Issue 2 Volume 7
Mazal Tov to
Rabbi Baruch Fogel
Jennifer and Daniel
Gober on the birth
of a baby girl and to Parshat Toldot
big siblings Sophie The Prayers of Yitzchak
If you have any
friends who would
like to learn more
about HAFTR and
may be interested
in joining us for a
tour or parlor
contact Leslie Gang
at [email protected]
Candle Lighting 5:34 PM
In the beginning of Parshat Toldot, we find Yitzchak and
Rivka both praying to Hashem to have children. After they
pray, the pasuk tells us that Hashem answered "his"
prayers. Even though they both prayed, the Torah goes
out of its way to tell us that the response came as a result
of Yitzchak's prayers. Rashi tries to explain why this is so
by stating that "it is not comparable the prayers of a
tzadik the son of a tzadik to a tzadik the son (daughter) of
This is puzzling for a number of reasons. First, this seems
to contradict our feelings that a son of a rasha, who has
worked harder to achieve his status as a tzadik, should
somehow remain less important than someone who was
born to a tzadik. Second, on a deeper level, it is
bothersome that the status of the person davening is
relevant. As we say three times a day in Ashrei, "Hashem
is close to ALL that call out to Him." How it could it be that
the pasuk is teaching us that Hashem answered one
person's prayers over the other's if they both prayed
R' Wolbe ZT"L suggested two possible answers to this
question. His first answer is based on a comment that the
Vilna Gaon makes in his commentary to Mishle (12:12).
There the Gaon writes that a son of a tzadik does the
mitzvah of tzedakah more naturally than a self-made
tzadik. Even though they are presently equal, there
remains a difference in how natural the act is. R' Wolbe
suggests that prayer by definition is an act of pouring out
one's soul, and that is more easily accomplished if one is
"natural" to praying. Praying is not only understanding
every word and recognizing that our needs come from
Hashem. It is also turning one's self into a prayer, and
that can only truly be done if pouring out one's soul is a
natural act. The more natural prayer is, the more one
instinctively wants to pray, the closer it is being answered.
His other answer is based on an insight of the Alter of
Kelm into prayer. The Alter says that root of prayer begins
with lessening our ego. Prayer has an inherent duality that
we all struggle with. On one hand, we, the petitioner,
have needs and our lives are important, and that is why
we are asking for Hashem's help with them. On the other
hand, prayer, in its essence, is the recognition that the
only thing that runs the world is Hashem's will, and that
His will is the only determining factor in what transpires in
this world. Our prayers, therefore, are an attempt to
merge the fact that I need something in "my" life with the
reality that the world is an expression of Hashem's will.
The only way to accomplish this is by understanding that
my existence is only as real as my ability to subjugate
myself to Hashem's will.
A tzadik the son of rasha has an easier time with this, as
he (she) understands that he is not coming from any
"yichus" or position in this world. On the other hand, the
tzadik the son of a tzadik might feel his importance and
position. He might be confident in who he is and the role
he plays. If the tzadik the son of a tzadik can truly
suppress his instinct to view himself as inherently
important, he has accomplished more, and that is the
reason that his prayers are answered first.
Rabbi Baruch Fogel teaches Chumash and Gemara to
11thand 12th grade boys at HAFTR High School. Rabbi
Fogel is also Campus Rabbi of the Touro Law School in
UPCOMING SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES:
Birthday Gift $25
Book-of-the-Month - $18
Shabbat Onegs $18
Mezuzot - $50 each
Author Visits - $100
Health Week - $100
Chesed Events - Grade 5 - $180
Hebrew Book of the Month - $18
Book of the Month - $15
$360 for the Lower School
Shabbat Oneg $150
Kugel for Shabbat Oneg - $150
SUNDAY MORNING MINYAN- $180-$250
Mishmar Sponsorship: please contact Rabbi Klapper
at [email protected]
Va"ani Tefilliti- Siddur Sponsorship ranging from $250 and up.
Please contact Rabbi Kupchik at [email protected]
Tree Leaf for Etz Hachayim. Please contact Candice
If you are interested in sponsoring the above
activities or learning about additional opportunities,
please [email protected]
So much to learn...so little time. Never has this saying been more true in the
Early Childhood. Our children are gaining knowledge of the weekly Parsha stories, they
are learning about the miracles of Chanukah, and they are listening to the stories about
the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Sounds confusing? Well, it can be. If your child
comes home and tells you with absolute certitude that there were twin sons named
Yaakov and Esav who traveled on the Mayflower to get away from Antiochus you'll know
why. I'd like to suggest that you use your teacher's newsletter as a guide so you'll know
exactly what your child is learning and doing each week. Discuss as well as admire the
projects that come home. Of course, you should wait for a relaxing time to do this. The
instant your child comes home may not be the best time. While you may be anxious to
hear about your child's day, he/she might just want to wind down. When it's quiet, or at
bedtime, read books that reinforce the seasonal topics. This will help elicit great
discussions. And speaking of books...please remember that our Early Childhood Book fair
will be heldon Monday evening, November 18 as well as Tuesday, November 19.
Someone really should call in some talent scouts. Our children have been busy
acting out the parsha. The parshiot in Sefer Bereshit are such wonderful stories to
share, tell, and recreate. The children love playing the different roles and I definitely
see some Academy Awards in our future. In this week's parsha, the children learned
about Esav and Yaakov. This was a great jumping off point to discuss thoughtful
behavior versus behavior that sometimes makes our friends and family feel sad. Of
course, we also talked a lot about opposites.
As part of their parsha learning this week, many of the four year old children
cooked lentil soup. The children got together to peel, chop, mix, and read the recipe as a
community. Chopping celery, peeling carrots, stirring, and mixing are all actions that
develop children's small muscle control and eye-hand coordination. Cooking activities
inspire children's curiosity. They learn comparative terms as they measure items for a
recipe. They develop problem-solving skills through experimentation, and observe cause
and effect when they watch the ingredients come together to form something
delicious. Making soup is not just an exercise in math and science however; when you see
life through a Jewish lens, cooking becomes so much more. The ingredients used will
determine which bracha to recite before eating. Sharing one's food provides us with
the opportunity to practice the chesed of kindness that we just saw Avraham, Sarah,
and Rivka perform. Sharing in Hashem's bounty gives us a reason to thank Hashem for
watching over us.
The four year olds have also been learning about patterns. The Native Americans
decorated many of their clothing items and teepees with patterns. Patterns are all
around us, from the clothing we wear to the repeating patterns found in nature and
everyday routine. Patterning is also a basic math skill upon which many mathematical
concepts are based. Multiplication tables, addition and skip counting all require an
understanding of and proficiency in patterning. In preschool, identifying and creating
patterns is just the beginning of the mastery of life-long mathematical skills. Patterns
help children to learn sequencing and to make predictions which leads to skills in logic
and in establishing order in life. Our four year olds made patterns with their shoes, with
the blocks, with their shape manipulatives, with their colored cubes, and with letters
just to name a few. One child was even overheard making a pattern out of the contents
in his lunch!
"Orange" you glad that you are reading this newsletter? Our toddlers are happy
that you are. Can you guess what the color of the week was? Orange, of course. The
children made their very own pumpkin art after they examined the ins and outs of this
fruit. (Yes, it is actually a fruit.) They loved "knocking" on the hard shell and then
feeling the mushy interior. They also baked pumpkin muffins and cookies. Come check
out their beautiful orange collages and other masterpieces as well. Who knew orange
could be so much fun?
Last, but not least, Mazal Tov to Yishai Wyner and his parents, Josh and Danielle,
on the occasion of Yishai's upsheren. It was hard to tell who shepped more
nachas: everyone here at the Early Childhood division or Yishai's Ema and Abba. Let's
just say it was too close to call. May Yishai and all HAFTR children continue to grow in
their love for Torah and may we always have simchas to celebrate.
Early Childhood Director
Lower School Highlights
With cameras in hand and backpacks in tote, fourth
grade photographers returned to the Lower East Side
for the second part of their walking tour. By studying
old photographs, they learned about the neighborhood
as it looked both 60 and 100 years ago. They toured
the area imagining themselves as a child growing up
during those years. Students stopped to photograph
the Jarmulowsky Bank, Forward Building, Strauss
Yerushalayim, the Nickelodeon Theatre, and other landmarks and sights. They adjusted
to the noise of the trains, construction and traffic as they tried to navigate their way
around. They did not grow accustomed to the smell of fish but were excited to purchase
a can of soda for just 50 cents at the Yeshiva. The Sweet Life candy store was
definitely a highlight. Sofia Schiff in 4C wrote about her experience. "On the trip my
favorite thing was seeing all the stores. Even though there were many Chinese places,
there were also many Jewish places. I learned that years ago it used to be a very Jewish
area where many Jewish immigrants from different countries came." Students will
display their photographs at their Evening of the Arts celebration in March. Thank you
to all the chaperones who attended.
Students took a different kind of tour this week with Adi and Stav our Bnot
Sherut.Tourist in first through fifth grade made their way around Israel, visiting
Yerushalayim, Haifa, Eilat, and Tel Aviv. Through puzzles, video, drawings, riddles
and משחקים, they reviewed things they knew about these places and learned new things.
Parents: Students are looking forward to visiting these places with you in the very near
Private David Golombeck, a chayal in the Israeli army,
son of faculty member Anne Golombeck, uncle of
Kindergarten student, Lily Golombeck, visited with
students last week. He told students about his
experience in the army and how important it is to
work as a team. He told a story about one of the
drills in training which required walking for 26 miles.
At the end of this arduous hike one person was
supposed go on a stretcher and be carried by
teammates. David told students that in his group no one volunteered to be carried on the
stretcher because that meant he would be the one
to rest and not help do the work.
Instead, he and his team put sandbags on the
stretcher and everyone participated in doing the
difficult work to the finish line. He reminded
students that when playing basketball or at recess
to include everyone and to work as a team. He also
thanked everyone for their teffilot for Israel and
for chayalei Israel. Everyone was honored and proud
to meet him. We wish him !הצלחה רבה
Thank you to parents who attended this week's Kindergarten and first grade Parent
Workshop with Ms. Hammer. Parents learned about our literacy program as well as way
to support our emergent readers at home. We hope to see you at future workshops.
"Every week we bake with Morah Rachelit.
We learn the Parsha and we make it fun and sweet.
Making six braided challahwith toppings was so cool,
Creating candy gems for Eliezer's gifts to Rivka really ruled.
Our yummy treats we can't wait to eat,
We share them with our families-for Shabbat can't be beat."
-Gaya Ohana and Eden BarZvi,
5th Grade Edible Parsha M.I. Time participants
Mentsch in the Moment...
Julius Balbus was expected in the Beit Midrash for dismissal at 3:50 p.m. While not in
any particular rush, Mrs. Balbus was waiting outside the school to greet her son. It
was3:55 and still no sign of Julius. When he finally arrived at about 3:57, a teacher at
the door asked him where he had been. Julius replied that everyday he holds the door
open at the stairwell so that students can make their way to the buses faster and with
ease. On that day, students were taking their time. Kol Hakavod!
An AHA Moment!
I remember my children sitting around the Shabbos table, all engaged in a
conversation about their experience in a class where they happened to all have
had the same teacher. It was a pleasure listening to their enthusiasm but even
more than that, I thought it was so special that all four of my children, both
boys and girls, actually had this shared experience of having had the same
teacher, and that they could all relate to.
Mon., 11/4-Rosh Chodesh Treats-Compliments of the PTA
Grades 3-5 Student Council Assembly
Tues., 11/5-K1 and K3 Bracha Trip to Gourmet Glatt
Wed., 11/6-K2 and K4 Bracha Trip to Gourmet Glatt
Middle School Highlights
Kicking off the Bar-Mitzvah season for our seventh graders, fathers, grandfathers
and sons gathered together for an evening of fun, food and information. This
past Tuesday, thanks to our committed PTA presidents, Mrs. Sheila Weiner and
Mrs. Gail Lipton, we held our Bar Mitzvah workshop. The event was chaired by
Mrs. Suzanne Gurvitch and Mrs. Deena Moskowitz who coordinated the
decorations, food, and entertainment. Music was provided by Shelly Lang &
Friends, with our own Rabbi Judah Hulkower on the drums. Each boy received a
new siddur as a gift from the PTA and will receive a photo to commemorate the
event (courtesy of Jason Meyers of the Jerry Meyers Studio). Thank you so much
to our very generous sponsors, Mr. Robert and Mrs. Alisa Watman, Mr. Barry and
Mrs. Suzanne Gurvitch, Mr. Todd and Mrs. Ilene Levy, Mr. Jonathan and Mrs.
Deena Moskowitz and Mr. Danny and Mrs. Leigh Waxman. After being greeted
by Rabbi Dovid Kupchik, our menahel, and hearing from him about the true
meaning of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, the young men heard from Aaron Mandel,
current eighth grader, about his meaningful chesed project , a 5K run to raise
funds for ALS awareness. The boys and their chavrutot were then divided into
three groups - של ראש, של ידand רצועותand through a round robin of mini
workshops they learned all about the mitzvah of Tefillin from Rabbi Yisroel Moshe
Seiff, they had a hands-on demonstration of how tefillin are written and
constructed from Rabbi Akiva Oppen (Oppen Scrolls) and learned the newest
simcha dances from dance motivator Benny Amar. Thank you also to Rabbi
Glazer for getting in the spirit dancing with the boys and to everyone else from
our limudei kodesh staff (Rabbi BZ Kirsch, Rabbi Simcha Loiterman) who joined
the festivities. As one of the parents e-mailed "Rob and the boys said that last
night was terrific. Mazal Tov to all of our bar-mitzvah boys!"
Continuing the tradition of doing meaningful chesed projects as a part of the Bat
Mitzvah celebration, Yael Fridman rallied the help of the seventh grade
girls. Together the girls with the help of Mrs. Sori Teitelbaum, their bat mitzvah
class teacher, and Mrs. Fridman, prepared packages for children in
hospitals. Through the Zichron Chana Baila organization these packages will help
brighten up the children's hospital stay. The girls decorated make-up cases and
stuffed them with all sorts of toiletries. They wrote short cards wishing them a
A fun filled and meaningful time was had by all.
This Thursday our seventh grade boys arrived in
school at7:30 so that they could board the bus
bringing them to Achinoam Aviv's bar mitzvah in
Long Beach. While this may be a little unusual, as
many of the boys celebrate their bar-mitzvah's on
Shabbat, this was a great opportunity to join in the
mitzvah of being "misameach" (bringing joy to) the
Aviv family as Achinoam was called up to the Torah,
As part of the eighth grade tradition, we held our annual Magazine Drive this
pastMonday morning. In the past the students were able to raise a nice sum of
money which was applied to their "senior year" programs. Students will be
asking their parents, relatives and friends to purchase subscriptions to popular
magazines, both print and on-line and will be eligible for lots of fun
prizes. Please help support this fund-raiser.
Focus on the Classroom
Mr. Michael Lieberman, our sixth grade social studies teacher shared with me the
" I just wanted to share with you what the students did in social studies today.
We are on the Mesopotamia unit, and yesterday we discussed cuneiform, the first
system of writing created by the Sumerians. Today, students wrote their names
in cuneiform into clay using triangular wedges, much like the Sumerians did.
Then, we read the story of Gilgamesh, the first work of literature that was written
in cuneiform. Attached are pictures from the lesson. The students really enjoyed
Integrating Educational Technology
We are really forging ahead with integrating the use of technology throughout the
experiences. Teachers and staff members have been meeting regularly with
Rabbi David Lamm. IT coordinator , to hone their use of technology. They have
been learning about, as well as implementing, the use of Google Apps, sending
screencast videos to classes, flipping the classroom, using Hebrew in Google
presentations, the usage of Google docs for homework assignments, and creating
blogs. True to the Middle school philosophy we begin with a small pilot program
and guide the growth systematically and deliberately. More teachers (and
administrators) are lined up. The children will be the beneficiaries of the creative
We also met with Ben Gross, IT consultant to HAFTR, who is developing a clear
vision for strategic planning throughout the entire HAFTR schools. The middle
school seems to be the epicenter and each division will be able to grow
accordingly so that there is a seamless, vertical integration of technology
utilization - including both teacher and student training using appropriate devices
in the classroom.
The science and math whiz kids enjoy their extracurricular involvement in
the E2K program taught by Mr. David Rose. This week the students build
their own kaleidoscopes and explored light refraction and reflection. Science
is definitely fun at HAFTR.
Mazal Tov to Achinoam Aviv on his Bar Mitzvah.
Mazal Tov to Doron Thee on his Bar Mitzvah.
Mazal Tov to Jordana Berger on her upcoming Bat Mitzvah celebration.
Save the Dates:
November 11th - BJE Conference Day - No sessions for the children.
November 12, 18th and 27th - Parent Teacher Conferences
November 18th, 19th - Book Fair
November 25th - Dr. Norman Blumenthal, Parenting Workshop; Social
High School Highlights
Students Enjoy Warm Welcome at Open House
By Daniella Seelenfreund
Have no fear! The Class of 2018 is here! Invading the halls of HAFTR High School this past
Sunday, October 27, incoming freshmen and their parents had the opportunity to learn about
HAFTR High School. They experienced firsthand HAFTR's warm atmosphere and the reason
why so many HAFTR High School students love going to school every day.
First stop: auditorium. There,
students and their parents
were addressed by Ms. Naomi
Lippman, General Studies
principal; Rabbi Gedaliah
Oppen, Judaic Studies
principal; Katie Glickman, junior; Michael Weissman, junior; and
Jason Mishkin, freshman. In her speech, Katie summed up HAFTR High School perfectly:
"HAFTR High School molds friendships and it also molds the future leaders of Jewish society.
However, HAFTR High School is unique in that it is not a cookie cutter. There is no such thing
as the HAFTR student. That concept does not exist. HAFTR High School encourages students
to be themselves." The program ended with a cute student-produced video showing a
glimpse into HAFTR student life.
Next, prospective students split up into groups to go on a
scavenger hunt in order to become familiar with some
key places in the high school. Each group of eighth
graders was accompanied by a few upperclassmen and
greeted at every location by a faculty member and high
school student. At every stop, HAFTR merchandise and
favors were given out, such as chocolate bars,
pens, Kippot, headbands, and rally towels. Students
visited the art room, college guidance, G.O. store, student lounge, and the science lab.
Students were especially fascinated by the awesome experiment that Mrs. Rita Sinensky,
science teacher, demonstrated. While students were occupied with the scavenger hunt,
parents heard from Mr. Gelman, Dr. Treuman, Mrs. Parmet, Rabbi Wienerkur and Mrs.
Gerstley about the many amazing aspects of HAFTR High School. The open house came to a
close in the gym where delicious food was available for all to enjoy, and many different high
school clubs were on display for incoming students to explore.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors were so happy to show eighth graders around and made
sure they felt comfortable. "I love HAFTR High School. I would do anything for HAFTR--even if
that means waking up earlySunday morning," said Alexandra Seelenfreund, 11th grader.
Special thanks to Ms. Andi Koppelman and Mrs. Leslie Gang for working so hard to make the
open house a total success. HAFTR High School looks forward to welcoming the Class of
2018 biezrat Hashem in September of 2014.
Mrs. Parmet Visits NYU Liberal Studies
Mrs. Joan Parmet, Director of College Guidance, recently
attended a School of Liberal Studies conference at New York
University. Many students desire this school as it provides an
appropriate program where they can begin their four years of
college. This academic experience is writing-intensive and
interdisciplinary, emphasizing the great works from antiquity
to the Enlightenment, and embracing literature, history,
philosophy, art, architecture, and music. Alumni have gone on
to teach around the world, become leaders in public service,
earn degrees in law, and much more. The popular program
features greater faculty interaction and smaller class sizes with
no more than 25 students in any seminar. After two years,
students can decide to either complete their four-year degree
in global liberal studies or continue as juniors to other NYU
schools or colleges to complete their degree.
Science Institute Members Compete in Mousetrap Car Racing
By Arielle Rothman
Members of the HAFTR High School Science and Engineering
Institute competed in the first annual mousetrap car racing
competition during club hour on October 23. Each group of
participants constructed a car utilizing a mousetrap, string,
plastic CDs, and any materials found in the lab. Students powered their cars with mousetrap
springs, which stored potential energy when pulled back. When released, the energy was
transformed into kinetic energy (movement), simulating the motor of a car. The goal of the
competition was to make the cars travel as far as possible. Students were innovative with
their creations. One team used funnels as wheels of the car instead of CDs, another team
added duct tape to their CD wheels, and a third team used rope where others had used
Participants were so enthused that one student colored the
wheels of his car red, hoping the wheels would resemble fire as
they rotated with great speed! With the help of Mr.
Blumenstein, advisor of the Institute, students created
impressive cars that traveled significant distances. The winning
team constructed a car that traveled over fifty feet, powered
solely with a mousetrap spring!
Art Institute Students Visit MOMA
Students from the Art Institute visited the Museum
of Modern Art on Monday, October 28. In
preparation for the trip the students were shown
slides that depicted art from the Renaissance
through Realism, Impressionism, PostImpressionism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism
and Contemporary Art by their teacher, Mrs. Dale
Malekoff. At the museum the students, who range
from ninth to twelfth graders, were shown a
variety of examples of Modern Art by the museum
docent. The focus of the discussion was "The
Visual Eye." The students saw works by Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Jackson
Pollock, and Tauba Auerbach tracing the history of Modern Art from the 1920s through
today's contemporary art world. They discussed media, techniques, composition and the
interpretation of the works of art. Also on display at the museum was a special exhibit of
work by the Surrealist artist Rene Magritte. The students were impressed with how the artist
portrayed dreams and fantasy in such a realistic manner. The Art Institute students always
look forward to the annual museum trip and are already asking, "Where we are going next
Visit the HAFTR Tattler Online at
The new HAFTR Kippah's are here!
See Sharon Fried in the business office to purchase one today.
Don't miss out on the Early Bird Special
now through December 1st.
Click here for the application.
Please call Sharon Fried 516-569-3370 xt. 101 with any questions.
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