July 21, 2024
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Just Another Extraordinary Week at Yeshivat Frisch

Night Seder Students
Complete Masechet Megillah

Shortly before Shavuot, six Yeshivat Frisch Night Seder regulars made a siyum on Masechet Megillah: Shai Hahn ‘23, Yosef Feldman ‘24, Jonathan Rosenberg ‘24, Tamar Rosenfeld ‘23, Ari Spivack ‘23, and Judah Vogel ‘24. More siyumim by other Night Seder participants are expected to follow, as other chavrutot work their way through.

“At Frisch Night Seder special attention is given to ensure that everyone who wants a chavrusa finds one,” said Spivack, who will be attending Yeshivat Har Etzion in the fall. “Looking around the beis medrash makes me feel a part of something truly special. Whether it’s the warm chevra at Night Seder that learn together or Chidon, there is a feeling of community and belonging to Talmud Torah at Frisch that pulls you in and kept me motivated to come back again and again to be a part of it.”

Vogel’s appreciation for this learning community was reflected in a daf that particularly stood out to him. “I’d have to say that my favorite thing I’ve learned was on daf zayin of Taanis,” he recalls. “It talks about the power of chavrusa learning and how when people learn together they sharpen each other’s skills. It’s especially powerful because I learned it in Night Seder in a chavrusa where I see the benefits of chavrusa learning firsthand.”

Senior Josh Knoll emphasized the role that other students have played in his growth. “The students at Frisch have made a huge impact on my Torah learning experience,” he said “They have challenged me and inspired me and I know these friendships will last a lifetime. I’ve also had the amazing opportunity to learn Gemara and Chumash every Thursday night at Night Seder b’chavruta. Learning closely with a learning partner has helped me dive deeper into what we are learning and gaining another person’s perspective has opened my eyes to other ways of thinking.”

Knoll, who will be attending Yeshivat HaKotel in the fall, served this year as co-captain of the Chidon HaTanach club alongside fellow senior Rosenfeld, who will attend Migdal Oz. “When I was given the opportunity to co-lead the Chidon HaTanach Club, I was thrilled,” he recounted. “I love studying and preparing for the Chidon competition, and I was super excited to have the opportunity to really share my love of Torah and Chidon with other students.”

Rosenfeld notes that her favorite text to study has been Shmuel Bet. “I learned it with multiple people at once, and each person I learned it with had different insights, nuanced close-readings and sophisticated analysis that made me read the same pesukim in completely new ways,” she said. “While learning Shmuel Bet in this way, I truly appreciated that there are shivim panim leTorah.”

“When someone else is excited about the same thing you are, you can’t help but become more excited,” said sophomore Ilan Romm, who came third place in the Dr. Shimshon Isseroff Chidon HaTanach USA national finals this year. “When you become more excited, so does the other person, so an infinite cycle of excitement is created. Learning with friends as part of Chidon and Night Seder not only pushes yourself and your chaburah to learn more, but makes you wish to share this surplus of excitement and learning with everyone else outside of these clubs.”

The value of community is one echoed across the beit midrash. “The community at Frisch has been so supportive, and I really think it’s a testament to the school as well as specifically talented and dedicated teachers that the Torah-learning community has become so robust,” said junior Maya Tratt, who came in seventh place in this year’s International Chidon HaTanach for Youth and is poised to lead Frisch’s Chidon Club next year.

In addition, the students emphasized unequivocally how important Frisch’s faculty has been to their growth in Torah. “I think one of the highlights of Frisch is the ability to have an intimate and close connection to the rebbeim and the other Torah faculty,” said Hahn, who will be attending Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh (KBY) in the fall. “The things I’ve learned from my rebbeim over the past four years of being in Frisch have greatly impacted how I learn, approach my learning and act toward people in the real world. For example, this year, I had Rabbi [Noah] Gardenswartz for shiur, and I learned many skills from him, but one of the most important things I learned from him was mesorah. Hearing how he talks about the Tannaim, Amoraim and Rishonim makes them not just words on a page but real, living, breathing people in the classroom with you and who you are having a dialogue with.”

“The most meaningful part of my Torah learning at Frisch has been the relationships I have cultivated with my rebbeim and teachers during their classes,” Knoll agreed. “The Torah learning opportunity that I look forward to most every week is Rabbi [Joshua] Wald’s Thursday night Mishmar. In addition, Rabbi [Yair] Shahak and Rabbi [Asher] Bush have played a huge role in helping us prepare for and organize Chidon HaTanach related events. They have gone out of their way to make sure that we have as much study material as possible and that all the logistics are taken care of. They have been our biggest supporters.”

Rabbi Shahak, who won the 2016 International Chidon HaTanach for Adults, coaches Frisch’s Chidon HaTanach Club, giving students study strategies, comprehensive questions, maps, mnemonic devices and pasuk-by-pasuk breakdowns of difficult Chidon material.

“Personally I would not have been able to accomplish whatever I managed without the help of Rabbi Shahak as well as a cohort of immensely wonderful friends and teachers who were always supporting me,” said Tratt.

In the case of junior Yosef Feldman, who will serve as head of Night Seder and captain of the boys Torah Bowl team next year, his lunchtime chavruta is someone extra special: his own father, Frisch faculty member Rabbi Jonathan Feldman. The two learn together every lunchtime. “I appreciate the fact that the beis medrash is open all day, allowing me to learn during my free time,” said Yosef. “At Yeshivat Frisch, there are numerous rebbeim available in the beis to assist you with any shailos related to Halacha, studies or life.”

Frisch Visits New Rambam Exhibit at YU Museum

Over the past two weeks, select Frisch classes visited the YU Museum with Frisch history faculty member Dr. David Sclar, who gave them a tour of the museum’s brand new Rambam exhibit. The tour was a one-of-the-kind opportunity; Sclar himself curated the exhibit, which is titled “The Golden Path: Maimonides Across Eight Centuries” and will be on view through the summer. The exhibit features some exceedingly rare objects, including books in Rambam’s own hand.

Frisch Takes Field Trip to YIVO Archives

Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History (CJH), which features libraries, archives and exhibits, hosts five major Jewish research institutions under the same roof: the American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. On May 18, Frisch sophomores in Dr. Yaelle Frohlich’s history classes took a field trip to YIVO, home of 24 million Jewish archival documents from around the world, with a special focus on East European Jewish history. These students got to be YIVO’s pilot group for new and exciting programming geared toward high schoolers. Students experienced first hand what it is like to do archival research, exploring some of the incredible youth autobiographies from the 1930s held in YIVO’s archives all while under the guidance of YIVO’s expert staff of archivists, librarians and historians.

“It was an amazing opportunity to learn about our history,” said sophomore Ahava Bak. “The direct primary sources tell us so much on events and life all throughout Jewish history.”

For some students, it was also a chance to learn about the richness of East European Jewish life before the Holocaust. “While YIVO has plenty of material from the time of the Shoah, there is so much more,” said sophomore Kimberly Guttman. “YIVO’s history is rich, and I very much enjoyed learning there.”

Frisch Hosts Engineering Symposium

On May 15, Frisch held its annual Engineering Symposium, dedicated by the Maurice and Hester Lowenthal Foundation in memory of Mitzi and Edward Traurig z”l. The evening featured a keynote presentation by Frisch alumnus Yoni Cooper ‘13, who shared his journey from Frisch to his becoming an Amazon engineer. Earlier in the evening, advanced elective students got to have dinner and a Q&A with Cooper in the campus’s new engineering lab. Following the keynote address, engineering students showcased their capstone innovations and Arduino games. Projects ranged from the seriously safety-oriented (e.g. “Stove Safety System” by Meirah Klayn and Nava Sandler, which automatically turns off a left-on stove) to the playful (e.g. “Brainy Board” by Max Stober, Henry Yellin and Kovi Ressler, which is a chess board that teaches children how to play the game).

Also on display at the Engineering Symposium were projects by Frisch’s Hackathon and CIJE Tank teams, Robotics Program, Girls Who Code, Fab Lab student creators and more. In addition, the event included the live annual Robotics CouGear Cup, where robotics teams compete to win the in-house Frisch robotics championship cup. Thanks goes to Rifkie Silverman, Travis Merritt and Michael Preston for their incredible instruction and mentorship throughout the year.

Evening of the Arts Held at Frisch

Frisch held its annual Evening of the Arts this past Monday, May 22. The first half of the event featured musical performances by Frisch’s Jazz Ensemble, Performance Ensemble and the Cougar Chorus. Then, attendees got to do a gallery walk and take in the outstanding artistic creations—from paintings and fashion design to paper sculptures, glass art and Judaica woodworking projects—by students in Frisch’s Art Track, Artist Beit Midrash, Art Club and other courses within the schools Visual Arts department with Ahuva Winslow and Mira Levy.

Frisch Student Entrepreneurs Showcase Innovations

On Tuesday, May 23 the end-of-year academic celebrations continued. Frisch’s annual Entrepreneurship Demo Day featured business pitches and startup ideas developed in the Entrepreneurship Track with Frisch’s Entrepreneurship Program Director Christian Balevski. The event was broken up into two halves. First, the audience got to go around and view all the groups’ projects. Then, 10 teams gave a three-minute pitch for their business ideas, with an audience vote at the end. Many of the projects were innovative, integrating new technologies like AI–for instance, “Parma-Cam,” an iPad system to detect medication errors, and “EduKaty,” which uses technological tools to target girls’ education inequality in sub-Saharan Africa.

Frisch Presents Research Symposium

Frisch’s Research Symposium on May 23 featured presentations by seniors in the Research Seminar elective with Dr. David Sclar as well as those doing a directed study, under the purview of Nina Cohen. This year’s research projects included: “Death in Children’s Films” (by Bracha Israel), “Dwight Morrow High School: A Story of Race and Money” (by Noah Stifelman), “Innovator or Evil Mutilator: Walter Freeman and the History of Lobotomy” (by Jillian Leifer) and dozens more. Projects were presented in the form of papers, podcasts, video essays and websites.

Frisch Senior Trip

When this year’s Frisch seniors were sophomores, covid upended the traditional 10th grade Frisch trip to Virginia Beach. However, this past weekend, Frisch’s graduating class got to make up for lost time, and experience the grade-wide getaway they missed. The senior trip proved to be an incredible weekend of bonding as a grade, with fun activities, Torah learning and more. It was the perfect weekend for the Class of 2023 to spend together before bidding one another good luck on the way to their different yeshivot, seminaries and colleges.

Frisch Art Students Win International Jewish Photography Competition

Earlier this month, Frisch received the exciting news that the photos of four students have been selected out of hundreds of entries as winners in the 2022-2023 Jewish Lens Competition at ANU-Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. The photos of Naomi Elkin ‘23 and Adi Beniluz ‘23 (“Endless Prayers”) and Daniela Hahn ‘25 and Gaby Zlatin ‘25 (“Milk and Honey”) will be displayed alongside all winning entries in the Jewish Lens gallery at ANU. They will also eventually be featured in the museum’s online gallery. In addition, Naomi and Adi’s photo was also selected as the top photo for all English-speaking countries.

Frisch Introduces New Golf Team

Now that there is a new yeshiva Golf League, students at Frisch are excited to have formed their own team, founded by senior James Forman. Last Thursday, the Frisch golf team won against Ramaz in a second playoff hole at River Vale Country Club. “The best part of the club is being able to interact on the course with kids from other schools,” said team member David Rosen ‘24.

Medical Sciences Track Covers Injury Prevention

Sophomores in the Medical Sciences Track with Dr. Karen Goodman and Dr. Avigayil Elkin have been learning about injury prevention. After learning about fire safety and burn management, the class did a simulation of a patient who had jumped from a building that was on fire, sustaining injuries and burns. Management of the injury included a simulated escharotomy for a circumferential burn.

New Nursing Club Comes to Frisch

Students from the Nursing Club, led by co-founders Noa Grinstein and Emma Salomon, recently attended the annual Orthodox Jewish Nurses Association (OJNA) conference in Midtown Manhattan. The conference featured a variety of presentations on nursing topics such as “Milk Sharing in the Orthodox Jewish Community” and a panel discussion on the “Wide Spectrum of Nursing Roles.” During breaks, the students made the most of their time by networking with nurses from diverse fields, such as medical/surgery, oncology, labor and delivery and aesthetics. In addition to gaining valuable knowledge, the students generously volunteered their time to help with conference set up and clean up.

Chess Culture at Frisch

Yeshivat Frisch’s chess team made it to the finals last week, after a year of chess’s popularity explosion among the student body. During any free period, one is sure to find a game in progress in the library, student lounge or cafeteria. This year, two Frisch-wide chess tournaments were organized by senior Jacob Feit—sophomore Ethan Feder, who plays competitively, emerged victorious both times—with hundreds of students attending and waiting with baited breath for every exchange, blunder and en passant.

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