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Monday, May 22, 2017

Pathfinders Update: Students Explore Real Estate in the Real World

On a recent Friday I went on a trip to tour The Ludlow, an apartment building in Manhattan, as part of an NYU Real Estate Program offered by the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. While touring this building with some of my classmates, my professor Eric Stern along with the property manager explained the complex components, financials, and logistics of managing this 200-unit building in the heart of a booming neighborhood. Tying in the core concepts taught in class I was able to have a clearer understanding of how real estate works in real life. The building was also under construction and it was interesting to see how all the construction comes together to really enhance the building and its income. Seeing myself in a future working with these buildings, having a real life experience this early on really helps me advance in the career path I wish to take as well as educating me on all its facets.
~Ezra Faks, Class of 2019

Friday, May 19, 2017

Junior Picnic 2017

Yesterday, the junior grade went to Prospect Park for the annual Junior Picnic. We started the day in the Yeshivah with an inspirational video by Dr. Randy Pausch about the need to have gratitude and integrity. Then the girls met with Mrs. Wielgus, while the boys met with Mr. Engel about what it means to be a leader and how  to be good senior leaders and role models. After this, Senior Council handed out Seniors 2018 hats to each student as we boarded the buses. When we got to the park, we put out blankets down and prepared for fun: sports, barbecue, and relaxing with friends. Junior Picnic was a great way to bond as a grade and build memories. We can't wait for all the activities we are planning for next year!
~Senior Council 2018: Sonny, Frieda, Margo, and Monique

Junior Picnic 2017

Junior Varsity College Bowl Team Competes in Championships

It was a dark and stormy night, Tuesday, April 25, when our intrepid Junior Varsity College Bowl team, champions of the Manhattan Division of the Yeshivah League, comprised of the yeshivot in the tri-state area, went to the semifinal and final games of the College Bowl playoffs. After being treated to a pizza dinner by our hosts at the Jewish Education Project, the team huddled with Coach, Ms. Rachail Kurtz, to discuss final game strategies. The team, led by Danelle Duchan, entered the semifinals confidently fielding questions in science, history, literature, math and other academic areas, and successfully advanced to the finals. Fellow teammates Moses Bakst, Gregory Pinkhasov, Robert Adler, Aaron Fine, Joseph Setton and Selim Sebbagh all participated in the competition.They finished the final games with a trophy as the number two JV team in the entire Yeshivah League. Congratulations to the College Bowl team for another great year and a solid finish!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flatbush Students Participate in the 2017 Virtual Enterprise International Youth Business Summit

Yeshivah of Flatbush students participated in the 2017 Youth Business Summit which took place at pier 92 in Manhattan. The Youth Business Summit brings together thousands of rising young professionals and budding entrepreneurs from over 40 countries, educators, school/district administrators, business leaders and industry professionals for a one-of-a-kind global convention.
The students are part of Mr. Kweller’s Virtual Enterprise class and have been working all year to create, manage and market their virtual business Office and Beyond, an office supply company. Students have been involved in every aspect of running their virtual business including putting together business and marketing plans, completing financial reports, developing webpages and marketing campaigns, and managing sales and interactions with other virtual enterprise firms.
The Summit was an opportunity for students to sell their products and personally interact with other Virtual Enterprise firms from throughout New York City, the United States, and the World. The young entrepreneurs were able to successfully display the professional skills and business acumen they have developed by running a Virtual Enterprise company during the school year. The students enjoyed themselves, learned a great deal, demonstrated their knowledge of the financial industry, and made important connections with the business leaders.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

AP Language and Composition Class Checks Out Books from the Library

To relax before the upcoming AP Language and Composition exam, Ms. Bloom asserted Oscar Wilde's belief that "It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." She therefore took her class to the library to choose non-fiction books to read over vacation. Our brilliant librarians Mr. Katz and Ms. Kurtz assisted in recommending books to fit each students' interests. They did such a great job that most students took out multiple books. Books chosen ranged in topic from medical ethics (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Roberta Skloot), geography, demography and ecology (Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond), psychology (The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks) to madness and math (A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nassar).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lunch N Listen 2017

Recently, Yeshivah of Flatbush students had the opportunity to show off their musical talents to fellow students during lunch. Students performed a wide variety of musical pieces in the Music Room for all to enjoy.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pathfinders Update: Real Estate Club Takes Field Trip

Recently, the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Real Estate Club went on their second trip visiting Longacre apartments in Manhattan. It was yet another experience to learn first-hand what we've been learning in the classroom provided to us by our Professor Eric Stern in collaboration with the Pathfinders Program and Ms. Shifra Hanon. Starting in the van to the city we discussed our final project which ties together all the key concepts being taught and will culminate in a presentation given to the class. When we got to the building we met with the property manager and a representative from the management company. We spoke about marketing the building and always keeping vacancy rates low. We also toured the gym, lounge, terrace, and an apartment while pointing out how everything comes together to make a successful investment. We all felt this trip helped engage us in the material learned in class. We walked away with a better understanding of how real estate in the real world works. ~ Ezra Faks, Class of 2019

Friday, May 12, 2017

Blood Drive 2017

Last month, the Yeshivah of Flatbush held its biannual blood drive. It was so nice to see the entire sophomore, junior, and senior grade get together for a wonderful cause. Thank you to everyone who donated; it was a success! We even managed to receive people from other yeshivot and alumni. Thank you to Mr. Galpert and Blood Drive Commission for organizing this successful event! ~Florence Deutsch, Class of 2017

Photo Gallery:
Blood Drive Spring 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pesach Packaging 2017

Pesach Packaging is one of the many cheseds that the Yeshivah of Flatbush students take part in. Rabbi Besser along with faculty, students, alumni, and parents helped deliver food to those who don't have on Pesach. Yeshivah of Flatbush and its partner, COJO, helped deliver food to over one hundred families before the Pesach holiday.

First, we packed food into boxes, then we delivered them to people's houses. We started early in the morning and ended late at night. Seeing the smiles on people's faces as we delivered the food made it all worth it. It felt great to know that through our efforts many people won't be without food as we celebrated our freedom. ~Marc Franco, Class of 2019

Photo Gallery:
Pesah Packaging 2016

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Choices Commission Visits Elementary School

On April 4th, the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Choices Commission visited the elementary school to talk about transitions with the 7th and 8th grades. The two programs were kicked off with a panel of students each giving a brief description of their own personal growth experiences and overcoming challenging situations. The Choices commissioners then answered questions about changes the students will face as they enter their teenage years. Topics such as the importance of kindness in friendships, maintaining good reputations, resisting peer pressure and finding your true identity were addressed. The 7th and 8th grade students were bursting with questions and remained engaged throughout the discussion.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Darryl Strawberry Speaks to Flatbush Students About Overcoming Challenges

Recently, Darryl Strawberry addressed Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman students and faculty with his personal story of overcoming challenges. Make something of yourself, pull yourself up from somewhere low, be good to people, connect with G-d: these were some of the messages we heard from this inspiring baseball icon. Darryl empowered our students to believe in themselves, take action in shaping their experiences, and remember that no obstacle is too great to overcome. He took the time to answer questions from some of our students, to sign baseballs, and to take pictures with us too. Thank you Darryl- we were fortunate to have you with us!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz Addresses Flatbush Students

On April 4, 2017 the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School had the honor of hosting esteemed lawyer Professor Alan M. Dershowitz of Harvard University. Dershowitz, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 after clerking for Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg. He has also published more than 1000 articles in magazines, newspapers, journals and blogs such as The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Harvard Law Review. Professor Dershowitz is the author of over 30 fiction and non-fiction works with a worldwide audience, including The New York Times #1 bestseller Chutzpah and five other national bestsellers, including The Case For Israel and My Life in the Law.

Dershowitz spoke to all of the students about the problems facing the State of Israel on campuses and around the world and gave them insight on how to combat these issues. As “Israel’s single most visible defender” he explained how he was encouraged to support Israel while inspiring the students to follow in his footsteps. A panel of Israel advocacy students engaged Dershowitz with stimulating questions regarding the situation in Israel. After this event, Dershowitz left us all with a renewed drive to support the State of Israel.
~Elie Feldman, Class of 2018

Photo Gallery:
Professor Alan Dershowitz Adresses YOFHS


Friday, May 5, 2017

Spring Concert 2017/5777

Sabra Institute Presentation to Class of 2018

Irving Safdieh, the president of Th​e Sabra Institute​​​ can to speak to Yeshivah of Flatbush juniors about this fantastic program that educates and empowers high school students with the facts and skills necessary to not only push back against the hateful rhetoric being spread on campus, but to also proactively and effectively advocate for Israel. The goal of the program is to train high school students to combat the aggressive and bigoted anti-Israel activity that ​we will be facing on college campuses and beyond.

Many of my peers feel intimidated, targeted, isolated, and demonized for ​supporting our homeland​ thanks to the ​ongoing contentious efforts of anti-Semitic​ groups (such as Students For Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sa​n​ctions movement​) found on the college campuses that we plan to attend.

Irving Safdieh and Morris Kishk (HS '09) spoke to the juniors about the importance of this knowledge and even quizzed a few of them to see where they are at now, some struggled. They had students from the current Sabra group speak about their experiences. The students got excited to see where this program will take them! ~Amanda Heskiel, Class of 2017


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Students Compete in Moot Court 2017

On March 23rd and March 30th Yeshivah of Flatbush students met to compete in the final rounds of the Moot Court Competition. The students had been researching legal issues, studying case law and refining arguments in preparation for the competition. Each team consisted of a lawyer, witness and researcher /fact checker. The teams were responsible for working as a group and putting together a winning strategy that would convince the judges of the merits of their argument. This year’s case revolved around the issue of false imprisonment and the justification of a shopkeeper to detain and search a suspect suspected of shoplifting.

The competition was close but in the end teams comprised of Bella Douek, Dani Aiash, Fernanda Mosseri and Ronnie Menashe took first and second place respectively. Students greatly enjoyed the opportunity to experience some of what real lawyers do every day and look forward to competing again next year.

A special thanks to the students organizers: Shelley Khabieh, Bella Feldman, Aida Hasson, Rose Ftiha, Marry Ftiha, Alan Mograby and Joey Massre and faculty advisor Mr. Leor Kweller.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Flatbush Students Participate in Artistic Collaboration at SBH Cancer Center

On Tuesday, March 28th, a group of 15 Yeshivah of Flatbush sophomores and juniors visited the Morris I Franco Cancer Center of SBH to continue an artistic collaboration with clients of the center. Students were accompanied by Ms. Eva Dayan, Dr. Etty Mizrahi, and Ms. Leah Bodner of the YOFHS Guidance Department. Joining together in creating a tapestry allowed individuals the chance to unite in creating a physical portrayal of the bonds of community. We look forward to viewing the final piece on display during the Cancer Center's annual art show, scheduled for May 8th. Thank you to the Cancer Center and Dayna Fleisch, art therapist, for welcoming us and helping us see how we are all connected in our own unique ways.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Flatbush Students Explore Museum of Moving Images

Yeshivah of Flatbush students recently had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Moving Images through our Pathfinders Program. The students were able to learn about the creation of motion pictures by getting a glance at the detail of sound and special effects. After the tour, the students got the chance to create their own video games and add their own special effects. This was an amazing opportunity for students interested in the Film and Video Gaming Industries.

Monday, May 1, 2017

YOFHS Art Prominently Displayed in SCC Lobby!

Yeshivah of Flatbush artwork is prominently displayed in the Sephardic Community Center lobby. The artwork displayed is a small sample of recent work created by juniors and seniors in our advanced art electives in studio art, graphic design and photography.

The Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School is proud to provide each of our students with a wide variety of coursework and programs that foster creativity and artistic expression. Our curriculum includes fine arts, music, dance, drama, graphic design, sculpture, photography, pattern-making, product design and videography. Opportunities abound for students to explore and develop their talents both inside and outside the classroom. Our students showcase their talents throughout the year in a variety of engagements including choral and orchestral performances, musical theater, dramatic productions and dance competitions. The rich and varied writing and artistic talents of our students can be found in many places as well, including our award-winning literature and art publication, Pegasus, and on display at our annual Evening of the Arts exhibit.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Flatbush Seniors Become Ambassadors For Israel at United Nations

Yeshivah of Flatbush seniors had the privilege to attend the second annual Ambassadors Against BDS conference at the United Nations where individuals and organizations devoted to advocating for Israel made their voices heard. The conference was held to condemn the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for their continued Anti-Semitism and boycott of Israel throughout the world, especially on college campuses throughout the United States. Next year, the current seniors will be in college and will most likely confront many of these anti-Israel movements, including BDS, and will need to understand how to deal with this problem. By attending the conference, the seniors were able to get an idea of what they will be dealing with on their campuses next year, how much of an effect BDS has on Israel, and that there are multiple Israel Activists all over the country ready to help them fight against BDS. The conference included many prominent speakers including American ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, and chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Jay Sekulow. Not only was the conference significant with its success in gathering Israel Activists from all over the globe to condemn BDS, it was an opportunity for the senior grade to experience the growth of the anti-BDS movement and to prepare them for what many will experience on college campuses within the next few years. ~Ben Wade, Class of 2017

Photo Gallery:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

AP English Literature Class Explore the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Ms. Bloom's AP English Literature class ventured out on an early spring day to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. We meandered through the grounds reading poetry and gazing at the royal purple and dazzling white crocuses, the heralds of spring. Contemplating life while watching the Koi from the Japanese pagoda, we discussed carpe diem and then continued our search for a place to eat. Instead we happened upon the Shakespeare Garden where Florence Deutsch read Sonnet XXX IV. After a lovely picnic, we continued our search for the elusive cherry blossoms, while Josef Kusayev and David Azrak went on a quest to find two fruit trees to say Birchat Illanot. It was a fun trip with a lot of literary silliness and intellectual banter enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Flatbush Students Compete in Girls' Torah Bowl Championships

On a recent Friday, the Yeshivah of Flatbush Girls' Torah Bowl team, coached by Ms. Rosenbaum, made their way to the championships held at SAR. After a long bus ride, filled with team bonding, pep talks, study sessions, and spiritual inspiration, we were ready to play and felt prepared to win. After a quick breakfast we cultivated a strategy and decided on who to play. Upon beating Shulamith in our first game, we relished in our victory and truly felt like we were in it to win. However, in our second game against Central, things changed and we quickly realized that while we lost, winning wasn't everything. We were still able to have an amazingly fantastic time and really enjoyed learning for the sake of learning. ~Esther Levy, Class of 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cultural Exchange With Israeli Students

Recently group of high school students from Israel, part of the Diller Teen Fellowship Program, visited Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School. The Israeli teens were able to learn about Flatbush and interact with some of our students. Some 11th and 12th grade Flatbush students took the Israelis out for lunch on the infamous Avenue J and showed them the ins and outs of our Flatbush lives. After returning from student favorites like Pizza Time, Baguette and Benny's, all the students returned to the school building to listen to Rabbi Beyda's farewell. And after many goodbyes and many, many pictures, the Flatbush family bid the Israelis a fond farewell and hoped they gained some positive memories from our experience together. It was truly an amazing day! ~Marlene Levy, Class of 2018

Witness Theater 2017 - Yom Hashoah 5777

At first, we were strangers. At first, we were nervous. At first there was so much unknown. At first, we tiptoed around each other, unsure of what to say. Unsure of HOW to say it. At first there were just so many “what ifs.”
So, for many weeks we took the time just to sit together, to eat together, and to laugh together. And slowly, our cautious tip toeing became like the practiced steps of dancers. We began to finish each other’s sentences and to worry about each other’s health and to relish every moment we shared together. And it was then that we asked to open the pandora’s box of memories that had been sitting in the room from the moment we all entered – an invisible force that drove our relationships and our curiosity.
We were both hesitant and confident about opening this box together. We were barraged once again by the “what ifs” of opening the lid until we decided that the most frightening “what if” of all was the “what if we just leave it there as it is. What if we just turn and walk away?” So, we held hands, waited patiently, and assured each other that when things became too sad or too scary, we would be there with a comforting hug, a soothing smile, and a shoulder to lean on. THIS is human compassion and it defies age and bridges the decades between us.
As autumn shifted into winter and the stories kept pouring out we DID hear many things that made us cry and made us furious and made us speechless. But in the voices of our storytellers we also discovered that underneath all the evil they had endured was a profound and vital ability to hope. And we know now that it is that human ability to hope, which allows us to survive.
We will never forget the stories we heard and we will continue to encourage more to be told. And today we will bring a small handful of them to life in order to share them with you. Though for most of our cast this will be the very first time they perform on a stage, it is the respect and dedication that they have for each other, which allows them to perform so genuinely and with such love and care for those they portray. And in this way, we honor the notion that compassion and empathy are what binds us together as human beings and are the vehicle through which we learn how to turn the evils of the past into hope for our future.

Photo Gallery:
Witness Theater 2017-5777


Monday, April 24, 2017

Flatbush Students Compete in Math Majors of America Tournament for High Schools 2017

On Sunday, April 2nd, a high school mathematics competition was held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The tests contained rigorous problem-solving questions which required serious concentration, even for the best of students. Six Jewish schools competed, among them being Frisch, Kushner, and our own Yeshivah of Flatbush. Six Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School students competed, mentored by Ms. Shulman, and coached by Dr. Goldberg: Moses Bakst, Joseph Braha, Avi Mikhli, Gregory Pinkhasov, Yaron Sternberg, and Joseph Sutton. As a school, Flatbush came in third place. In the mixer round, in which students from different schools are mixed on teams, four students placed top three. And finally, Yaron placed second out of 36 students individually. The competition was a fun test of ability, and it complemented a fun trip to Yale, in which we got a tour and a good sense of their Jewish life. ~ Joe Braha, Class of 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flatbush Students Attend AIPAC Policy Conference 2017

Last month, students from the Yeshivah of Flatbush Israel Activism commission along with Rabbi Beyda attended the annual AIPAC Policy conference in Washington D.C. For two days the eleven students were given the opportunity to attend sessions with intelligent and well-known speakers, meet and collaborate with other Israel activists from around that country, and hear political celebrities in the general sessions. They learned about Israel’s political system, world relations, the US-Israel relationship, how to deal with BDS and other anti-zionist and anti-semitic movements, as well as many other things. The students met with teenagers such as themselves in high school and colleges from around the country to learn from each other how to be active about Israel on their own campuses and how to help in the continuous fight for peace in the Middle East. Max Shemtob, senior, said, “It was an educational and enlightening experience where we learned all about the different parts of Israel and met many influential people that could shape policy for years to come.”
Our students met famous Israeli Knesset members such as Amir Ohana, Mickey Levy, and Ayelet Shaked. They also met with Lior Raz, an Israel Activist famous for playing the role of Doron in Israeli TV show Fauda. They even got a chance to hear Mike Pence, Bibi Netanyahu and Nikki Haley. Our very own Israel Activism commissioner, Amanda Heskiel, even got to participate in a panel about High School Activism seen by hundreds of people! Amanda said, “It was an exhilarating feeling to be speaking in front of 1,100 people representing the school.” We are proud of how far she has come and how influential of an activist she is, along with her peers.
Overall, through sessions, collaborating with activists with similar interests, peacefully conversing with some protesters to get a feel for the other side, and gaining an overall understanding of the American-Israeli relationship positively impacted the students. We are now thinking about how we will bring what they learned and were inspired by to our Yeshivah. ~Ezra Faks, Class of 2019

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Junior, Sophomore and 8th Grade Students Participate in Coding Boot Camps

Yeshivah of Flatbush Freshmen, Juniors, Sophomores and, for the first time, with the assistance of the Middle Division administration, YOF 8th graders, have recently took part in coding boot camp days. These intro to coding boot camps were an invaluable experience for all who participated. Students learned coding in a fun and hands-on way, while gaining the understanding of how practical a skill it is. (Read about the freshmen boot camp HERE.)

The juniors' program, which was held on Friday, February 24th, began with introductory discussions and coding tasks in classes that were grouped by level. Mr. Horowitz, the high school technology and robotics teacher, formed an advanced class of juniors who have already taken a number of tech courses in school.
All classes were taught by recent graduates of 12 week coding boot camps, and who, like many of our students, started with no prior coding knowledge. Each student worked on solving puzzles on and on their iPads using Bluetooth keyboards donated by Sakar International for students to use in all three boot camps. Students were surprised at how much they can learn on their own using these online tools.

After the junior's morning session, students heard from Google Senior Advisor Jack Hidary (HS ’86) - who with the assistance of Joe Tricot (HS '13) brought the program to the school - as well as fashion writer Sophia Chabbott (ES ‘94). Mr. Hidary explained to students the importance of coding and tech in today’s job market. Ms. Chabbott, who was a senior editor at Glamour Magazine and now serves as Web Director for Women’s Wear Daily, discussed how almost all publications must maintain an online presence. She explained that by utilizing her technological familiarity on a daily basis she has found success in the fashion writing industry.
After hearing from the speakers, students regrouped in their classes and worked on a Code Academy web design activity. The students finished the day with a sense of accomplishment at how much they were able to create with just a few lessons in coding.

On Sunday, March 26th, sophomores and 8th graders were invited to join a special boot camp set for them, where students chose to spend their Sunday morning exploring these new skills with skilled and experienced teachers who are graduates from intensive boot camps. They experienced working with "block code" on and quickly transitioned to writing actual code on The students were extremely focused on learning all they could in this one session and therefore left enriched with real skills and the understanding that they too can become coders. One 8th grader was so excited at the end of the workshop that she shared with her teacher, Rabbi Yitzi Herzberg, "I really feel so smart now!"
We continue to bring to our students opportunities to learn coding, engineering and technology at the Yeshivah in order to prepare them for futures that demand these essential skills and knowledge. We look forward to offering more workshops and boot camps in the future to include the seniors and faculty in programs that will be designed especially for them.
Photo Gallery:
Juniors Learn to Code