Colors: Blue Color

A delegation of seniors from HAFTR High School participated in the first annual Simon Wiesenthal Center High School Leadership Summit, hosted by Yeshiva University last Tuesday. The Simon Wiesenthal Center inaugurated the regional summit to prepare students to respond to the challenges of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activities facing Jewish students on college campuses. In addition to HAFTR High School, the summit included seniors from Ramaz, Magen David, Central, and Frisch yeshivah high schools.

The juniors headed to Flushing Meadows Park on Wednesday morning for some out-of-the-classroom learning. Faculty members Mr. Yitzchok Borenstein, Mrs. Marci Karoll, Mr. Yadin Klein, and Dr. Gili Nagar organized an “Amazing Race,” in which students had to complete various academic tasks, including determining the velocity of a rocket launch, writing with nature-related vocabulary, and figuring out how to use a 40-foot string and a log to create a shape of the largest possible area. Students also had to make use of the various landmarks and monuments in the park; they used the Unisphere to answer geography questions and researched the history of the park to understand its place in New York City history. “I really like this kind of learning,” said Rebecca Friedman. “It allows you to get more involved and experience the subjects.” Jessica Friedman added, “It was so great to be outside and active, and it was a great opportunity to bond with my grade.”


Sunday’s inter-school Science Olympiad competition, hosted at Lander College and sponsored by the BJE, was a great day of collaboration, camaraderie, exploration, innovation, and competitions in a wide range of activities, with participants from thirteen schools from the New York and New Jersey areas. Our students built mousetrap vehicles, boomilevers, and circuits, demonstrating their knowledge in sub-fields as diverse as genetics, herpetology, anatomy, and physiology. Congratulations to seniors Miri Biderman and Eliana Ellerton on their Double Bronze Medals for Anatomy and Physiology and Road Scholar events. Faculty mentor Miriam Chopp was especially proud of our A.P. Chemistry and A.P. Biology students’ kindness, cooperation, and camaraderie. As team advisor and coach, Engineering teacher Mr. David Horstman did a great job preparing the team.


A single presentation on the halachos of end-of-life issues and burial arrangements does little to present a better understanding of a matter that is perhaps the most important in the Jewish life cycle as there is no do-over in such things. “It’s a halachah l’Moshe miSinai not to be buried next to a person less righteous. The Gemara writes about neshamos that are buried next to each other speaking to each other,” said Rabbi Zohn of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha. “This is what I meant when I quoted the Chofetz Chaim as the dead as a chevrah.”