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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Students Visit Fashion Trunk Show

Students, Carolyn Silvera and Gabrielle Sharaby had the opportunity to visit an Esti's trunk show through the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. There they got a first hand look into one fashion designer's unique collection. The students experienced the designer's, Naeem Khan, pieces including beautiful beaded gowns, dresses, shirts, skirts, and rompers. The students walked around for an hour and a half examining the hand made jeweled attire. They left with an appreciation for the hard work and long hours that Naeem Khan dedicated to design to make these beautiful pieces.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Students Win 1st Place in Holocaust Memorial Creative Arts Contest

Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School students, Adi Abihzer, Sonny Setton and Yaear Weintraub perform their winning song, "Lost to Colors" at Kingsborough at the Annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony. They won first place in the High School Category of the Holocaust Memorial Creative Arts Contest sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz. Kudos to them and their Adviser - Ms. Sari Mayer

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Witness Theater 2015 - Yom Hashoah 5775

To commemorate Yom Hashoah, Yeshivah of Flatbush in conjunction with SelfHelp celebrated the resilience of the human spirit through a special presentation of Witness Theater. This was the culmination of months of heartfelt collaboration between our high school students and Holocaust survivors. Over the past eight month a group of high school seniors have been meeting with nine holocaust survivors in a program that they will never forget.
On April 15th and 16th the students were able to showcase the bonds they'd built with these adults in an outstanding production, directed by Mrs. Sally Shatzkes and musically directed by Mr. Brian Gelfand. These seniors were able to step into the shoes of these survivors and tell their stories in a way that they've never been told before. And while the performance was a smashing success it was bittersweet as well. The students connected with these adults in such a way that they didn't want the program to end. But Witness Theater didn't just effect these students but also the entire audience who bore witness to these stories and testimonies and were deeply touched by all they saw and heard. The importance of telling your story has become something vital to this story because when you have someone to listen then you are liberated to tell.

Survivors, Shapes, and Stories
By: Merle Cohen, Class of 2015

On Wednesday evenings we sit in circles.
On Wednesday evenings we talk in squares.
On Wednesday evenings we listen to triangles of family. Of the would be mother, father, daughter. Of the once upon a yesteryear silhouette of a family shuffling among the silhouettes of identical families. Because on Wednesday evenings we learn that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew and when push comes to shove the second your hair is shaved from your head your shape becomes the shape of a thousand others packed into the same sardine can.

On Wednesday evenings we learn of small box windows shoved into corners of big box cars.
On Wednesday evenings we follow the arrows of a thousand stalks of hay that hid your circle eyes from the black shadow boots.
On Wednesday evenings we pin stars to our coats and trace the numbers curved across soft skin.

When I think of the shapes of Witness Theater I envision Simon’s Tzahal cap and Edith’s pink sneakers. I see Sofiya’s sprightly manner and Judith’s winter hat. I smell the coffee I make for Harry during dinner and feel the soft skin of Lola’s hand as I slip mine into hers. Come Wednesday evening I imagine the glint of Ruth’s rings, taste Blanka’s baking and embrace Golda’s soft musical notes. By now the jigsaw of our shapes fits ever so nicely, our fingers intertwining ever so precisely that it’s no wonder to me how the shapes of Witness Theater have become ever so important.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flatbush Students Intern For A Fashion Designer

This past Friday, Frieda Zeitoune, and Renee Waingort and I went to New York City to intern for a famous fashion company, Margit David, created and owned by Jacqueline Gelb (HS '03). This was made possible through thte Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. While we were there we watched a bride and her sister get fitted for their wedding on Sunday. We also bought materials that were needed to put on the finishing touches on the dress. Renee was even able to cut some lace that was later sewed on to the bride's sister's dress. We learned a lot about the fashion industry and how much work goes into making one dress. We had a great time and hope we can experience this again. ~Emily Waingort

Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Pathfinders Program: 
Beginning in 9th grade, the Pathfinders counselors work with each student to discuss their interests and develop their goals. Students are then given a wide range of opportunities of places where they can volunteer, intern and explore their unique academic pursuits and career ideas. Through the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program, we encourage our students to discover and expand their special talents and abilities and explore career options for the future. Whether a student is actively engaged during the school year or in the summer, we are confident that each Yeshivah of Flatbush student will find a path to success.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SGO 2016 Elections

Students Visit Museum of Jewish Heritage

Florence Dweck, Shani Zenilman, and Michael Zalta
outside the Museum of Jewish Heritage
On Tuesday April 14, about 20 students and I visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The museum was especially interesting because it not only had exhibits on the horrors of the Holocaust, but also exhibits on the daily lives of Jews pre World War II. This, along with the artifacts really intensified the magnitude of how much Jewish culture the Nazis destroyed. The trip was extra meaningful due to the fact that two days later was Yom Hashoah. 
~Shani Zenilman and Florence Dweck

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Poetry Slam @ Frisch

Last week's poetry slam was held at The Frisch School. The slam was one of the last of the year and focused around the theme of "morning." With four of our Flatbush poets in attendance, two came home with awards. Fanya Donin brought home the "Best Presentation" award and Abby Shegelman received "Runner up to Best Poet." Congratulations to our poets and we look forward to the final slam of the year that will be held at Kushner High School. Thank you to faculty advisor, Ms. Robinson, for her guidance.

Monday, April 20, 2015

SGO 2016 Campaign Platforms

SGO 2016 Campaign Platforms

Cooking For A Cause: April 15, 2015

This past Wednesday night, students had an opportunity to cook for less fortunate families in a Yeshivah of Flatbush program known as "Cooking for a Cause." Each week the students cook something different and the food is donated to a Chesed organization. This week the students made potato borekas and meat lachmagine for the Sephardic Bikur Holim food pantry. Thank you to master chefs, Claire Frastai, Michelle Saad, and Sylvia Levy for leading and sponsoring the event. Over 500 appetizers where made during this amazing event. All participants had an amazing fun Chesed experience!!
Cooking for a Cause allows students to learn how to prepare a variety of entrees, dinners, and desserts while participating in a Chesed event. All of the food prepared in these events are sent to needy families who can then enjoy delicious homemade dinners.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chamber Choir Performs at Carnegie Hall

Members of YOFHS Chamber Choir with Choir Director Brian Gelfand 
Members of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Chamber Choir participated in a gala concert celebration making the 100th year anniversary of the National Yiddish Theater Folksbeine. The concert was at Carnegie Hall and featured world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. Our singers joined 250 other students from around NYC to form a huge choir that was featured in the grand finale of this amazing event.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Day 2015: Recap

Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School presented a fabulously successful program called Book Day 2015 on February 25, 2015. This dynamic and exciting symposium centered, this year, on the many themes of the Pulitzer Prize winning graphic memoir, Maus by Art Spiegelman. Maus was selected for its messages of Jewish survival and renewal, the power of its artistic form and its timeless portrayal of the generations seeking connection with each other. Coordinated by Rachail Kurtz, Library Chair, Mica Bloom, English Chair and Brian Katz, Librarian, Book Day is one of the highlights of the Flatbush high school experience.

The day opened with an assembly featuring keynote speaker and alumnus Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League who delivered a powerful address on the power of each individual to stand up and say no to evil. His presentation followed with a dramatic student performance and a video presentation on the monsters who live among us. 
Witness Theater students who where part of the dramatic performance 
The Juniors and Seniors attended workshop sessions from a selection of sixty choices throughout the day, led by prominent guest presenters, and members of our own distinguished faculty. Prominent guests included Robert Bielsky, son of the World War II Jewish partisan leader, Tuvia Bielski, showcased in the film Defiance, who revealed the true story behind the movie, and alumna Dr. Barbara Paris, who testified before Congress on survivor’s rights. Author/illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg hosted a roundtable on “Creating a Children’s Book: From text to art to publishing” while Dr. Wesley Fisher discussed the international detective work necessary for “Looted Art: Finding and returning Nazi-plundered art” and renowned speaker, Dr. Irit Felsen examined the complicated relationship between survivors and their children. The guest list included the fabulous Klezmer Duo, who demonstrated the authentic sound of klezmer style music, the ever popular sessions offering Jewish ethnic cuisine, Simcha Weinstein and Arie Kaplan who talked about the Jewish roots of comic book superheroes and so much more. Members of our own accomplished faculty led sessions on fascinating topics such as holding onto your beliefs during difficult times, Hollywood and the Holocaust, bioethical and medical dilemmas, the popularity and diversity of graphic novels, how to create your own graphic memoir, and using art as therapy, among many others. The excitement was intoxicating as students participated in producing art, drama and film interpreting the themes of the book as they became involved in all levels of creating and presenting the program. 
Abraham Foxman giving a session
By inviting experts from both in and outside the school community to discuss a diverse array of moral, literary and historical themes, our students felt enriched by the broad overview of those who have primary experience of the topics which were under discussion. The goal of creating an exciting and dynamic venue that would stimulate growth and discussion was accomplished and left our students enriched as they begin to take their place in the world outside of high school.

Videos from Book Day 2015:

Pictures from Book Day 2015: