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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 11

GET IN THE KNOW!

Monday, December 22, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chanukah Dvar Torah

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How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

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Sophomore Seminar

 

 

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Calling All Student Researchers!

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A Period Of Terrorism in Israel

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Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

 

 

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Ferguson Court Ruling

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Update on "The Interview"

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Israeli Ellections

 

 

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We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

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Hour of Code

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Club Review: Novel and Nosh

 

 

 

 

Chanukah Dvar Torah

by Hannah Baumgarten

 

Chanukah Dvar TorahEach day of Chanukah we recite in Al HaNissim that Chanukah was created as an eight day festival meant to give thanks to Hashem. What is it about hodaah, gratefulness, that is inherently connected to the Jewish people, and specifically, to Chanukah? After all, the Jews are referred to as Yehudim, a word that stems from the same root as the word for thankfulness. The first time hodaah is mentioned, it is in reference to the birth of Yehuda. Leah says, "This time I thank (odeh) Hashem." Leah knew that there would be 12 tribes, and believed that because Yaakov had 4 wives, each would give birth to 3 sons. When Leah gives birth to her fourth son, she thanks Hashem for giving her more than she believed she deserved. Hodaah is the recognition that Hashem has given us more than we are entitled to. So why is Chanukah specifically connected to hodaah? Is it not true that most, if not all of the Jewish holidays are founded on the principle that as Jews we were given more than we deserved? On Chanukah, the miraculous victory at war may seem to many to be a victory of the Jewish people who are disconnected from the yad Hashem. However, Chazal fixed this holiday as a festival of hallel and hodaah to remind us that it truly was from Hashem, and it was indeed, much more than we deserved. As a result, Al Hanissim focuses on the miracle of the war more than the miracle of the oil. May we all be able to recognize the hand of Hashem in our lives, through the supernatural, and especially through the natural.

 

 

How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

by Anonymous 

 

How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

Last week, 53% correctly guessed Ms. Robin Wilensky. Here are the facts for this week's mystery teacher. Good Luck!

1) I was born in Florida.
2) I spent my childhood in Brooklyn.
3) I danced ballet until I got married and still love to dance.
4) As a child, I wanted to become a nurse, but was afraid of doctors.
5) I love to knit and am in the middle of knitting a sweater.
6) In college, I was a lifeguard and still love to swim.
7) Summer is my favorite season!
8) Most of my work career was spent in the corporate world.
9) When my family goes skiing, I love to read a book in front of the fireplace.
10) I have always had a dog.


Take the time to vote in the new poll:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TVQBQVX

 

 

Sophomore Seminar

by Ariel Fox

 

Sophomore SeminarLast week, NSHAHS' sophomores attended their sophomore seminar at the Hudson Valley Resort. The students left on Thursday afternoon and came back to school on Saturday night. On Thursday, the sophomores went roller-skating. They later performed a mitzvah by attending a Shiva call for Rabbi Ismach, whose mother, unfortunately, passed away recently. On Friday, students were given the option to either go paint balling or to the mall. Later that night, an evening of spirituality and fun began. Friday night was an amazing night filled with learning and opportunities to build stronger relationships with friends. The following day, the whole grade united, creating wonderful memories with one another. On Saturday night, the students went to "The Castle," where they went go-carting, played arcade games, and took part in many fun activities. One of the sophomores, Manna Moalemi reflects, "Sophomore seminar was a blast! I'm so glad that I went on it, and I don't think that I'll forget it!" Another sophomore, Natalie Freilich, shares, "I never realized how united our grade could be until we were all singing together, arm in arm, strengthening old friendships and creating new ones." I also went on Sophomore Seminar, and I thought that it was an amazing opportunity to spend time with my classmates and get to know them better without having to worry about my school work. Let's hope that next year's Junior Getaway will be just as amazing!

 

 

Calling All Student Researchers!

by Shani Kahan 

 

Calling All Student Researchers!

Independent student research is always encouraged at NSHAHS. Last week, our outstanding science department dedicated a night to informing our fellow students and parents about the different research opportunities our school has to offer. The program was lead by NSHAHS' Director of Research, Mr. Allen Sachs. In the past, NSHAHS students have conducted research in mathematics, social sciences, the natural sciences, and engineering. Mr. Sachs also spoke about the different competitions that exist for the respective fields of research.

Next, students were informed about the different summer research programs that are open to them. Whether it be learning in a lab or studying alongside a mentor, the opportunities are endless. However, all programs are limited to a certain number of students and are in high demand. That being said, if you are interested in conducting any type of research over the summer, it is crucial to apply or register soon, before it is too late. Mr. Sachs also pointed out the benefits of conducting scientific research and how getting involved can prove to be a rewarding experience. He spoke about some of our school's past research superstars and described their high school journeys.

Mr. Sachs even introduced parents and students to one of our science department's newest members, Dr. Molly Mordechai, who recently received her PHD in virology. Dr. Mordechai spoke about her educational background and her endeavors in science. She also explained the process of getting a PHD and described what it was that sparked her interest in virology. We are privileged to have Dr. Mordechai as part of our staff this year! Finally, students and parents were able to hear about research from the perspective of two NSHAHS students who are involved in the research program. Junior Neda Shokrian, as well as myself, spoke about our high school research experiences so far. We both agree that we could not have accomplished what we have if it weren't for Mr. Sachs and the rest of our science research department.

 

 

A Period Of Terrorism in Israel

by Avraham Spraragen

 

A Period Of Terrorism in IsraelLast Friday, a Palestinian man threw a chemical substance, that was supposedly an acid, at an Israeli family in the West Bank. The attack injured a man and four children. The assailant was shot and wounded immediately after the attack. According to the Israeli military, the Israeli man had stopped to pick up the Palestinian, who was a hitchhiker, which resulted in this unfortunate occurrence. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. This incident is one of many that have taken place recently and have stemmed from the events that took place in Israel and Gaza this past summer.

During the past four months, 10 Israelis and a foreign visitor have been killed by Palestinians in terror attacks. 12 Palestinians, many of whom were the perpetrators of the terrorism, have died in the recent outbreak of terrorism. Just this Wednesday, a Palestinian minister died shortly after a confrontation with an Israeli border policeman in the West Bank. The policeman grabbed the minister by the neck during a scuffle and shortly after, the Palestinian official collapsed due to shortness of breath. The Israelis report that the autopsy demonstrates that the fatality was the result of a stress-related heart attack. Meanwhile, the Palestinian pathologist concluded that the aggression on the part of the Israeli lead to heart failure.

Also in recent events having to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a march recently took place in the Gaza Strip. Tens of thousands marched in celebration of the 27th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist Hamas group. This follows a five-week war in August of this year in which more than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed. Hammad, a former cabinet minister, saw the large turnout as proof that Hamas remains popular despite the war's devastation and the hardships caused by the Egyptian and Israeli blockades of the coastal territory. This is extremely concerning in that despite the hostilities of this past summer, terrorists groups remain determined to achieve their goals, and continue to be supported by the people. Once again, Hamas is sending a 'red light' to Israel, as well as the Western world at large, to beware. Therefore, it is crucial that during these desperate times we show our support in any and every way that we can.

 

 

Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Rachel Dynkin 

 

Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Are you an avid sci-fi reader who is dying to know the answer to "life, the universe and everything?" Your search is over. Just crack open Douglas Adams' timeless, wacky classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The story focuses on an ordinary earth-man by the name of Arthur Dent. Everything seems to be perfectly normal in Arthur Dent's life, until one morning, he wakes up to the sound of bulldozers and finds out that his house is about to be demolished. Arthur bitterly protests this, unaware that his efforts are futile; in just a few minutes, his entire home planet will be blown up. Fortunately, Arthur's friend, Ford, proves to be an alien who comes to his rescue. Join Arthur as he journeys through space, makes new friends, reunites with old ones, and partakes in the most fascinating adventures that you could imagine. Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is both witty and unique, and makes several strong observations about human nature and life in general. Read the book, enjoy it, and remember not to panic.

 

 

Ferguson Court Ruling

by Leeal Kahen

 

Ferguson Court RulingWaves of anger, violence, and riots erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, after Darren Wilson was cleared of all charges in the August shooting of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Police officers stood in a line as demonstrators chanted. One woman in downtown Ferguson even stated, "The system failed us again." As days passed, the situation grew more intense and chaotic in several locations around the US and the world. Several police cars were burned, buildings were set on fire, and looting was widespread. Gunshots were heard along the streets of Ferguson, and police had to deploy smoke and gas to control the protesters.

Although Ferguson served as the epicenter for violent protests, dozens more demonstrations occurred across the country as Americans were enraged by the controversial court ruling. For example, in Atlanta's Morehouse College, protesters chanted: "Ferguson's hell is America's hell." Also, on the Yale University campus, there were several silent protests, in which people laid down on the floor, pretending to die. On Black Friday, protesters in Ferguson held signs up that read "Boycott Black Friday." Another investigation, a federal civil rights inquiry, continues to investigate the case, though federal officials have said that the evidence found so far does not support a case against Officer Wilson. A second federal organization is currently investigating a potential history of Ferguson police engaging in a pattern of civil rights violations.

 

 

Update on "The Interview"

by Yaakov Spraragen 

 

Update on "The Interview"

"9-11 styled attacks" and "the bombing of movie theaters" are some of the many threats North Korean officials have been posing to the U.S. These threats make it sound like America and North Korea are at war, or will be in the future. Surprisingly, these harsh threats are the result of a comedy movie, "The Interview". The film, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, has raised some controversy due to its subject matter: an assassination attempt on North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, which in the end turns out to be successful. Many people were shocked when the release date of the film was postponed due to the threats, but no one thought it would result in a cancellation of the film's release altogether.

Sony pictures, the production company behind the movie has recently been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against their employees, customers, and business. Hundreds of movie theaters refused to screen the film, and therefore, Sony Pictures pulled the plug on "The Interview." However, the company's main reason for deciding not to release the movie was the fact that the personal information of many employees, such as social security numbers and private emails, were released to the public during the cyber attack. The production company is being criticized for succumbing to the threats. Millions of dollars were put to waste, and many people were let down. More importantly, this shows that foreign forces are now able to impose censorship in the United States. This is extremely frightening because if somebody is able to intimidate us and prevent the release of a satirical movie, one can only imagine what they might start doing once they see other films or news reports that they do not approve of. Although this movie was intended to be fun-spirited and humorous, the threats of terror that ensued from its production are of no joking matter.

 

 

Israeli Ellections

by Mark Steiner

 

Israeli EllectionsThis week, Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, set the date for Israel's next round of elections. On March 17, 2015, Israeli voters will head to the polls and determine their country's future. Israel's government works on a parliamentary system, meaning that instead of having two parties being represented, like we have in the U.S., any party that can win 2% of the vote is represented by some number of seats in the Knesset. This has benefits and disadvantages. Because no one party will have a majority on its own, they often have to form coalitions with minor parties. The question for these next elections is: which conservative parties will be voted back in, and will Bibi's Likud coalition remain in power.

Voters have a few things to ponder. On the important issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Likud is known for siding with certain expansionist settlers, as well as being somewhat uncooperative when it comes to negotiations. Following the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, some saw Netanyahu as acting too forcefully. However, in the wake of several Jerusalem terror attacks, Israelis still might favor a hardline and security-focused approach, whatever the cost may be. Whatever the results in March, we will most likely see some serious compromising and deft political maneuvering while a coalition is assembled.

 

 

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

by Emma Greszes 

 

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

This past Thursday, to celebrate Chanukah and appreciate NSHAHS, NSHAHS students were treated to a spirit day! All the students came to school dressed down in comfortable attire that read NSHAHS in bold lettering. Students gathered in the main shul to watch a performance of a very convincing mentalist. He was able to read minds, predict thoughts, and perform unbelievable illusions. Afterward, the students went down to the gym and participated in several sports competitions. Moreover, all of the grades competed in a backgammon competition and push-up contest. During lunch, a few students participated in an exciting pizza-eating competition. Then, a very interesting speaker spoke in the main shul; this was followed by an exciting chagigah in the gym filled with enjoyable dancing and singing. Everyone left the school with smiles on their faces and a special NSHAHS Chanukah gift: a 'Feel the Warmth' blanket. Spirit day was a huge success. Senior Bailey Greszes said, "As a senior, there are a few opportunities left where I will be able to unite with the whole school. Spirit day was one of those days which I will always remember!"

 

 

Hour of Code

by Arielle Rothman

 

Hour of CodeThe Hour of Code is a global movement in which millions of people worldwide are introduced to coding and computer science. By participating in self-guided tutorials, people learn coding fundamentals. So far, 82 million people have participated, including members of the NSHAHS community.

On Tuesday, students and faculty spent approximately one hour learning to code on their computers. This special program was organized by Mrs. Robin Wilensky, Director of Educational Technology and Chairperson of the Computer Department. Participants coded a program with assistance from AP Computer Science students and Engineering students. Beginner students coded a game of Flappy Birds or Dungeons of Kithgard, intermediate students coded a talking robot or a game of CodeAvengers, and advanced students coded an action game, similar to Pokeman, for their iPhones.

All participants enjoyed the coding session and learned from their experience. Sophomore Ariella Aryeh remarked that "The hour of code was so much fun! It was such a good learning experience." Sophomore Rivka Yeroshalmy stated: "I really enjoyed the hour of code. I was able to learn a lot about coding and how it works, and it was really cool being able to code games!" Many students commented that they would like to continue learning more by enrolling in the Computer Science course at NSHAHS next year. The Hour of Code was clearly a valuable activity.

 

 

Club Review: Novel and Nosh

by Lia Berger 

 

Club Review: Novel and Nosh

Not sure what book to read? NSHAHS' Novel and Nosh Club solves that problem for you. Mrs. Joyce Levine, Director of Library and Media Services and head of the club, chooses great books that span multiple genres for club members to read, so there's sure to be a book for everyone to enjoy. Once a month, the club members meet to discuss the selected book and to eat various snacks and goodies, such as pretzels, munchkins and chocolate bars. If you're a slow reader, don't worry; you have a whole month to read the chosen book! So far, the club has read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, a thriller about a girl who loses her memory, and The Giver by Lois Lowry, a classic utopian novel that inspects human nature. There are currently two books assigned to the Novel and Nosh club members. For freshmen and sophomores, it is Shelter by Harlan Coben, a book that is centered on the adventure of a boy whose girlfriend goes missing. Juniors and seniors are reading The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, which is about how new beginnings can come from tragic endings. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 7, during fifth period for freshmen and sophomores and sixth for juniors and seniors. If you are considering joining this book and snack club, be sure to read your grade's selected book beforehand!

 

 

Editors-in-Chief: Alexandra Levian, Rebecca Rosen
Assistant Editors: Avraham Spraragen, Neda Shokrian
Copy Editor: Stephanie Gottlieb
Photography: Shoshana Sternstein
Web Developer: Benjamin Khakshoor
Writing Staff: Lia Berger, Hadar Douek, Rachel Dynkin, Ariel Fox, Emma Greszes, Aryeh Hajibay, Shani Kahan, Leeal Kahen, Stacy Okin, Alana Pearl, Arielle Rothman, Rachel Schecter, Steven Schwartz, Avraham Spraragen, Yaakov Spraragen, Mark Steiner
Featuring contributions by: Hannah Baumgarten
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky