Friday, May 21, 2010

Color War

Just when our lower school kids were convinced that this year there really would not be any color war, color war was sprung upon them.  For a day and half the school was sea of yellow and blue and red and black.  They competed in everything from relay races to basketball, Torah bowl to team newspaper, banner to skit, and everything in between.  Both the chesed team and the tzedakah team demonstrated what it means to work together as well as sportsmanship and middot par excellence.  Here's a small taste of what it was like:

From Movies

Debate Day

What better way to culminate a year-long Debate elective in both high schools (the first of its kind) than with a debate against... each other.  So it was on Monday, that four pairs of debaters from the Boys School squared off against four pairs of debaters from the Girls School, over the national high school policy debate resolved "That the United States government should substantially increase social services to those living below the poverty line in the United States."  The teams sparred with each other over three rounds, each team arguing both the Affirmative and the Negative side of the debate at least once, and needless to say it got rather intense.  Each side grilled the other over their knowledge of the government's current social service programs, over the other team's proposal to enhance or reform it, over funding, over statistics, evidence, and anything else you can imagine.

It was a special privilege to have members of Seedco's Memphis Office, who several months ago introduced our debaters to many of the issues related to poverty in the US, join us as judges for the day.  Across the board, they were impressed by the eloquence, thoughtfulness, resourcefulness and creativity of both teams.  In the end, though, there could only be one winner... and this year it was our girls.

Here's a list of all the recipients of the individual and team awards:

1st place team: Maddie Tavin and Debbie Farber
2nd place team: Jeremy Cooper and Isaac Krupp
3rd place team: Shoshana Somer and Zahava Gersten

1st place speaker: Debbie Farber
2nd place speaker: Maddie Tavin
3rd place speaker: Jeremy Cooper and Zahava Gersten (tie)

A job very well done by all!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

8th Grader Wins International Essay Contest

8th grader, Shira Osdoba, was awarded 2nd place in the 'True Story" category of the 2010 Jewish Heritage Essay Contest.  The contest included entries from Middle School students from 22 schools in 21 cities in the U.S, South Africa, and Israel.

Here's one small piece of her insightful and inspirational essay about the indomitable spirit of her father, the late Matty Osdoba, of blessed memory:

It could be very easy for anyone to be resentful or angry with God when someone’s life could be taken from him at  any second. Where is the joy in being sick? My father had a powerful answer. He firmly believed that by smiling at anyone and being cheerful that he was representing God on this

Read the rest by clicking here.  It's a short piece with a powerful punch and a critical lesson for life.

Thank you, Shira, for sharing it with us all.