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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Doctors In Training (DIT) Commission Hosts Dr. Faraj Samra

The Doctors In Training (DIT) commission hosted its second speaker of the year, internist, Dr. Faraj Samra.

Dr. Samra visited the Yeshivah of Flatbush on December 12th, 2014. He gave a very meaningful speech about his journey to becoming a doctor, from Yeshivah of Flatbush to Yeshiva University, to Downstate Medical School and Beth Israel Residency to what it is like to practice internal medicine in NYC. He spoke about the educational options to become a doctor, and the intensity of the field of study.

Dr. Samra also gave the students great advice to continue working hard to become a doctor. We are grateful to Dr. Samra for his time and effort to inspire Yeshivah of Flatbush High School students. Thanks to Itzik Cohen, DIT commissioner for organizing the event.
~Charles Seruya

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hebrew Play 5775: Aladdin

During Chanukah Yeshivah of Flatbush students performed Aladdin all in Hebrew for this year's annual Jason Botnick Hebrew Play. Here is one performer's reflection:
          I can't even begin to describe what it was like to be a senior in the annual Jason Botnick Hebrew Play of Aladdin. Backstage, minutes before the play the adrenaline pumping through my veins heightened all my nerves making me evermore excited to step onto the enormous stage of the new Khezrie Auditorium. The endless hours of rehearsing and making sure we all knew our lines perfectly, all under the direction of Mrs. Sally Shatzkes, was surely worth it because when it came to showtime everything was locked in memory, ready to be put out to the school and community. Stepping out onto the stage, looking at the people in the crowd who looked like nothing but a bunch of floating heads was truly mesmerizing. The light shinning upon my face like a gleaming star was truly amazing. However, what I loved most was the relationships one builds with the cast members- people who you thought you would never even talk to throughout your entire high school career. You feel like your part of a never ending movie. This year's Alladin Hebrew Play will stay forever with me. ~Adina Ben Shlomo

Monday, December 29, 2014

Junior Seminar 2014

On December 12-14 Yeshivah of Flatbush Juniors experienced the amazing Junior Seminar. This year's theme was Chesed, and in order to initiate us into the theme we had a special program on Thursday. The program consisted of two inspirational speakers, Mrs. Zaltzman and Yitzi Haber, followed by chesed trips. All of the junior students had the opportunity to take part in one chesed activity. Some of which included: food packaging, visiting the sick, nursing home visits and many more. On seminar, we were joined by some members of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Adult Chesed Mission which helped enrich the chesed theme.

Once we arrived at the hotel on Friday, you could feel the excitement. Seminar started off with a program about the positives and negatives of modern-day technology - the dangers of texting and driving, and how it affects relationships in today's society. We introduced Shabbat we an inspiring Pre-Shabbat Ruach. Following that on Friday night we had a very inspirational and meaningful session where we discussed Hashem, how we view G-d, and our connection with Him. The late Friday night "tish" was also very inspirational. Many students and alumni advisors spoke about meaningful experiences that they had in their lives.

Shabbat day consisted of beautiful prayers and elective sessions. The theme of the sessions were Middot Tovot, such as honesty, compassion, patience, simplicity, reaching out, emulating Hashem, gratitude and many more. Throughout Shabbat we heard from many wonderful speakers including Mr. Steven Sasson and Mrs. Berkowitz.

We ended Shabbat with a very meaningful Havdallah, recited by Mr. David Galpert, followed by rikkudim. After Shabbat ended we took part in the fun games of Class Wars which included games such as: Name that Tune, Trivia Questions about Avenue J, Musical Chairs and many more activities. It was then time for more rikkudim. The night ended with a meaningful and powerful closing program and kumzitz.

Junior Seminar ended on Sunday with even more singing and dancing, and a slide show made by Joey Baum that recapped our weekend.

Our seminar was made to inspire us to do more chesed and look at the world with a new light. Hopefully everyone had a great time and gained from the experience. Thank you to the faculty who came and most importantly thank you Rabbi Besser for organizing seminar and inspiring us all. Can't wait for next year's Senior Seminar...SENIORS 2016!!!
~Clarice Soffer

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.