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Monday, September 26, 2011

Commission Fair 2011

Today the SGO hosted the annual Commission Fair for all of our students. The commission fair provides students with an opportunity to explore their interests and hobbies by learning about and signing up for the plethora of commissions, clubs, teams and groups that our school has to offer. From performing groups to athletic teams to academic clubs -  a wide range of activities are a available to fit a wide range of student interests. Some examples of the student activities that were displayed include: the Chessed Commission, the Chess Team, the Peer Tutoring Commission, the Investment Club, and even the EKO Commission who are committed to making the Yeshivah and our community as eco-friendly as possible. Most of our students are involved in multiple student activities, which enriches their Flatbush experience.

Friday, September 23, 2011

College Visits to Penn and Drexel Universities

Bright and early on a sunny Monday morning in September, a group of 16 seniors and juniors accompanied by 4 members of the College Guidance staff, went down to Philadelphia to visit Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. Our first stop was at Drexel’s Admissions Office, where we had a private information session with an admissions counselor. The session was held in a magnificent room with classical paintings, making us feel as though we were in an art museum. We learned all about the wonderful opportunities Drexel offers, such as its co-op program and its central urban location.

After a tour of the campus, including many of Drexel’s newest buildings and its brand new biowall, we departed for the Penn campus – right next door. Our first stop was lunch at the Hillel. Several Flatbush alums, including Rita Wahba, Mourad Kattan, Abe Sutton, Joseph Sutton and Lisa Piontnica, joined us for a delicious lunch. Afterwards, we made our way down Locust Walk for an information session and student-led tour of campus. We saw the beautiful quads, state of the art classrooms and athletic facilities – and even ran into another Flatbush alum, Dovie Rosenberg, on his way to class. Our last stop of the day was back at the Hillel where we had a chance to informally chat with several other Flatbush alums, such as Mordechai Fried, and Leron Arama. We were also greeted by Debbie Yunker, the Assistant Director of Hillel. All in all, we had an informative and fun trip, experiencing these two wonderful colleges first-hand.

All of our students agreed – visiting colleges is the only way to really find out if they are the right fit for you!

~Ms. Rachel Natov, College Guidance Counselor

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freshman Night/Day

This week, the Yeshivah orchestrated a wonderful Freshman induction program over the course of two days. Comprised of both Freshman Night and Freshman Day, these programs are designed to help freshmen acclimate to the unique culture of the Yeshivah.

The night program involved freshmen, parents and their senior mentors. The freshman played games and had discussions with their senior mentors. They discussed topics such as bullying and friendship. They also had a lot of fun by playing games. One senior mentor described it best:

“The Freshman program allows  newcomers to start fresh and make new friends. I was very glad to see how students where introducing themselves to others beyond their circles. Whether through committees, clubs or teams, Flatbush teaches their students strategies and social skills that they will use in the rest of their lives.”

On Freshman Day, the students had a chance to spend a day in the park playing around, competing in races and contests, eating lunch and even fishing. The students got a chance to meet students who are not necessarily in their class or their normal group of friends. By the end of the day, everyone had a really great time and had lots of fun. Many also made new friends.

When the day was over, one freshman summed it all up by saying, "These past two days have been great! I am looking forward to spending the next four years together with my grade in Flatbush!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From the Football field to the Beit Midrash

Alan Shlomo Veingrad, former NFL Offensive Lineman, shared his story of being the only Jewish player on the Super Bowl XXVII World Champion Dallas Cowboy Team with all of our students. He captivated us with a moving representation on how he found Hashem and moved toward a life of torah and mitzvot. Alan stood before our students in a beard, suit and kippa along with his Super Bowl XXVVII ring. He discussed how and why he made the choice to leave behind the life of materialism and fame to find true fulfillment in becoming an observant Jew. The program resonated with all of us, especially during this month of Elul, as we examine our lives and evaluate what is most important to us in preparation for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yeshivah of Flatbush Remembers 9/11

Today we were fortunate to experience a very special 9/11 memorial program at the Yeshivah. We listened to personal recollections and experiences from members of our staff and learned about the different aspects of that day, and the months of recovery afterward. Rabbi Rosenblum, our valued teacher and college guidance counselor, organized the entire program and put together an emotional and stirring memorial of that day

We were fortunate to hear Mr. John Cardo, a member of our security staff and retired NYPD officer, describe his experiences on that day and working at the ground zero site for months afterward. We are thankful to him for his service to our country, our city and now to our Yeshivah.

Despite the tragedy, we were shown glimmers of hope. Mr. Blumenthal, our Associate Administrator and member of Chevra Hatzolah, related a touching story of a woman who went into labor as the towers fell, giving birth to new life among the ashes and destruction surrounding them. Mrs. Kaplowitz, another one of our valued teachers, recounted her experiences volunteering at ground zero, providing both emotional and physical nourishment to those working at the ground zero site. Rabbi Rosenblum related the loss of his brother. The stories were moving, but they all had a common thread: when we work together and move towards a common goal, with respect and courtesy for one another, we can overcome anything.

In conjunction with the memorial assembly, Mr. Novetsky, our very talented art teacher, created an interactive art exhibit. Faculty and students were invited to share thoughts and feelings about 9/11 by using chalk on the exhibit itself. The exhibit provided an emotional, living memory to remind us of our country's perseverance and fortitude during the worst attack on American soil in U.S. History.

We would like to thank Rabbi Rosenblum, Ms. Kaplowitz, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Cardo and Victor Dweck for their contributions to our 9/11 Memorial Program. We all were touched by their recollections of that time.

If you have any thoughts, feelings or reactions to today's assembly please submit them -  we will be posting a few on our site. Feel free to submit video responses as well. Email all thoughts and responses to

Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome to My Flatbush Life!

Life at the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School is unique. It has a special atmosphere that can only truly be shared through experience.

Our goal is to share some of our wonderful experiences with you. On this website we will showcase some of the amazing things going on in the Yeshivah - both inside and outside of the classroom. We will include written accounts as well as pictures and videos from some of the special events happening in the Yeshivah. From our famous student productions, to chesed events and activities, to our amazing and award winning sports and academic teams - there is always something wonderful going on. We will also showcase the innovations being made daily by our wonderful teachers to make the classroom experience more engaging and relevant to our students. We hope to share with the entire Flatbush community (students, faculty, parents, families, and alumni) as well as the entire online community what it is like to experience Flatbush, or what our students call it - My Flatbush Life.