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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RKYHS Alumnus and Teacher Honored

On Sunday, January 8, 2012, Rabbi Shimshon Jacob, Class of 2001 was presented with the Hoffman Award and Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for his role as an Outstanding Metro-West Educator. A member of the Hoffman family presented the award to Shimshon, as well as Robert Lichtman and Larry Rein, executive director and president of the Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life, respectively. Rabbi Jacob is a Judaic Studies teacher at RKYHS and is involved in the planning and implementation of various student activities programs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Inspiring Excellence in Talmud

Over the first few weeks of school, our Talmud classes have learned about topics that touch on the very heart of what it means to study Talmud and at once at what it in fact means to live as a Jew. Our ninth and tenth grade classes have begun learning Masechet Sanhedrin from the eighth perek, know as "perek ben sorer umoreh". Many of our classes have begun with a discussion of the "ben sorer umorah" himself, loosly translated as "the wayward son". The Torah (Devarim 21) describes how a child who does not listen to his parent is taken to the beit din and eventually put to death. Like in so many cases, the words of the written Torah here are so lacking without the additions of the Oral Torah. How old is this "child"? What exactly did he do wrong? What kinds of parents are these? How do the parents relate to one another?  How can a child be responsible for his actions? What if it is not a son but a daughter? Do we really think that parents would take their child to the beit din to be killed?

All of these questions and many many more are addressed by the mishna and gemara in this perek - but most striking is the essertion of the gemara that an actual case of a "ben sorer umoreh" never happened and never will happen. At yet this was put in the Torah in order for us to learn it and "get reward". While the exact lessons of this unsual parsha is beyond the scope of this blog (though our students hopefully all have thoughts about this) - the very questions of what is the point of studying Talmud to begin with comes in to play.

Much has been written about the study of Talmud in general and among modern orthodox teens in particular. See for example  
If we are merely veiwing Torah as a rule book of what we may or may not do in life - then clearly studyingthe intricate discussions of the Talmud is clearly a waste of time. Rather, by delving into every aspact of Torah from every angle possible - we are recognizing the complexity and infinite depth of Torah that we hope to spend our life delving into as much as possible.

Similarly, our eleventh and twelvth graders have begun this year by examining the exact sources from the Torah for the marriage process. Once again, is this neccassary to know how to get married? no. Do we learn it anyway in order to delve into every nook and cranny of our precious torah as much as possible? absolutly.

I look forward to your comments as to why you think (or don't think) the time we spend on Talmud study is so vital to the development of our students as thinking, engaged, actively committed Torah Jews.  

Rabbi Yaakov Mintz
Talmud Department / Science Department 
Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School
"Inspiring Excellence"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Inspiring story of Shira Applebaum Maresky

This morning, the students of RKYHS and JKHA Middle School had the opportunity to hear the inspiring story of Shira Applebaum Maresky, a paramedic in Israel's Magen David Adom. Ms. Maresky and her family have devoted their lives to supporting terror victims, working as doctors and paramedics in various medical centers around the country. In her speech, she described the incredibly impressive passion and care that her father devoted to his patients, a strength of feeling that caused him to found the Terem Emergency Clinic in Jerusalem, Israel. A few years ago, disaster struck Ms. Maresky's family: the night before her older sister's wedding, both her sister and her father fell victim to a terrorist attack in a coffee shop in Jerusalem. Ms. Maresky movingly detailed the amount of work that she has done in her family member's memory, explaining how she has been able to move on from her own personal disaster to help save the lives of others. Ms. Maresky's dedication is inspirational, and her ability to move beyond her personal disaster and continue to work towards her selfless goals makes her a shining beacon of hope and a role model for all of the Kushner students to whom she spoke.

Edyt Dickstein - 11th Grade

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A RKYHS Cobras Highlight Reel!

Thanks to Laibel Schwartz Photography for these highlights from the June 19 4-3 Kushner Cobras Baseball championship win against Flatbush Yeshiva!

{Kushner Baseball Championship} Highlight Video from Laibel & Chana Schwartz on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Giving Teachers a Chance to Succeed

Dear Current Parents, Future Parents, and Lovers of Education,
The end of the school year is upon us and what a wonderful year this has been. This is such an appropriate time to express appreciation and hakarot hatov to our faculty who make it all happen. A wonderful vehicle of appreciation is the Rabbi Steven M. Dworken Fund. What a better way to say thank you than to invest in the professional growth and continued education of our teachers.

The Dworken fund gives Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy teachers stipends and subsidies to attend workshops, conferences, and classes that hone their expertise and give them great ideas and pedagogic techniques to bring to their classrooms. We have a dedicated cadre of teachers at JKHA who are always looking to learn and add to their already skilled repertoire. Our children's educations, your children's educations, become enhanced by the learning, and training opportunities given our faculty by the Dworken Fund.

Give to the Dworken Fund and expand these opportunities of professional growth at JKHA. All you have to do is call the school, dial extension 1112 with your contribution to the Dworken Fund, and let us know in whose honor you are directing the contribution.

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Time Out for Baseball News!

In it's five-year program, four years since Coach Henry took the helm, the Kushner Baseball Cobras had yet to defeat the Frisch Cougars. A powerhouse in the Yeshiva Baseball League, the Cougars have had their way with both the New Jersey and New York divisions for some time. Going undefeated in 2008 and winning the championship two out of the last three seasons, the Cobras faced a tough task ahead. This young team came back from a tough challenge a week before to upset the two seed, the Heschel Heat, and looked to rewrite history on an overcast and gloomy day at Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck on June 13.

From the beginning, this proved to be a day where the pitcher would have the last word. Hard-throwing Sam S. (9 strikeouts and 3 hits) from Frisch battled long-time ace, Andrew M. (11 strikeouts and 4 hits) from Kushner. The first four innings went scoreless as each pitcher battled out of jams and over-powered hitters when needed. Both teams aided with flawless defense. This game showed sparks of a gem from the start!

The bottom of fifth began the excitement when the Cougars leadoff batter walked with one out, stole second base and reached third on an error by the catcher. A ground out to the third basemen brought him for the Cougars to go up 1-0.

It didn't last long for the Cobras to strike back. After a leadoff single by freshman Matthew S., a stolen base and passed ball, the Cobras were back in action. Sophomore catcher Josh G. walked as courtesy runner, and Jerry M. stole second base without a throw. No outs and runners on second and third, the Cougars brought their infield in to cut off the go-ahead run. Up stepped Senior Tri-Captain and designated hitter Jon L., who helped lead the comeback against the Heat in round one of the playoffs a week ago. First pitch was lined to left field bringing in Matthew S. as Jerry M. rounded third as the throw came in ... a little high and the catcher couldn't handle it, bringing the Cobras up 2-1, and advancing Jon L. to second base. After a close play, he stole third. The very next pitch, freshman, Jeremey S. placed down a beautiful squeeze bunt and the Cobras went ahead 3-1. The rest, as they say, was history!

The Cougars had the top of the lineup in the bottom of the seventh inning and threatened with two straight singles making it first and second. Andrew M. struck out the final batter for the win and a new redemption for Cobras' Baseball History! 

This win embarked on the single season win mark of 10, first time in 13 chances beating the Frisch Cougars, 30th win in program history, and a first appearance in the Yeshiva League Championship. All fitting to a spectacular career for Jerry M. and his teammates ... however, there is still one more game to go.

The Cobras will face the winner of Ramaz/Flabtbush from the New York division who play June 15 at 1:30 p.m. at Seaview Park in NY. The championship is slated for Sunday, June 19 at Newark Bears' Stadium at 5:30 p.m.

Note: This is also the first time Kusher has had two different sports teams make their championship games in the same year! Way to go Cobras!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Creative and Congratulatory Mention

As part of a Creative Communications poetry-writing contest, our very own Austin M. (eleventh grade) submitted the poem below. We're so happy and proud to announce that his poem was accepted and will be included in the Spring 2011 "A Celebration of Poets." Congratulations Austin! (And many thanks to Ms. Currie for her guidance.)

Spark the Light to Extinguish the Dark

The darkness of the sun's downfall
Engulfs its abdicated thrown.
Now the evilness of the night emanates
And allows sin to bask with no break;
Screams from the alleyways,
The trudges of the insane,
The misery of the lost,
And the blackness and redness of pain.
There is no blight to this chaos's delight.
But this it he evil of pessimism,
Who whispers to your heart and mind.

Remember to have faith and look towards heaven above!
The morning star left a presence of light,
To combat the shadow and its asphyxiation of sight,
The moon and stars glow ever so bright,
Ridding humanity from the full onslaught of the night.

Remember the ecstacy of love, laughter and the like!
Take your torch and raise it high!
Strike your own match to ignite faith,
Allow yourself to overflow with joy,
And extinguish the darkness with your own burning flame.

Creative Communication is a company who is devoted to the promotion of writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. The intent of our student writing contests is to motivate creative writers. The top entries are published in an anthology that will record the creative insights of today's student writers. There is no requirement for a student to purchase an anthology, however, if a student wishes to purchase one, it is made available at an affordable price. Top ten winners of the contest receive a free copy of the anthology. In addition, any teacher with five or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free anthology that features their student writers.