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June 2014

Volume 16, Issue 6



The Student Run Newspaper of RKYHS

Tefillin Controversy Hits Day Schools

Where Does Kushner Stand in the Widespread Controversy of Females Wearing Tefillin?
By Jonathan Pedoeem

After a recent decision by the
Salanter Akiba Riverdale High School
(SAR) to permit two female students
to wear tefillin in an all girls tefillah
group, the issue of females wearing tefillin has been on the minds of many
in the yeshiva high school community.
The controversial decision by SAR and
the ensuing reaction by those opposed
to the move have forced many to come
out with their own policies, even those
for whom the issue remains hypothetical. While at least one other Orthodox
day school in the tri-state area has followed SARs direction, in an exclusive
interview with The Voice, Head of
School Rabbi Eliezer Rubin stated that
the policy of the Rae Kushner Yeshiva
High School and Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy is that female students
are not permitted to wear tefillin.

The Torah commands Jews to
bind sections of the Torah around their
arms and between their eyes. The tradition is for these Torah sections, written
on parchment, to be placed in square,
black boxes that are then wrapped with
black straps to the body. For many centuries men have been the ones who have
fulfilled this commandment. Women
are exempt because tefillin is a mitzvah
aseh shezman grama (a positive, timebound commandment). But what if a
woman wants to wear tefillin? Is this
like other time-bound commandments,
like sitting in a Sukkah, that a woman
can do? Or is there more involved?

Part of the complexity of what
the Halacha, or Jewish Law, says about
women wearing tefillin is due to the
lack of concrete statements in the earlier, and most authoritative sources. The
Mishna, the third century text from
which most Halacha is derived, says
only that women are not obligated to
wear tefillin. So too does the Shulchan
Aruch, the primary code of law from
the 16th century, which is accepted today as authoritative. Neither mention
the situation of a woman wanting to
wear tefillin. There are stories from as
far back as the Talmud of women wear-

Women wearing tefillin

has never been heard of in
the Livingston area.
-Aaron Massoth 15

ing tefillin and the great Sages not preventing them from doing so. However,
the Rama, whose commentary on the
Shulchan Aruch is followed by Ashkenazi Jews, says that if women want
to wear tefillin one should protest. According to the Mishna Brurah (a commentary on the Rama), the Ramas ruling is because women have a greater
issue of spiritual cleanliness.

According to Rabbi Rubin,
this issue of women and tefillin did
not suddenly come from nowhere.
To distill the entire issue into a few
soundbites does not do justice to the
halachic question, he explained. It
has been a slow, evolving change with-

inside this issue

Slam Poem

page 2

Rabbi Schlusselberg

page 4
in the Orthodox community, which is
more evident in some communities
and less compelling in other communities. It arises from the fact that women
in the Modern Orthodox community
have been given every opportunity to
advance scholarly within the yeshiva
high school community. A driving
force in the Modern Orthodox community has been to provide inspirational
and content-based learning for girls
on an equal level as that provided for
boys. Young women are as important
to Am Yisrael as young men.

The complication arises,
he continued, in that the Ramah is
the mainstream halachic decisor for
the Ashkenazic community. And he
expresses in unequivocal terms that
women are not permitted to wear tefillin. There are times in the Shulchan
Aruch when we do not follow the Ramah but that is when there is a broad
consensus and historic precedent. In
this case of women wearing tefillin,
there are opinions that permit it, but
this has not been historically evolving
and there is not a broad consensus.
he current controversy arose earlier this year when reports spread
across the country of SARs decision
to allow two female students to wear
tefillin during their tefillah. Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, SARs Head of School,
explained his decision in an email released to parents of SAR students. He
wrote that these particular students
were following in accordance with
their family practice, which was to
wear tefillin daily since the age of batmitzva. For me, he explained in the
email, this was a question of whether
I could allow a young woman to practice as she had been taught - to daven
each and every day in a meaningful
way wearing tefillin as an expression
of her avotad Hashem. Rabbi Harcsztark went on to explain that there is
halachic support for this decision. Yet,
he also stressed that this was not a new

policy for the whole student body, but

only for those two students who had
expressed true interest in performing
this mitzvah.

Shortly after news of SARs
decision was taken up by national Jewish media outlets, Ramaz, the Modern
Orthodox yeshiva in Manhattan, announced that it would follow SARs
lead. In an email released to students
and parents, Head of School Paul
Shaviv wrote: Ramaz would be happy
to allow any female student who wants
to observe the mitzvah of tefillin to do
so. Currently there are no female students in Ramaz who wear tefillin.

A strong reaction against these
decisions came from many Orthodox
rabbis and poskim (halachic authorities), including Rav Hershel Schechter,
the Rosh Kollel of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at
Yeshiva University, who strongly opposed permitting women to wear tefillin, arguing that it is a symbol of the
Conservative movement and would
thereby appear as a validation of Conservative Judaism. Another argument
expressed was that permitting women
to wear tefillin requires the approval
of a leading posek because it involves
changing a very old custom.
Here at Kushner, though no
female student has expressed a desire
to wear tefillin to the administration,
were this to happen the schools policy
is now clear. Institutionally it would
not be correct to permit women to wear
tefillin in tefillah, said Rabbi Rubin.
Whereas I appreciate some of my
rabbinic colleagues and school leaders who feel that the time has come
to change normative halachic practice
based on the sincere and religious desire for girls to feel more ritually connected, I am reluctant to permit it in
this school because I feel that schools
should remain within the parameters
of normative halacha and not be the tip

See Tefillin on Page 3

Krupka Minyan

page 5
Mistaken for Strangers

page 6
Outdoor Facilities

page 7
Logo Controversy

page 8

News Slam Poem

Strong Reaction to Students

School Permits Student to Express His Hardships About Religion

By David Esterlit
My opinions werent really in line with
those of the administration or the school
and that sorta got me frustrated. Said Student Council Vice President Natani Bondar. So I thought that writing the poem
was a way to get my thoughts and opinions
out in a constructive environment instead
of just getting angry. Natani was of course
referring to his somewhat controversial
slam poem which took second place in
the school talent show in March. His poem
characterized religion, mainly Judaism, in
a less than rosy light: Pray in the morning.
/ Repeat. / Pray in the afternoon. / Repeat. /
Weve become like robots. / Repeat. / Dont
feel, just do.

Natanis opening verse makes Judaism, and religion in general, seem robotic and unfeeling, without empathy and
compassion. Robots, unfeeling, repeating
others words as if they were our own. / Is
this what religion is?

The answer, Natani says in the
poem, is that: I thought religion was supposed to teach us to love. / I thought religion was supposed to teach us to sympathize. / I thought my religion was between
me and God. Not between me and you. / I
didnt know that religion was judging others. / I didnt know that religion was looking down on others. / I didnt know that religion was making people feel ashamed of
who they love.

The main focus of his poem, however, revolved around the question of intermarriage.

The world is dark. Life is hard.
And the only thing worth living for is happiness. And who are you to say that your
happiness is any more holy than mine? /
/ Hate the sin, not the sinner they say. / But
what if your sin is loving someone? / What
if your sin was loving the wrong kind of
someone? / Could they hate you then?

Whether or not Natani should have
been allowed to say what he said is not
even a question. Kushner is a progressive
school, and Principal Rabbi Rubin himself
read the poem before the talent show.
I approved of the recitation of his poem
because his thoughts were personal and
reflective of his conflicts and struggles.
Rabbi Rubin said. Permitting him to read
his poem created an important opportunity

Natani Bondar 14 delivering his Slam Poem to the Student Body at the Talent Show

for students and faculty to discuss issues

of faith, identity, and Jewish community.

Its inherently easy to ask hard
questions. Its far more difficult to provide
satisfying answers to those questions. This
isnt to say that answers dont exist, because they do, but they are often lengthy

Permitting him to read his

poem created an important opportunity for students and faculty to discuss issues of faith,
identity, and Jewish community.
-Rabbi Rubin,

and difficult to explain. Natani said that his

poem was definitely about asking questions. I dont think Ive had enough life
experience necessarily to give answers to
anyone or know any answers.

Censoring Natani would have accomplished nothing. The questions he
asked have always existed, but they were
brought to the forefront of the student
bodys and the facultys attention by Natanis slam poem.
In response, Rabbi Rubin and the administration are adamant that they have always
and will always respect students questions
and will always make it their mission, as
educators, to answer them. It is not uncommon to see a student ask one of RKYHS
rabbis a question and, no matter how large
and time consuming, the rabbi will always
sit down with the student for as long as
needed just to answer it. Over the month
I researched this article, I could find not

Wednesday Minyanim Add Variety to Student Prayer

By Sam Raab

Every Wednesday, students have the ability to choose
from a multitude of different minyans to go to. Each minyan
focuses on a certain aspect of davening and Judaism, ranging
from ideas of Jewish philosophy to world injustices. The idea
behind these minyanim is that it will give students the ability to
understand the meaning of davening and give them more knowledge of what to daven for. As Jeremy Schecter 14 said, These
minyanim give me new insights to davening that helps me focus
and appreciate davening more, wherever I am.
However, do students really feel like they are benefiting
from these minyanim? According to The Voice statistics department, 46% percent of students say that they do not benefit from
these different minyanim. How could that be? One possibility is
that many students dont attend any special minyan, and instead
go to the regular minyan in the Beit Midrash. In turn, they dont
really benefit from the different variety of minyanim.
When asked how he benefits from Wednesday minyanim, Zach Israeli 17 gave an answer to why exactly he finds
Rabbi Kirschs minyan helpful. He said, Discussing social injustice with Rabbi Kirsch opens my mind to many things that
are happening in the world, and helps me concentrate my davening on those issues. He, along with Jeremy and many other stu-

See Wednesday on the Next Page

one disgruntled student, not even the mere

whiff of a rumor, of a rabbi not answering a question to relative satisfaction when
asked. That says something about Kushner.
Our responsibility as Judaic studies faculty and religious leaders is to recognize and
acknowledge students religious questions
so that we can address them in appropriate
and meaningful ways. Said Rabbi Rubin.
Silencing Natani would have prevented
us from connecting to our students around
issues that are important to them. Censorship breeds hostility and foments animus.

Allowing for this open and inquisitive environment in Kushner is what
makes the school so special. Just in response to Natanis poem Judaic studies
teachers exchanged emails regarding the
poem and met as a faculty two times to discuss how we can best respond to his questions, which were also very much troubling
of the students as well. Said Rabbi Rubin.
We agreed that teachers would find opportunities in their classes, using a variety
of pedagogic modalities (teaching methods), to discuss Natanis questions and give
other students an opportunity to share their
conflicts and struggles either in classroom
settings or in private conversations with
teachers. Im very proud of our approach
and believe that our willingness to address
all issues, even if theyre uncomfortable,
validates our commitment to intellectual
honesty and transparency. Ultimately, our
students will embrace Jewish practice if
they respect the ambassadors and agents of
Torah education.

From the Editors Desk

Like all good things, the school year has come to an end.
This year The Voice staff has gone through many changes
which have greatly improved the newspaper that we have
greatly improved, both in quality and quantity of issues.

I would like to thank all of the writers, editors,
photographers, statisticians, and Rabbi Pearlberg for helping make volume 16 a great success.

On behalf of The Voice staff, I would like to congratulate the members of the staff and the rest of the Senior grade on graduating this year. We would also like to
wish farewell to teachers who will not be joining Kushner
next year.

For the rest of the student body, have a fun and
productive summer. See you next year.
All the best,

Jonathan Pedoeem Editor-in-chief

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

The Voice Staff

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

This Week In History:


Jonathan Pedoeem, Editor-in-Chief

David Esterlit, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
Dalya Dickstein, Senior Editor
Eytan Shamsian, Senior Editor
Joey Kirsch, Page Editor
Jordan Shanskhalil
Jakey Ostrove
Ilan Slonim
Sam Raab
Sam Shersher
Ilana Hafner
Carlie Ratzker
Ashley Miller
Shep Gerszberg
Estee Wagner
Ariella Shua
Natani Bondar
Jacob Mendelson
Elisheva Feldman
Eitan Scher, Editor
Gabriel Zuckerman
Yonatan Raskin
Joey Kirsch
Jerry Miller, Editor
Joe Berger
Effie Auman
Gabe Maron
Jonah Bash
Greg Artman
Josh Degen
Alex Akman, Editor
Miki Kestler
Joe Amster
Jesse Zucker
Sara Kirsch
Shaul Hafner
Avery Bell
Greg Artman
Jacob Stein, Editor
Sammy Cherna
Ben Wagner
Koby Stadtmauer
Shep Gerszberg
Art and Graphics
Zach Caplan
Lindsey Blenden
Avery Bell
Estee Wagner
Sydney Strulowitz
Ron Sroor
Rabbi Pearlberg, Advisor

Charles Lindbergh
recieves award for his
solo trans-Atlantic Flight
in 1927

of the spear when it comes to changing

ritual practice.

Many students at RKYHS
agree with the schools policy. Women
wearing tefillin has never been heard
of in the Livingston area, said Aaron

Once you waver from tradition it leads to assimilation

-Michael Nimaroff 15

Massoth 15. I think a lot of people

would be disappointed in Kushner if
they decided to allow it.

For some, concern for the potential consequences were girls allowed to wear tefillin is even more
important than the specific halacha.
From my understanding of the halachic perspective I dont think women
wearing tefillin is so problematic, said
David Mamet 14. However, from the
perspective of a religious Jew I see it
as a destruction of traditions that have
upheld the Jewish faith and survival for
thousands of years.

This idea of women wearing
tefillin threatening Jewish tradition
resonates with others. Once you waver from tradition it leads to assimilation, intermarriage, and the destruction of our culture and identity, said
Michael Nimroff 14. Moses Mendelssohn sought to reform Judaism. The
end result was many Jews converting
to Christianity such as his relative Felix Mendelssohn the famous composure from the 19th century.

Gender might also play a role
in forming a persons thoughts on this
issue. Generally, boys interviewed for
this article seemed more definitive in
their views that women should not be

Dr. Martin Luther King,

Jr. is arrested in Florida
for trying to integrate
restaurants in 1963

Israel and Syria accept

a U.N. cease-fire,
officially ending the SixDay War in 1967

Tefillin (cont.)

permitted to wear tefillin. In contrast,

girls seemed more sympathetic to females who want to wear tefillin, even if
they themselves dont support the idea.
Abigail Rubin 15 said she did not have
an opinion on whether women should
be permitted to wear tefillin, but said
that when the issue came about and I
heard what the girls are going through
I felt bad for them because the whole
Jewish world was blowing up this religious issue that came up in SAR.

Aviva Kahn 15 agreed. Everyone is overreacting to it, she said.
We think of it being either right or
wrong, but if thats the way people
practice their Judaism, let them do it.

Mrs. Mintz, who teaches Tanach and English, responded to the impression that girls and boys react differently to this issue. I think the girls
might have questions about the female
role within the Torah, she suggested.
It would make sense that girls might
feel more sympathetic because it might
be reflective of their own questions or
own issues even though it might not be
to the same degree, because they might
understand that there are a lot of questions that people have about what it
means to be a woman within Judaism.
So they can feel the struggle that those
students might have felt. Whether or
not this is their own struggle, they can
relate to it on a personal level. Whereas for the boys who might be generally
against it, they feel that they have an
experience of the Torah, and an experience of Orthodox Judaism in a certain
way, and it is harder for them psychologically to put themselves fully in the
feet of someone else like that.

While she understands why a
girl might struggle with what the fe-

male role is in Judaism, Mrs. Mintz,

herself, offered her own perspective: I
dont think that the Torah view is one
that ultimately denigrates women or
disparages them or sees them as second class, I dont at all. I believe very
firmly that just as G-d created two biological beings that are very different,
male and female. The Torah has understanding that the Creator of the World
who also created the Torah is going to
approach these two beings in different
manners, but it is not that they are superior and lesser it is that by their very
nature they are different. Which we
know is true. We know it is true biologically, we know it is true hormonally, we know it is true that men and
women are just not the same, so therefore we do ultimately approach them
differently. Unfortunately, Jews, not
Judaism and not Torah, may make conclusions about certain things and about
hierarchy and they might act a certain
way that can create an impression that
can affect lots of people.

Rabbi Pearlberg, another Judaic Studies teacher at RKYHS, noted

We think of it being either

right or wrong, but if thats the
way people practice their Judaism, let them do it.
-Aviva Kahn 15

how strong the responses have been

to this issue. One thing that stands
out to me is the intensity with which
people of all views are reacting, especially considering it is, on the surface,
a minor halachic question. This could
mean that people are responding more
to larger issues of tension in the community that they feel reflected in this

Pioneer 10, an American

becomes first to exit
the solar system in 1983

particular issue of women and tefillin. He suggested two areas that might
contribute to the strong emotions in-

the lesson we should all

take from it is ... we should
all feel passionate about Judaism.
-Abigail Rubin 15

volved. The first that comes to mind

is the tension over how our community
understands the roles of men and women. Another source of tension might
come from conflicting perspectives on
how authentic halacha has developed,
and how it continues to develop, as a
relevant and true path to living a life
bderech Hashem (in the path of God).

One value that was consistently expressed by Kushner students
and faculty was the need to treat those
involved in such an issue with respect.
It is not my role to look at something
someone else finds important and say
its not important, said Mrs. Mintz.
That it not my role as a teacher or human being. So I can respect someones
struggle and I can respect someones
yearning for something different. But
ultimately for myself I always want to
frame that within what I believe to be a
Torah true perspective.

Abigail Rubin went on to applaud the SAR girls for their love of
Judaism: I still would not say that I
know enough to form a legitimate
opinion whether girls are allowed to
wear tefillin, but I do think the lesson
we should all take from it is that within
the bounds of Halacha we should all
feel passionate about Judaism.

Wednesday (cont.)
dents find that it gives them meaning
to their davening. However, he later
added that sometimes a lot of kids
take it as a joke and sometimes that
outweighs the benefits.
What do teachers and Rabbis
feel about it? It gives students the
ability to connect to Judaism through
different ideas, which may be in tune
with what each student finds interesting, said Rabbi Miller. Whether that
person be more creative or philosophical, they are able to connect to davening more through these minyanim.
However, unlike many students,
he didnt express any problem with
these minyanim, except that when the
school davens together, there is some
sense of unity which is important to
have in Jewish culture.

Humans of Kushner

Interview by Jonathan Pedoeem

Why did you become a Teacher?

When I was in my first year in Israel, towards
the latter half of the year a few of my friends
had different issues, some of them not religious issues at all. Some of them came to
me for guidance and I helped. I helped try
to instruct them as good as I could. Between
the combination factors of helping people in
religious areas and between the fact of me
just loving Torah, and just wanting to incorporate those two in my life, led me to become
a teacher.
What led you to Kushner?
So its always very hard anywhere to get a
job. The job market and the economy is not
such a simple situation. There was a point
last year that I realized that I may not get
a job teaching anywhere and I had to think
of backup plans. That being said in Yeshiva
University in mid march they had a job fair
where schools from across the country come
and the heads of schools and the administrators of school interview teachers for the following year. The smart thing for when you
are applying for a job is to apply to as many
places as possible; I did not want to move so
far out of the New York area, so I applied to
Kushner and a school in Philadelphia. It happens to be that I got a call the following week
that they need me to come down and start. I
did not have to give a model lesson; I did not
have to have a formal interview. I never met
Rabbi Rubin. I was just called to come. It was
more sweet than bitter, but somewhat bitter
sweet. I was learning for smicha in the morning, I had a chavruta in the afternoon and I
was doing grad school at night. My life was
pretty set; I had a structure for what I had
to. I had to put smeycha on hold, cancel my
chavrutot, and I had to continue doing grad
school at night twice a week. Basically, I was
coming here teaching six periods a day. I
went back [home] ate dinner went straight to
the library did an hour to two hours of work
on grad school every night and I had to figure
out how to plan lessons. This continued for
two or three months; it was very hard.
How do you think a students experience at
Kushner is different from your experience
when you were in high school?
One of the major differences is because of
the evolution of technology. When I was in
high school I remember when I found out a
phone can take a picture. I remember that
blowing my mind. Smartphones did not exist. Most people senior year did not even
have facebook. Some of the distractions that
students have nowadays did not even occur
back when I was a student. But in terms of
academics and the way socially people are,
it is just a different school.
First impression of Kushner?
I remember when I came in I found the building structure really really beautiful. That
was the first impression I had. It was a little
bit of a culture shock. I was in the YU world
for the past seven years ( nine years if you
include Israel) and I was surrounded every
day by people who religiously are very similar to myself. Then when you come back to
high school, very similar to the high school
I attended to and that I was used to, it was a
big change. I remember the first week being
so frustrated by people who were talking in

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

Rabbi Schlusselberg
davening. In YU when we are davening in a
minyan it was not even a question; some people will whisper here and there but it wasnt
like I was like nu nu
In terms of the teaching I really like teaching ; there were a lot of challenges that come
with it, but it was a good first impression.
I really really like the people I work with.
They are all very warm and welcoming. I
remember the first few days everyone was
being so helpful, and if I messed up because
I did not know any of the policies of anything, they would let it go for a
little while till I got my
feet grounded.
W h a t

prompted your transition to

become more religious?
In my personal religious journey it
was not even a slow incline going up
the entire way. I was more religious in
7th, 8th and 9th grade than I was in 11th
and 12th grade. As the way everyone is before they go to Israel, everyone is preset, I
dont want to change; I do not want to change
who I am. Even though I was preset on this,
I knew intuitively that I would become more
I went to Israel, I went in willing to give the
system a go. I never once missed a minyan,
and would always make sure not to sleep in
when I had shiur. I remember that a lot of it
has to do with self desire to be devoted to
Congrats on your new CDs. Do any stores
sell your CD?
It is currently in the Teaneck Judaica House
and I have to get in touch with other stores
personally to find out if they want to sell it
for me.

until it was finished. Why did you keep is

a secret?
Two reasons: one, the fact that I wanted to
do it for so long and that my life is busy with
preparing for school and trying to be normal.
So it was
a big project going in in
terms of money and
i n
terms of time.
So I was scared
that I was not
going to be
able to finish, and I did
not want people to
come up to me in
the hallways saying,
Hey Rabbi how is
the CD going? I
did not want to get
bothered by the
questions knowing that I might
not finish it.
The other reason we actually learn from

Rashi by
the giving
of the Luchot;
why the first
Luchot were
smashed and
why the second were
He said that the first ones were given in such
a public fashion with thunder and lightning
that there was such an Ayin Harah on them,
which is very unclear what that means.
[However, this shows] that if you do things in
private they will have more bracha. You have
a better chance to succeed. I have honestly
thought about that Rashi a lot. Every time I
have questioned telling people, I obviously
told a few friends here and there, I wanted
to keep it as quiet as possible to get the most
divine help.
How did you get into music?
I had an older brother who was five years
older than me. He was my rolemodel. Whatever he did I did.
Did you ever want to give up? How did you

They are just me singing while I am playing my guitar. I always wanted it to be bigger and better. When I started playing the
violin and the cello I knew I would be able to
incorporate all of those instruments to make
a nice sound. The thing that pushed me over
the edge is that I am now in a position where
I have a full time job. Now I have to worry
less about expenses than I ever had. Even
though time was certainly an issue, I truly
believed that if you want to do something in
life you will make the time to do it. I dont
think people should use oh I did not have
time as an excuse. We make time for things
we really love to do.
Do you prioritize teaching or music?
Teaching. The simple proof to that is that
when I go back to my apartment at night I
rarely will even play music. I usually will
have to go to the library to prepare for
school. I probably spend on average outside
of school 15 minutes a day playing music.
Because I have certain free periods during
the day I try to practice piano here or maybe
guitar a little bit. But I
spend a lot more
time preparing for
school than playing

Would you only do music if it was economically feasible?

I would never want to completely leave
teaching. But I certainly enjoy music and if
I knew that would be an option I would try
to steal it and certainly incorporate teaching
and music and really incorporate both at the
same time.
What are your future plans for music?
After I finished this CD, it was very bitter
sweet. I was really happy, like I said I wanted
to do this for a long time, that I did it. Because I really enjoyed doing it, I realized I
wanted to do it again. In order to do it again,
I want to make back the money I spent on it.
If I do well and it sells, and I get my name
out there. I would love to be able to have a
Jewish music career on the side. It is also
possible that it will fade away, which is obviously not in my hands.

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

By Dalya Dickstein

Every Wednesday, RKYHS splits
into a number of disparate, unique minyanim for morning davening. However,
there is one minyan that hosts the majority of the girls of Kushner every morning
excluding Fridays: Krupka Minyan.
The minyan, led by Ms. Krupka, is a girlsonly tefillah group that finishes davening
at approximately 8:30. Nearly all of the
Kushner girls strive to get to Krupka Minyan before the doors close and the attendance list is whisked away, and the minyan, which used to consist of a small group
of girls gathered in a classroom, has grown
so big that it fills the entire high-school library.

Krupka Minyans popularity can
be largely attributed to its brevity. It finishes early, Ilana Hafner 17 explained
simply. There are probably some girls
who are exceptions but I feel like most
people go mainly because of the length...
or lack thereof, Olivia Plotsker 16 added.

That popularity cannot be extended to the boys side of the mechitza,
however, and a number of boys covet the
girls extra breakfast time. The girls get
to ditch regular davening every day to go
pray to themselves for ten minutes and
then leave. That is unfair, Avery Bell 17
asserted. Most boys are in minyan till
about 8:50 while all the girls from the
Krupka Minyan get out at 8:30. It pretty
much just comes down to that they have a
longer breakfast. #equalbreakfast.
Greg Artman 16 strongly expressed his
opinion of Krupka Minyan: Honestly, its
merely a way the girls have discovered to
not be written up for ditching and at the
same time be done with their obligation in
about 10-15 minutes while we are there for
upwards of half an hour.

Greg and a few classmates have
been attempting to crack the system: We
have tried to gain access to this minyan
but were immediately shut down. Greg offered his own solution for mediating these


Krupka Minyan

differences; he proposed that the guys be

allowed to make an equivalent minyan for
those who want it and have an abridged
version of davening while keeping its dignity and the boys specific obligations.

Contrary to what the boys believe, however, although a main attraction of Krupka Minyan may indeed be the
length of the davening, the minyan does in
fact have a profound impact upon the students tefillah experiences. For men, Ms.
Krupka explains, we learn that guys need
Torah reading three times a week in order
to connect. Guys need more structure.
For girls, on the other hand, Ms. Krupka
maintains that the brevity of the davening
in no way detracts from the girls tefillot:
Girls dont need the same requirements
as men to be able to connect in davening.
Thats part of why women, in the twenty
five minutes that we daven, can connect
much easier, without all the minyan stuff.
In fact, Ms. Krupka believes that a shorter
davening for the girls actually increases
their kavanah, and therefore purposefully
keeps the tefillah short, at a certain rate.
I think that when people are in a room
and they know that its davening that were
doing, then it helps their kavanah, she articulated. If you feel like youre there for

Is this what you expected to become?

No. Because I did everything my brother did
I assumed I was going into business.

Rabbi Schlusselberg in his music video for his album Mizmor LDovid
JM in the AM?
I have been on some radio shows, but not on
JM in the AM yet.
Youve spoken about not telling anyone

deal with setbacks?

If you were to ask me two or three years ago
if I was going to make a CD I would have
said no. I always had the songs I recorded on
my ipod and I listen to them here and there.

minyans daven at their own pace and daven the things they want to, which releases
some pressure. It affects both my tefillah
and connections to Hashem because without the pressure, I can daven in the best
way I feel I can connect to Hashem.

A mutual feeling among the girls,
even for those who are not affected by the
girls-only status of the minyan, is that
Ms. Krupkas occasional divrei Torah
deeply affect both their personal tefillot
and the atmosphere of the minyan. During the week I try to do something like
one day Halacha, one day just something
that relates to tefillah and the explanation
of a certain tefillahIf youre saying it
every day, it always helps to have a deeper understanding of what youre saying,
and then sometimes its just nice to hear
something inspirational, Ms. Krupka
explained. The students respond well to
these divrei Torah. She usually picks one
part of davening and tells all the girls what
about it makes it an important prayer to
say. She sometimes also tells a story with
a message to go along with it. I feel that
these short speeches are very meaningful.
They add a little more to my davening as
I learn more and more about what these
words really mean, Olivia explicated.
The divrei Torah are excellent, Ilana
Hafner enthused. They enhance the tefillah because everyone learns about tefillah. On a more personal note, Ilana
explained that [the divrei Torah] change
my connection with tefillah because when
I understand what Im saying it makes my
kavanah greater.

Ashley described how Ms. Krupkas divrei Torah motivate her to daven:
When the speeches are about unfortunate
cases and such, it affects my davening because it shows me how fortunate I am, and
therefore I recognize how much Hashem
has done for me, which puts me in a position in which I feel that I should daven.

Somewhat paradoxically, the

See Krupka Page 7

NetClassroom: Useful or Waste of Time?

What would your high school self think of

where you are now?
Good question. I am honestly not even sure. I
think if I would be able to talk to my past self
and tell him that I am happy with my current
career I think he will be thrilled that I did
something in my life that I am happy with
and that has tremendous meaning and value.

What advice would you give students to

accomplish their dreams?
There are certain dreams that are less than
realistic. Many dreams could be realistic. If
a dream is realistic it takes more motivation
and effort. I would encourage people to find
a dream. The reason why it is hard to follow your dream is cause you never want to
ask the question what if later in your life.
You never want to have those doubts in your
mind. If you fail you know that at least you
gave it your best shot.

an hour when it only takes you twenty five

minutes to daven, then that could lead to

There also seem to be a number
of benefits of a girls-only tefillah group.
Girls have a very unique aspect of tefillahgirls have power of tefillah that surpasses mens in certain areas. Therefore,
we figured that it might be nice to have a
girls davening where girls can really concentrate on their davening and not have to
worry about the pressures of keeping up
with the minyan, and can really address
what women need, said Ms.Krupka.

Being with all girls makes the
minyan somewhat more spiritual, Ashley
Miller 17 expressed. For me, the fact
that its an only girls minyan doesnt really
affect me so much, but its possible that,
for other girls, it makes them more capable
of focusing on their davening rather on
their surroundings, Olivia inputted.
The smaller size of the davening group
also affects students tefillot. I think that
being with a bigger crowd puts more pressure on students to daven and doesnt give
us much of a choice, Ashley described.
However, when its a smaller group, I feel
that theres not as much pressure put on the
students because everyone in the smaller

By Sam Shersher

Lets be frank: how many of us actually use netclassroom on a daily, or even weekly, basis? Not many. This is because, though
the website has a lot to offer, there are two
problems that need to be fixed: the homework
hotline and the limited display of assignments
and grades.

Unfortunately, it is rarely updated by
some teachers. This makes the website unreli-

able, and discourages students from using it.

Zach Israeli 17 uses the homework hotline
often. He said, there are situations where it
helps out, but teachers are not consistent in
posting homework on the homework hotline.
Zach is part of the few students who use the
homework hotline. Most people dont even use
the homework hotline at all, because they dont
find it helpful. Some complain that most teachers do not update it enough. Rachel Luxenberg
16, for example thinks If the teachers utilize

it, I will find it helpful. There are many teachers that dont use it, but for the ones who do,
it gives them the opportunity to post helpful
links and warn students about upcoming assignments. Absent students, however, are
most affected by this. When they cant find
their assignments on the homework hotline,
they come to school without completing
them. It is simply unfair for teachers to expect absentees to do their missed assignments
when they have no means of getting them!
If teachers posted homework on the hotline
every day, it would be beneficial to every student, whether absent or not.

The other issue with netclassroom
is that the website lacks a page that displays
each students updated grades. When you
log on to netclassroom, you will find that your
grades were last updated this past marking period. A month from now, it will be the same
way. In fact, you will not know your grades for
this last quarter until the end of the school year!
However, other schools, such as Hillel, use services like Genesis grading systems which
allow students to view their updated grades
every day on the school website. Genesis is
a web-based grading module that is used by
many New Jersey public and private schools. It

allows teachers to electronically post students

grades, and it is optimized for high schools
and middle schools. According to the website, 233 school districts rely on
Genesis Student Information System to manage their student records. But why should our
school use these services? What are the benefits of using a grading system like Genesis?
According to Itamar Hillel, a student from the
East Brunswick junior high school, the benefits
are huge. He says, When I see my grades on
Genesis, I know what I need to improve on, and
I become more motivated in school.

Our school should not be left in the
dust; we should consider using this organized
grading system to benefit students and the
school environment as a whole. The quality of
a schools website often reflects the quality of
the school. Our website, just like our school,
is high quality; according to Jeremy Schechter
14, its very useful and a simple way to access your information. But wouldnt it be so
much more useful if students could view their
assignments and grades on a daily basis? For
your own benefit and the benefit of the school I
urge you to help make this a reality.


Mistaken For Strangers

By Eitan Scher

Mistaken for Strangers is not your traditional rock documentary. Rather than a story
about a bands adventures on tour, Mistaken for
Strangers is a tale of two brothers: Matt and Tom
Berninger. Matt is
the frontman of the
indie-rock band The
National (find them
at, which
in recent years has
reached newfound
success. Forming
the rest of the band
are twins Aaron
and Bryce Dessner
as well as brothers Bryce and Scott
Devendorf. Tom,
brother of nine
years, is the odd one
out. He is not musically talented, prefers heavy metal to
the indie-rock that
The National has come to be known for and has an
affinity for making cheesy action movies. So when
the band needs more roadies for their High Violet

tour, he jumps at the opportunity. With his video

camera in hand to make a documentary about his
journey, Tom joins big brother Matt and the band
on tour.

The movie definitely has its share of emotional ups and downs. In one seemingly sad scene,
Toms mother asks him
if he was successful,
to which Tom answers
with a terse No, Im
not. Contrary to his
Tom manages to be the
star of his own movie,
which ends up with a
surprisingly large number of laughs. He and
Matt go through all of
the brotherly turmoil
that youd expect, but
all of the loving moments too. As is pointed
out, Matt has always
been the quarterback,
whether it was in football, or now as the leader of a successful band.
The movies third act
contains a dramatic shift that I dont think anyone
would expect, and by the ending I challenge you to
not have a smile on your face.


While the average

teen is very excited for his eighteenth birthday, the average teen
of the village Claysoot is not.

On the eve of his birthday, his life changes for eternity.
First there is a memorial dinner
in his honor. Then the villagers
line up to say farewell. After
that, the sky erupts into a flash
of bright light, and hes gone.
This happens on every boys
eighteenth birthday until the
day of Gray Weathersbys supposed older brothers eighteenth
birthday. After his brother disappears, Gray discovers that he
is in fact a twin with his brother,
which means that he is the first
male in the history of Claysoot

By Gabe Zuckerman

The Glorious Path,

to not disappear on his eighteenth birthday. Now as regular

life becomes more and more suspicious, Gray feels like he has to
escape Claysoot to get real answers. In Taken, Erin Bowman
takes the reader on an attentiongrabbing adventure as Gray discovers that there is more behind
Claysoot than meets the eye.

Taken is an absolute
page turner with unexpected
plot twists that always had me
asking for more. The characters develop and mature as the
novel progresses unlike any
book I have ever read. The plot
continues to thicken and intensify as you keep reading on on.
I personally enjoyed how just

a militant religion, seeks control of the entire United States

and will stop at nothing to get it. The Darkest
Path by Jeff Hirsch follows the young protagonist Callum Roe (Cal) as he tries to escape the
Glorious Paths clutches while the Glorious
Path wages an intense war for control of the
United States. After six years of being with
the Path, Cal is forced to flee after killing a
commander. Now he must travel across the
country to New York where his family lives.
Throughout this journey, Cal fights for his

The 2014 Oscars

Ellen Degeneres, Pizza, Selfies, and More

By Joey Kirsch

This years Oscar ceremony, hosted by Ellen Degeneres,

Should the School Invest in Fixing Them?

her pizza buying. She went right up on stage, in front of who knows
how many people, and literally ordered a pie of pizza right there,
live. When the pizza delivery guy showed up, it was revealed (and
later confirmed by the pizza delivery guy himself), that this was not
coordinated with the pizza place at all, and the pizza delivery guy
had no idea that he was going to be on TV delivering to the Oscars.
Hows that for a surprise?

The main stir of the night came from Ellens selfie. Sam-

sung coordinated an ingenious marketing schemes to promote their

new flagship phone the Samsung Galaxy S5. It ended up being one
of the most epic and legendary selfies Ive ever seen. The selfie, including Bradley Cooper, Ellen Degeneres, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt,
Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyongo,
Lupita Nyongos brother (Peter Nyongo) Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto
and Channing Tatum, was one to remember. When Ellen posted this
on Twitter, it broke the record for the most retweets in just 34 minutes. At the time of this writing, the amount of retweets was over 3
million and counting.

Now to the actual winners. 12 Years a Slave took home

Best Picture with Matthew Mcconaughey winning best actor in a

leading role, Cate Blanchett getting best actress in a leading role,
Lupita Nyongo (very deservingly) winning best supporting actress,
and Jared Leto grabbing the best supporting actor.

Some of the more obvious winners were Gravity winning

play (and original it was), and Frozen winning Best animated Feature Film. Frozen also received the award for Best Original Song
with Let It Go (still cant get that song out of my head and I havent
even seen the movie).

Among the surprises, Leonardo Dicaprio, ever amazing

and ever cheated at the Oscars, went home yet again empty handed
and Alfonso Cuarn (Gravity) pulled through in the extremely close
best director race.

The Bad: Some time gaps between important events in the

story are a bit boring but worth

The Darkest Path

has not been trained in combat and is constantly thinking of different strategies to outsmart the Path makes the whole story exciting.
In most dystopian novels the protagonists are
amazing fighters, able to defeat anything that
they come across, but because Cal uses brains
as opposed to brawn, this book stands out from
the other dystopian novels. Finally, I really enjoyed how the book ended with a big shocker
and will probably lead to a sequel. If you enjoy this book, another great dystopian survival
novel to check out, which is also written by Jeff
Hirsch is The Eleventh Plague. Overall, The
Darkest Path was a great action-packed read

By Joe Berger

As the new, warm season comes
in, Kushner spring sports teams shifted
into full gear. Among our many spring
sports are baseball and tennis. The baseball
team has been incredibly successful over
the past few seasons, and looks promising for the coming season as well. Though
the tennis team has not been as successful,
coaches and players are optimistic that next
year will be better than the past few. These
teams have one thing in common: neither
of these teams is able to use the schools facilities for practices or games because the
courts and field have not been taken care of,
and it is therefore nearly impossible to play
either sport.

The baseball field is simply unusable. Matthew Statdtmauer 14, four year

with many shockers along the way.

The Good: Good characters and a well written plot.
The Bad: There were some parts of the story
that were a little too brief and I think Hirsch
should have fleshed out a little more.
The Bottom Line: A great read that will keep
you hooked until the very last shocker.

member of the team, remarked that the

team used the field a couple of times with
Coach Chris Henry to do batting practice
but never actually did drills on it and hit
ground balls.

Because the field is not taken care
of at all, the baseball team has been forced
to seek new places to practice and play the
games. In recent years, they have practiced
in the high school gymnasium, the soccer
field, and the tennis courts, and they have
occasionally rented baseball fields in South
Orange and Roseland.

Although this may make practices
more burdensome and time-consuming,
the team does not seem to mind so much.
However, Stadtmauer did add, I feel that if
we had a field at school more people would
come out and watch our games. Every
time there is a basketball, hockey, or soccer

game, everyone is strongly urged to go out

and support the team. However, the same
push cannot be made for baseball games because every game is played far away from
the school, as the field at the school is essentially useless - a real shame, because our
baseball team is one of the best teams in the

The baseball field is not the only
Kushner sports facility that is a little more
than run down. The tennis courts have
certainly seen better days as well. As a
two- year member of the Kushner Tennis
team, I do not remember ever stepping foot
on a Kushner court since the beginning of
high school. In fact, when asked if he ever
remembered using the courts, tennis team
captain and four year member, Kurt Moskovitz 14, laughed, Haha a practice once
freshman year. When asked if he minded
the sub-par facilities, he stated I would
prefer if the courts were fixed.

It is clear that our facilities need
some work. The problem, however, is that
renovating these facilities would be very
costly. According to Rabbi Richard Kirsch,
the athletic director, renting facilities on a
weekly basis is significantly cheaper than
revamping our own, and there is no plan to
fix our facilities any time soon.

It is understandable that the
school is looking to save money. However,
students are not happy. It is incredibly inconvenient for students to have to travel
from school just to go to practices, and at
a certain point, it becomes overly burdensome. The biggest question is, would the
school be willing to shoulder the cost for
the benefit of the student body?

Icaruss Blight
Accreditation Attack Leaves Kushner in Rubble
Kurt Moskovitz is a senior
at RKYHS. He enjoys playing ping pong and writing
this sort of shtick during his
classes. His inspirations include the pyramids, primary colors, and the Twilight
Novels (Team Edward

The Bottom Line: Taken by

Erin Bowman embraces everything a dystopian novel should
be and has an incredible plot. If
you like a mystery/action dystopian novels, Taken by Erin Bowman is the book for you.

life in intense battles and must evade getting

captured with the entire army of the Glorious
Path. Cal must use all of the knowledge he has
gained over the six years he was with the Path
to outsmart them and finish his journey.

The Darkest Path is an intense dystopian thriller with plenty of shocking moments
throughout the novel. Hirschs dystopian society is extremely unique due to the fact that the
whole idea of the Army of the Glorious Path
is based off of a single soldiers beliefs. One
aspect of the novel that I really enjoyed was
the fast-paced, intense action scenes. However,
they were not the best part. The fact that Cal

Outdoor Facilities: Are They Worth It?

viewers laughing all night. Perhaps the greatest part of the night was

if youve seen it, you know why), Her winning Best Original Screen-

The Good: Well written, with

well developed characters and
extremely interesting plot line


riotously funny person she is, Ellens wisecracking remarks kept

The Great Gatsby taking home home Best Costume Design (again,

when you think you understand something, the

plot completely twists.

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

was filled with upsets, surprises, and best of all, pizza. Being the

Best Cinematography (if youve seen Gravity then youll know why),

Dystopian Novel by Erin Bowman with an Incredible Plot

By Yonatan Raskin

June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

I thought they were supposed to
help us. I thought their aid was vital. It is
only nowat the endthat I see my errors.

We opened up to them. Exposed
every fault. In hope for personal gain we
sacrificed our integrity and the hammer of
justice fell. Hard.

Pushed up against the bone chilling glass window of a shattered classroom,
it is all so clear. The final survivor of an epic
battle, the lone straggler, call me a hero or
call me a cowardeither way I am all that
remains of Kushner. The Accreditation War
has taken everything, from everyone.

When they first arrived we anxiously prepared for their inspecting, yet,
only several students and a select group
of teachers ever suspected their deception.
The accreditation team was given full control of the building with no service heldback
in our desperation for funds. They began by
seeking out the weak points. Each teacher

review was simply an assessment of competence in times of stress, as each faculty

member was ranked in how well they would
deal with the inevitable attack. We thought
it was educational, how little we knew.

Those of us classified as paranoid were cast aside, ostracized for our
proposals to strike the first blow. We knew
where they were sleeping, we could have
averted disaster. Must now blame our prudenceI blame our apathy.

They integrated so well into our
daily activities, tracking the security teams
constant movement, easily identifying the
Iron-Claw Defensive Marine Formation
our security employs.

Next came the cameras. Examining the cleanliness of the hallways they
found the blind spots of the Plotsker Cams.
With the cameras powerless Ms. Greenstein never saw them coming.

Finally they had to create the ideal
situation for themselves, and we had already practiced that very drill. A lockdown.

Attention JKHA and RKYHS
we are now in a lockdown. Those were the
last words I ever heard from the RKYHS
administration. To be honest, luck saved me
more than anything else. Luck, and a rebellious impulse.

At the sound of the announcement I rushed towards an empty classroom

30 lockers ahead rather than return to the

monotonous class of she-who-must-not-benamed.

I assumed ten minutes on my
IPhone was better than having lessons dictated to me in the corner while classmates
struggled at 2048. Then as the door hinge
creaked shut, I heard itthe first bomb exploded.

They were tactical, taking out the
strongest first. A single blow in the atrium
took out so many of our finest warriors.

The enforcer, Hirsch-Dawg, a
mastermind tracker was the hardest loss.
His agility and mobility finding troublesome kids was a gift of the gods.

Our muscle, Rabbi Chamudot
and Ms. Greenstein were irreplaceable.
Together the accreditors knew they were
indestructible as Rabbi Chamudots physical strength and Ms. Greesnteins mind
destructive stares could not be overpowered. However, the deadly duo never had a

Yet, I know it was the last two
losses in the initial explosion that were the
most crippling. Ms. Kirson, the one true
master of the hallways was no more and the
halls quickly descended into anarchy as accreditors swarmed in. Without Ms. Kirsons
brisk pace and unwavering gaze to keep

See Icarus on the Next Page

Kushner Athletics
Switches to Nike

By Jonah Bash

RKYHS has decided to just do it
and switch its jersey supply to Nike.
The first beneficiaries of the new jerseys are the
boys soccer teams and the girls softball team,
which debuted their new uniforms in March
and April at the start of their spring seasons.

The school switched companies after baseball coach Frank Selvano introduced a
Nike salesperson. Rabbi Kirsch decided to use
Nike to ensure better consistency with jersey
supply. If something was discontinued or a
company went out of business, I cant go to the
same company, explained Rabbi Kirsch. So
this came along and this kind of opened up a
new door for me.

However, whether the RKYHS student
body thinks that using Nike is a game changer
may be questionable. On one hand, some of
the students promote the change. I think its a
great addition to our school, and Nike is a great
company, commented David Lowinger 16,
one of the members of the JV basketball team.

Jon Malek 17, on the other hand, who
is someone who has already had the chance to
play in a nike uniform, shared a different opinion. I think [the soccer jerseys are] a little bit
plain and they couldve been designed a little
bit better. It doesnt even say Kushner on the

Nike jerseys for the hockey and basketball teams may not be instated so quickly, as
both teams got new uniforms from other outfitters this past season. Rabbi Kirsch says that
these jerseys will be phased in.

Will these jerseys have our school
playing like other Nike outfitted teams, such as
the Oregon Ducks or the Syracuse Orange?

Im expecting the kids to enjoy these
and to raise their games, remarked Rabbi

JV Soccer Coach Logan Singman,
though, is not counting on jerseys for success.
I dont think that its the jerseys that make
the team, I think its the players who make the

Krupka (cont.)

shortness of Krupka Minyan could in reality

be its greatest asset. It is apparent that Krupka Minyan deeply influences each students
tefillot. The more students that are attracted
to Krupka Minyan by the length and the extra
breakfast time, the more students that are inspired by it.

Another major advantage of Krupka
Minyans length (and, as a consequence, its
popularity) is its ability to ensure that girls arrive at davening on time. Because girls want
the extra breakfast time, they are motivated
to get to Krupka Minyan before it closes.
Im very impressed, Ms. Krupka remarked.
People come on time, we start on time
when the bell rings at the beginning of the period, it shows respect to be there on time. I
think one of the great things about our minyan
is that yeah, we might end a little bit earlier,
but we really start on time. At 8:03, people are
already there saying Brachot.

Krupka Minyan has affected and
fostered the tefillot of nearly the entire female population of RKYHS, whether through
its size, gender-specificity, or speeches. Its
shortened length encourages students to participate in the minyan and arrive on time, thus
helping students become inspired by the special features of the minyan. Perhaps the boys
will think of these perks of being female the
next time they say Sheloh Asani Eyshah.


June 2014
Volume 16, Issue 6

Shedding Our Skin

Is Our School Logo Too Controversial?

By Josh Degen

The Cobra, the RKYHS
school logo, has been the athletic
symbol of the school ever since its
founding in 1997. School administration decided to use the Cobra even
though the Jaguar was the symbol for
JKHA (the lower and middle school).
It has been the symbol of RKYHS
sports for the school from the Old
Kushner although there were many
principal changes since that time.
It continues to represent our school
now during Kushners modern era.

When asked about what
comes to mind when he thinks of the
Cobra Mr. Logan Singman 04 stated Im fairly used to it at this stage
considering I both wore the logo as
a player and have represented it as a
coach for a number of years.

While Mr. Singman thinks
of the Cobra as something that represented his team while a player and an
emblem that represents the team he
coaches, Ms. Krupka, a Judaics study
teacher at RKYHS, has a different
view. We are a very warm and caring school, Ms.Krupka commented.
She went on to note that the snake is

actually a universal symbol of evil,

not just in the Bible but also in psychology.There is a universal fear
for snakes and there is a study how
people are universally scared of it.

Although some argue that an
intimidating logo is necessary, Ms.
Krupka believes thatthere is a difference between intimidating and

A faculty member had a
similar opinion but didnt agree en-

Soccer Coach Dilemma

By Effie Auman

Last year, the Kushner varsity soccer team, which seemed destined to go far, disappointed everyone and lost as many games as it won.

There were multiple reasons given for this failure. Some claim
that the coach did not help fix any of the teams problems. Daniel Gottlieb 14 recounts, We had lots of talent but terrible leadership and an
unpleasant atmosphere.

The school took action to rectify this and hired a new coach.
Come a new season and in walked Matt Fox, an experienced soccer
coach and JCC trainer.

The new season started on a high note with the teams potential apparent once again. But one practice, just two weeks before the
teams first game, Matt informed the team that he would be quitting because he had landed a new job.

This put the soccer team as well as Rabbi Kirsch in a bit of
a dilemma. Quickly, Rabbi Kirsch dove into action. He came up with
two candidates for the new coach: James (Jimmy) Pironti, a friend and
co-worker of Matt at the JCC, and Kushners own beloved Logan Singman. After waffling back
and forth, Rabbi Kirsch
With his combination of fitappointed Jimmy as the ness and soccer, hes elevated the
new varsity soccer coach. play of the entire team.

Jimmy has a
-Jordan Stark 14
very different approach
to the game of soccer
than many other coaches
do. He always remarks, Ive been a speed and agility coach for ten
years now. He incorporates his training philosophy into his coaching
and puts the team through difficult training that benefits the players.

Jimmy brought an entire new mindset, dedication, loyalty
and energy to the varsity soccer team, Jordan Stark 14 enthused. With
his combination of fitness and soccer, hes elevated the play of the entire

The players also really like him because, as Stark explained,
He has a sorta swag to him thats really contagious.

Although the quitting of Matt could have torn up the team,
Jimmys arrival engendered a new feeling of enthusiasm and hope for the
rest of the season.

Coach Jimmy has helped lead the team to a great season. The
team ended with a 5-1-2 reccord and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

tirely withwhat Ms.

Krupka had to say.
The faculty member
did not call for the
logo to be changed
but said I dont
think that it is too
negative, but there
are negative associations with a snake
biblically and people
might view it as negative. However I do
not believe it is necessary to change it.

Overall, students had a completely opposite outlook on the schools
sports logo. Shep
Gerzberg 15 stated To change the
logo would be hard because we would
have to get new jerseys and nobody
wants to pay for new jerseys. He
went on to add: we also have a history as the Cobras and to change our
name would be to abandon that history. The Cobra has served us well. It
is our mascot and even if we change
it, to many people we would still be
the Cobras.Even if the snake has

negative biblical connotations that is

no reason to change the mascot. Almost everything can have a negative
connotation. Storms, lions, hawks,
thunder. They all are used in a negative light somewhere. Yes there is the
snake in the Garden of Eden but the
snake is also used positively in many
places. From it being used as the
symbol of Shevet Dan to the snake
used to cure the plague.

Jacob Stein 15 has a similar
view to Sheps. Jacob said, I think it
looks nice and I dont think it needs
to be changed. Regardless of certain
bad connotations people might
find, it seems pretty innocent to me.
Jeremy Schecter 14, captain of the
varsity basketball team, shares the
same opinion as the others. Im pretty indifferent about the Cobra logo. I
think its cool and somewhat unique
and its a staple of our school so I definitely wouldnt want it to change.
He also stated I dont think the logo
is too negative. Its a logo, and even
though I associate the Cobra with our
school I dont think it represents our
school. Its a logo not a mission statement.

Icarus (cont.)

them in check who could stop them?

Then, as I saw the enemy through the reflection
of a window I realized he was no more. Our savior, Mr.
Plotsker, the T.V. Man. The only admin capable of utilizing the convoluted camera system had been blown down.
And like the three little pigs it was in his very own home.

Next, they relied on our own incompetence.
Using the PA they announced the lockdown is now a
shelter in place. We apologize for the noise, we were fixing the roof. Again. Of course I knew, I had seen them
through the glass, but what could I do?

From the nearby classrooms I heard it all in
their final moments. Matthew dont argue you just got
here, Correct Jacob, as always, Shai thats not English! The mundane diction almost lured me into comfort. Almost.

Then they came for them. I hid in the blue closet as they strolled into each room and unleashed their
accrediterror. I heard so much in those few minutes
Shema, Valar Morghulis, and a disturbingly accurate rendition of the admissions statement. What I never
heard were tears.

However, there was hope our school could be
avenged. I learned that a lone gym class under the leadership of Mr.Nuehoff had built up a strong resistance in
the hockey rink. They were planning a counter strike,
I heard an accreditor inform his fellow, yet, I was too
timid to risk journeying there myself.

Once again my timid nature, or luck, saved me.
The accreditation team was simply too smart, they knew
too much. On their second day they had planted dozens
of explosives in the weight room, knowing the only people who would ever use the machines would be rebel resistance or the wrestling team (an obvious threat). Since
both demographics were powerful foes the accreditors
outsmarted them before a battle could even be waged.
And so Ol Hoff passed trying to train his forces by the
very machines he lived by.

The basement explosion destroyed my classroom asylum. Beams caved in and the closets tumbled,
my life only spared due to the lack of tiles in the ceiling.
I crawled to the glass window the only pristine relic of

what once was. The glass window was the lone survivor,
and yet, it was so fragilejust like me.

Then I saw them. Three majestic soldiers the
last of their ilk on a hallway battleground. They were
surrounded yet still they fought on. Howard was the first
to fall. Mr. Malitz slew five accreditors by super saturating their bloodstream but when trying to take out a sixth
he miscalculated his beaker and hit himself. The saturated crystals that grew were so beautiful, even death
looked inviting.

After Malitz, the Eagle was caged. In a whirling blur he spun, his wingspan mathematically impossible. Logic did not control him nor could reality contain
him. A creature of pure physical prowess he took down
ten before the steel cage fell on his great wings. I swear
to this day I heard a final CAWWW before the bird
was silenced.

Lastly, facing 7 men, I saw her. I never thought
she could beat 5 of them, but I suppose I never truly
understood her. As Gladys catapulted off of a mans
snapped neck into anothers head she was unstoppable.
Then, she fell victim to her fatal flaw. Like Samson she
had one weakness and once she forgot her assailants
names, she was powerless.

Ive hid in this classroom for two days. Two
days with nothing but a bowl of Michelles boiled eggs
(why did I buy those), a hot nosh knish, and a $1.50 bottle
of flavored water. There are only two of them left but
I am powerless against their weaponry. The last thing
Rabbi Rubin told me was help will always be given at
Hogwarts Kushner to those who ask for it. But I am asking, where is it?
Why did we need their money?
Why did we need their approval? Wasnt self-approval
Why did we sacrifice our standards?
The Accreditation War has taken everything, from everyone.
They are coming for me.
They are coming for me.
They are coming