Thursday, August 28, 2008

Parent Involvement

The "Message from the Dean" in this week's newsletter references two important articles on the effects of parent behaviors on students. One is a rather lengthy and technical study on what type of parent involvement creates a postive impact on student acheivement, and what type of involvement does not. I have posted a copy here. The second, a short review of literature pertaining specifically to parent behaviors which promote reading, can be found here.

If you actually download them and read them, leave us a comment letting us know what you thought.

Monday, August 25, 2008

8th Grade Boys Unite

The motley crew affectionately known as our 8th grade boys have come together. Under the direction of their rebbe, Rabbi Reuven Kolton, and with the assistance of Rabbi Zev Roth, the 8th graders created a "quilt" of their own artwork which, when put together, spelled the message "We're 1." To emphasize the fact that what makes for genuine unity and cohesion is not similitude and homogenaity, but the harmonious collaboration and cooperation of diverse and disparate parts, each student's contribution to the quilt was made with different tools and different mediums, some of which worked smoothly and quickly and others which posed a greater challenge. Yet, with patience and perseverence everyone contributed to a work which no single individual could have created on their own.

Yasher Kochachem!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And We're Off....

The school year got off to a flying start yesterday. From the school spirit bracelets which the PTA handed out as the day got started to the Back to School Barbecue which capped the day off, this year's first day was filled with infectious smiles and contagious excitement. For those who didn't experience it first hand, we've tried to capture a little taste in this slide show.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cooper Invitational Hits the Web

The 2nd Annual Cooper Invitational Basketball Tournament has staked out its place in cyberspace. CYHSB Varsity Coach Josh Kahane launched a website for the tournament which will provide participating teams as well as community members with up to date info on the tournament, its games and festivities. The website also has a link to the video invitation which were sent to select schools across the country.

Due to the resounding success of last year's tounrnament, this year's version has doubled in size and will feature eight teams instead of four. The addition of these schools promises to offer even greater competition, greater excitment, and even greater opportunities for our students to develop relationships with other Jewish teenagers just like them from all over the United States.

So mark December 11-14 on your calendars as tournament time. You won't want to miss it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tuesday Night Torah

It is with great pleasure that I announce a new community-wide Torah learning initiative that will be hosted by the Cooper Yeshiva High School for Boys. In what is but another wonderful example of the communal cohesion and collaboration that makes this community so special, all three shuls together with the Torah MiTzion Kollel have come together to create a special night of learning each and every Tuesday from 8:30-9:45pm in the Beis Medrash of our Boys High School.

The program is designed for learners of all levels and abilities and the format will range from chavrutot (study partners) to chaburot (small classes) on a wide variety of interesting topics. And, because there is nothing like topping off food for the soul with some good old fashioned soulfood, the learning will be followed by a Tuesday Night Cholent.

To arrange for a regular study partner, please contact either Gershon Yarmush at, Cantor Samberg at, or Jon Wogan at

To those who worked so hard to put this together and who were so diligent in involving the entirety of the community, we can only say tizku le-miztvos! To everyone else, we say keep your Tuesday nights open and make it a time for Torah!

Revved Up & Ready to Grow

For every two familiar faces, one was new. For every familiar idea, two were new. Yet, by the time our intensive three days of in-service drew to a close yesterday, the new seemed familiar and the familiar seemed energized and new.

The atmosphere was dominated by a sense of camaraderie and collaboration: Master teachers sharing their wisdom and experiences with those still new to the profession, and those new to teaching offering their insight and perspective with all. In but three days our faculty got to know each other a bit better, our new faculty was introduced to the school culture, an extensive initiative to "reach more students, more of the time" was launched, a peer coaching program got off the ground, our curriculum mapping project took significant steps forward, class rooms were set up and decorated, policies and procedures were reviewed, and faculty divisions honed in on their particular goals for the year.

Perhaps most importantly, we focused on the fact that the single most critical element in an institution of academic excellence in the 21st century - whether in limude kodesh or in General Studies - is the willingness of its faculty to reflect and respond, to collaborate and to share, to learn and to grow. These three days were just the beginning of a journey we are going to take together with our students, together with our parents, together with our community, as we continuously seek to improve ourselves and our effectiveness in educating and inspiring the Jewish future.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Congrats Dr. Huey!

I am thrilled to announce that Ms. Whitney Huey, our much loved and greatly respected History teacher, is now Dr. Whitney Huey. She has successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Virtue and Authority: A Consideration of Catherine of Siena’s Letters as Political Theory” in the History Department at the University of Memphis under the direction of Dr James Blythe.

Way to go, Doc!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Morah Barbara to be Honored

Our beloved Morah Barbara, who has served our youngest children for more than two decades with warmth, care, and unwavering dedication, will be awarded the Margaret Friedman Award for Jewish Educators at Hadassah's upcoming Inaugural Jewish Educator's Brunch. The brunch will take place at the MJCC at 11:00am Sunday morning, August 17th. The cost is $20 per person and RSVPs should be sent to Sara Kaplan at or Rena Knopf at

Please make your best effort to be there to show your appreciation for all that Morah Barbara has done for our school and for our community.