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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 4

GET IN THE KNOW!

Monday, October 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parashat Lech- Lecha

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How well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

 

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A GPS Within Our Brains

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Nonplussed On Portals

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Ebola Update

 

 

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Again, but Never Again!

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Intruder Alert!

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Get to Know: Mrs. Rosenberg

 

 

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Get To Know: Raya Hakakian

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Get To Know the History Department

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Advice to Freshmen

 

 

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The Loss of A Legend

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Breast Cancer Walk

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Art of The Week

 

 

 

 

Parashat Lech- Lecha

by Hadar Douek

 

Parashat Lech- LechaGod said unto Abram, "Go forth from your land, and from your birthplace, and from your father's home unto the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).

With so many GPS apps available to us, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to lose our direction, but this wasn't always the case. Furthermore, following a mysterious God to an unknown land seems impossible; however, this is precisely what Avraham Avinu did. The departure from his homeland would be a difficult one, and God emphasizes this by listing the things Avraham would be leaving behind: his land, birthplace, and father's home. In listing these things, God seemingly reverses the order of Avraham's actions. Wouldn't Avraham first leave his father's home, then his birthplace, and then leave his land altogether? The mefarshim suggest that God is not only referring to Avraham's physical move, but to the shift in his mentality. Though Avraham left his home, it took him time to completely detach himself from the idolatrous behavior of his father and of his community. After all, Avraham had been raised a certain way all of his life. He could not instantly rid himself of the ideas and beliefs that had been instilled in him. Thus, he had to leave his land before he was able to mentally "leave" his birthplace, and eventually his father's home.

 

 

How well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

by Anonymous 

 

How well Do YOU Know Your Teachers?

Check out this week's mystery list and try to guess which staff member wrote it. Be sure to cast your vote in the poll!

1. I can play three instruments: piano, guitar and saxophone. My favorite is piano, and I love to play Show-tunes.
2. I love to read, and the most recent book I finished is The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
3. My parents had standard poodles when I was growing up - at one point we had three at the same time!
4. In high school, I played varsity tennis, basketball and softball. My favorite was softball because I loved our team, and we always sang the weirdest and most fun cheers. This might explain #5.
5. My favorite movie of all time is "A League of Their Own." Mostly because of #4, and the fact that "There's no crying in baseball!"
6. I am an organizational "wizard" (I use the term wizard loosely, as some would refer to this obsession as "freak-ish!")
7. My favorite food is pizza, and I have absolutely no problem eating it at any time (yum).
8. Nutella - need I say more?!
9. I have been scuba-diving, but not sky-diving.
10. If you REALLY know me, you would know that I am passionate about all things related to summer camp!

Click on this link to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JGH2BGC

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Emma Grezses

 

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthThe month of October, also known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is designated toward an annual campaign to help spread awareness of the disease. Each year, one out of eight women in the United States is diagnosed with Breast Cancer. However, the survival rate is very high for those women who are diagnosed during one of the earlier stages of the illness. Many people ask themselves how this month of awareness can actually make a difference, and how, as individuals, they can impact the cause. First, this month encourages many women to seek out information from their doctors regarding breast cancer. To some who are getting older, it is a reminder that they need to start getting mammograms. There are many opportunities for an individual, even a student, to be active in the breast cancer awareness campaign. One simple way to support the cause is to have a school-wide Pink Day - a day when everyone wears pink. North Shore Hebrew Academy celebrated Pink Day this past Monday. Also during this month, many get involved with the Breast Cancer Awareness Organization, and are encouraged to raise money for the worthy cause.

 

 

A GPS Within Our Brains

by Arielle Rothman 

 

A GPS Within Our Brains

Our brains contain a system of navigation, similar to that of a GPS, that assists us in locating where we are in our environment. This discovery could be accredited to John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser, and Edvard Moser. For their scientific breakthrough, they were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

In 1971, John O'Keefe tracked the activity of the nerves in the brains of rats that were moving in a room. He discovered that certain nerve cells in the hippocampus region of the brain were stimulated when the rats were in one part of the room, and other nerve cells were stimulated when the rats were in a different part of the room. It appeared that the hippocampus cells in the rats' brains had formed a map of the environment. He called these unique cells "Place Cells."

In 2005, husband and wife Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser also studied neurological activity in the brains of moving rats. They discovered that cells in the part of the brain, called the entorhinal complex, develop a spatial pattern that resembles a coordinate grid. These cells, which they called "Grid Cells," form a positioning system, that makes it possible to locate oneself and navigate the environment.

It was recently found that "Place Cells" and "Grid Cells" exist in humans, as well as in rats. This discovery is exciting because it can be useful for the treating of diseases related to spatial memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease. Patients with Alzheimer's can forget familiar surroundings and become unable to navigate the environment around their own homes and neighborhoods. The discovery of a navigation and positioning system within our brains will assist in scientific research aimed at treating and curing devastating diseases.

 

 

Nonplussed On Portals

by Mark Steiner

 

Nonplussed On PortalsTechnology is something that NSHAHS prides itself on. Incoming freshmen are handed top-of-the-line computers to use with the school's high-speed internet, and students and teachers connect across all sorts of electronic mediums.

Up until now, NSHAHS has relied on Google for most of its tech services. That means our email directories, file sharing, and calendar planning have all been made possible through Google's servers. Very recently, the school made the switch to PlusPortals, a new host that seems to be lackluster in a few areas.

Soon after I logged into my new account, I realized that I preferred Google's hosting services. For one thing, I had to log into PlusPortals with an email account. With Google, my email, documents, and calendar were all under the same account. PlusPortals, simply by virtue of not being Gmail, feels extraneous in that regard.

Next came the actual interface. Visually, our newcomer is underwhelming. It is mostly white, with a few splotches of gray. Gmail wasn't exactly beautiful, but it at least had the school logo up top, and all of its relevant buttons were brightly colored.

This factors into my next grievance: PlusPortals is woefully unintuitive. The home page lists "links and files" which happen to have no relevance to me. Above that are a few buttons shaped like a speech bubble, a bell, and a caution signal. At a loss for what those symbols could mean, I clicked a few. I still do not know what they do, for I was greeted with an error message. Additionally, PlusPortals manages to make its calendar look like an excel spreadsheet, instead of an actual calendar. I am not looking forward to checking for my next test by scrolling, day-by-day, through a list of scheduled items.

The system does have some merit though. It provides a copy of my schedule, which I had trouble remembering weeks ago. Unfortunately for PlusPortals, I've already memorized it, and don't need to check online for it.

I find the move from Google to PlusPortals disorienting. The old system was intuitive, integrated, and of course, familiar. PlusPortals is, unfortunately, less than adequate in many of those ways.

 

 

Ebola Update

by Lia Berger 

 

Ebola Update

Ebola is now in New York. On Thursday October 23, Ebola arrived in New York, marking its first appearance in the state, and its fourth appearance in the country. The infected patient is Dr. Craig Spencer, who began to experience symptoms of Ebola less than a week after returning from West Africa, where he had been treating Ebola patients. The people he had been in contact with are currently in quarantine.

Despite the danger of this virus, there is hope for him to survive. Nina Pham, a nurse who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, and had herself been diagnosed with Ebola, has now been declared free of the it. Another nurse, Amber Vinson, has been making good progress in her treatment for Ebola and luckily has recovered as well.

There is no need to fear, New Yorkers; Ebola can only spread through bodily fluids, and Craig Spencer is not coming to North Shore Hebrew Academy anytime soon.

 

 

Again, but Never Again!

by Avraham Spraragen

 

Again, but Never Again!To some the swastika, also known as the gammadion cross or cross cramponnee, is simply an equilateral cross or a mere symbol. To our people, the Jewish people, the swastika symbolizes suffering and tragedy that not only dates back to World War Two, but also to the centuries prior, during which we faced terrible adversity all around the globe. Since the 1930s, this symbol has been most commonly associated with the flag of Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party. This was the emblem that decorated the upper arms of the SS troops as they held their guns to the heads of our ancestors. Simply put, for Jews the swastika's meaning is threefold: death, evil, and hatred. Anything that bears this awful sign is disgraceful. Anybody who displays this sign is a racist. The swastika is therefore not something to be taken lightly. It represents the dual aim of dehumanizing and annihilating the Jewish race.

Recently, in the United States of America, a country that prides itself on "freedom, equality, and justice for all," several public acts of anti-Semitism were reported. Those who commit such acts often utilize the swastika as a means of showing their disdain towards the Jews. Most notable were two anti-Semitic crimes that occurred in two prestigious universities in the U.S. The first event took place at Emory University in Atlanta; the other took place at Yale University in Connecticut.

Shortly after the end of the holiest day in Judaism, Yom Kippur, a Jewish fraternity at Emory University was spray painted with swastikas. Only a week later, this time at Yale, unknown vandals drew swastikas on the entrance of a freshman residence hall. In both cases, the administration and the student body vigorously condemned these horrid acts. At Emory, the other fraternity houses displayed Stars of David and other pro-Jewish signs at the entrance of their homes as a mark of friendship with their Jewish peers. At Yale, many students drew hearts and other images in colored chalk on the vandalized walkway. The two incidents are only mild examples of the anti-Semitism that exists in our world. All of those who can should stand up in protest of this hatred; we cannot and will not allow another Holocaust to occur.

 

 

Intruder Alert!

by Yaakov Spraragen 

 

Intruder Alert!

It's the most heavily guarded residence in the country, if not the world. A security team that consists of over eight hundred armed guards protects this building. This, however, did not stop 42-year-old intruder, Omar Gonzalez from jumping the fence of the White House, sprinting across the north lawn, and making it all the way past the front door before he was stopped. President Obama and his family had just departed from the White House before the occurrence in late September. The security team commanded a rare evacuation of much of the White House as the secret service officers drew out their guns and shooed away all journalists.

This episode is just one of the many recent security failures on the part of the Secret Service. The Secret Service came out with a statement ensuring that the incident would be carefully reviewed and proper protocols would be followed. Gonzales appeared to be unarmed but was arrested for unlawful entry. Although it is not uncommon for people to make it over the White House fence, this case is unique in that Gonzalez entered the doors of the President's residence.

In addition, this elite agency's reputation has suffered greatly over the years due to other incidents. In 2012, thirteen Secret Service agents and officers were allegedly caught in an incident involving sexually related misconduct. In 2013, three agents were reportedly intoxicated while on duty. As a result of these inexcusable wrongdoings, the President appointed a new Director of Security, Julia Pierson, who has resigned in the wake of this latest scandal. There has also been an increase in security forces around the White House in order to prevent future outrageous security breaches from occurring. The president is currently dealing with heavy waited issues such as Isis and Ebola, and the last thing he should be worrying about is his safety in his own home.

 

 

Get to Know: Mrs. Rosenberg

by Aryeh Hajibay

 

Get to Know: Mrs. RosenbergBorn and raised in New York City, Mrs. Jayne Rosenberg, instructor of History, realized at a young age that she had a passion for history. It wasn't too long after tensions in Vietnam had escalated when her older brother was drafted into the army. The war was the first to be televised, and day after day Mrs. Rosenberg would stare endlessly at the television, hoping that at any moment she would be able to catch a glimpse of her brother. This sparked an interest in knowing why he was there and why there was even a war to begin with. Years passed and eventually Mrs. Rosenberg graduated from Hofstra University with a Master's Degree in History. Mrs. Rosenberg's path to teaching isn't as straightforward as it may seem, however.

Starting out as a fitting model, Mrs. Rosenberg worked for a small designer who designed clothing for both men and women. She mentioned that she, "Watched the Polo Pony make him a billionaire." This designer was Ralph Lifshitz, founder of Ralph Lauren. Mrs. Rosenberg was then promoted to merchandising, a job which required a great deal of traveling. Having grown up poor, Mrs. Rosenberg had rarely traveled. She would spend her free time on these trips visiting historical sites, like Napoleon's tomb in France. It was not until she was married and had two children that Mrs. Rosenberg decided she no longer wanted to travel for her work. She wanted to do something that would involve her love of history, so she became a teacher. She began her new career working at the Great Neck Public Schools, where she was a teacher for 25 years. "I decided that as I was getting older, I would retire and do something I knew," she said. Mrs. Rosenberg explained that in life, you can have many careers. The career you choose in college may not necessarily be the only thing in which you choose to excel.

In her free time, Mrs. Rosenberg loves to read and watch anything about current events. However, what she enjoys most is spending time with her children and her husband. To wrap up her interview, Mrs. Rosenberg was asked how she finds students here in comparison to students at other schools. She answered that she is amazed at how polite and respectful the students here are. "After I teach a lesson they actually say thank you' when they leave the room, and I find that less so in public school." Even though Mrs. Rosenberg has taught all grades, she enjoys teaching the 9th grade best of all. She finds that students are much more malleable and less set in their ways, and there is more of an opportunity to make them better students. After spending so much time with Mrs. Rosenberg I found that I was really able to connect with her as she told me about her fascinating life story. There is so much we can learn from the people who teach us each day, not only about their individual subject matters, but about life in general.

 

 

Get To Know: Raya Hakakian

by Neda Shokrian 

 

Get To Know: Raya Hakakian

Between SAT's, pumping up resumes, and several AP courses, the inevitable junior year has many students spinning out of control. However, some students are adjusting perfectly, taking full advantage of North Shore's opportunities, and working hard to exceed their own expectations. Meet Raya Hakakian, a junior who is taking full charge of her work and proving to be what North Shore just might call the ideal role model.

One area in which Raya both excels and enjoys her work is AP Biology. "I've always been interested in biology and the way living things work," she says. "I find it amazing how our bodies, as well as those of other organisms, work so mechanically." Her other interests include: Peer Drug Education, Debate, and Model Congress, just to name a few. Raya is also a pioneer and co-president of the Women's Leadership Council. She gushes, "These clubs promote leadership while also teaching me lifelong skills."

Outside of school, Raya enjoys sports, and is a member of the soccer and basketball teams. Furthermore, her eight years of piano playing classify her as an exemplary pianist. Her incredible sense of style and fashion show that she also has an eye for art. One skill that she is able to rely on considerably is her impeccable memory, "It has come in handy quite a lot!" All in all, Raya believes that North Shore is the reason she has developed into who she is today, "Our school's community is like a family, and I feel that I'm fortunate to go to a school that challenges me and allows me to grow and maximize my potential."

 

 

Get To Know the History Department

by Rachel Dynkin

 

Get To Know the History DepartmentAs students of the North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, we are very lucky to have such a strong History Department. The department is run by the one and only, Mr. David Miles. When walking into room 314, one can instantly tell that Mr. Miles' class is one of a kind. Not only is Mr. Miles the head of the department, he also coaches the school's debate team and advises our Model Congress program.

This year, the History department is happy to welcome Mrs. Jayne Rosenberg, the new teacher of World History. Mrs. Rosenberg is, in a way, the anchor of the department, because she introduces the students to their high school history education. Last year, with the arrival of Mrs. Mrs. Malkie Goldschmidt, the school offered its first macroeconomics course. Mr. Thomas Afflerbach, another history teacher at NSHAHS, not only teachers 11th grade US History and 12th grade US Government, but also runs the school's Track and Field Club.

This year, Mrs. Goldshmidt and Mr. Martin Lichter, who teaches AP US Government and History, are the deans of the 9th grade, and their job is to ease students' transitions from middle to high school. The teachers in this department are both knowledgeable and caring individuals who are extremely dedicated to their jobs. "What we try to do is to explain history as if we are a link of very long chain, and we can't fully understand where we fit in, unless we can get an appreciation of all the things that happened before us," explains Mr. Lichter.

 

 

Advice to Freshmen

by Alana Pearl 

 

Advice to Freshmen

The transition from middle school to high school can be overwhelming for many students. With a new school comes new responsibilities and teachers. The question everyone wants to know the answer to is how to get on a teacher's "good side." First impressions make a huge impact on teachers. Aside from this, the way you conduct yourself can change how someone views you. One way to get on your teacher's "good side" is through your work. Teachers admire students who keep up with their work and are well prepared for class. Students' ability to participate in class discussions is the simplest way for their teachers to enjoy teaching them. There are multiple ways to ensure that your teacher enjoys having you as their student. Showing them your individual personality is always a must. Everyone has a different personality, which is what makes each of us stand out. Getting on your teacher's "good side" is not difficult. As long as you do what is expected and act like yourself, there is no reason why your teachers won't enjoy teaching you.

 

 

The Loss of A Legend

by Shani Kahan

 

The Loss of A LegendLast Monday, the world lost one of its most legendary fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta. This compelling character lived until the age of 82, but unfortunately, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, which resulted in his death just last week. Famous for dressing celebrities, stateswomen and other public figures, de la Renta was in the spotlight last month as we all experienced his latest feat: when he designed George Clooney's bride, Amal Alamuddin's, exclusive wedding dress.

Born in the Dominican Republic, the only son of seven children in a middle-class household in Santo Domingo, de la Renta really proved his worth and capabilities to the public when he was chosen to be Jacqueline Kennedy's designer during the 1960's, and continued dressing every first lady ever since. He progressed as he launched his ready-to-wear label in New York in 1965. Revered by consumers, peers and contemporaries alike, de la Renta was able to go above and beyond to continuously reach success. The enchanting fashion icon was always a favorite on the Red Carpet, and throughout his career, his elegant, yet flashy, works of art were worn by stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Garner, Lea Michelle, and Anne Hathaway. De la Renta was also awarded numerous Cody Awards, which are the equivalent of the Oscars in the fashion world.

As word of his passing spread, fans and acquaintances expressed grief for the loss. "Knowing that sadly none of us will have more time with the beloved and resplendent Oscar de la Renta only enhances my exuberant appreciation of the time he gave, the talent he shared and the friendship he allowed," stated actress Sarah Jessica Parker. He is cherished by all for the gentleman and star that he was. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Oscar de la Renta," expressed the Clinton family in a joint statement. "His singular talent and exquisite taste elevated American fashion, and his warmth and friendship will be missed by our family and all whose lives he touched in his extraordinary journey." De la Renta genuinely proved to be a one-of-a-kind man and left his mark on American fashion culture. He is truly to be admired for his talent and aesthetics, and will be dearly missed by all.

 

 

Breast Cancer Walk

by Ariel Fox 

 

Breast Cancer Walk

October is Breast Cancer awareness month, which is an annual campaign to increase the awareness of this disease. Although the majority of people are familiar with this disease, many are unaware of the steps to detect it and the struggles that women face with this ailment. On Sunday, October 22, many students from NSHAHS attended the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach. This event celebrates survivors of breast cancer, the hopes of those who have it, and raises money that will be donated to breast cancer research. All the students that attended the breast cancer walk said it was an amazing experience, one they found to be truly inspiring. Freshmen, Shira Tabaroki said "I think it was a great experience and worthwhile," while sophomore Brielle Hoffman reflected, "Seeing so many people walking for one huge cause was so inspiring". Finally, Mitchell Hutt summed up the event, saying, "It was a great experience. It had a clear purpose and made me feel like I was doing something for a good cause,
while helping others." The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk had a huge impact on the students here at NSHAHS, and hopefully one day soon the world can beat breast cancer!

 

 

Art of The Week

by Meshi Mizrahi

 

Art of The WeekThis haunting image was created by North Shore's Meshi Mizrahi

 

 

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 Aaron Silverman, Avraham Spraragen, Yaakov Spraragen, Mark Steiner
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky