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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Roei Ben-Tolila Inspires Flatbush Students

On November 7, 2017, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School students had the opportunity to hear from Roei Ben-Tolila, an astounding motivational speaker. He blew his audience away with just the story of his life. Roei, a wounded and paralyzed soldier from Israel, instead of completely just focusing on the negatives of this new challenge of paralyzation, decided to rise to the challenge and created a program for helping others. Roei set an amazing example for others about positivity in the worst case scenarios

“There is nothing you can’t do; there is many things you don’t want to do.” This quote inspired Roei in many ways, saying that it helped him understand that if you want to do something, there is nothing stopping you and that if you want to accomplish something, you must work for it. This quote applies to Roei and his time on a basketball team. Roei, even with his disability, was still able to play basketball- sitting down in his wheelchair. He was still able to achieve this goal even with being paralyzed. So like Roei himself pointed out- if you want something, you have to work towards it. So let it be said, there’s nothing you can’t do; there are many things you don’t want to do.
~Eva Cohen, Class of 2021

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Students Attend Gala for Our Soldier's Speak

A group of Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School students recently attended Our Soldier’s Speak’s Annual Dinner Gala. Speakers at the event emphasized the importance of advocating for Israel and standing up against the prevalent anti-Zionist movements. Among the speakers were Mike Pompeo, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Commander of the Israeli National Police Counter Terror Unit. The students spoke with a variety of attendees to receive a better perspective on the issue we face today: the delegitimization of Israel around the world. ~Elie Feldamn, Class of 2018

Monday, November 6, 2017

Students Attend AIPAC Schusterman High School Summit

The three days that I spent on AIPAC’s Schusterman High School Summit in Washington DC were phenomenal. Throughout the sessions we learned about different aspects of Israel advocacy, during the breaks I met many new people from every corner of this country, and the final day we went up to capital hill to lobby congress members. Through this experience I gained a true connection to Israel and Zionism and I became empowered with the skills and knowledge to act on that. We began our sessions by introducing ourselves and getting to know one another better. As they progressed we slowly went from defining AIPAC and Israel advocacy, to learning about Israeli issues, to learning how to help solve those issues from an American standpoint. Our final goal and culmination in the trip was lobbying. I lobbied NY Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and her staff members. We spoke with her about the growing threat of Hezbollah, the Iran Deal, and the anti-BDS bill. These three issues are crucial to the well-being of the state of Israel, as well as, having many American interests, both political and economic. Overall, it was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. I’m really looking forward to take what I learned to the next step and for my future AIPAC encounters.
~Ezra Faks, Class of 2019

Friday, November 3, 2017

Parashat Hashavuah Lecture Series: Vayera 5778

Seniors Hear From Representatives of Israel's Minority Communities

On Friday October 27, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School students and faculty had the honor of hearing from three men representing the Druze, Lebanese Christian and Muslim Bedouin minority communities in Israel. All of these men served in the Israel Defense Forces and speak to counter the the ‘fake news’ circulating about their peoples. Students Supporting Israel (SSI) and Reservists on Duty sponsor their visit to the U.S.

The first speaker was Mohammad Kabiya, a Muslim Israeli Bedouin who served in the Israeli Air Force. He explained to us that Bedouins feel they are an integral part of Israel and its society and noted that the Bedouin were the first minority in Israel to join the IDF. After Kabiya served finished his three years of military service, he attended the University of Haifa. While some protested his admission, he said that once they were in the classroom together it was peaceful. He ended with a wonderful message that you should never be afraid to say you’re Jewish and support Israel everywhere.

The next speaker was Jonathan Nizar Elkhoury, an Israeli Lebanese Christian. His father served with the Southern Lebanon Army that helped Israel fight the Second Lebanon War from the inside. Since the Christians in Lebanon were being persecuted by the Hezbollah, his family moved to Israel to establish a better, more accepted life there. He was recruited for the IDF when he was 17. Elkhoury did his National Service in hospitals because he couldn’t get into an elite unit. He helped encourage other Christians to join the IDF and fight for the country that protects them.

The last speaker was Ram Asad, a Druze Israeli. The Druze were victimized everywhere until they got to Israel. Now they work in harmony with the Israeli government and have representation in the Israeli court along with other minorities. In 1956, the Druze were permitted to join the IDF; many are part of border control units. Asad proudly told us that he was a combat soldier. He also said that we should never hide that we are Jewish.

The panel presentation was very inspiring. The speakers helped assure the seniors in Flatbush that there are other people, aside from Jews, who believe that Israel is a positive moral county with every right to be a state.
~Victoria Haddad, Class of 2018

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Students Win Awards at Speech & Debate Model Congress Tournament

Robert Adler, Junior, and Michael Oved, Freshman, were both awarded medals for their outstanding performances at the nationally recognized South Shore Speech & Debate Model Congress Tournament on the evening of November 1, 2017 / 12 Marcheshvan 5778, hosted by HAFTR High School. At the competition, our team presented bills, gave pro and con speeches, and debated legislation with over forty students representing four other schools in a formal congressional format. Juniors Joseph Edelheit, Sonny Setton, and Jared Sutton also performed at a high level, in this rewarding and enjoyable event. We look forward to further successes for the Model Congress team!

Spanish Heritage Day 2017

Last week, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School celebrated Spanish Heritage month with our annual Spanish Heritage Day! The day was filled with activities, costumes, Spanish music and dancing, and of course delicious Spanish food. We had all kinds of Spanish food from the many different Spanish speaking countries. For example, we had tacos, paella, gazpacho, guacamole, and the very tasty dolce de leche made by our very own Señora Birman. Señora Ovadia and Señora Birman, along with the Spanish 3 and AP Spanish classes put a lot of time and effort into making this day a fun way to learn more about Spanish heritage and culture. I'm very grateful that we celebrated Spanish heritage month in school and that we all were able to gain more insight into Spanish culture. We were able to do so by experiencing the things that make the Latino culture so special. It was a very fun way to discover more about Spanish culture and how unique it is. I am looking forward to celebrating Spanish Heritage Day again next year!
~Madeline Rosow, Class of 2020

Spanish Heritage Day 2017/5778