giving it their all and may we win the next one.
~ Captain Yosef Cohen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Math Team Competes in 1st Competition of the School Year

On Wednesday, December 3rd 6 members of the Yeshivah Flatbush Math Team competed in the first math bowl of the year at Heschel. We joined many schools there, including: Heschel, TABC, JEC, Ma'ayanot, SAR, Ramaz, Westchester, MTA, Central, and Solomon Shechter. The Flatbush team won 1/4 rounds and came out with 63 points. It was an amazing experience and so much fun to compete in the first math bowl competition.

I would like to thank Ms. Shulman for orchestrating the event as well as our captain, Joey N. Cohen. The other members of the team that came were Michael Dayan, Louis Franco, Ray Braha, and Max Edison. ~ Shana Ravvin 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Students Lobby for Israel in Washington DC

Yeshivah of Flatbush Students at AIPAC in Washington D.C.
It occurred to me, right before boarding the coach bus heading to Washington D.C., how little I knew about Israel and United States relations and our foreign affairs. I knew I was chosen to spend the next few hours in our nation’s Capital as a High School student representing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the largest organizations which lobby for Israel. I also knew I would be lobbying Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. But, why was I chosen?

When the committee decided that I can go a few weeks ago, I spent the next couple of weeks preparing everything, from reading different newspapers for up-to-date news from Israel and researching background information about the U.S.-Israel relationship. Finally, December 2nd came, the morning I was leaving for Washington D.C. After a five hour bus ride, I finally arrived in Washington D.C., ready and nervous for the next few hours.
On that day all 46 other students from Yeshivah of Flatbush who attended this trip walked to AIPAC headquarters, where they explained, in detail, about their organization and how they help the Israel-U.S. Relationship. AIPAC is pro-Israel lobbying group that helps to strengthen, protect, and promote the US-Israel relationship. Never in a million years did I think I would get the opportunity to be involved with such an amazing group and gain such an incredible eye opening experience. We then went the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This was a great way to alter our mood into a more serious one before we went to lobby. We then went to our last stop, Capitol Hill, as a united group. We broke up into smaller groups and met with a staffer from our districts congressional offices.
Nathan Marcus (on far right) with Representative Clarke
Just sitting in that office, being in one of the most important buildings in the world, and using all of the knowledge I had learned to lobby, was such an amazing feeling. After the hour long meeting discussing our hopes for continued US-Israeli partnership with Representative Clarke, I felt so accomplished and proud of what I had learned in such a short time.

I never would have guessed that I would go to Washington D.C. and lobby a congresswoman. I think it is one of the most amazing and awarding experiences someone can do. I left D.C. later that day feeling like I had done something important in my life–like I had made difference in the “real world.” I hope that later in life, whether I am lobbying or doing something else with purpose, I can feel just as inspired as I felt when I left Washington that day. Thank you to the Israel Activism and Mr. Rothbort for making this amazing opportunity possible.
~Nathan Marcus

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Flatbush Dance Team to Compete in 5th Annual “Rikudiah”

The competition is set for this Motzei Shabbat, Saturday night, December 13, 2014 in the main gym at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, NJ starting at 8:30 pm where the Yeshivah of Flatbush Girls Dance Team will compete in the Rikudiah. The Fifth Annual “Rikudiah” Inter-Yeshiva High School Dance Competition,  will be hosted by Kushner Yeshiva. Flatbush’s Dance Team will take on teams from Frisch, HAFTR, HANC, Hillel, Ilan, Ma’ayanot, Magen David Yeshiva, Ramaz, Kushner, SAR, Shulamith and Central (Yeshiva University’s High School for Girls). 

Featuring the kind of high-energy, technically advanced dance moves visible at half-time at most college and professional basketball games, the Falcon Dance Team will be looking to improve on last year’s 3rd place finish. The 14-member squad has a number of new faces on this year’s roster, and the team has been training hard in preparation for the competition.

With leadership from Co-Captains Claudia Elkharaat and Helen Menashe, the team has been meeting in the Student Lounge for training every Thursday afternoon in order set the choreography in place and to get their timing just right. Sessions increased to twice a week as the competition date neared.

In addition to Co-Captains Elkharaat and Menashe, the Dance Team roster consists of Louise Anteby, Esther Cohen, Cynthia Cohen, Margo Dayan, Ruthie Gindi, Shelly Jemal, Caroline Levy, Rose Mishaan, Mimi Oved, Susan Regev, Barbara Schwartzbard and Frieda Zietoonie.

The event is open to female spectators only, so Flatbush girls, note the date and come cheer on your Falcon Dancers to victory!

Senior Seminar 2014!

Last month, students of the senior grade experienced their Senior Seminar. They started the day with a parent-student breakfast followed with sessions to help students communicate with parents about the challenges that come in the last year of high school and beyond. Thursday afternoon we heard from a speaker, Ikey Chehabar, on how he overcame and is still overcoming his challenge. 

Overcoming challenges was the theme of our seminar. On Friday morning we traveled to Somerset, New Jersey to spend the weekend and Shabbat with teachers and to learn how to overcome challenges. Whether it was the sessions, which involved religious obstacles, the skits, which played out the idea of good and bad, or the tish, where each student spoke about a challenge they overcame, every corner of seminar was engraved with this idea. With this in mind, senior seminar was a success: as a grade, we overcame our obstacle of separateness, and became one entity, one grade, one group of friends. 

In one word, senior seminar represented "unity." To be honest, our grade has many set cliques. For the most part, each cliques have minded its own businesses and stood its ground. But for the first time, we came together as one. It didn't matter which group of friends you were from because when it came to the dancing, the singing, the tish, and its storytelling, and every other aspect of seminar, we all just came together. We as a grade, for the first time overcame a challenge together. We united and enjoyed Senior Seminar to the max.

We are so grateful for the teachers, administrators, principals, advisors and students who worked so hard to make the weekend such a success. A special thank you goes out to Rabbi Besser, who once again, did a wonderful job and really inspired the students.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

JV Debate Team was awarded "1st Place School"

Yeshivah of Flatbush's JV Debate Team was awarded "1st Place School" trophy for winning the most matches in the Novice Debate Tournament hosted by Ezra Academy on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, on the topic "college athletes should be paid salaries." For many of our debaters, this was their first ever formal debate experience. The teams of Raquel Cohen & Ben Wade and Claire Lessler & Sarah Tessone each won both rounds of debate matches in the competition. Deborah Coopersmith & Eli Feldman bested their opponents in one round, while Marvin Azrak & Isaac Levi, Jane Zakay and Ricky Levy also performed at a very high level in the debate and extemporaneous speaking competitions, respectively. We look forward to future success from the entire team in all their endeavors.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Phoenix 2014-2015 Issue 3

Flatbush Students Get Political

November is always the most exciting month for  the members of the Yeshivah of Flatbush AP US Government and Politics course and their teacher, Ms. Shelley Kaplowitz. On Election Day, the class was invited to a power breakfast with the elite of NYS politics. This annual event is made possible through the kindness of Steve Cohn, father of Flatbush graduate, Warren. While there, the students were able to talk to, network with, and learn from several Representatives from the US Congress, state and city judges, borough presidents, members of the city Council and the NYS Legislature, and political advisors galore.
Ms. Kaplowitz and members of the class with Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President

A few days later, it was the culmination of a 2 month 'mock election', where the members of the class become the candidates (Cuomo and Astorino), create media campaigns, do polls, register voters, and finally engage in a debate (as the candidates themselves) in front of the entire school. This was followed by a day of voting at Flatbush. This day--in fact the entire campaign--was a rousing success.
Ms. Kaplowitz and members of the class with Kenneth Thompson, District Attorney for Brooklyn

Both of these events provide the students with invaluable hands-on experience in the world of politics and public policy, and also provide an opportunity for them to teach the rest of the school about the important issues of the day. Kudos to the students in the AP Government and Politics class for all their hard work and the great way it paid off!! 
Members of the class with David Weprin, NYS Assemblyman and father of Flatbush graduate Stephanie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Students Score With High Marks on WordWright Challenge

Two teams of students representing Yeshivah of Flatbush recently won high honors this year's WordWright Challenge, a national completion for high school students requiring close reading and analysis of many different kinds of prose and poetry. Participating with 600 school teams from all across the country, the school's eleventh graders placed first in the nation in this year's first meet, held in October. The school's twelfth graders finished first in the nation as well.

Students at the school who won high individual honers in the meet include Emma Dayan, Victoria Gindi, and Dylan Sutton (all of whom that earned perfect scores), as well as Lilly Betesh, Sarah Coopersmith, Albert Dweck, Yola Haber,Michelle Hurari, and Gabriel Vizgan; and seniors Louis Franco, Sarah Levy, Asher Lifschutz, and Abie Tawil (all of whom earned perfect scores), as well as Eliane Aini, Nessim Azizo, Shana Ravvin, Abby Shegelman, Sara Shalam, and Rachelle Tawil. More than 60,000 students from across the country participated in this meet. The students were supervised by Ms. Shifra Hanon