Friday, October 24, 2014

30 Tishrei 5775


 Parshat Noach
Candle Lighting at 6:26 PM

Reaching In and Out 


Noach is chosen by God to create mankind anew. That seems like quite an honor. When the Torah introduces us to Noach we are told that: נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדורותיו -- Noach was a tzaddik, perfect in his generation. That sounds like quite a compliment. The midrash states, however, that although some see it as a compliment, others interpret it as a veiled criticism of Noach; he was only considered to be good relative to the scoundrels of his time, but if he had lived in the time of Avraham, he would be nothing special.  What would motivate Chazal to view Noach as less than exemplary? Why doesn't everyone agree that this "chosen one" is indeed a real tzaddik?


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin offers a penetrating insight. Noach is being contrasted with Avraham as they represent two different schools of thought. When faced with the impending destruction of Sodom, Avraham challenged God to defend Sodom's residents. When Noach was faced with the impending destruction of the world, he dutifully accepted the fate and concerned himself with only his immediate family. The negative view of Noach in the midrash is promoting the model of Avraham, the idea of outreach to those outside of our immediate community. The positive view of Noach in the midrash is promoting the notion of in-reach, of battening down the hatches when faced by the challenge and threat of those outside of our community. As Rabbi Riskin writes, the key to creating a thriving Judaism is "balancing the tension between Noah's tight ship and Abraham's open tent." At WYHS we aim to deliver an education that promotes both of these models. We want our students to have a strong religious foundation and an identity that is sensitive to the immediate needs of our particular community while at the same time an openness to the broader community and the world at large. Thank you to the Highlites staff for putting together another stellar edition that will give you a good sense of how our students are developing both as Noachs and as Avrahams.


I look forward to seeing freshman parents this Motzei Shabbat for the Melave Malka at our home.  I also look forward to the first Neighborhood Conversation of the year that will be taking place this Tuesday evening in Hollywood at the home of Cheryl and Ari Pearl.


Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Good and Welfare


Daniel and Shani (Matilsky '01) Motil on the birth of twins!



Brooke Bienenfeld ('11) on her engagement to Avromy Elberger


Dahlia Siev ('12) on her engagement to Noah Kravetsky

Faculty Mazel Tovs

Rabbi and Mrs. David Shabtai on the birth of a baby boy!


Cantor Mark Halpern on the loss of his sister 


Coming Attractions

V'Samachta B'Chagecha
Kumsitz Gets Students in the Holiday Spirit 

Graphic by Gabi Frohlich ('17)
Article by Highlites Staff

In the days leading up to Sukkot both the boys and girls participated in separate kumsitzes to get in the mood for the holiday. The boys' kumsitz took place in the Beit Midrash, where the singing was accompanied by words of Torah from Rabbi Horowitz and by Rabbi Sugerman's hands-on demonstration of what to look for when purchasing the arba minim.  The demonstration was followed by an intense "Kahoot!" trivia game with the winner, freshman Max Wiederhorn, walking away with the grand prize, a package of hadassim.  


The girls' kumsitz took place at the Mizrahi home, where the singing was accompanied by inspirational words delivered by Mrs. Lauren Miller, mother of Casey ('16) and Alyson ('18) Winderbaum, who spoke of her multiple battles with breast cancer.  She spoke to the girls about channeling your inner superhero to help you handle all that comes your way.  She emphasized how her diagnosis has only brought her closer to G-d, instead of causing her to question Him and ask "why me?".  She believes that the silver lining of her illness has been her capacity to help people who are going through difficult times.  


                        Boys' Kumsitz                                           Mrs. Lauren Miller's Speech   
Please click on the thumbnails above to watch the Pre-Sukkot Program videos            

College Visits in Full Swing 
Led by Mrs. Roberts Students Hear Presenations from Leading Universities
Graphic by Ariel Schneider ('17)

Boca Bagels for Breakfast
Boca Kosher Bagel Sets Up Shop at WYHS 

Graphic by Jonah Rose ('17) and Shara Saketkhou ('16)
Storm Style
WYHS Students Start New Fashion Blog  
Graphic by Alex Factor ('16) and Alec Gelman ('17)
Interview by Bailey Frohlich ('16)

Storm Style is a WYHS publication focused on fashion and lifestyle while staying true to the Jewish guidelines of modesty. WYHS students and faculty write articles about a variety of fashion topics, from the latest trends to the hottest accessories. Although this publication has just begun, the editors are excited that it is growing quickly.  Bailey Frohlich, the Highlites Writing Editor, sat down with Storm Style editors, Emma Harris ('16), Daniella Cohen ('15) and Emily Firestone ('15) to learn more about Storm Style.


Bailey Frohlich: What inspired you to create Storm Style?


Storm Style Editors: We have some great publications at WYHS that appeal to the academic interests of the students, but we thought we could really use a more social-oriented publication which could take the mind off of school to get a brief escape. We really wanted to do something different than the other publications. We try to make Storm Style relevant to the students and give them advice that they can actually use.


BF: What do you feature and write about in the publication?


SSE: We started with only a few sections like "Runway to Hallway," Letter from the Editor, Trends, and Lifestyle. We have also added DIY, Beauty, and Accessories sections. We hope to add even more sections in the future. 


BF: How do you come up with the fashion advice?


SSE: Most of our articles are written by the Storm Style team. They come up with ideas and research the content for the article. Many of us use websites like and (Women's Wear Daily, a.k.a "Fashion Bible"). We also draw inspiration from various fashion magazines and blogs to find the latest fashion trends.


BF: What are your future plans for Storm Style?


SSE: We hope to expand the content and sections of the publication. We also hope to get more students involved in the production of the publication and more students to read it and love it as much as we do. Storm Style has so much potential for growth!


BF: What do you hope to contribute to the WYHS student body with Storm Style?


SSE: We really appreciate the value of self-expression through fashion and we hope to spread this excitement to other students at WYHS. We hope to inspire students to look good and feel good every day while staying true to our religious beliefs. We want to make Storm Style the best it can be so that everyone can truly enjoy reading it.

Where in the World?
Take a Look Where WYHS Students Went During Sukkot  

Graphic by Aaron Senfeld ('17)
This Week in Pictures

Graphic by Dovi Teitlebaum ('16) and  Efraim Shachter ('16)