On Monday, May 23, the YCQ Debate Team competed in the 2022 Middle School Yeshiva Debate Society Championship, held at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, and won First Place School for the 2021-2022 school year.

“A genuine team effort, this tremendous honor was achieved by our incredibly dedicated, uniquely talented, and obviously persuasive YCQ students. All year, judges of the multiple tournaments in which we won several trophies, have gone out of their way to comment on how our team consistently is, ‘spot-on in the art of persuasion,’ and how they have been ‘easily convinced by your team’s logic and reasoning skills,’ noted Mr. Miles Ehrenkranz, Coach of the YCQ JHS Debate Team. “I consider this championship a reflection upon the academic prowess of YCQ, as one cannot gain all the skills necessary to achieve this goal in a single year. It takes years of quality education and extreme dedication to win this championship. I am so incredibly proud of our students in accomplishing this tremendous feat.”

The YCQ Debate Team participated in the Middle School Yeshiva Debate Society against many other schools in 2021 and 2022. Students wrote speeches on a multitude of topics, such as “Children and Electronic Use” and “Taxes on Chips, Soda, and Fast Food.”

During the Championship, the topic was “Armed Security in Private and Public Schools.” Both sides made commendable arguments. YCQ scored the most team points when added up from all three tournaments, and YCQ congratulates all the other schools on their achievements throughout the year. Other schools that participate in the Middle School Yeshiva Debate Society include HALB, Yeshivah of Flatbush, Yavneh, SAR, HAFTR, Noam, Kushner, Barkai, HANC, NSHA, and Westchester Day School.

“Our debate team, under the leadership of Mr. Erenkranz, is the pride and joy of our Yeshiva. Students work so hard Monday evenings, staying after school to prepare for each tournament,” stated Rabbi Mark Landsman, YCQ Principal. “Winning the championship is the culmination of all the effort that our incredible students put in to developing vital skills necessary to have a respectful debate on important topics.”

“This win is a big accomplishment because it demonstrates that dedication and effort pay off,” Ms. Odelia Schlisser, JHS Assistant Principal of General Studies, remarked. “I am very proud of our debate team members and grateful to our Coach, Mr. Miles Ehrenkranz.”

The YCQ team attended three meets this year and debated various topics that are chosen by the host school. Hosting is scheduled on a rotating basis, and each school provides two judges for each meet. Teams are judged in three categories: Individual Speaker, Team, and Best School.

In September, Mr. Ehrenkranz reported, “Debate competition has appropriately been characterized as a game of intellect. In fact, I consider debate a sport. Debaters are judged on the skill manifested in their performances. As is the case with nearly all sports, the excitement of aspiring to defeat your rivals, and the suspense and anticipation of the judge’s scoring, promote the enkindling of the whole team.”

Dedicated YCQ Grade Seven and Grade Eight students worked diligently throughout the year in preparation for the debates. The 2021-2022 YCQ Debate Team members are: Menashe Basalely, Eyal Traeger, Pauline Tawil, Sara Sullivan, Rebecca Sisser, Michael Zavulun, Elianah Aminova, Adam Kaykov, Gabriel Koptiev, Assaf Davidov, Yair Davidov, Emily Akbshev, Benjamin Toobian, Jonathan Khaimov, Liora Ashurov, Ariel Pinkhasov, Aviel Babaev, and Adam Pinkhasov.

Michael Zavulun, Grade Seven Co-Captain of the YCQ Debate Team, wished to dedicate this award to his great-grandfather z”l, who passed away during the 2022 Celebrate Israel Parade.