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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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Students Attend AIPAC's High School Summit in Washington D.C.

Five Yeshivah of Flatbush High School students joined over 400 high school students from 186 public and private academic institutions across the country to attend AIPAC’s annual Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Washington, D.C., November 16-18. While in the nation’s capital, students received intensive training in pro-Israel political advocacy and participate in 53 individual congressional appointments focusing on the value of the U.S.-Israel alliance. Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit, the cornerstone of AIPAC’s Early Engagement program, is an empowerment vehicle for teens interested in supporting Israel through direct involvement in the American political process.

The goal of the Summit was to provide student activists with the tools they need to be effective activists within the political arena. Participants were exposed to proven methods of articulating their commitment to Israel; the importance of engaging members of Congress and candidates for Congress; and how to effectively make the case for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

67 partner delegations—including 5 youth movements, 34 Jewish day schools, 9 synagogue youth groups and 11 student leadership and advocacy programs— participated in this year’s Summit.

Also in attendance were 43 outstanding AIPAC campus activists representing colleges and universities across the country including: University of Pennsylvania, Tulane University, Princeton University, DePaul University and University of California—Berkeley. These Peer Facilitators assisted AIPAC professionals in leading introductory breakout sessions in addition to attending high-level sessions of their own. On Monday night, the Peer Facilitators hosted the AIPAC College Fair, which included booths for college application consulting and even career advice in addition to the dozens of campuses represented.
Summit session titles include: Why We Commit: Telling our Stories; The Case for the U.S.-Israel relationship; Challenges Confronting Israel Now; Middle East in Turmoil. Most of the breakout sessions were led by Leadership Development Professionals with several special outside speakers—including Director of the Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training David Olesker and Senior Fellow for Counter-terrorism of the American Foreign Policy Council Avi Jorisch making appearances throughout the conference.

The Summit culminated in a series of group lobbying sessions on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. This year, hundreds of high school students and their advisors lobbied 53 members of Congress from 20 states. Before they departed for the Hill, Summit participants were briefed on AIPAC’s legislative agenda and practiced with lobbying role-plays designed by AIPAC’s incomparable Policy and Government Affairs team.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Girls Torah Learning About Women's Role in Judaism

Students met in the student lounge on Thursday night for the first Girls Torah Learning of the semester coordinated by Mrs. Hanau. Rosette Harary (HS '12) gave a shiur about women's role in the Jewish home while students munched on sushi and snacks. The students enjoyed learning with Rosette and getting to have a great discussion with peers from all grades. We look forward to the next GTL in December!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rabbi Dr. Henry Hasson Speaks with Students From Doctors in Training

On November 4th the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School’s DIT commission (Doctors in Training) were fortunate to host the famous Rabbi Dr. Henry Hasson, renowned pediatric neurologist and Flatbush alum.

Dr. Hasson was the first speaker hosted by the commission. He spoke to students first about the process of becoming a doctor; the time commitment, different schooling options and his personal journey to being the successful doctor he is. Hearing about Dr. Hasson’s experience first hand was a treat for any student interested in learning the process of career choice and finding happiness and meaning one’s life profession. Students had many questions for the doctor regarding his medical training as well as his weekly parsha articles. Dr. Hasson is a paradigm of what it means to live in the pursuit of knowledge to heal the world physically as well as spiritually.

Chazak U'baruch to Itzik Cohen, head commissioner for his work in organizing the event. Stay tuned for more speakers and events from the DIT commission.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Late Second-Half Scoring Drought Dooms Varsity Falcons

Against a quality opponent, the Varsity Boys Basketball team brought the energy and focus it was lacking the last time out, and played one of its top competitors even for most of the night. But, a late offensive power outage gave the guest DRS Wildcats the breathing room they needed, and the Falcons could not recover, dropping their second consecutive home game by a score of 46-36.

DRS scored off the opening tip on a practiced play, and a short time in were enjoying a 5-0 lead. It looked like the Falcons scoring woes from the previous game would continue, but Senior Forward Allan Maleh provided some scoring punch, knocking down two big baskets, and by the end of the 1st Quarter, the score stood even at 7-7.

It looked to be an even match, and though the Falcons could not get a hold on the lead, they were never far back, keeping pace with the Wildcats. DRS would pull ahead; the Falcons would claw back. DRS looked to establish inside dominance, but they were battled underneath by Flatbush big men Mayer Kamkhatchi and David Dayan. And, Flatbush’s trademark pressure defense caused its usual quota of turnovers and drew a plethora of fouls on DRS. The score reflected the balance of play, and the teams went into the intermission with DRS holding on to a slim 21-18 lead.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Falcons Run into “Battering Rams”; Fall in Home Opener

The Flatbush Boys Varsity Basketball team did not need to make one basket to record its first win when they were handed a victory in the Regular Season opener by virtue of a Rambam Ravens forfeit last night (10/28). Unfortunately for the Falcons, that approach did not work so well in game number two. The offense was never able to get on track, and Flatbush fell 37-20 to the Ramaz Rams in the home opener at the Falcon’s Nest.

It looked to be a real old-fashioned defensive battle, as both teams played a low-scoring, but fairly even first quarter, with Flatbush holding the slimmest of margins, 5-4. And, the defenses were strong for both teams throughout. But, it was clear from the outset that the Falcons were having trouble getting shots to fall, and it never really got much better as the game went on. Though the Falcons brought their trademark pressure defense, and were generally effective with it as they turned the Rams over 14 times (committing only 3 turnovers of their own the entire game), the Falcons could not muster more than 6 points in any quarter - and it was not all due to the defense of the Rams. The offensive sets led to a number of good open looks for the Falcons. The shots were there, they just would not drop – for anyone in a home white jersey.
Afterwards, the Falcons head coach reflected on the evening. “If you had told me we would hold Ramaz to 37 points on the night, I would have felt assured of a double-digit Flatbush victory,” opined Coach Borenstein. The reality was the opposite, as the Rams went home with the double-digit win. “We rebounded very well, and we executed our offense, creating good scoring opportunities. It was just one of those nights where nothing would go down.” In fact, there was one stretch where the Falcons corralled 6 straight offensive rebounds, and came away empty. Falcons fans can only hope that this offensive clunker is now out of their system, and that the next time out the boys from Flatbush will once again be firing on all cylinders.

Nest Notes:
Rebounding was a clear strength for the Falcons, as they won the battle of the boards by a +12 margin; the Falcons were led by Mayer Kamkhatchi’s 11 rebounds. Bobby Soffer led all Flatbush scorers with 6 points on the night. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Offensive Explosion Powers Falcons Over NSHA in JV/Varsity Double Header

The Flatbush Boys JV & Varsity Hockey teams took the show on the road for the first time this season, and the offense was on display for all the League to see as they downed the host squads from North Shore by scores of 7-1 and 6-1 respectively in Great Neck, NY.

First up were the JV Falcons, making their 2014-15 season debut. It marked Sophomore Sam Laniado’s first appearance in a JV game (having played his rookie season last year sharing time on the top two Varsity Falcon lines), and he drew the lion’s share of defensive attention from the North Shore Stars. That focus allowed Flatbush to spread out the offense, allowing fellow Sophomore Nathan Mosseri to tally a pair of goals in the game (the only Falcon scorer to put more than one goal past the Stars netminder), his first regular season appearance on Flatbush maroon and gold. Complimenting Laniado’s offensive stick work was Sophomore Natanel Nemet; both Laniado and Nemet recorded a pair of assists each on the night. Defensively, Sophomore Aaron Kubie was stellar in goal, leting only one errant North Shore shot get past. It was a great start to what looks to be a very promising season for the Flatbush JV Hockey team.

Falcon's Nest Notes: Girls Volleyball Tunes Up for the Regular Season

The Flatbush Varsity Girls Volleyball team welcomed neighboring Shulamith School for Girls for a friendly match in the Falcon’s Nest on Wednesday (10/29) night. The pre-season game will serve as a tune up in advance of the regular season, which will get underway for both the Varsity and JV Volleyball teams this week. The Shulamith Dynamites compete in the MYHSAL “B” Division, and are regulars in their divisional playoffs, being coached by Irene Eisdorfer, who competed in the Olympics as a member of the Russian National Team before immigrating to the United States.

The Dynamites took the match in straight sets, but the Flatbush girls were very positive after the end of the match. Senior Co-Captain Rebecca Zami was particularly positive. “This was very exciting! It was important for us to get this opportunity to play before the game start to count. Especially with so many newcomers on the team, we now know what we need to do. That’s really important with our playing SAR so soon, a team that is always tough.” Sara Marcus agreed. “This was really great for us,” she said. Coach Shterenzer was more reserved. While glad to have the opportunity to play, she too now knows exactly where this team needs to improve in advance of the regular season.
Nest Notes:
The regular season gets underway for the Flatbush Falcons Girls Volleyball teams this week as the team travels to the Five Towns on Long Island to take on powerful HAFTR on Wednesday night, 11/5 at 7:15 pm. The Varsity and JV open the home schedule on Sunday, 11/9 in a doubleheader against SKA. The JV game is set for a 1:30 pm start, with the Varsity game immediately to follow.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Spanish Heritage Day 2014!

¡Hola mis amigos! This past Thursday, our outstanding Spanish Department organized a fiesta, a Spanish party to celebrate Spanish Heritage Day. The Spanish faculty, Señora Birman, Señora Ovadia, and Señora Shterenzer, coordinated this wonderful program along with the students enrolled in Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Spanish 3 and AP Spanish courses. Spanish Day was established to celebrate Spanish Heritage Month. Throughout the entire day, students were invited to come down to the Student Lounge during their Spanish classes to enjoy the fiesta! Students in Spanish 3 and AP Spanish encouraged the student body to participate in fiesta games, including Simón Dice, Simon Says, where students became more familiar with different vocabulary words in Spanish. Students also danced to Spanish music.
During lunch time, the entire student body and faculty were invited to eat Spanish foods prepared by the Spanish faculty and advanced Spanish students. The new foods were delicious! After lunch, the fiesta continued with games of Spanish Sodoku and a dance party. DJ Stanley Sorcher provided fun Spanish music that students and teachers danced to with multiple colored lights that brightened the room. By establishing Spanish as a new lens for students to view life through, students learn important aspects of the variety of the world around them. Spanish Day opened the minds of Flatbush’s students into a whole new world composed of a new language, new foods, new clothing, and new dances. ~Sarah Torgueman, Spanish 3 student

Falcon's Nest Notes: Late Goal not Enough as Varsity Hockey Drops Season Opener

It took nearly three periods before things finally began to click for the 2014-15 edition of the Flatbush Falcons Boys Varsity Hockey team. But, by then the hole was too great, and the Falcons dropped the season opener, 4-1, to the Ramaz Rams in their home, the Falcon’s Nest in Brooklyn, NY.

The boys looked opened the game battling the Rams, but little by little the Rams offense appeared to carry the play, and it was only a matter of time before they broke through and put the puck past Senior Goaltender Elliot Zakay. Zakay came up with a nifty save or two, before being beaten by the relentless Rams frontcourt pressure. Another goal late in the period gave Ramaz a 2-0 cushion at the first break.

Period two was more of the same, where the Falcons struggled to gain the offensive zone, and it was not long before the Rams tallied another goal for a 3-0 lead. The start of the final period saw Moshe Illouz step into the pipes for his first career varsity action. When the Rams beat him as well, it was as if the falcons finally got the wake-up call they were waiting for. Things s clicked, and with less than 5 minutes to play, Jack Sasson made a textbook pass freeing up Ben Vilinsky in front of the net who sent the puck home for the first Falcon goal of the season.

It was not the opener the coaches or the team was looking for, but with a lot of season left to play, the closing minutes provided a positive effort on which to build going forward.

Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari, Rosh Yeshivah, visits our alumni students studying in Israel for the year!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Falcons's Nest Notes: Court Report Examines Girls Sports in the MYHSAL; Flatbush AD Eric Amkraut to Appear on the Panel

For the second time in two weeks, Yeshivah of Flatbush features prominently on the Court Report. This Sunday's (11/2) Court Report on the Nachum Segal Network brings together a panel of Athletic Directors from the Yeshiva League, and focuses on girls sports in the league. A major aspect of the MYHSAL, coverage of girls sports in the yehiva news outlets is often sparse, and host Elliot Weiselberg looks to bring the relative issues to the forefront.

Weiselberg moderates a panel discussion that discusses a variety of issues relative to girls sports and the yeshiva world, ranging from the availability of athletic opportunities for girls in yeshiva competition to facilities issues to coaching, and concluding with a look towards what the future holds for girls athletics. His guests on the show include Flatbush's own second-year Athletic Director, Eric Amkraut, as well as the Athletic Directors from two of the Yeshiva League's all-girls schools, Susan Rifkin of Bruriah, the girls school of JEC based in Elizabeth, NJ and Irene Eisdorfer of the relatively small Shulamith School for GIrls. Through the panel discussion, Weiselberg will look to make headway in effecting change to the present perceptions of the girls' programs and to expanding future coverage of girls's sports in the Yeshiva League.

The show will air on on Sunday night from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, with and will be rebroadcast in its entirety at the same time slot on Tuesday night. To hear the broadcast, go to the website and click on "listen live," or download the NSN app and tune in on your smartphone at the scheduled time.