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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

eKo Commission Cleans Up Beach!

Last Friday, a group of students visited Plumb Beach as part of an eKo Commission Beach Cleaning event. There they attempted to rid the beach of as much miscellaneous litter they could find. Everyone had a great time, in which they learned about dangerous hazards that our environment deals with due to litter. They saw how even the tiniest pieces of litter can impact the environment and now have a good understanding of how important it is to take care of our world. They look forward to the next trip.
~Rachel Isayev and Merle Dweck

~Pictures by Jacqueline Baum

Monday, April 29, 2013

Career Day 2013

Over thirty professionals from a wide array of careers visited Flatbush on Thursday, April 25th with the goal of helping Flatbush students prepare for future success. Accomplished individuals from the fields of law, medicine, business, finance, the arts, mental health, technology, education, and construction shared their experience and wisdom in order to enlighten our high school students as to "what it takes" to succeed. Assistant Principal, Rabbi Joseph Beyda, challenged students to take this opportunity to "dream," and use the time spent with our guests to get inspiration and direction that they could carry with them for the rest of their lives. Students were enthralled by the presentations and put forward thoughtful questions for the professionals to address. Both students and professionals (many of whom are YOF alumni) walked away enriched by the experience. Special thanks to program coordinator Susan Kasavi (HS '11) for orchestrating the entire program with the assistance of Pathfinders director Shifra Hanon and faculty member Jaclyn Pahuskin.
~Pictures by Rachel Levit and Alison J Tawil

Friday, April 26, 2013

Heritage Awareness Trip

On Wednesday, April 24, students from Yeshivah of Flatbush's 2-HR class and a class from Brooklyn College Academy, a primarily African American public school, had the unique opportunity of meeting and learning about each others' cultures and heritage. The trip was organized by NYC council members Jumaane Williams and David Greenfield, with the purpose of educating students about the atrocities that took place in both Jewish and African American history as well as current challenges and issues.

The first part of the day was spent at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, where students from both schools were able to internalize the horrors of the Jews who went through the Holocaust. The final part of the day was spent in the African Burial Ground National Monument, where students learned about the suffering and injustice African American slaves experienced as well as the contribution they have made towards building up the city of New York. Flatbush students spoke about the Holocaust and answered general questions about Judaism that Brooklyn College Academy students asked, and in turn, we appreciated learning about aspects of African culture from the museum and Brooklyn College Academy participants, like learning traditional African songs and burial customs.

We ate lunch together at City Hall, where we met up with the councilmen and discussed discrimination and genocide. Students from both schools talked about their personal experiences facing stereotyping and discrimination, and we learned that Jews and African Americans share very similar problems in that area. All in all, it was a great experience to meet students from a different, non-Jewish school and to be able to talk with them about serious issues that affect us both as Jews and African Americans.

Thanks to council members Greenfield and Williams and especially to our amazing teacher Mr. Rothbort for this very unique trip! ~ Sarah Levy

See The Jewish Week article about this trip here.

~Pictures by Rashelle Gersh

Students Partake in National Science League Exams

This week our students had the opportunity to take part in the National Science League exams in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science and Physics. The students will receive credit for taking the exams but more importantly, they will see how they rank compared to other students across the nation. The highest scorers will be given honorable mention that can be included in college applications and references.

We are especially impressed with the competitive spirit of our student body as evident in the large number of students who took the exams during their lunch period.

We look forward to the results!
~Ms. Monique Benun, Science Teacher

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Message from SGO 2013-2014

Lauren Berkovits, Jeffrey Nussbaum, Charles Chakkalo, Rachel Linfield
Hello Flatbush! We would like to say thank you so much to everyone for voting and for showing your support in choosing us as your new SGO members for this upcoming year. Its not even a week after the elections, and we have already begun working with the faculty and administration in mapping out an amazing calendar for next year. There are so many activities and ideas that we want to organize and put into action, and we are more than happy to do it for you. We will do everything in our power to give you an incredible year to come, and ensure you take away as much as possible from the incredible Flatbush experience. If you need anything, you know where to find us!

Your SGO 2013-2014
President- Lauren Berkovits
Vice President- Jeffrey Nussbaum
Treasurer- Charles Chakkalo
Secretary- Rachel Linfield

Here are our campaign videos for your enjoyment:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chesed Bonanza Day!

On Sunday, April 14th the Tzedakah Commission at the Yeshivah of Flatbush, held their first annual Chesed Bonanza Day! At our weekly Wednesday meeting with Senora Ovadia, Tzedakah Commission faculty advisor, told us she wanted to raise money for Hatzalah. In a group vote we decided that a basketball tournament and a cookie-decorating activity with special needs children and young adults would be the best way to raise money but it didn't stop there. Thanks to Mrs. Hanon, we were able to incorporate Cooking for a Cause into the program and Mrs. Sari Sitt signed on to instruct a girls' yoga class.

Fast forward to 10:30 Sunday morning. Over 150 students came to participate in the special event. The basketball tournament, organized by Jack Sasson, had over 50 participants, who not only played basketball but also got involved during their break with the special need visitors from Special Children Center, Imagine Academy and Ohel. All the students and guests played bingo, did arts and crafts, and decorated cookies. As part of Cooking for a Cause, students made Chicken Pockets that were donated to the SBH Food Pantry. For lunch participants had pizza generously donated by Mr. Steve Shammah, from Kids 'N Action in honor of his grandchildren.

Everyone involved in the Chesed Bonanza Day had a blast! All proceeds will be going to Hatzalah, The Special Children Center, Imagine Academy, SBH, and Ohel. Special thanks to Sophia Chabot, Jack Sasson, Victor Zeitoune, Senora Ovadia and the entire Chesed Bonanza Day committee! We couldn't have done it without you!
~Pictures by Danielle Ashkenazi

Friday, April 19, 2013

Torah To Go Series: Parashat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim 5773

Biannual Blood Drive: Spring 2013

This past Thursday, students rolled up their sleeves to donate their time and blood to a worthy cause. For the second time this year we opened our school to the New York Blood Center. Student after student took time out of their day to donate blood to save the lives of others. Every one pint donated saves three lives. We were able to exceed our expected amount of donors for this event. Thank you to all of our donors for helping us reach this goal and we will hopefully see you all again in December! A special thank you to Mr. David Blumenthal for helping coordinate this amazing event. ~Renee Saff 4HR

~Pictures by Jackie Baum

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Yom Ha'atzmaut 5773: Israel @ 65

On Monday night, April 15, the new high school auditorium was filled with people who came to celebrate Israel's 65th birthday. The evening began with a special maariv: Tefillah Arbit Hagigit and included a "Letter to Israel" address by Mrs. Miriam Wielgus, Jewish History Department chairperson in the high school, an Israel video, beautiful singing by the choir and the Chamber choir led by Mr. Brian Gelfand, performed. The program closed with a Senior Choir Hebrew rendition of "One Day More" from Les Miserables and Hatikva. On Tuesday morning, the high school enjoyed the program as part of the Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration that culminated in faculty and students singing and dancing in honor of Medinat Yisrael. Thank you to Mrs. Shatzkes and Mrs. Winkler and everyone involved for their wonderful work. ~ Norman Greenberg

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yom Hazikaron 5773

At the Yom HaZikaron assembly, the Yeshivah of Flatbush students and faculty remembered the Israeli soldiers who sacrificed their lives to insure the safety of the Jewish homeland and reflected on the many tragedies that have occurred, including the current missile attacks on civilian populations and the many innocent Victims of Terror. The videos, the music and the atmosphere had a profound impact on everyone. The Tehillim and Kel Maleh Rachamim that was said by Michael Franco and Rabbi Gez, respectively, reminded us that Hashem is with us always. One of my friends left the auditorium in tears. When I asked her what was wrong, she said she couldn’t bear to see those horrifying and heartbreaking photos. "To think, these soldiers who are giving their lives to Israel are just a year older than us!" Special thanks to all the participants in this program and most importantly, to Dr. Lea Gerber, the coordinator of the whole event. ~Adiel Melamed 4-HN

SGO Election Videos 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Professor Lawrence Schiffman Speaks to Students About the Dead Sea Scrolls

Professor Lawrence Schiffman recently visited the Yeshivah of Flatbush to speak to our Juniors about the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls paralleling their class discussions on this topic. He explained that the scrolls were originally believed to be the source of Proto-Christian history, and only later was it proven that the scrolls were in fact of Jewish origins. The collection of over 900 scrolls were written by a sectarian group that lived by the Dead Sea. Schiffman then shared some of his personal stories involving the scrolls, and how he was given the incredible opportunity to be one of the first historians to study the scrolls in-person. The students were fascinated by Professor Schiffman's accomplishments, and gained insight into how much history was learned from the Dead Sea Scrolls.  ~Abie Tawil

Friday, April 12, 2013

Yom Hashoah 5773: Witness Theater

This year, the Yeshivah of Flatbush was fortunate to be involved with a program called Witness Theater. Thirteen committed seniors took time out of their schedules to meet with Holocaust Survivors once a week for two hours. As the students and survivors formed bonds, the adults started telling their personal stories of the Shoah. Their painful and horrifying accounts, while difficult for the students to hear, helped the participants grow closer. When the survivors told their stories, they really tried to paint a very detailed picture for the students so that they could understand what the survivors experienced. This program also was incredibly special because it enabled the students to share their lives with the adults who lost their teenage years during World War II.

At the end of an intense eight month program, on Yom Hashoah, our Witness Theater group, under direction of Sally Grazi Shatzkes, performed for the public and for the students at the Yeshivah. The play was a moving dramatization of the stories, narrated by the survivors. The survivors went through the program so that we can pass it down to the next generation and the world will never forget. As Sonia Klein, one of the survivors said, If I can't erase the war from my arm, why erase it from my mind? But more importantly, let me tell you my story. Because when you become a witness to my telling, then you will know why we can never forget, never erase, never stop telling and witnessing….  ~Contributions by Millie Marcus

This unique program has been featured in multiple news outlets including:
The Jewish Week
UJA Federation of New York
Israel's YnetNews
News12 Brooklyn
JM in the AM

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Color War 2013: Recap

The Friday before Pesach the students were called down to the gym for a special assembly about Pesach and making Aliyah to Israel. A few of our teachers after the school year are making Aliyah. Little did the students know that this video presentation was actually Color War 2013 breakout. In the middle of the video Generals Norma Sutton, Edan Darmoni, Hannah Horowitz, Hymie Anteby, Jacob Lazorous, Adele Greenberg, Jacob Nawlo, and Sally Saban ran out screaming Color war breakout! The students cheered as SGO President Michelle Sabbagh explained the themes of this years color war. As the students found out what team they were on they proceeded to their team times where their generals introduced themselves and began the excitement of SGO Color War 2013/5773.

This years themes were represented by the seasons of the year. The main theme was Progress and each season showed 4 steps of progress: Improvement, Independence, Resilience and Determination. As our world constantly advances there is one advancement that is often overlooked, which is the progress of our own selves. As they grow, trees use their seasons as their milestones of time and of progress, and as human beings so do we. Our jewish tradition provides us with improvement guideposts: the holidays. these markings of time lead us on our path of improvement and guide our development through every step. 

On Saturday night students involved themselves in the color war by going to designated houses for each team to help out with skits, videos, games, songs and more. On Sunday students packed the Beit Midrash to hear Rabbi Besser speak during Sunday Morning Learning. Afterwards students helped decorate the hallways with their teams theme which was spearheaded by the art generals. Students also took part with pesach packaging ran by Rabbi Besser. Every morning during breakfast students played musical chairs before they went to class. During the day on Monday students participated in Fun Games - for example college bowl and monopoly deal. On Tuesday students played Creative games - games having to do with the themes of color war. On Tuesday night about 60+ students stayed after school for the marathon which included balancing an egg on a spoon, solving a calculus problem and the final watermelon eating contest. On Wednesday the teams performed their boys dance and their songs and showed their commercials, skits, and banners that they have been working on since the breakout the past Friday. 

Congratulations to the Yellow Team and generals Hymie Anteby and Hannah Horowitz for coming in 1st place! Thanks to all the teachers who were involved in this year's color war and thanks to all who participated to make it the best one the school has ever seen! Special thanks to Mrs. Zerykier, the SGO: Michelle Sabbagh, Shelly Hafif, Norman Greenberg, and Louis Ades, Black team generals Emily Shrem and Ovadia Mosseri and the Black Team who helped run and prepare every event to make this an amazing color war. ~Emily Shrem, Senior, Black Team General

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Math and M&M's

In our AP Statistics class, Mrs. Shulman and her students were busy crunching numbers (literally). Students were learning about statistics with a fun hands on lesson with M&M's. While carefully counting the amount of colored M&M's from different bags, students came up with some shocking conclusions. The students discovered that the number of chocolates per bag of M&M's vary and do not always follow the company's published estimates. They also used the statistics skills they developed over the year to justify the results and eventually snack on some tasty chocolate. ~Renee Saff