Monday, April 7, 2014










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Parashat Acharei Mot

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Guess Who: How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

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Turmoil Renewed for Jewish Venezuelans



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IDF Hero Addresses NSHAHS

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NSHAHS Catches a Cold

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Quidditch at NSHAHS



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Senioritis Kicks In

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The APs Are Coming!

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Panim el Panim



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Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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Get to Know... Brian Klein

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Art of the Week





Parashat Acharei Mot

by Hadar Douek


<i>Parashat Acharei Mot</i>"You shall observe My statutes and My laws, which man shall follow, and live by them; I am God." (Leviticus 18:5)

This interesting pasuk appears in this week's parasha, Parashat Acharei Mot. The pasuk almost seems repetitive in its explanation that people should both "follow" and "live by" God's laws, which seemingly mean the same thing. The mefarshim, however, interpret the latter part of this pasuk as a separate entity, not connected to the "following" mentioned earlier in the pasuk. They teach that "and live by them" goes to the idea of pikuach nefesh, the preservation of life. We should observe the Torah and live by it rather than die for it. From here, we learn that transgressions of the Torah are permissible if they are done to save one whose life is in danger. For instance, if a person needs medical attention on Shabbat, he is permitted to drive and take any other necessary melacha-related actions to get to a hospital.

The mefarshim also provide another interpretation of this pasuk. They explain that here, God is urging us to not only observe the Torah, but to do so with a sense of liveliness. One who fulfills the mitzvot in a mechanical and grudging manner will not benefit from them as much as one who does so with a sense of excitement and spirituality. Although we keep the mitzvot throughout our entire lives, we should always strive to preserve a sense of excitement and happiness in doing them.



Guess Who: How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

by Anonymous 


Guess Who: How Well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

You read and voted and 81% were correct! Ms. Alizah Kramer was the faculty member featured in the last issue! Thanks for participating, and now check out this week's mystery list below. Be sure to cast your vote in the poll!

1. I was born in the Bronx.

2. I am the eldest of 3 children; I have 2 younger brothers.

3. I have taught for many years, since graduating college.

4. My most recent public school job was in Malverne.

5. My hobbies are varied- when I can sit and relax, I am an avid reader.

6. I do not like TV but am addicted to the Food Channel and NBC news.

7. I am a great Yankee fan and have season tickets.

8. I am a passionate gardener and cultivate fresh veggies and also some indoor plants.

9. I have safaried in Africa, climbed Macchu Picch and the Great Wall of China.

10. I have 2 grown children; my daughter lives in Pennsylvania and my son (who is getting married this June) now lives in Atlanta but will relocate north soon!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.



Turmoil Renewed for Jewish Venezuelans

by Avraham Spraragen


Turmoil Renewed for Jewish VenezuelansIn a nutshell, the situation in Venezuela can be described as a conflict between the country's democratic opposition, the international community and the Venezuelan government. This has lead to an overall feeling of chaos and confusion within the country and has also initiated violence between the opposing sides. Amid all of the disarray, the Venezuelan Jews are trying to keep their heads above water. Until the beginning of the previous decade, when Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution began to take hold, there were nearly 22,000 Jewish inhabitants in Venezuela. In fact, the Jewish community prospered for years in the business and commerce industries. Some highly-regarded Jewish Venezuelans were even given significant positions in government. In addition, the Jews were permitted to build schools, synagogues and Jewish institutions, all of which thrived for centuries. The Jews of Venezuela before the Chavez revolution were also on good terms with their fellow non-Jewish citizens.

The 20th century saw two massive waves of Jewish immigration to Venezuela. The first involved Holocaust survivors who migrated to the country after the culmination of the Second World War. The second group of immigrants consisted of Moroccan Jews who fled their homeland after the 1967 Six-Day War. However, under leader Hugo Chavez, the great exodus of Venezuelan Jews commenced. Any Jewish individual throughout Venezuela who was given the opportunity to go elsewhere took it. Immigrants chose to flee to countries such as the United States and Israel. Within the U.S., the popular destination for Venezuelan Jews was Miami, Florida. Meanwhile, other Jewish Venezuelans left their country for neighboring Latin American countries. This mass emigration of Jews from the country left a mere 9 to 11 thousand Jews in Venezuela, less than half the number from before Chavez came to power. The reason for these escapes from the country in the 20th century is the dangerous mix of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in various parts of the Chavez regime.

According to many people within the Jewish community, the new leader of the country, President Maduro, has not yet exhibited anti-Semitic tendencies. This is obviously a good sign for the Jewish citizens who reside within the Venezuelan borders. However, the conflict between the protesters and government remains and therefore creates the same burden on Jewish Venezuelans as it does on the country's non-Jewish citizens. Like many of their neighbors, several Jewish residents have begun to seek emigration from the country. Meanwhile, others have kept their grounds in the hope that their beloved country will eventually return to a peaceful state. As important as it is to think about the non-Jewish lives at stake in Venezuela, it is all the more important to send our prayers out to Venezuelans from our own Jewish nation!



IDF Hero Addresses NSHAHS

by Arielle Rothman 


IDF Hero Addresses NSHAHS

In 1994, four brothers traveled two and a half hours to attend a Jewish day school in Europe. One day, while commuting to school, a gang of anti-Semites caught the group off guard and brutally attacked the eldest of the brothers, Jonathan. He was kicked and beaten unconscious. While his head was pounded against the sidewalk and bricks were thrown at him relentlessly, his two younger siblings ran away to seek assistance. Unfortunately, their cries for help went unanswered because no one wanted to be seen helping a Jew. The second oldest brother, Benjamin, stayed with Jonathan, waiting for the attack to end. After hearing the leader of the gang scream out that they were not to leave until this Jew was murdered, Benjamin propelled himself onto his brother and was attacked as well. When the attack finally ended, Benjamin carried Jonathan to school, where an ambulance took him to the hospital. Jonathan never fully recovered from the attack and a tremendous impact was left on Benjamin. The young Benjamin grew up to be a Sergeant in the IDF and he addressed NSHAHS students last week to tell us his incredible story.

Sgt. Benjamin Anthony taught us that in times of danger, we as Jews cannot wait for assistance from others, because that will only lead to defeat. Additionally, he shared how crucial it is to know the true facts about Israel, rather than to only listen to those fed to us by the media. He helped us understand that the soldiers who defend Israel protect both the country and its people, of which we are a part. Furthermore, he impressed upon us the life and death decisions that are required of IDF soldiers from an age as young as 18 years old, while here in America, we are making decisions about what college we should attend. This was a powerful comparison to help us comprehend the significance of what IDF soldiers contend with. Sgt. Anthony explained how crucial the Unites States-Israel relationship is and how we have an important role to play, even though we are not fighting in the IDF front lines.

Sgt. Benjamin Anthony was an informed and passionate speaker who left a tremendous impact on all in attendance.



NSHAHS Catches a Cold

by Alexandra Levian


NSHAHS Catches a ColdEach year, different strains of viruses, such as flus and colds, arise and affect various groups of people. This year, two different strains of flu affected the students of NSHAHS over the course of the last couple of weeks. For almost a full week, students were left with multiple back-to-back free periods and unexpected time to catch up on their work. At first, students assumed that they were just getting lucky; however, they soon realized that all of the free time on their hands was no coincidence. During the initial week that the flu infected the school, nearly sixty students were absent and multiple teachers were out, as well.

Unfortunately, the suffering continued as the virus lingered on for several weeks, leaving tons of students with a pile of work to catch up on when they returned to school. Luckily enough, teachers were, for the most part, understanding and accommodating to those students who missed class. In the same way, students were cooperative when substitutes filled in the positions of the teachers that were absent. This instance thus sheds light on the character of the student body and faculty of NSHAHS: all are a team here and are constantly looking out to help one another. Likewise, we are all keeping our fingers crossed, hoping that we can avoid the prospect of being harmed by another influenza in the future.



Quidditch at NSHAHS

by Lia Berger 


Quidditch at NSHAHS

The popular fantasy series Harry Potter takes place in a complex magical community where, just like in our world, they have exciting sports. However, the sports there are very different from ours. Quidditch, the most popular sport in the Wizarding World, features players riding on broomsticks. There are seven players on each team and four different positions: one Keeper, who guards the goalposts; two Beaters, who hit players on the opposing team with bludgers; three Chasers, who score points with the Quaffle and one Seeker, who tries to catch the Golden Snitch. A Quidditch match cannot end until a Seeker has caught the Snitch.

Two North Shore students, Shanee Bareli and Hadar Douek, have recreated the magical sport so that muggles (people who aren't wizards) can play, as well. Although players won't actually be riding on broomsticks, there will be broomsticks they can hold if they so choose. There will be three goalposts, just like in the Wizarding World and Chasers trying to score with the Quaffle. The Beaters will throw balls at members of the opposing team. The Snitch will not be a tiny golden ball with fluttering wings, but instead a person who runs away from the Seeker, wearing a yellow flag in his or her waistband. If the Seeker grabs the flag from the Snitch's waistband, the game ends. Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, anyone can play this exciting game and I encourage you to join the club!



Senioritis Kicks In

by Rebecca Ashkenazy


Senioritis Kicks InIt's that time of the year. The seniors have all heard back from colleges and, in turn, have begun to slack off. I had the chance to pull two seniors, Sydney Ruben and Jackie Gavrilov, from their "pointless" classes and ask them a few questions about the epidemic known as "Senioritis." Sydney told me, "Everyone has Senioritis. I'm not even kidding; no one's impervious. Even the hardest workers have succumbed to the disease." As the girls walked away, Jackie bumped into a friend and yelled, "Why am I in school?!"

Later that day, Samantha Blady, another senior at NSHAHS remarked "I'm so bored; I don't even have anything to do." I asked her what she thinks of school and she admitted, "I'm not even thinking anymore. I don't even know which adjective to use to describe my state of mind!"

Despite the seniors' apparent lack of drive, the grade as a whole still seems to be doing well in their classes and on exams. Is there a cure to Senioritis? Perhaps, but NSHAHSH has yet to find it. According to Samantha, a cure is not needed. Seniors have the right to take a little break-- they've worked really hard for four years and have finally gotten into college!



The APs Are Coming!

by Neda Shokrian 


The APs Are Coming!

Advanced Placement Exams, or APs, are quickly approaching. Nearly 30 million students across the country have signed up to take science, English, mathematics and history AP exams, among others. Many argue that AP exam weeks are even more stressful than finals week because of all the pressure they place on students! The exams cover a bulk of information that, at times, seems nearly impossible to remember all at once. The entire AP is graded on a scale of 1-5, but a perfect score is no easy feat. The exams are definitely a stressful time at NSHAHS.

One of the most frightening components of the AP exam is the notorious "element of surprise." For example, on the AP European History exam, students will be required to compose a DBQ within a timeframe of an hour. Most of the students are already used to scribbling several essays within a 40 minute period. However, the topic is handed out in advance, so memorization is an easy option. On the AP, however, the topic will be secret until the test is given out. At that point, students must recall nearly 600 years of information to support their thesis and score a five on the exam.

While AP exams are definitely a burden at times, the end result is worthwhile. Some colleges across the US accept AP courses as college credits if the score on the AP matches their requirements. Also, colleges are impressed by students who push themselves to go the extra mile and put in more effort for the AP classes. Good luck to all students on their exams this year!



Panim el Panim

by Rachel Schecter


Panim el PanimPanim el Panim translates to "face to face" and this past week, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School students did exactly that on a trip chaperoned by Senora Coron and Morah Taylor. In Washington, D.C., they were introduced to social and political issues facing the U.S. and discussed ways to face the issues. When the students arrived, they immediately started playing ice-breakers and introducing themselves to the other yeshiva students. Then, the leaders started to discuss the first topic, which was health care insurance in the United States. Junior Michaela Elias said, "It was very interesting to learn more about the issues that our country is facing and the different ways to deal with them." The students debated and discussed the issues and solutions with other yeshivas from the East Coast. Later that day, students heard stories from two homeless men. They are from the organization Plight of the Homeless. These stories touched all the students and made them aware of the severity of the situations that homeless people are forced to face.

All of the NSHAHS students attending participated in different chessed projects by picking one that interested them the most. Some picked the Ronald McDonald House, while others picked soup kitchens, bagging groceries for the homeless, cleaning parks or preparing food for the homeless. Mrs. Merrie Coron, Instructor of Foreign Language and Coordinator of Anti-Bias, said, "It was a great experience for all!" In addition to their chessed projects, students heard lectures by AIPAC. To conclude their trip, the students had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Kristin Gillibrand and propose to her their own ideas and concerns. The students had a great time learning how to lobby for their beliefs in Congress on this worthwhile trip.



Will Grayson, Will Grayson

by Rebecca Rosen 


Will Grayson, Will Grayson

"Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters." - John Green

One cold night, in a very peculiar corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with none other than... Will Grayson. These two teens, although having the same name, lead very different lives. Original Will Grayson is the son of absent yet loving parents who have high hopes for him in the future. His best friend's name is Tiny Cooper, a flamboyant homosexual romantic. He lives by two very important rules: the first: don't care too much and the second: shut up. The second Will Grayson is depressed, fatherless and friendless, all except for his Debby-downer friend Maura. Will Grayson is also a closeted gay who falls in love with Isaac, a boy he met online and chats with every day. John Green (author of The Fault In Our Stars) and David Levithan (author of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares) offer a dual narrative story that breathes life onto every page. Their individual as well as collaborative work is impeccable and I highly recommend it to any lover of young adult fiction. Be warned: once you pick it up, you can't put it down!



Get to Know... Brian Klein

by Mark Steiner


Get to Know... Brian KleinPeople tend to be a bit high-strung around school. It's nice to meet someone that's genuinely laid back. Meet Junior Brian Klein. Brian is finishing up the home stretch of the most stressful year of high school and he's very happy where he is.

Brian wins the award for composure. "Junior year was plenty, but it wasn't nearly as bad as people made it out to be," said Brian. "It's important to keep a cool head all the time. Put everything in perspective." But just because Brian isn't worried doesn't mean that he's not working hard. He says his favorite classes are Money & Banking and Trigonometry. "If you want to stay in control, you have to stay on top of your work. Math is fun, so long as you can keep up," he clarified.

Brian's favorite extracurriculars are hockey and the Anti-Bias Taskforce. "Hockey is something I find super enjoyable and it gives me a place to put my energy," he said. The Taskforce allows Brian to get out there and handle different sorts of problems in the real world, while helping the greater good. He says he loves them both.

Brian is a die-hard Knicks and Rangers fan. That means he'll be watching the games when he can. When he's not keeping up with sports teams, Brian likes to relax with friends and watch his favorite show, Seinfeld. He's actually quite fond of quoting that one. Almost too fond.



Art of the Week

by Sarah Lane 


Art of the Week

This week's piece was created by AP Studio Art student Sarah Lane.



Editor-in-Chief: Anna Hardcastle
Assistant Editor: Cayla Gold
Copy Editor: Stephanie Gottlieb
Web Developer: Benjamin Khakshoor
Photography: Shoshana Sternstein
Writing Staff: Rebecca Ashkenazy, Lia Berger, Hadar Douek, Rachel Dynkin, Emma Greszes, Ariela Hecht, Shani Kahan, Alexandra Levian, Rebecca Rosen, Arielle Rothman, Rachel Schecter, Steven Schwartz, Neda Shokrian, Avraham Spraragen, Mark Steiner
Faculty Advisors: Mrs. April Zabinsky