SKAppenings Parshat Tazria

28 Adar II 5768
April 4, 2008
SKA Featured in the NY Times
SKA Varsity Basketball Team Wins 13th Championship!!
9th Grade Purim Chagiga
10th Grade Purim Chagiga
11th Grade Purim Chagiga
12th Grade Chagiga Purim Chagiga
Purim Chagiga...1..2..3..4.. We want Color War!!
Science and Engineering Fair
Dr. Meier Interviewed Live on JM in the AM
Science Olympiad
Parent Teacher Conferences/Art Show
Mrs. Mirsky : Grand Prize Winner
Model Congress
Blood Drive
Torah Bowl
Soup Kitchen
Junior's Kulanu Carnival
Project Frumway
Senior Programs
Mishloach Manot Campaign Raises Over $2,000 for Sderot
Lilmod Ule'Lamed for Mothers and Alumnae!
SKAppenings Staff




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 A Message from Mrs. Spirn

We were profoundly moved today by the words of Rav Grosser of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav, who helped us feel a deeper connection to the boys z"l who were murdered in the terror attack. They were so young and so much potential has been lost!  Rav Grosser described the qualities of some of the kedoshim and their strong commitment to tefila, limud torah and ben adam l'chavero relationships. We were disturbed and unnerved when we saw a sefer that had a bullet hole through the entire sefer.  He shared a video with us about the boys and the attack on the Yeshiva which uniquely combines its love of Torat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.  May Hashem hear our tefillot and heal those that were injured and in the zechut of those who have fallen, may we strengthen our commitment to Torah, am Yisrael and shmirat mitzvot.
It is hard after today's presentation to write about the fun programs we have experienced these past two weeks!  We certainly feel that Pesach is approaching and are intensifying our preparations as we get closer to Zman Cheirutainu!  We look forward to more limud about Pesach and the Haggada in the days ahead, as well as performing more chesed through maot chitim and other projects.
We were thrilled to be featured in last week's New York Times in an article about a shemirat halashon program sponsored by the Chofetz Chaim Foundation.  What a kiddush Hashem!  Kudos to Liron Eiger, Emi Renov and Chani Spirn who were quoted in this article and shared their thoughts about trying to abstain from speaking lashon hara!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish a special mazel tov to our SKA Basketball Sonics who won their 13th Championship title last Thursday!  Mazel tov to our Science Olympiad team who placed 4th in the competition. Mazel tov to Leora Hefter, Shaindy Schiffmiller and Sara Snow who were winners in the New York Scence and Engineering Fair.  Mazel tov to Ilana Saltzman who placed in the top ten winners of the Young Poets Contest sponsored by Creative Communication.  Mazel tov to Mrs. Brenda Mirsky, a member of our faculty, whose poems were selected to be published in a poetry contest. 
May we continue to share pride in the accomplishments of our students, faculty and graduates!  I wish you all a meaningful and restful Shabbos!

SKA Featured in the NY Times

There we were! SKA students appearing in a feature article about SHAC, the shemirat halashon program sponsored by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation.

Eleventh graders Emi Renov, Chani Spirn and Liron Eiger, who were among the SKA girls who attended a special assembly at Yeshiva University High School for Girls, were quoted as was our principal, Mrs.  Helen Spirn.  "These kids want to embrace what they learn and integrate it into their own lives," said Mrs. Spirn." By working on ourselves, we are enhancing our relationship with G-d."

What a beautiful kiddush haShem! And what a beautiful way to let everyone know about shemirat halashon and the power of positive speech!


SKA Varsity Basketball Team Wins 13th Championship!!

The  SKA Basketball Team played against Magen David High School and won with a score of 40- 23.  With the anticipation of an exciting game, the team played with skill and passion and the fans made the experience so much greater helping to create real school spirit. Mazal Tov to Rachel Melman on receiving the MVP award. What would the season have been without the season's high scorer, Yael Leiderman and game's high scorer, Jordana Wernick. Mazal Tov to the seniors for finishing off their four years in such a positive way.  They played well as a team, which is why this was SKA's  13th year winning the championship. Special thanks to our amazing managers, Alex Grossman and Davina Wadler, who organized everything and made the season all the more exciting. Thank you to the team's "awesome"  coach Sheri Brazil and  assistant coach Shani Marks.

9th Grade Purim Chagiga

The 9th grade gathered at madricha Shira Ganz's house after Megillah reading to have some Purim fun. The theme was a "20 year reunion" and the costumes varied from beauty school "drop out" to seniors of 2028. With a funny video and great games, the night was definitely a success! Can't wait to see what other fun events S.K.A has in store. Thanks to Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, Mrs. Esther Segal and the Ganz family for a great event!

 10th Grade Purim Chagiga

The 10th graders had an amazing time Purim night. They spent the evening at Aliza Gottesman's house and  dressed up in a "Blast From the Past" theme.  Girls were dressed up in old uniforms, as people from the 50's, and as characters from old time shows like the Wizard of Oz. There was amazing food including homemade hamantashin and fondue. Girls in the grade made a very entertaining video that they showed at the chagiga. Thanks to the Gottesman family for opening their home and to Grade Level Advisors, Mrs. Avi Smulevitz and Mrs. Keren Miller for a wonderful evening.


11th Grade Purim Chagiga

This year Purim was awesome!! The 11th Grade gathered Purim night at Emi Renov's house. Girls dressed up according to the theme of famous couples. Two girls dressed up as Mrs. Spirn and Dr. Meier, there were girls dressed as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as Romeo and Juliet and many more amazing couples!!  It was really fun singing together as everyone participated in Karaoke!!! Mrs. Spirn and Mrs. Kaminetsky joined for a while singing and dancing with the girls  and Ms. Chambre brought  Dunkin Donuts!! Thank you to Emi and the Renov family for hosting the evening and to Mrs. Gross and Ms. Chambre for putting it all together! It was a really fun way to spend Purim night!!

12th Grade Chagiga Purim Chagiga

On the night of Purim, the 12th grade girls excitedly gathered at Talia Fenster's house right after Megillah reading. They decorated a school bus with streamers and posters and then  rode through the Five Towns and Far Rockaway on the decorated bus spreading the simcha of Purim at each stop. They visited several of their teachers who gladly welcomed them as they sang and danced together with much enthusiasm. They began their trip at the home of Mrs. Spirn. They then continued to Far Rockaway where Mrs. Yudin greeted them with "franks  and  blanks"  and potato knishes hot from the  oven. From there they visited Mrs. Antman where they shook the room with their joyous energy and then surprised Mrs. Block singing "Happy Birthday" and dancing around the table. The next stop was Mrs. Storch's home  where the girls got a sneak preview of her creatively decorated tables for her seudah. The final stop was at the home of Mrs. Kaminetsky where everyone ended the evening together B'Simcha! Much thanks to Mrs. Yudin for coordinating this wonderful evening!

Purim Chagiga


1..2..3..4.. We want Color War!!

This year's Purim Chagiga at SKA was " billed" as "Color War- the Spoof!" The G.O. made a very funny video spoofing how seriously some people take Color War. Each grade was assigned a color, the girls came  dressed in costumes of that color and grade achdut, the theme of chagiga, was evident. Even the administration dressed up as crayons in the colors of the grades.

The gym, where everyone ate a yummy dinner, was decorated to look like a camp dining room during Color War and had all of the grade colors displayed.  After dinner,   Shloime Dachs  took over the stage and  everyone danced with Purim spirit to his music. Much of the dancing was in the dark with colorful lights shimmering and the added fun of "glow in the dark glasses"  provided by the G.O.

And then the laughter began! The big surprise was a  professional and hysterical improv comedy show by Comedy Sports that raised the feeling of excitement to a whole new level.  


Science and Engineering Fair

Below are the results  from Wednesday's New York State Science and Engineering Fair which took place at NY Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Park.   There were over 400 students who competed, representing 50 schools. 

A)   Category:  Social Science
1st  Place:   Shaindy Schiffmiller 
"Egocentric Comparisons  in Social Judgment Among  Adolescents" 
3rd  Place:  Sara Snow
"Mean Girls: How Different Groups View Each Other"

B)  Category:  Biochemistry
1st  Place:  Leora  Hefter
"Acyl Lysine Oligomers (OAKs) Mimicking Natural  Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs)" A study involving the creation of new  pseudo-peptides that prevent the emergence of  bacterial resistance
Also given:  Special Award for Best Research Project

Mazal Tov to the winners and much thanks to Mr. Steve Sullivan, the Social Science Advisor and to Mrs. Eva Hefter for chaperoning the students at the competition!

Dr. Meier Interviewed Live on

JM in the AM

SKA was featured on the JM in the AM Program when Dr. Tzipora Meier took to the airwaves to speak about a book of derashot, written by her father zt"l , that was recently published.  Her father, HaRav Tzvi Dov Kanotopsky, was the rav of the Young Israel of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights and then the rav of the Young Israel of West Hempstead before making aliyah in 1970. The book, Rejoice in Your Festivals , has essays about the shelosh regalim and was edited by Dr. David Zomick, uncle of Temi Zomick, SKA tenth grader.


Science Olympiad

The SKA Science Olympiad Team traveled to North Shore Hebrew Academy on March 30th  to take part in the Yeshiva High School Science Olympiad Competition.  Teams came from different schools mostly in the New York metropolitan area,  although one school  traveled from Houston, Texas to compete in the Olympiad.  SKA received medals for 3rd place in the Tower Building competition and the Metric Measurement competition, and 1st place in the Five Star Science competition.  Overall SKA came in 4th place out of the fifteen schools that competed.  We are so proud of our girls. Many thanks to Mrs. Elizabeth Rosenfeld, Team Faculty Advisor and to Mrs. Paula Berger, SKA Chemistry teacher who joined the team for the day.

Parent Teacher Conferences/Art Show

Parents filled the hallways of SKA, on March 25th, moving from room to room talking with teachers at this year's second set of Parent Teachers Conferences. The parents and teachers were afforded an opportunity to share information, partnering in the education of the students.

Parents were also able to wander into the auditorium and see the beautiful art work of the students during the second annual Art Show. Thank you to Mrs Libin and Mrs. Glaser who coordinated this very artistic event.  The creativity and talent displayed were very impressive!


Mrs. Mirsky : Grand Prize Winner:

Mrs. Brenda Mirsky, teacher of tenth grade English and 11th grade AP English, is the Grand Prize Winner of the Wordclay Poetry Book Contest for her book, Spare Parts. The book, which has over 50 poems written by Mrs. Mirsky, is being published by Worldclay. Mazal Tov to Mrs. Mirsky on such a wonderful accomplishment!!

Model Congress

On Wednesday, March 26th, about fifteen  SKA girls  joined over 200 other students from New York and New Jersey schools  at the Yeshiva League Model Congress, hosted by HAFTR. The girls were divided into different groups, each of which focused on an area such as commerce, environment,  education , ways and means, etc. Each member of the group presented a bill which was included in their specific congressional committee. The bills were voted on by the committee members and the committees then had the opportunity to amend the bills. The students were also afforded the special opportunity to hear from Tom Suozzi, the Chief Executive of Nassau County. The winners received gavels of honorary mentions.  It was both a fun and educational experience. Thanks to Mrs. Zuckerman for preparing the team!


Blood Drive

On Thursday, March 26th a Blood Drive was held in the SKA gym. Many students over the age of 16 donated blood, thus participating in a huge mitzvah, since the blood can save many lives. Right now America is in need of blood and the Red Cross was very appreciative of our efforts. Close to forty pints of much needed blood were collected. Thanks to all the Blood Drive heads: Aliza Abbitan, Elana Bindiger, Mati Engel, Aliza Kaye, Alex Spitz, Emi Renov, Rachel Mehlman, and Daniella Neuman.


Torah Bowl


On March 18th, the Torah Bowl team traveled to North Shore for the playoffs. They studied hard and came in second place in a close game.  Much thanks to Coach Mrs. Menchel and Captains Shira Bindiger and Elisheva Zinberg for all their hard work and dedication.

Soup Kitchen

On Wednesday April 2nd, a group of SKA students went to visit the soup kitchen in Manhattan. They brought food  to give out and packaged bags for Pesach.  The SKA students were welcomed warmly and felt good about the chesed they performed.Thanks to our chaperone, Rikki Schwalb, for accompanying the girls on this experience.

 Juniors Run Kulanu Carnival

In honor of Purim this year, the Juniors organized an awesome Kulanu carnival. They arranged  an assortment of  booths such as pennies and flour, decorate a mask, shave the balloon, face painting, and make your own Hamantashen . Some of the girls dressed up as clowns and functioned as shadows. The children collected  tickets by winning games and were then able to get prizes at the end of the Carnival. There was even a "moon bounce" for the kids to enjoy . It was a really fun carnival!!  Thanks to Mrs. Storch, Ms. Chambre, Mrs. Gross, and to Kulanu Bais Ezra for preparing such an unbelievable event.


Many schools met at Central Yeshiva High School on March 25th to debate whether school administrations should be allowed to search student lockers with or without permission or notice. SKA brought an affirmative team including Shaindy Schiffmiller and Rachel Zehnwirth and a negative team including Rachel Duftler and Leah Goodman. The debates went well and both teams presented many interesting arguments from different points of view. The debaters received very positive feedback from the judges. Good luck to the team in future debates! Thanks to Mrs. Leibtag for her super spirit and wonderful advice!

Project Frumway

SKA was involved in a fashion show to raise money for Josh Ligett, a boy who lives in the Five Towns and who is fighting cancer. Some SKA girls modeled  Junee's designer clothing while others worked behind the scenes . The program was run by Elyssa Shertz '03, Rena Emerson, Sherri Siedenfeld '04, Eliana Brecher '09, Miriam Rosen '10, and Sarit Sandowski '08. We were pleased that a lot of money was raised to help Josh and NCSY!


Senior Programs

The 12th Graders spent time last week with women from the Shalom Task Force who spoke about conflicts within marriage and the problem of spousal abuse.  This week, the girls attended a lecture by Rav Mordechai Willig, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University, on prenuptial agreements. These two programs have become annual events at SKA in our attempt to present our students with a broad "real life" education.

Mishloach Manot Campaign Raises Over $2,000 for Sderot

What better way to celebrate Purim than to give Mishloach Manot to all your friends,  while raising money for a meaningful tzedaka at the very same time? Thanks to the hard work of Ayelet Brecher, Alyssa Brody, Rachel Rosen and Jaime Rothman every girl in school received a very adorable animal-themed Mishloach Manot - packed in a zebra and leopard print bag - and over $2,000 was raised for our Sderot campaign.

Stay tuned for our SKA sponsored Walkathon on behalf of Sderot on Sunday morning, May 11th! 


Lilmod Ule'Lamed for Mothers and Alumnae!

Our Lilmod Ule'lamed Program for HALB mothers and alumnae will continue at SKA on Tuesday, April 8, at 12:00 PM. Rabbi David Weinberger, distinguished member of the SKA faculty and Rav of Congregation Shaaray Tefila, will present a shiur focusing on "Women and the Geulah."


Sponsorship for this shiur is still available.


We look forward to welcoming many of you once again for Torah, inspiration, and coffee.

Mazal Tov to Mrs. Tammy Alter on the marriage of her daughter Leah to Yaakov Shereshevsky
Mazal Tov to Mrs. Ellen Lavner on the engagement of her daughter Alison '05 to Chaim Basch

Lena Deutsch '05 on her engagement to Jeremy Eisen and to 12th grade sister Olivia
Hadas Fried '07 on her engagement to Aviad Greenberg and to 11th grade sister Adi
Daniella Miriam Friedman '05 on her engagement to Jeremy Markowitz and to 9th grade sister Atara
Rachel Ginsberg '06 on her engagement to David Haridim and to 10th grade sister Yocheved
Ayelet Isseroff '04 on her engagement to David Mottahedeh
Jennifer Kalowitz '02 on her engagement to Joseph Bernstein
Ora Klein '02 on her engagement to Ray Sultan
Tziona Krauss '05 on her engagement
Alison Lavner '05 on her engagement to Chaim Basch
Naomi Perry '06 on her engagement to Yossi Wargon
Naava Stern '05 on her engagement to Yehuda (Hudi) Abelow

Leah Alter '04 on her marriage to Yaakov Shereshevsky

SKAppenings Staff



Ariella Simpson
Alex Spitz

Naomi Weiss

Jordana Wernick


Photography Editors:

Mrs. Estie Bryk

Rachel Herzberg

Contributing Writers:
Yehudit Aidelson
Avi Chesner
Rachel Duftler
Rachel Eskowitz
Alex Grossman
Stephanie Leichtung
Julia Levine

Sarah Schnoll
Ariella Simpson
Elana Schreier
Shana Wagner
Jordana Wernick
Jordana Wittman

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