Friday, October 20, 2017










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Dvar Torah on Parshat Noach

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From the Desk of Dr. Vitow

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North Shore Student Lends Aid to Houston Victims



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North Shore and Ivdu Learn Together Before Yom Kippur

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First Impressions on a New North Shore Teacher

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United Hatzalah



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The Summer Experience of a North Shore Student

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Get to Know… The September Student of the Month

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North Shore's New Mandarin Class





Dvar Torah on Parshat Noach

by Rachel Sarraf


Dvar Torah on Parshat NoachIn this week’s parsha, Parshat Noach, Hashem tells Noach that he wants to bring a flood and destroy the world because of all the sins that have been done. Hashem commanded Noach to create a “teivah,” an ark to protect himself. It ended up taking Noach 120 years to build the ark! Why did it take so long for him to build it? What was the purpose of that? The Midrash says that Hashem wanted Noach to create an unusual project so that it would trigger people’s curiosity and Noach would then influence them. People would wonder and ask Noach why he was building an ark at the top of a mountain. Noach then would tell them about the flood and how they can avoid it if they change their ways and values in life. Unfortunately, Noach did not end up influencing many people.

Additionally, with respect to the arc, there were many specific details and instructions that Hashem told Noach. G-d instructs Noach and says, “A light shalt thou make to the ark… ” (Genesis 6:16). Noach was ordered to make the arc in a way that it was insulated, but at the same time light was able to get through. From this we learn that we cannot be enclosed and cut off from the world around us. We must do our best in trying to make a difference in the world. Initially, Noach thought that by building the arc he would be able to cut himself off and escape from the world around him, but Hashem’s plan was to do the opposite.

Lastly, according to Kabbalists the word “teivah” has two meanings- “arc” and “word”. We are all given a chance to build an “arc”- the best life possible for ourselves, our family and friends. Meanwhile, we are also given the chance to use our “words” and influence others to do the same. We are all given these opportunities to be accomplished within 120 years, so too was Noach!



From the Desk of Dr. Vitow

by Dr. Vitow, Headmaster 


From the Desk of Dr. Vitow

Welcome to our 17th year!

September always brings with it an air of excitement and anticipation, and we are all ready to have a successful academic year. Our school has the most beautiful and productive learning environment with recently updated audio-visual enhancements, the most creative and professional staff, a profoundly challenging curriculum, including some fantastic new courses as well as the tried and true offerings, a truly inspiring spiritual program supervised by Rabbi Weinberg, and most of all, the most interesting and dynamic student body with over 110 new freshman adding their own particular talents to the mix.

That's why many other schools try to emulate us, and we are flattered by that. We wish that every Jewish child could have the experience that NSHAHS offers its students. However, we are confident that our perfected blend of elements can never be duplicated.

This year, as in the past, NSHAHS will open many doors for its students that lead to the futures they dream of.

Have a great year!



North Shore Student Lends Aid to Houston Victims

by Adina Adler, NCSY


North Shore Student Lends Aid to Houston Victims When duty calls, New York NCSY’s IMPACT team steps up. On a Sunday morning at six, a group of seven teens and two NCSY staff from around the New York area boarded a Houston-bound plane to aid the Jewish community in hurricane relief.

The teens felt that they had an obligation to go help their fellow Jews in the South. “I would look at the pictures of the devastation and I felt helpless- I felt that needed to get out there and help people” said David Mavashev of Great Neck (North Shore Hebrew Academy HS ’18). “It was a hard decision at first to miss school, but my teachers and friends were so supportive. It soon became a no-brainer. I had to get out there.”

They spent three days going from home to home helping people with their various needs. Some homes needed help packing up what they could save from the floodwaters, and some needed heavier work like clearing out water-logged sheetrock and cleaning out the mess that Hurricane Harvey left behind. Each and every homeowner was deeply appreciative of the help. Mr. Ian of Houston said “It’s just so great to see that young people in New York care enough about us to come all the way down here to help complete strangers. It really means a lot to us.”



North Shore and Ivdu Learn Together Before Yom Kippur

by Kayla Kreinik  


North Shore and Ivdu Learn Together Before Yom Kippur

This past Thursday, Ivdu, Yachad’s high school for developmentally disabled teens, made a special visit to North Shore Hebrew Academy. The Ivdu students came for a meaningful day of learning and bonding with the North Shore seniors before Yom Kippur. Prior to the arrival of the Ivdu students, under the guidance of Mrs. Septimus, Director of Special Programs, Josh and Kayla Krenik, along with Hallie Fein and Noa Saltzman led sensitivity training activities for the seniors. The seniors were told to think of a time when they, as individuals, felt excluded, and to think about how it made them feel. This highlighted the importance of unity and inclusion, and reminded the seniors not to treat the Ivdu students differently because of how they appear, but rather to accept them as regular people. The Seniors then went to the Shul and studied alongside the Ivdu students in a Chavrusah. Together, the students learned about repentance on Yom Kippur. The learning was fun, interesting, and a great way to get to know the Ivdu students on a personal level.

After the learning activity ended, the Ivdu and North Shore students dined together in the cafeteria, talking and laughing with each other. When they finished lunch, the students went to room 304 and had a kumsitz. They sang songs together and enjoyed spending time with each other.

12th grader Kayla Lieb says she “loved chatting with the Ivdu students” and that “the amount of passion during the Kumsitz made it one to remember.” As the event-filled day concluded, the Ivdu students departed with warm embraces from the Seniors. When asked about the experience, 12th grader Nechama Spraragen says that she thinks “it is very important that North Shore Hebrew Academy participates in events with Ivdu because it builds strong relationships and reminds us to be inclusive of everyone.” She also noted that she is “inspired by how kind the Ivdu kids were and admires how they always found something to smile about.”

Overall, the activities ware very successful thanks to the planning of both Rabbi Weinberg and Mrs. Septimus. NSHAHS is proud to partner with Ivdu and are excited to continue doing many programs together.



First Impressions on a New North Shore Teacher

by Ruben Prawer


First Impressions on a New North Shore TeacherThis year North Shore Hebrew Academy HS has received a plethora of new teachers. These newcomers teach in many different subjects including Talmud, Chumash and AP Biology. Rabbi Bergman, who teaches Talmud and Chumash, is one of these new teachers. When asked about his first thoughts on North Shore, he said that he was “very impressed by the atmosphere and the positive spirit.” He was also very pleased by “the cohesion between the students, the staff and the administration.” After teaching the freshmen and sophomores for a few weeks, Rabbi Bergman still feels this way about the school. Several teachers who have worked at this amazing institution for a number of years have been noted as saying that working here is among the best things that have ever happened to them.

Thankfully, the school left a good first impression on Rabbi Bergman. Yet, it’s more than just teachers who feel this way about our institution. Throughout the high school’s sixteen year history, it has been a warm and inviting home to all who embrace it. At the 2017 Shiriyah Banquet, Michael Livi, Shiriyah General and Speaker of The Class of 2017, told everyone that “being in this environment, being with our teachers, our friends, all of you- that’s why I smile all day. That’s why I’m always happy.” As the school continues to grow and expand, its open and welcoming identity remains still holds true.



United Hatzalah

by Gabriella Nassimiha 


United Hatzalah

While there are people that think that teenagers are too young to possibly make a significant change in this world, that is actually not the case. One example of a teenager who made a difference is Eli Beer. At the age of fifteen, Eli Beer took an Emergency Medical Technician course. Later on, he volunteered with an ambulance service in Israel. Two years later, he gathered a group of EMTs to help those in need of immediate medical attention. Over the past twenty-five years, he has been able to discover and develop United Hatzalah, a volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that began in Israel. Hatzalah works differently than our traditional Emergency Medical Service. Its job is not to replace regular medical services, but simply to be there until they arrive. Their average response time of three minutes in Israel, as opposed to thirty minutes which is the norm for most ambulances, is their key to helping those who need immediate medical attention. This unique quality allows them to save so many lives every day. United Hatzalah is now helping over 200,000 people each year!

There are three main components that help United Hatzalah achieve its goal It has incredibly passionate volunteers, state-of-the-art GPS technology, and very unique Ambucycles. There are over 2,000 volunteers who will stop at any moment to help those in need, whether those volunteers are in the middle of an important meeting during the workday or whether it’s three o’clock in the morning. That is how passionate and willing these volunteers are about helping and saving others. United Hatzalah’s GPS technology, powered by NowForce, is what sends the volunteers to the scene. When an emergency call comes in, the five closest volunteers to the scene are notified and expertly navigated to get there quickly. The speed and relative proximity of volunteers to various locations really helps the response time to be even faster than standard ambulances. While ambulances are a great help, when it is a life or death left situation and someone is truly in need of instant medical help, sometimes an ambulance is just not fast enough. In addition to the quick response times of volunteers, United Hatzalah was very innovative in finding a way to handle the delay in ambulances arriving on the scene. It created an incredible vehicle that is able to transport the driver, carry all of the required equipment, and drive quickly through traffic. This vehicle is called an Ambucycle. Ambucycles do not transport patients, but they are able to send volunteers over to stabilize and assist those in need of immediate help until an ambulance arrives.

A group of a few fifteen-year-old boys did not know it then, but they would go on to make a monumental change for Israel and for so many people around the world. As North Shore students, we now have the potential to make a difference too! We may not be able to go volunteer at this point in time, but we can still help support United Hatzalah. Our job is to help by donating money to United Hatzalah and assisting them in getting a new ambucycle, which will ultimately help save so many lives. If we should take any lesson from those fifteen-year-old boys, it’s that all it takes to make a difference is an idea, unity, and a purpose.



The Summer Experience of a North Shore Student

by Anna Glasman


The Summer Experience of a North Shore StudentSummer is a time filled with smiles and joy. School is out and the stress is off. Although summer must always come to a close and school will always start anew, our summer memories don’t have to fade away. One student in the junior class, Sophie Goldman, shared a bit about her unforgettable summer experience with North Shore Notes.

Sophie spent this past summer on Yad B’Yad, which is a trip in conjunction with Yachad, an organization for Jewish children with disabilities. The trip was a five week tour of Israel and the participants were from all around the country and Israel. Needless to say, Sophie made many new friendships on her amazing program. “Yad B’Yad redefined how I think of and practice inclusion, and was truly a meaningful experience,” Sophie shared. Following Yad B’Yad, Sophie stayed in Israel for another week before returning to New York. “All in all, this year I had a great summer,” Sophie concluded.

As said before, summer is a time to let go and have fun. However, as Sophie showed, it is also a great opportunity to spend a couple of months doing meaningful work and volunteering. Sophie decided to take an active role in an organization that brings many different people together. I hope Sophie and the other students and faculty members at North Shore had an outstanding summer experience and will have an equally great school year!



Get to Know… The September Student of the Month

by Daniel Kroll 


Get to Know… The September Student of the Month

Few students in North Shore Hebrew Academy High School have as much appreciation for the sciences as September’s student of the month, Jason Kurlander. Among his favorite classes are AP BC Calculus with Mr. Dennis Nagel and AP Statistics with Ms. Mariangela Ferraro. When asked to comment on these classes, he said he enjoyed them because he feels that “math is one of [his] strong suits.”

After school, Jason enjoys being the captain of the Math Team, as well as president of the Investing Club. He also participates in the school’s jazz band and College Bowl team. However, Jason’s biggest accomplishments are in the science and engineering field. Throughout his years at North Shore, he has won numerous awards from science research competitions, especially at the WAC Lighting Invitational Science Fair. There, he won a Merit Award for his work on a prototype of a system to stop train-car collisions. He has also recently submitted a paper to the Siemens Competition on dental pulp stem cells in gelatin hydrogels for applications in bioprinting. What motivates Jason Kurlander to work so hard in so many different fields? Jason said that he enjoys participating in science-based competitions because “research and engineering are the tools to make the world a better place.”

When asked why he thinks he was chosen, Jason mentioned that it was because of his impeccable grades, paired with the vast array of extracurriculars that he participates in. Jason’s advice for anybody starting out in the science research and engineering fields is to “start out small and try things out… small things will lead to big ones.”

This is Jason’s final year here at North Shore. We are confident that his abilities will bring him much success in the future, and wish him luck on ending his high school experience.



North Shore's New Mandarin Class

by Dylan Makani


North Shore's New Mandarin ClassToward the end of last year, Dr. Vitow announced the opening of the exciting new Mandarin class. Although ‘Business Mandarin’ has been offered in the past, the class has transformed to focus on the learning of the language itself. This is the fourth language being offered in the school, joining Hebrew, Spanish, and French. The class is now open to students in all grades and can be taken during or after school.

The Mandarin instructor is Mrs. Yen, a native Chinese speaker and Columbia University supervisor who has been teaching for over 20 years. Throughout her time, she has worked in both China and the United States and accumulated a powerful resume, consisting of a pending Ph.D in Bilingual Education, along with a Certification of Best Chinese Teacher Award. Her mastery of the Chinese and English languages allows her to teach effectively and generate a powerful and remarkable learning experience for her students.

Mrs. Yen likes to stress the importance of Mandarin to her students; she explains that even though Mandarin is known as being a difficult language, it has many real-life applications. Much of the thriving business in America is based off of manufacturing in China. Speaking their language allows Americans to better do business with the Chinese. Additionally, speaking in a foreign tongue allows one to better communicate with people around the globe.
Mrs. Yen invites all students willing to learn to immerse themselves in the complex and artistic language of Mandarin, Chinese.



Editors-in-Chief: Caylie Tuerack, Ben Baruch
Assistant Editors: Leeal Kahen
Writing Staff: Dalia Etessami, Anna Glasman, Sophie Goldman, Daniel Kroll
Junior Writers: Rachel Ashourzadeh, Adriel Kohananoo, Kayla Kreinik, Rachel Sarraf, Halli Fein, Dylan Makani, Aviram Nessim, Ruben Prawer, Mikael Rahmani, Gabriella Nassimiha, Rebecca Farca, Shlomo Shaulian, Nathan Maidi
Faculty Advisor: Mrs. April Zabinsky