Monday, October 29, 2012

Rambam Team on FOX News This Evening

The team from Rambam Mesivta, one of the four who came for a weekend tournament and may land up staying a week, will be on FOX news at 5 this evening.  Report Earle Farrel came by the school this morning, as we were finishing our shiur, to interview them about their experience.

If you can't catch it live, it should be on their website ( after about six this evening.
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Tournament Pics

For the sixth year in a rom, the Cooper Invitational was a weekend to remember.  From the camaraderie and competitiveness to the speakers and celebrities, Josh Kahane and his army of volunteers, outdid themselves once again.  Here's a collection of some of the best sights and sounds.  For links to all the pictures, see below.

Pics from Day One
Pics from Day Two
Pics from Day Three
Pics from Day Four

NY / NJ Students Riding Out Sandy in Memphis

Approximately 70 students, coaches, and chaperones who came to town last Thursday for the 7th Annual Cooper Invitational are getting a bit more Memphis than they had bargained for.  With Hurricane Sandy on its way, their return flights yesterday were canceled and it doesn't look like they'll be returning to the airport until Wednesday at the earliest.

The four teams, from Frisch, SAR, North Shore, and Rambam, came to school this morning for davening, breakfast, and a shiur and they'll be here for lunch as well.  After lunch they're either heading for some Memphis siteseeing or to the laudromat to get some clean clothes for their extended stay.  Tomorrow we'll do the same thing again and then, hopefully for their sake, they'll be on their way back home.
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Student's Perspective on the SAT's

Guest post by Gabriel Goldstein
11th Grade, Cooper Yeshiva High School for Boys

A Flawed System

“Five minutes remaining.” My heart begins to pound. I hear the clock ticking. Ticktock, ticktock, ticktock. I read over number 21. ‘I have four more questions left after this.’ ‘What if I don’t finish?’ ‘What if I don’t do well?’ These thoughts fill my head, distracting me from the question I’m so desperately attempting to answer. I take a deep breath: In, out. In, out. In, out. Finally, I zone in and push out 5 more answers before time is called. By this time, my brain is begging me to shut it down-I’m fried.

“Turn to the next section, read the instructions, and begin.” So much for shutting my brain down.

I suffer through two more grueling sections, somehow confidently answering each question. I walk out of the testing room and I’m overcome with an epiphany. We’re taught to believe that the SAT can determine your future, but I think that’s bologna. Only you determine your future. The simple fact that our future in college, our future in life, largely depends on one, three hour test makes me question why I even want to go to college. Why would I want to be a part of a system like that? It’s simply impossible to base someone’s academic abilities off of one pressure-filled, miserable day.

Here’s the perfect example. Last year, Rabbi Perl wrote a piece in the weekly newsletter about a young woman with a stellar GPA, amazing extra curricular activities to boast, and all around classiness. Her dream was to get into an Ivy League college; the only thing holding her back was her inability to perform on SAT testing day. This stirred thoughts in my head. College isn’t a sprint. You don’t go for one year and get a speed course on how to succeed in life. College is a process. It’s a leisurely stroll. College is four years so that you can stretch out the intake of a ridiculous amount of knowledge, hoping to retain half of what you learn, if you’re lucky. The SAT does not reflect one’s ability to understand and retain information. The SAT is a sprint. The SAT asks one to access everything they’ve learned in their multiple years of schooling and put that to use, all in thirty minutes or less. Is it okay to teach the next generation that everything needs to be rushed? That you don’t have to worry about enjoying your academic experience, you just have to suffer until you make it?

“Funny the way it is, if you think about it, one kid walks ten miles to school, another’s dropping out.” As Dave Matthews so powerfully summed up in his song “Funny the Way it is,” the reality of the academic system is that dropout rates are far higher than they should be (they should be zero). The world is slowly becoming a free for all. How can we teach today’s youth that not everything in life is a competition? There may be methods, but the SAT certainly isn’t one. The SAT is like throwing a piece of deer meat into a cave full of lions. Everyone scrambles to get the meat, leaving the others dead. Sometimes the good ones end up dying. The ones who enjoyed their courses, who wanted to learn. You see, the passion for knowledge is slowly dying. Schools no longer teach to spark a love for the infinite knowledge that is attainable in life; they teach to keep their stats high. They teach to prepare us for one stupid test that, unfortunately, will determine the rest of our lives. Where will this take us in fifty years?

We’re headed downhill, ladies and gentlemen. A change needs to come fast.

This piece originally appeared in the CYHSB Weekly newsletter

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bracket Challenge

It's that time again...Cooper Tournament fever is sweeping through the school and the community!

If you haven't yet filled out your bracket, be sure to do so here.  For a full schedule of the games and for links to the live broadcasts, visit the Cooper Invitational site at .  Let's go Macs!

Showmanship Champs!

The MHA made its presence known at yesterday's annual ASBEE Kosher BBQ contest.  From students who won their 3-on-3 tournaments to parents who won theirs, and from award-winning beans from our yankee Director of Technology to a Best in Showmanship for our booth and our team name, it was a winning day all around.

Much thanks go to Jonathan Wogan for spearheading our efforts and to Hillel Weiner, Noam "Beans" Davidovics, Lee Baum, and Jonanthan's friend Mickey, for helping to make the day such a success.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seth Mania Continues

FOX 13's evening news on Friday featured this story on our newly famous student.

The cross country footage in the video isn't from the meet in which the incident occurred.  It's from the last meet of the season which took place just last week at Shelby Farms in which Eli Osdoba placed 8th overall (out of 120 runners) and the Cooper Macs team took 5th place overall (Isaac Graber and Seth both finished well ahead of the pack).  Pictures from the meet are here.

Below is a behind-the-scenes look at FOX news anchor Earle Farrell's visit to our school and his interviews with Seth's classmates that unfortunately didn't make the final cut.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Our English Teacher Blogs About Hebrew

Mr. Aaron Brame, our wonderful new upper school English teacher, was a guest blogger yesterday on the popular I Love Memphis blog.  His post was entitled "On Reading My First Hebrew Word."  Here's a selection:

Not content to remain illiterate in my own classroom, I went out last week and got a Hebrew primer for adults. I learned my first consonants and vowels—bet, kamatz, reish, shuruk, chaf, and sin–and penciled in the review exercises in my book. The next day, standing in the hallway at school, I searched the many Hebrew posters and signs that hang on the walls, looking for a word I understood.
I found one.  Baruch, (בָּרוּך), or “blessed,” the first word of most Jewish liturgical blessings.  It wasn’t much, but it was a beginning, and a reaffirmation of the value of education, the power of study, and the joy of understanding one another.

Read the post in it's entirety here.  And next time you see Mr. Brame in the hallway, test him on his latest Hebrew word.