Thursday, June 16, 2016










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A Message from the Headmaster

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Freshman Letter

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Sophomore Letter



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Junior Letter

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A Final Farewell

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Senior Trip 2016!



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Engineering Final Projects

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Advice Column



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Summer Break!

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Big Bang

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GTK Special Edition: Meet the Outgoing Editors!





A Message from the Headmaster

by Dr. Daniel Vitow


A Message from the Headmaster We are coming to the end of yet another successful school year. I congratulate the staff of North Shore Notes on doing an excellent job painting a vivid picture of our school life through the eyes of the students. Well done!

People read our newsletter and are very impressed by what they learn. When they have the opportunity, they often ask me: What does it mean to be the Principal of a major Yeshiva High School? They want to know what occupies my thoughts during my days and continues to engage me into the nights and weekends. The full answer to these questions would require volumes, but I can give you in this space a brief glimpse into my thoughts.

It's a tremendous responsibility to have the lives of over 400 girls and boys in my hands together with the well-being of the adult employees who make up our school family. To a large extent, what I do is set the tone for the school - and that tone is a very important variable in our success.

I always strive to get the best teachers possible. We need excellent teachers who excite, who listen, who challenge, who inspire, who are understanding, who serve as role models, who are themselves enthusiastic about their subjects, and who will be remembered for years.

I make sure to create opportunities (retreats, shabbatons, class barbecues, Shiryah) during which the students and faculty can bond and create a common school spirit which makes everyone feel included, valued, and accepted.

I am insistent upon our recognizing excellent work on the part of the students. We encourage our students to strive for admission to the national honor society and to subject area honor societies, and we publicize the achievement certificates and trophies our students win in various competitions in all of the disciplines the students valiantly struggle to master.

I work to provide all possible support for students taking their next steps into higher education by leading our excellent college guidance team.

I recognize the need to allow for individual differences by creating flexible scheduling and by offering a wealth of interesting electives to students during their four years at the school as well as a challenging extracurricular program with something for everyone's interests.

These are the highlights. The approaching summer gives us all time to refresh and recharge, but the truth is, I never stop thinking about how to make our excellent school reach new heights. The common thread in all of what I do as the Headmaster of NSHAHS is the aspiration for excellence. In my book, very good is not really good enough. Only excellence will do.



Freshman Letter

by Dalia Etessami 


Freshman Letter

The freshman grade of 2016 began with a diverse group of 110 students fresh out of middle school with no clue what was in store for them in high school. Many freshmen had egos so unjustifiably grand that one would never expect their shift from immature kids into responsible high schoolers.

The freshmen's eventual unity seemed to be a nearly impossible feat to achieve due to the varying backgrounds of many of the students. The ninth grade included a large amount of students previously regarded as a minority in NSHAHS: students commuting all the way from Brooklyn on a daily basis.

The first impression the ninth grade presented to the school was not by any means great, as both frustrated upperclassmen and faculty would testify. Their unexplainable inability to move efficiently through the hallways and staircases truly deserved all the mocking it received in the Ravioli, as did the rude behavior of several memorable students, which left many teachers furious, believing that this grade might always remain unbearable. To everyone's surprise, this was not the case.

The freshman grade suddenly matured and unified. This togetherness was achieved through school-wide events, such as Freshman Retreat, Spirit Day, and Shiriyah, as well as activities the students personally engaged in, like peer tutoring, extracurriculars, and grade-wide games of assassin. This was most prominently observed in their achievements during Shiriyah and their sense of pride that they earned through great effort. Individuals and their unique talents were able to shine, which led to a grade-wide admiration for one another.

The shift in behavior of the freshmen was precisely summarized by Mrs. Rosenberg, the global history teacher familiar with the entire ninth grade. She commented that although she felt unsure of how the grade would act at the beginning of the school year, she witnessed the freshmen mature, and to her surprise, actually learn something!

The Class of 2019



Sophomore Letter

by Leeal Kahen


Sophomore Letter As the class of 2018 marks the halfway point in our high school career, we reflect on all of the memorable moments we shared that helped shape us into the tight-knit, talented, and intelligent group of people that we are. While we experienced a roller coaster of events this year, we continued to stand by our peers and overcome many of our obstacles.

Our grade consists of an amazing group of people. Our diversity and acceptance towards one another is what brings us together. Each student is an individual, yet the talent and unique set of skills that each student brings to the table sets the tone of our class. We were able to welcome all the new transfer students into our grade with such open arms and create a friendly atmosphere. We have developed into one big family--always there for one another.

This year, thanks to our English instructor, Mr. William Muir, we learned about the Enlightenment through Voltaire's Candide, about Romanticism after analyzing several poems by nineteenth century Romantics, and about modernist literature when reading our final work of the year, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. This year we also dived into the subject of chemistry with Mrs. Pavlovich. We were certainly able to learn about the periodic table after hearing her "Lord Hydrogen" song performed on her pink guitar. For all those who took trigonometry with Mrs. Thorgersen, we were lucky enough to hear her "lightning story" after a year of excited anticipation. We grew so much academically thanks to all of our amazing teachers who pushed us to strive for great heights.

Coming in second place for Shiriyah during sophomore year tells a lot about the dynamics of our grade. This shiriyah united us. We were dedicated as a team. Each and every one of us played a unique role in each competition. The juniors could not bring us down!

It's so hard to believe that two years have flown by so quickly. In two years we have grown so much as individuals and as a family. We have achieved so much and have always been there for one another through thick and thin.

The Class of 2018



Junior Letter

by Shani Kahan 


Junior Letter

We made it. We managed to survive through the heavy load of tests, our first time taking multiple APs, and the treacherous ACT and SATs. Junior year has proven to be what most consider to be the hardest year of high school and we are proud to say that we have gotten through. Despite how tough the year was, we also found time to laugh, to enjoy, and to grow.

One of the more positive elements of junior year is the electives we got to take, most of us for the first time this year. Many of us took one of Mr. Doug Garfinkel's business courses, such as accounting and investments. These classes succeeded in providing information on these fields' fundamentals and giving students a sense of how the business world operates. There are many of us planning to follow a business oriented path after high school and this course definitely served as an asset to those on that route.

Most of us took Dr. Marilyn Maxwell's English course, where we continued to develop our writing skills and placed a large focus on American literature. We enjoyed reading classics like Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and were also exposed to Shakespeare's Macbeth. One of the highlights of this course were our book trials, in which we literally put a book on trial. During book trial week, we worked together with our groups to defend our position regarding whether reading the book Brighton Beach Memoirs should be banned in the classroom. This was a really special experience for us because we got a taste of how the courtroom works and were given the ability to let our stance be heard.

We had the chance to unite outside of the classroom when we battled in Shiriyah. Even though we didn't win, we had an amazing time participating in the diverse challenges the week of frenzy provided us with. Shiriyah brought our class closer together by providing us with a mutual cause to root for. It also served as a well-deserved break from our classwork, which made us all very happy!

Upon further reflection, even though it wasn't easy, junior year represents simply one chapter in the book of our lives. We couldn't have asked for a better setting than NSHAHS to write our stories and we are thankful to have each other as characters in our tale. We are looking forward to next year, the year we have all been waiting for: SENIOR YEAR! We can't wait to make it great and continue establishing ourselves as one of the most amazings classes of NSHAHS.

The Class of 2017



A Final Farewell

by Aaron Silverman, Neda Shokrian, and Avraham Spraragen


A Final FarewellDear readers, writers, NSN staffers, and all who may take interest,

Our time fulfilling the role of editor has elapsed. We now pass on the helm of North Shore Notes to others who we hope will continue to lead our treasured publication into an era of success and good repute. The art of journalism and news reporting is not one that we have regarded with indifference. It is not a trivial mundanity. We have always regarded it with reverence and perceived its importance. In the broader world, news publications like The New York Times and The Sun reach billions of pairs of eyes daily and are almost universally praised as a source of factual information on the events and affairs of the world. Ideally, the journalist and news writer should be impartial and unbiased. Unfortunately, people are not angels, and a reporter with an ulterior motive has the power to mold and skew public opinion in the direction that he or she wants. Often, the goal of objective news is muddled with aims to advance a political agenda or a reporter's personal point of view. The reporter has the hypothetical power to shield tyrants from public scrutiny or to portray righteous people as villains. Obviously, news reporting is not something to be taken lightly. The boundless power of a news reporter must be checked by his or her own personal integrity and commitment to just, fair reporting. Each news reporter, North Shore Notes writers not least among them, must cultivate that integrity and that commitment if they mean to be good news reporters. We have, over our respective North Shore Notes careers, purged ourselves of baser motives and cultivated a relentless commitment to honest reporting. It is our sincere hope that our successors in this honored role continue our commitment and never submit to the primal attachment to dishonest, agenda-driven reporting.

High school is never an easy time for anyone. Whether it be social or academic struggles, we all wish that we had a different capability that we seem to be lacking. Sometimes, we just break down and wonder when the schoolwork and heavy burdens of being a student will finally end. At the same time, there are those spontaneous moments that remind us why we love NSHAHS and why we can't let go of this school. Whether it be a friend that introduced us to a whole new outlook on life, or a teacher that reestablished confidence in us, each and every one of us has a reason why moving on from high school will be challenging.

Readers, we urge all of you to make the most out of your high school experience. If you have an idea, speak up. If you have a thought, write it down. If you have a feeling, take action. No one will be able to represent you if you can't represent yourself. A newspaper isn't just a paper filled with news; it's a collection of opinions and voices, each striving to present a point of view the best way a writer knows how. As Martin Luther once said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that really matter."

Aaron Silverman, Neda Shokrian, and Avraham Spraragen



Senior Trip 2016!

by Neda Shokrian 


Senior Trip 2016!

Early Tuesday morning, on May 31st, 26 members of the senior class met with Mr. Dennis Nagel, Chairperson of Math Department, and Mrs. Debra Gold, Director of Student Life, at JFK airport. We were ready for the best senior trip of our lives! After a slight delay at the airport, we finally arrived in sunny Orlando, Florida, with our sunglasses and our sneakers, ready to make the best out of our short time there.

Our first stop was the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. We went on exhilarating rides, such as Space Mountain and Splash Mountain. We also experienced some of the most creative and artistic Disney scenery on Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted House. Even though it started to pour as the day came to a close, we were still able to watch the beautiful fireworks over Cinderella's Castle. It was a "magical" way to end the day!

After davening at Chabad the next morning, we rushed to Universal Studios to conquer our second day of senior trip. Because the weather was extremely hot and humid, we decided our first stop would be the dangersome water rides. Throughout the day, we coursed through the different areas of Universal, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At night, we returned to City Walk in Universal Studios where we watched movies and lounged around the shops and cafes.

Our third day was especially exciting because one of the seniors, Jonathan Yushuvayev, was accepted as a participant on Fear Factor! We watched as he coursed through stunts, such as hanging on to a bar 10 stories high, and climbing up an 8 foot ladder. In the evening, we swam and played sports in the hotel's beautiful backyard, and we even got to celebrate Yael Livian's 18th birthday too! As we descended the elevator of the hotel on Friday morning, all we could think about was how amazing and memorable our trip truly was.



Engineering Final Projects

by Yair Atlas


Engineering Final ProjectsEach year, students in Mr. Weinberg's engineering classes group up to work on projects using the electrical engineering skills they learned over the course of the year. Here are this year's projects:

Ben Gilman, Jason Kurlander and Gary Slochowsky built a drone that transmits video and audio to a set of glasses worn by the user. These may be used by people confined to a single room. It can help them view the world in order to avoid depression.

Noah Oberstein and Scott Sandor made an app which converts speech to text. It is to meant to aid people with hearing disabilities. The app functions properly on a phone but has some bugs when used via smart-watch.

Abby Tepper, Eden Schneck, and Ella Shakin attempted to make a "reverse printer." This would take a paper and scan it to see where there was ink. A motor was attached to a special eraser that could remove ink. All components functioned separately. Unfortunately, the motor didn't function when everything was put together.

Scott Soifer, Kayla Lieb, and Menachem Sussman created a handheld device for blind people. The device reads the distance from itself to the ground and speaks it to the user.




by Arie Monas 



As the school year comes to a close, most students look forward to a fun summer ahead of them. But right before students can take their highly anticipated vacation, teachers bombard them with two weeks of crucial testing. Students must prepare for these exams well in advance to ensure they do well. The exams are cumulative and cover all the material learned since the midterm. Here at the NSHAHS, final exams count as 20% of the semester grade, so it is imperative that students do well on their exams. It is very important that students manage their time well. Having a test every day for two weeks can be overwhelming, but to limit the stress, students should begin reviewing a few weeks earlier.

Good luck to everyone on their finals!



Advice Column

by S


Advice ColumnDear S,

With the end of the year fast approaching, I do not feel that I will be ready for my final exams. All I can think about is the upcoming summer. Any study and focusing tips?

Worried Student

Dear Worried Student,

Do not fear! Every single student is feeling the exact same way as you. Studying for final exams is always a difficult task. With summer right around the corner, it is difficult to keep your head in the books. However, it is possible to be prepared for all of your imminent exams.

Many students spend hours on end learning just one topic. By working on only one topic, your patience for that topic will eventually run out. By creating a study schedule, you allow yourself a break from a certain subject. A strict timetable forces you to prepare for all of your exams instead of cramming for one test the night before.

Taking care of yourself is a main component to performing your best on your final exams. Most high school students will stay up to the wee hours of the night attempting to accumulate extra information. However, getting a good night's sleep can be more beneficial to your success. Sleep deprivation is related to short-term memory. Another equally simple way to excel on your exams is by taking a walk. Students at Stanford University concluded that going for a stroll increases memory.

Trying to stay focused on studying can be challenging. Yet again, the solution to this problem is incredibly simple. In today's society, electronics have a large impact on our everyday actions. Try to eliminate this distraction by either turning off your phone or putting it in another room. By doing this, you will no longer be distracted by Instagram and Snapchat stories.

Studying for final exams can be very stressful and tedious for everyone. Although it seems like a very aggravating process, exams can be as laid-back as you allow them to be. By simply staying organized and taking care of yourself, you are capable of succeeding.




Summer Break!

by Yaakov Spraragen 


Summer Break!

As the school year comes to an end, students begin preparing for their summer plans. High school students look forward to the summer break because it enables them to take a hiatus from stressful school work. The summer holiday first came about as a way to benefit farmers during the settlement of the United States. The nation at the time was made up of mostly farming population, and the two-month-long break was necessary for children to maintain and harvest their crops. The current school calendar has not gotten rid of this break since, even though most people no longer use it for agricultural reasons.

Students take advantage of the summer break in many different ways. Some choose to dedicate their summer to studying for the following year. Some go to camp, and others travel the world. When asking different students about their summer plans, I received a variety of responses: Sophomore Daniel Latai is traveling around Israel on an adventurous NCSY summer program, sophomore Sam Yunatanov is interning in a dental office during his summer, and sophomore Shirin Benyaminpour is dedicating her summer to studying for the SAT.

Hopefully all students succeed on their finals and enjoy their summers!



Big Bang

by Yair Atlas


Big BangAccording to the Big Bang theory, our universe began approximately 13.8 billion years ago in an event known as the Big Bang. At the beginning, the universe existed in a hot, dense state. The universe began rapidly expanding, and it is continuing to expand exponentially today. The expansion of the universe was first discovered by Edwin Hubble. He saw that far away galaxies were strongly correlated with redshifts. Redshifts are light that has been increased in wavelength. This shows that each object in the universe is expanding from every other object. The farther the two objects are from each other, the faster they travel apart.

Another discovery that led to the establishment of the Big Bang theory is that of cosmic background radiation (CBR). CBR is any electromagnetic radiation (photons) coming from the sky without a known source. Cosmic microwave background radiation is electromagnetic radiation that has been traveling since the beginning of the universe. Since we can detect light from the beginning of the universe, we may create an image of the early universe (See image).

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing model for the universe. Many experiments have given strong evidence in its support. It is important to note that the Big Bang is a scientific theory. A scientific theory is not just a guess or an hypothesis; it is a model for an aspect of the natural world with bodies of facts which have been confirmed by a large amount of experiments. Scientific theories reliably depict the real world.



GTK Special Edition: Meet the Outgoing Editors!

by Aryeh Hajibay 


GTK Special Edition: Meet the Outgoing Editors!

Meet the very people that keep North Shore Notes on its feet! For the past year, our two, very talented editors, Neda Shokrian and Avraham Spraragen, have worked tirelessly each week to make sure every issue of NSN is the best one yet. Neda, a senior, is extremely well rounded and meets the modern day definition of a Renaissance woman in virtually every aspect. From her leadership positions in school and around the community, to her remarkable musical abilities, Neda's talents clearly seem to know no limits. Her favorite course this year was without a doubt Chumash with Dr. Shoshana Klein. Neda describes the class as being "revolutionary," and she explains that she enjoyed being taught to challenge much of the Chumash material she has studied in the past. Moreover, Neda enjoyed the fact that the class was mainly focused on the mere text, with little attention being payed to commentary and Midrash. "We were learning Torah SheBichtav, exactly how it was written," she explained. In her fours years at NSHAHS, Neda had accomplished far more than the average student ever will. She is the president of Peer Drug Education, Mock Trial, Israel Awareness, the Anti-Bias Task Force, and of course, the editor in chief of North Shore Notes. Outside of school, Neda has interned for the prestigious StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization whose goal is to spread awareness to people around the globe, and she has done several presentations regarding the current issues facing Israel and American Jews. As mentioned, Neda is a skilled pianist who likes to play classical pieces, along with contemporary music as well.

The North Shore Notes staff could not have been more lucky to have Avraham Spraragen, a Senior, oversee the paper for the past year. Avraham's unique talents and interests allow him to shine both as a scholar and as a leader. Out of all his classes this year, Avraham most enjoyed Spanish 5 with Mrs. Debbie Robbins, Chairperson of the Foreign Language Department. Spanish 5 is the most advanced Spanish course offered here at NSHAHS, and Avraham enjoys it because he loves to study different languages and cultures. Unlike most kids his age, Avraham is trilingual, and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew. Out of all his activities throughout high school, Avraham most enjoyed being the editor of NSN. He is extremely passionate about writing, and is avidly interested in current events and politics. In fact, next year he will be studying Middle Eastern history and politics as he takes a gap year at Hebrew University in Israel. After his year in Israel, Avraham will continue his education at Cornell University, the college of his dreams, where he intends to major in history and political science. Aside from NSN, Avraham partook in the reputable Write On for Israel program, where he had the extraordinary opportunity to meet major figures in the Israel Palestinian conflict. Outside of school, Avraham loves to read, write, travel, explore different types of music, play basketball, take pictures.

Clearly, North Shore Notes has had two exceptional editors this past year. Their talent, knowledge, and leadership skills will be greatly missed both by the paper and the entire school. The NSN staff wishes them the best of luck in everything they set out to accomplish in the next milestone of their lives.



Editors-in-Chief: Neda Shokrian, Avraham Spraragen, Arielle Rothman
Assistant Editors: Yaakov Spraragen, Lia Berger, Shani Kahan
Social Media: Shawn Wydra
Writing Staff: Rachel Ahdoot, Yair Atlas, Dalia Etessami, Aryeh Hajibay, Shani Kahan, Leeal Kahen, Shaina Lavi, Arie Monas, Stacy Okin, Alana Pearl, Joshua Peyser, Arielle Sarraf, Aaron Silverman, Jamie Zuckerman
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky