Monday, January 26, 2009

Gatlinburg Shabbaton

Another set of unforgettable moments were created and forever forged in the memories of our high school boys this past shabbos in their annual Gatlinburg Shabbaton. Masterfully orchestrated by Rabbi Gersten, the weekend - whose theme was Emet vi-Sheker (Honesty and Deceit) - featured everything from simulated moral dillemas and stimulating text-based learning to inspiring ruach and insightful conversations, and from to time in town, time with friends, and time on the slopes, to the time-honored tradition of the CYHSB Polar Bear Club. There is nothing quite like it...

Shabbos Blogging

To all of my blog subscribers who have been wondering what siman in Shulchan Aruch allows me to blog on shabbos, let me put your mind at ease. The email which you receive telling you of an update to my blog, is automatically produced by a service called Feedburner and generally goes out 12 to 24 hours after I have posted an entry. As Fridays tend to offer me a few more free minutes to blog than do the other days of the week, the email from Feedburner alerting you of an update often goes out once shabbos has started - hence the appearance that I am blogging between aliyos or during the rabbi's speech. Please rest assured, though, that I am not.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Picturing America

Thanks to the efforts of our middle and high school history teacher Dr. Whitney Kennon, MHA/FYOS has been selected to be a recipient of the Picturing America grant sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Picturing America program seeks to educate students by providing large, high quality reproductions of American art for display in classrooms. These works of art help enhance the learning process by serving as visual stimulation, and creating a more enjoyable learning environment.

Here's a quote form Dr. Kennon: "I am very excited about this wonderful opportunity for our school. This collection has some of the most famous and memorable images from American history and will be useful not only in the classroom but will also complement the growing collection of wonderful art which graces our hallways."

To see some of the art, click here.

Geography Bee

4th through 8th grade competed in the National Geographic Society's nation-wide geography bee. Each class in grades 4-8 first held their own class-wide competition. The top two qualifiers then represented the class in the school-wide competition live competition on Wednesday. In an exciting duel, 8th grader Lee Silberberg edged out 7th grader Hannah Leigh Morris for the victory. Lee will now take the written qualifying test to secure entry into the state competition. Good luck, Lee! Make us proud!

Our Hearts Are in the East

While we, like Yehudah HaLevi a millennium ago, are at the edge of the West, we have made it a priority to ensure that our students hearts' are firmly planted in the East. From daily news reports and educational assemblies, to extra tefillot and letter-writing campaigns, students in all grades have been keeping abreast of the situation in Israel, learning about its complexities, and empathizing with its tragedies. May we soon see enduring peace.

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Firsts" for the Dean's Writing Award

The results are in from December's Dean's Writing Award. This month's submissions were amongst the best I've gotten yet and featured two new "firsts". It was the first time we received two full length essays written completely in Hebrew, as well as the first time we received a submission from Kindergarten! In fact, the competition was so stiff for the Judaic Studies category, that I had to give two awards instead of one. So... the winners of the December Dean's Writing Contest in the Judaic Studies category were David Finkelstein (our Kindergartner!) and Jake Baum. In the General Studies category, the winner was David Yehoshua Samuels.

To see the complete list of nominees and to read the work of our finalists and winners, click here.