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VOLUME 7 ISSUE 20

GET IN THE KNOW!

Friday, May 12, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yom Yerushalayim Dvar Torah

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Honor Roll Letters

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This Year's Poet Laureate

 

 

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North Shore's Blood Drive

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North Shore and The Bristal Working Together

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Science Club Event

 

 

 

 

Yom Yerushalayim Dvar Torah

by Ben Baruch

 

Yom Yerushalayim Dvar TorahThis Tuesday, Jews around the globe came together to celebrate the 50th Yom Yerushalayim, the day on which the city of Jerusalem was reunified. During the 6 Day War, Israeli soldiers were commanded to invade the Old City and recapture Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount. The event signified a fulfilling of prophecy from thousands of years earlier that the temple would be destroyed but we would eventually return to Jerusalem and resettle the city. While we celebrate the event, it is interesting to look back to the time immediately following the destruction and look at the emotions of two prevalent rabbis at the time, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva.

During the time before the destruction, two opposing groups of Jews dominated. There were those who believed we should make peace with the Romans and those who wanted to revolt. Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai represented the moderate group, the one willing to negotiate. He is famous for being taken out of the city in a coffin prepared by his students. He tricked the Roman soldiers, making them think he was dead, and was carried to Vespasian, the Roman general. When Rav Yochanan revealed that he was, in fact, alive, Vespasian told the Rabbi that he may ask him whatever he desired. Rav Yochanan made one request, that Yavneh be kept in tact so that Judaism can continue to thrive even without the Bet Hamikdash. Vespasian quickly agreed. After the destruction, Yavneh became the center of Jewish life for centuries after exile from Jerusalem. Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai is also famous for his nine takanot that were enacted to allow Jews to remember the Temple in the Diaspora. His actions were a symbol of a new form of Judaism, one that was able to adapt to life without the Bet Hamikdash. His takanot allowed Judaism to flourish outside the boundaries of Israel.

Rabbi Akiva was the polar opposite of Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai. When he heard that all Rav Yochanan asked for was Yavneh, he was furious, noting that he should’ve asked that Jerusalem not be destroyed. But when it was, he is known for a famous story involving a fox and the Bet Hamikdash. He and his students stood on Mount Scopus, looking down at what was once the Bet Hamikdash. His students saw a fox walking on what was the Kodesh Hakodashim, and they wept. Rabbi Akiva, on the other hand, burst out in laughter. When asked why he laughed, he noted that even though the Temple was destroyed, there was a prophecy that we would soon return. He urged his students and followers to stay strong because the return to Jerusalem was imminent.

It took 2000 years but Rabbi Akiva was correct. The Jewish people did return to Jerusalem and we have established a Jewish state in Israel. But it was thanks to Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai’s takanot that allowed the religion to survive during those 2000 years. When we celebrate Yom Yerushalayim this week, we should take into account the miracle that is the survival of the Jewish people over our 2000 years in exile and we should continue to thank Hashem for all the miracles in our lives.

 

 

Honor Roll Letters

by Adriel Kohananoo 

 

Honor Roll Letters

Recently, North Shore’s Honor Roll letters were sent out to those who met a certain set of requirements. The letter invites all those students placed on the Honor Roll for the 2016-2017 school year to the annual Celebration of Excellence that occurred this past Monday, May 22nd. Anyone invited to the celebration was allowed to bring along anyone with whom they desired to share the prestigious evening.

The requirement to make the Honor Roll is essentially obtaining overall academic excellence in both Judaic and Secular Studies. For 9th graders, the privilege of getting into Honor Roll requires a 90 average in both Judaic and Secular Studies separately. For 10th through 12th graders, a spot on the Honor Roll is earned by having at least a 92 average. In addition, 11th and 12th graders have the ability to make specific subject Honor Rolls for maintaining an average over 92 in that subject. Although it isn’t exactly easy to achieve all of these requirements, it does feel rewarding and should motivate any student to continue in his or her pathway of success throughout the rest of high school and beyond.

For those who received the coveted Honor Roll letter, the May 22nd event at the Great Neck Synagogue was a wonderful and rewarding evening. It was an amazing moment those celebrating their accomplishments and a spectacular night where everyone truly felt honored.

Congratulations to all students that made Honor Roll!

 

 

This Year's Poet Laureate

by Leeal Kahen

 

This Year's Poet LaureateIt is a running tradition here at North Shore Hebrew Academy that at every Annual Night of Excellence, a poem is read aloud to the audience. The person designated to read the poem is “crowned” as the Poet Laureate of the school. This year’s Poet Laureate is Junior, Joelle Galatan. Joelle first began to write poetry in middle school. Later, under the guidance of Mrs. Zabinsky and Mr. Muir, Joelle’s passion for poetry grew stronger. She has entered several writing competitions in the past and has won a Gold and Silver key for her poetry in the Scholastic Writing Competition. She even had the honor of reading her poems for the ELIJA Foundation for Autism’s Community Breakfast. Says Joelle, “I first started writing poetry when I was young. I never really gave it much thought until I was in high school and started entering writing competitions. Even then, I didn’t realize what journey poetry might take me on. Now that I am Poet Laureate and excitedly waiting for Honor Roll Night, I realize the power of the written word and how it can really take you anywhere.”

 

 

North Shore's Blood Drive

by Sophie Goldman 

 

North Shore's Blood Drive

Every two seconds, a person in the United States needs a blood transfusion. The constant need for donated blood in hospitals supplies no shortage of opportunities for the average person to save a life. An annual blood drive, held here at North Shore Hebrew Academy and run through the Red Cross organization, allows students to take advantage of the opportunity to perform a mitzvah and save a life. On Monday, April 3rd, Mrs. Gold, Director of Student Life, organized our school’s largest blood drive yet. Over 70 students participated and more than 63 pints of blood were donated. The etiquette and cooperation of the gracious donors truly impressed the workers of the blood drive. One such worker told Mrs. Gold, “I have to tell you that I have worked in many different schools all over the tri-state area for many years, but I have never come across such a polite, well-behaved, and cooperative group of students as I have experienced today. Even though I was working, I really felt like I had the day off.” It is no doubt that this spring’s blood drive was successful, and we can look forward to additional blood drives with high participation in the future.

 

 

North Shore and The Bristal Working Together

by Ian Terzi

 

North Shore and The Bristal Working TogetherAll students know about the beautiful new building next to the school. However, not many know what the the building is for. The building is a residential home centered towards assisting senior citizens with Alzheimer's disease. Its helps the residents cope with the disease. Taking advantage of their proximity to our school, they reached out us hoping for some volunteers.
There was a big turnout for the meeting. This just goes to show the character of our student body. Students were introduced to the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation, or LIAF. This foundation works with Bristal, the organization running the building just next door. The representatives spoke about symptoms of Alzheimer's and how it develops within the human body. They also talked about what volunteer work we can do. This includes assisting the staff with large groups and projects, managing small groups for board games, and spending time with individuals. Students can give The Bristal the times that they are available and The Bristal will make their schedule. Students are allowed to visit the The Bristal, with permission, during free periods during school hours if a teacher is absent or the individual has regular frees. This provides the students with a good opportunity to help the community and do some chesed work. In order to get this information out, Mrs. Gold, Director of Student Life, organized to have a meeting in the school. This is a great opportunity to do some chesed work and it's just up the hill!

 

 

Science Club Event

by Ariella Khalili 

 

Science Club Event

Just recently, on May 4th, North Shore Hebrew Academy High School’s Science Club went on a memorable and educational field trip to the 92nd Street Y in New York City. There, the students attending the event had the unique opportunity to listen and learn from the prestigious neuroscientist, Robert Sapolsky. Sapolsky is a professor of Biology and Neurology at Stanford University. He is the author of many books and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. At the 92nd Street Y, North Shore students heard Mr. Sapolsky discuss how environmental factors dictate the human way of life and ultimately direct the way people make decisions. Such factors include stress, social status, the last time a person ate, or if a person’s ancestors lived in poverty or wealth. Mr. Sapolsky’s research, which is supported by years of studying baboon and human communities, concludes that these factors shape our thought processes and our behaviors. Keeping in mind the idea that a variety of factors shape our decisions and behaviors, Sapolsky brights to light a very thought-provoking question, "How much of a decision is actually based on free will?"

 

 

Editors-in-Chief: Ben Baruch, Caylie Tuerack
Assistant Editors: Leeal Kahen
Writing Staff: Dalia Etessami, Anna Glasman, Sophie Goldman, Aryeh Hajibay, Ariella Hajibay, Leeal Kahen, Ben Pagovich, Yaakov Spraragen, Ian Terzi
Junior Writers: Rachel Ashourzadeh, Rebecca Farca, Bailey Goldschmidt, Alia Hakakian, Adriel Kohananoo, Kayla Kreinik, Dylan Makani, Aviram Nessim, Ruben Prawer, Mikael Rahmani
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky