News from SKA High School for Girls

December 17, 2004 5 Tevet 5765

Parshat Vayigash
in this issue

Welcome Back, Ms. Rebecca Blisko!

This year's 10th Grade and G.O. Advisor has the inside track - she's been on the other side of the desk! Ms. Rebecca Blisko, an alumna of our school '01 ("I didn't want to leave!") teaches 9th grade Jewish History and 10th grade Nach in addition to her other responsibilities. As a student, Ms. Blisko participated in many extra-curricular activities - she was even the Vice-President of the G.O., a fact the present student administration greatly appreciates.

After graduating from SKA, Ms. Blisko attended Michlalah in Israel for two years and was a madricha there. In addition to the many hours she spends in SKA, she is also completing her Master's Degree in Jewish Education from Azrieli. This past year, Ms. Blisko taught in Nefesh Academy, an acclaimed kiruv school in Brooklyn.

"Have things changed radically since she was a student?" she is constantly asked. "The core of the school has certainly stayed the same. There is a continuous flow of activities with new and exciting programs introduced all the time. The warmth and caring I felt when I attended school here is still there!"

SKA is proud of its illustrious graduate and present staff member!


The long awaited PSAT results finally arrived and were distributed to the students on Friday, December 10th.

The new PSAT exams reflect the changes in the math and verbal sections of the new SAT exams to be given in March. But the newest addition is the writing section. Many students had expressed deep concern about this area, so it is interesting to note that, as a group, the students performed exceedingly well on this section. In fact, for 60% of the junior class and 71% of the sophomore class, the students scored highest on the writing section when compared with the other sections.

At a recent meeting of the English and Math departments, the teachers were apprised of the new revisions and will make sure to incorporate the information in their class work. The English teachers were given a copy of ScoreWrite, a guide to preparing for the New SAT Essay, put out by the College Board.

Many students have already started to prepare for the actual SATs. The juniors will now also begin scheduling their first college meetings with Mrs. Elsant. The process has begun and before you know it the juniors will be discussing colleges and Israel schools!

College Financial Seminar for Parents of DRS and SKA

This past Monday evening, the DRS and SKA College Guidance Departments welcomed Mr. Robert Friedman, Director of Student Aid at Yeshiva University, who gave an excellent presentation to intricacies of submitting federal and state financial applications, including the much-feared FAFSA form. Mr. Friedman, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field, showed a powerpoint presentation and had available numerous handouts that featured ways to afford today's high cost of college. Though employed by YU, Mr. Friedman's presentation covered a universal topic, appropriate for any college that a student may be applying to. Finally, we were delighted to see parents sitting at students' desks diligently taking notes in class.
Thank you to Mrs. Hefter and DRS for hosting the program and to Mrs. Elsant for her efforts!

SKA has joined forces with Gotta Getta Yogurt!

We are pleased to announce that every Thursday Gotta Getta Salad has turned SKA's auditorium into a Salad Bar. Students now have the ablity to make their own salad with all the special toppings and dressings for a nominal fee. Here's to healthy eating!!!

Daily Lunch Schedule

Monday and Wednesday - Catering by Supersol - assorted wraps, vegetable and fruit salads, sushi, hot poppers and knishes

Tuesday - catering by Pizza Pious - Pizza, French fries, salads, garlic knots

Thursday - Catering by Gotta Getta Salad - wraps , make your own salad, Iced coffee

Mazel Tov to:

Mrs. Sheila Leibtag on the birth of a grandson

Mrs. Sandi Pomerantz on the birth of a grandaughter

Tara Rabinowitz '00 on her marriage to Dov Fried

Elana Pelcovitz '03 on her engagement to Zachary Wolf

Download your schedules through our website link below.

Quick Links...



A Message from Mrs. Spirn

The spirit of Chanukah was certainly pervasive throughout our halls and classrooms and Rabbi Zak, our Grade Advisors and G.O. Board made sure that every student had an awesome week. Individual grade trips, a Chagiga, our annual Tzedaka Auction, a Kumsitz at Mrs. Kaminetsky's home, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger's Divrei Chizuk, Chesed Outings in honor of Chanukah, and edible treats made the Chanukah experience unforgettable. Special thanks to our 11th grade Mechanchot for bringing students to their homes and making parties in their classrooms!

And now, we're in the midst of Production fever. Throughout the building, the excitement is tangible as the dancers, singers, actresses, musicians, and artists put their finishing touches on their performances. We can't wait to welcome parents, faculty and students to our three performances next week.

Please remember that Parent Teachers Conferences will take place on Monday night. We hope that our new automated reservation system made the process easier for our parents.

For the first time, we are providing a link to Israel Info Highway, a content packed publication for high school students, about Israel, current events and political advocacy. The newsletter is produced by the National Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and is sponsored by the Avi Chai Foundation. Our girls are always motivated to learn more about Israel and I know you will enjoy reading the newsletter.

The sophomores are anxiously awaiting their Melava Malka tomorrow night at the home of Shayna Gottesman. Special thanks to the Gottesman family for hosting the program!

Here's to a restful and meaningful Shabbos!

Chanukah at SKA!

The halls of SKA buzzed with excitement as our students prepared enthusiastically for their annual Chanukah Tzedaka Auction. From Shabbat invitations and class parties to giant teddy bears and Knicks tickets, there was an incredible selection from which to bid. Led by Rabbi Zak and the G.O., the auction took place this past Friday. Not only was there a tremendous sense of achdut between the girls, but the auction cultivated stronger relationships between teachers and students as well. The girls raised almost $5,000 for various Tzedakot. Kol HaKavod to all!

After their day off on Monday, our girls were welcomed back to school with walls decorated with streamers and animal masks. The theme of the Chanukah Chagiga was a safari. Rav Moshe Weinberger from Congregation Aish Kodesh opened the program with uplifting and enlightening words pertaining to Chanukah. Relating stories of his father's experiences during the Holocaust, Rav Weinberger stressed the importance of remembering that even in times of utmost darkness, HaKadosh Barush Hu loves each and every one of us. Following his powerful and inspiring message, the girls danced to lively music, and then ate delicious latkes and sufganiyot. It truly proved to be a most memorable and meaningful Chanukah!

Chanukah Trips

9th Grade
"When can we come again?" was the most often heard comment as the school buses full of freshmen pulled away from Otsar and two HASC schools on the second day of Chanukah. All three of these schools service people with special needs. At each of these locations, smiley freshmen busied themselves, helping create wonderful Chanukah door hangers, coloring, and telling stories. The host schools were delighted and impressed by the sincerity, strength, and sheer happiness our SKA ninth graders exuded. Our trip "lit up" a Chanukah winter day for many.

Chanukah is a holiday when we aim to focus on the "innerness" and spirituality in life. The Greeks tried so hard to negate these values with their constant focus on physical and intellectual abilities. We thought it was especially aprapos to visit some of our fellow Jews who sometimes are misunderstood or neglected because of their inability to create a flawless outer appearance. Our SKA freshman related to the girl, boys, men and women at HASC and Otsar exclusively by way of their inner feelings of Ahavat Yisrael. The appreciation of the host schools was obvious. At Otsar they welcomed us with freshbaked Chanukah cookies and at HASC they created a unique Thank You card and presentation. The day was rounded out by a visit to Boro Park's famous "Mendelsohn's" pizza and then to Amazing Savings to buy grab bag gifts for friends.

The freshmen can't wait till next time! Grade Level Advisors, Mrs. Leibtag and Mrs. Gross are just catching their breath so they can plan and chaperone the next freshman outing. A special thanks to Mrs. Libin our art teacher for preparing the projects, and to Mrs. Storch for accompanying us and coordinating the details of this trip!

10th Grade

Energized with J-2 pizza, French fries or salad, the tenth grade took up the portfolio challenge and raced around the store as they tried to outdo their peers in creating imaginative photos. They modeled Barbie dresses, posed on broomsticks for Quidditch matches, and blended in with the Potato Head Family. Who will get the job? We'll find out next week, when the judges vote on the most creative portfolios. As for today, every girl enjoyed the time spent relaxing with friends and taking in all the excitement of New York City. Ms. Blisko and Mrs. Haber, you're the best!

See you Motzei Shabbos at the Sophomore Melava Malka!

11th Grade
On Wednesday, the 11th grade went on a fun school trip, in honor of Chanukah, to New Roc City, where there are arcade games, bowling, ice-skating, and bumper cars. We received unlimited game cards that we used to play all the arcade games. Some girls decided to go bowling and then play in the arcade. Other girls decided to play in the arcade and then go ice-skating. We all had a great time because we loved bonding with our friends. We also had a great time with our Mechanchot, Ms. Allen, Mrs. Block, Ms. Fragin, and Mrs. Hirtz who threw great Chanukah parties in school and at their homes!

12th Grade
Last week the seniors enjoyed a fun-filled, packed day in honor of Chanukah. We began the day with the Gymnasia Kiruv School in Queens. We made Chanukah decorations with the students, sang songs, and had a great time. We boarded the buses and drove to Manhattan where we had a choice of eating at Dougie's or Pizza Cave. Afterwards, we headed towards "My Name Is Mud," a ceramics center, where each girl chose her own ceramic and painted it according to her desire. It was a fun, relaxing, bonding experience for all! Special thanks to Grade Advisors, Mrs. Feinberg and Mrs. Yudin for planning a great trip!


Chesed Update

On Wednesday, December 8th, Chai Lifeline sent a group of SKA students to Memorial Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Tzipora Kuperman, Jackie Ostreicher, Naomi Perry, and Mindi Werblowsky went as representatives of the junior class while Ariella Simantov, Yael Haar, Shaindy Pollak, and Shany Noy went from the senior class. We performed a puppet show for the Pediatric Wards in honor of Chanukah. We then stayed for the annual Chanukah parties at the hospitals, where food was served and donated toys were distributed to all of the patients. We were able to go around with carts of toys for those patients who could not leave their rooms. We had a chance to interact and play games with all of the children at the hospital. It was a really touching experience, seeing the faces of the kids when they got their own brand new toy. Being able to spend time with these kids was the best Chanukah present we could ever get!


Science Research Class Visits Garcia Science Center

On Wednesday, December 15th, the junior AP Chemistry class, along with the freshmen and sophomores in the Science Research class, spent the day at the new Garcia Science Center at Queens College. They heard many lectures on chemistry and physics and they were able to do numerous experiments as well. The students made ice cream from liquid nitrogen, silly putty from Borax, and created styrofoam. The girls had an amazing time and learned how chemistry and physics affect our daily lives. Chemistry is so cool!!!! Thanks, Mrs. Isseroff!

SKA's Loss is Israel's Gain: An Alumna's Perspective

The graduating class of 2004 has finally settled and continues to become familiar with Eretz Yisrael and all that it has to offer. The transition at first was difficult, being away from our families, our homes, and all that we were accustomed to. As the weeks went by we began to love our schools, classes, teachers, and best of all, our new home. Thanks to our SKA education, the language barrier is easier to overcome, and we are able to communicate more easily with the Israelis. We have gained a sense of independence being on our own and having to take care of our everyday needs. Touring the land has become a part of our everyday lives. We are fortunate enough to be able to visit the Kotel and other places of kedusha quite often. We have already learned so much here, and hope to continue growing as the year goes on. After only a few months in Israel we have already began to realize that Shana Bet is the only way to go. Just kidding, parents!

Throughout our four years of high school our grade gradually united. By senior year the achdut was incredible! Although our grade is now divided into many different schools, both here in Eretz Yisroel and back at home, we have still managed to maintain our strong friendships that we formed in high school. Leaving SKA was a big challenge, but coming to Israel was an even greater experience. We would like to thank all our teachers back at home who had such an active role in helping us get to where we are today. We miss everyone in SKA, and we hope to see you all here soon "Bimihayra Viyamaynu"!!

TZEMACH II - Hakarat HaTov

The 9th and 10th grades both experienced an inspiring program about HaKarat Hatov, just one week apart.This Tzemach program began with sophomore comedy skits, which although at a glance seemed very exaggerated, did relate very closely to much of the student population. We then enjoyed a short film titled "Mom on Strike", which portrayed a typical mother and how hard she works. It definitely helped everyone see how much our dear parents do for us and how much appreciation they deserve.

The program concluded in small discussion groups led by Mrs. Haber, Ms. Blisko and Rabbi Zak, who taught us many ways that Hakarat HaTov connects to our own lives. They also shared with us meaningful short stories that will hopefully help us increase our use of Hakarat HaTov everyday. Many thanks to Mrs. Haber for putting together such a wonderful program.


The SKA Drama Department is proud to present

Yisrael Bitach BaHashem


Performances are on:

Thursday evening, at 7:30 p.m. - SOLD OUT
Sunday matinee, December 26th at 3:30 p.m. Sunday evening, December 26th at 7:15 p.m.

Prices: $18 for adults; $15 for students; SKA students $12.
Special matinee prices: $12 for adults; $10 for students; SKA students $8

Come join us for an unforgettable show!!!!

For tickets, please call (516) 374-7195 ext. 109

phone: 516-374-6851 x2