June 17, 2024
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Shiriyah 5783: Interview With Frisch Senior Menukhah Yaghoubzar

What stood out about Shiriyah for you this year?

Every year has been amazing, and this year we all wanted to spend as much time with each other as possible before we all graduate. We know each other better than ever and we’re like one big family.

What “challenges” does Shiryah bring?

Shiriyah begins on a Friday and then the final event and presentations are on Thursday. The biggest challenge is that it’s a time crunch, but there’s a time limit for the hallways, medley, songs and all the other creative activities. The quality needs to be good, but you need to work smart and strategically to get it done.

This year, the freshman theme was Beit Yisrael, the sophomore theme was Beit Knesset, the junior theme was Beit Midrash and the senior theme was Beit HaMikdash. The overarching tagline was “No Place Like Home.” What did you like about this theme?

“No place like home” was such an incredible theme, because even though we’re going to different colleges and seminaries/yeshivot, Frisch is home for us. We know we’re all going to be living our lives, but we’ll always be rooted in and connected to Frisch.

What were the highlights of this experience?

To see how everyone has their own talent that can shine through and every person there to celebrate on the final evening was so unique and special. In previous years, I was involved in several things, but this year I got to see everything as it was unfolding. For example, the stomp—both drumming and dancing—were so much fun, and really seeing how the performance comes together was incredible. Also, I did a Chopped challenge with Kayla Schwartz and Ryan Friedman, and even though we were late we created a pasta dish and we won first place! We just conquered and overcame and we came out on top.

What are you most proud of, personally and as a grade?

Something we incorporated, and that I took upon myself, was to create Asher Yatzar cards available to everyone. This was a chesed initiative and campaign started a few months ago after my baby cousin, Itai Baruch ben Ariel z”l, passed away from a heart condition; I realized how important Asher Yatzar is and how miraculously our bodies function, and why we should be saying Asher Yatzar consistently, so I decided to spread awareness in memory of my cousin. Bringing awareness and spreading the message was something I felt was meaningful to do in memory of my cousin. When I came up with this idea, I went to the Frisch faculty and they were more than helpful in facilitating the campaign. We created Asher Yatzar cards—both Ashkenazi and Sephardi versions—and put them around Frisch. I wrote about Asher Yatzar in the Shiriyah program, and after Shiriyah we sent the Asher Yatzar cards to people’s homes, in memory of Mrs. Elaine Mehler z”l.

How will you carry Shiriyah forward with you beyond graduation?

I am definitely excited to be part of the Shiriyah watch parties in Israel, and after that watching my brother and hopefully my cousins. It’s so fun to watch my sister and other alumni in the crowd. It’s fun as a student but I know I’ll also feel comfortable and excited coming back to Frisch in the future. When you see the alumni there in the audience, they feel they’re still part of it. It’s not just four years; it’s your whole life that you’ll feel the joy and excitement of Shiriyah.

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