Parshat  Lech- Lecha- פרשת לך לך
Candle Lighting: 5:39pm
Havdalah: 6:38pm

ח' חשוון תשע"ח
8 Cheshvan 5778

October 28, 2017
Issue 2


Dear Parents and Students,


Last Sunday, SAR High School hosted its annual Open House for prospective students and their parents. Throughout the morning we enjoyed introducing SAR High School to over 750 people. Our staff and students helped over 300 eighth graders learn about what they can achieve here during their high school years. It was a wonderful day at the hive. Thank you to Ms. Nancy Lerea, Gila Kolb and the entire team for making it happen.


Today, our sophomores begin their shabbaton activities with a day of chesed followed by their grade shabbaton, all taking place in the high school building. We wish them a spirited and inspiring Shabbat together davening, learning, singing and spending time together.


Please remember to sign up for Parent Teacher Conferences on either November 15 or 21. The system will open this Sunday, October 29 at 9AM for you to make appointments with teachers.


Shabbat shalom to all.

Rabbi Tully Harcsztark

 Important Dates


November 1
HS Faculty Meeting
3:30pm Dismissal


November 8
11th Grade College Planning Evening for Parents and Students

November 13
Israel Night for Seniors and their Parents

November 15 & 21
HS Parent Teacher Conferences
4:30pm Dismissal

November 22

Wed. Rotation Special Schedule

12 pm dismissal 


November 23 &24

No School Thanksgiving Break




On Sunday morning, October 22, SAR High School held its annual Open House recruitment event for prospective ninth grade students and their parents.  Over 750 students and their parents visited our campus for an introduction to the SAR High School experience.  The two-part program was designed to give attendees a taste of the unique SAR experience.  Rabbi Harcsztark opened the program by articulating the educational goals and values that make SAR a truly unique, mission-driven Modern Orthodox high school.  Potential students and families then heard from Zevi Siegal, a member of SAR High School's Class of 2018, who shared his thoughts on SAR and the house that we build here together. The program continued with our school video ("SAR High School- Not Just Words") followed by Ms. Lerea's welcome remarks and explanation of the admission process.

The second part of the program gave students and families the opportunity to attend teacher presentations and student panels.  This allowed prospective students and parents to experience firsthand the creative talents of our faculty and to ask questions of current SAR students.  Lastly, attendees convened in the gymnasium for refreshments and "A Taste of SAR," a bazaar of co-curricular, academic and chesed opportunities available to students at SAR High School.  Some of the groups represented included Torah Bowl, College Bowl, Model UN, Israel Activism, Health & Medical Awareness, Investment Club, Global Affairs, Cookies for a Cause, Math and Science Activities, and Media and Sports Clubs.


The morning's program was a huge success and we look forward to a busy admissions season ahead!




Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan had arrived, the smell of fresh Dunkin Donuts was in the air, and we couldn't wait for the first chagiga of the year to begin. The energy was palpable, as Rabbi Kroll began by welcoming each grade. The seniors made their annual grand entrance, running down the stairs in their tie-dye shirts, ready to dance! Led by Shim Cramer and his band, we spent the entire first period singing, dancing, and even a little moshing. The buzz of joy as we celebrated the new month reverberated throughout the hive. To conclude the chagigah, we stood in one united circle around the perimeter of the gym and sang a series of slow songs which concluded with the singing of hatikvah. We waved out Israeli flags with pride.  Finally, sweaty and spent grades 9-11 headed off to class as the seniors gathered at center court for one of the most beautiful post chagiga slow shira in the history of SAR High School. The sweet sounds of the seniors' songs could be heard above in the Beit Midrash and even on the grade floors. We are looking forward to a month full of bracha and hatzlacha here at Sting Nation!





A central value expressed in the SAR High School mission statement is the value of pushing students beyond their comfortable limits academically, intellectually, and socially.  Sometimes, this means that students get paired to work with a classmate they may not know very well.  This can be a social stretch for them as well as an intellectual stretch as they share ideas and perspectives with peers who might be different from them.  On October 23, 2017, a group of 23 juniors and seniors who are participating in the Building Bridges club took this challenge to a whole new level.


Our first event of the year took place at the Studio Museum in Harlem which is a center for artists of African descent who are inspired by black culture.  SAR students met with students from University Heights High School, a public school in the South Bronx, and Fieldston Ethical Culture School. This year, each student was paired with a student from another school with whom they toured the museum led by a museum educator. After explaining how some works of art told stories of Harlem and explored the complex racial identities of the artists, the guide asked the student pairs to identify a work that they were drawn to and discuss how they each connect personally to that work of art. Students found that they related to aspects of the themes as well as the form and style of different works of art. The educator explained that the purpose of the museum was to spark conversation using art as a platform, and that goal was certainly fulfilled as the students engaged in the works of art.

In small groups over lunch, students continued to share of themselves and reflect on the museum and its themes.

At the closing of the program, students were asked to reflect on something they learned, something that made them uncomfortable, and something that inspired them.  Here are some of their responses:


  • I learned that art and other forms of expression can be interpreted in many different ways.
  • I was uncomfortable knowing that my life is so different from my neighbor's.
  • I was inspired by the desire to interact and empathize with other communities who have different histories and experiences.
  • I learned about the use of art as a form of social commentary.  
  • I was uncomfortable when we talked about neutral spaces because I realized that there is never really a neutral space.
  • I was inspired when I saw everyone going out of their comfort zone to have these difficult conversations.

The SAR students definitely felt pushed outside of their comfort zones but unanimously agreed that the challenge and discomfort they felt was worthwhile.  They are looking forward to their next meeting.




On October 25th, SAR HS celebrated its annual Pink Day in commemoration of breast cancer awareness. Staff and students all wore pink throughout the day. The health club, led by Abby Ebrahimoff (SAR HS '18), set up a booth in the lobby and sold bracelets, stickers, pens, candy, and even pink luggage tags! All proceeds will be donated to Sharsheret.

Thank you to everyone who participated!





There are so many opportunities for chesed at SAR. In addition to the multitude of chesed clubs and grade wide chesed activities throughout the year, students have an entire day dedicated to doing chesed with their grade prior to their grade shabbaton. Each advisory also selects a day to go on a chesed trip together. This year each grade will make a connection with a particular chesed site for that advisory day of service. Freshmen will volunteer at Manhattan Children's Center (MCC), sophomores will volunteer at the Foodbank of New York, juniors will volunteer at the Hostos Public School in Yonkers and seniors will volunteer at Montefiore Children's Hospital. This past Tuesday, October 24th, representatives from each of the partnering sites spoke to students about the need for volunteers and how our students will benefit their institutions.


Students and faculty advisors left the presentations intrigued to learn more about chesed opportunities and enthusiastic about upcoming chesed trips.  Some students have already expressed an interest in contacting particular presenters about volunteering on their own.

Special thanks to Ariana Matzner from MCC, Alana Akong from the Foodbank, Elda Perez-Mejia and Valerie Cursio from the Hostos School and Meghan Kelly and Ingrid Ordonez from the Children's Hospital at Montefiore.


Thank you to Yoram Roschwalb and Ora Meier for organizing this educational opportunity.  Thank you to all the advisors for their engagement and support of the program.  We look forward to working together to create a more considerate community.


Today was Sophomore Chesed Day! All 10th grade classes were canceled so that students could volunteer at various sites throughout New York City and Yonkers. Sophomores served as scribes for the elderly at the Jewish Home Lifecare's Creative Writing class, prepared Fall decorations with the elderly at a Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and packed and distributed groceries to underprivileged New Yorkers at the New York Common Pantry. The students also facilitated a shabbat party for Holocaust survivors with Selfhelp, volunteered with autistic children at Manhattan Children's Center and exercised with veterans at the Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. More locally, volunteers delivered challot to senior citizens through Bronx Jewish Community Council, played board games with residents of the Atria Assisted Living Facility, worked in classrooms at the Hostos School in Yonkers, and helped with meal preparation at the Part Of The Solution soup kitchen. Kol Hakavod!! Now they are getting ready for their Sophomore Shabbaton! What a great way to go into shabbat!! Link to chesed picture album here.



SAR Students Participate in Incredibly Enriching Summer Science Experiences


We are so happy to note that close to 50 SAR High School students were involved in science related experiences this past summer in university research labs, hospital settings, science institutions, the Bronx Zoo, and ecology field study programs, in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, as well Israel.


Several students conducted lab research, working in areas ranging from engineering and material science, to bioinformatics, to immunity, to Parkinson's disease, to neuroscience and more.  They each spoke so highly of what they learned.  Among their projects were the following:  One student's project entitled "A Study of the Electronic Properties of Materials for a 2D Transistor via Computer Simulation" won first place at the Technion's SciTech Summer Program, among projects done by the 60 participants from fourteen different countries (Tamar Geller). Here in NYC, two of our students did research in the Einstein-Montefiore Summer High School Research program – one in cancer research and one on neural stem cells (Isaac Schildkraut and Ben Klestzick).  One student continued the research he began two summers ago in a synthetic biology lab at Yale University (Eitan Karsch).  Yet another student worked in the Mucida Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology at Rockefeller University (Ayelet Kalfus).


A number of students participated in exciting coding and engineering programs such as the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, the Blue Stamp Engineering Program, and the Stem Program at Cooper Union. Click here to see videos of the final projects that two of our students did at Blue stamp:


Other students served as interns and volunteers in hospitals or science institutes. And still others shadowed doctors at sites such as NY Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University, The Summer Health Internship Program through Lehman College, the Institute for Simulation Learning at Holy Name Hospital, and more. Click here to read what Shelomzion Steinmetz-Silber writes of her experience volunteering in the antepartum and postpartum wards at NY Presbyterian Hospital:


Fifteen students participated in our very own Biology Challenge Option. These students read biographies of famous scientists such as Eric Kandel, Louis Pasteur, Fred Banting, Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin, gleaning insights about creativity in research and hopefully being inspired to make discoveries of their own.  More on their experience in a separate Koleinu article.


Several students participated in programs such as the Bronx Zoo summer Internship, the Dolan DNA Summer Learning Workshop, the Brown University Program entitled A week in the life of a medical student, the University of Miami Summer Scholars Program, NYU's Camp Neuro and each spoke highly about what they learned.  Click here to read of the experience of a number of our students in these settings:


Among the enriching Ecology Field programs in which our students participated were the Roots Environmental program in Israel, and the Stream Ecology Institute at Susquehanna University, both of which our students loved. Click here to read of Leora Schloss' experience at Susquehanna University:


We are so proud of our science students; they are curious, highly motivated, willing to work hard, and eager to learn and make discoveries. They are amazing!



We want to congratulate two students who won awards this summer for their work:


Congratulations to Tamar Geller (12th grader) whose project won first place at the prestigious SciTech Summer Program at the Technion.


Tamar did her research project entitled, "A Study of the Electronic Properties of Materials for a 2D Transistor via Computer Simulation." with two other young women – one from Moldova and one from Australia -  and they were thrilled to learn that their project, in the Engineering and Material Science category won first place among all the projects done.  Click here to read Tamar's description of her experience:


Congratulations to Tova Kleiner (10th grader) for being named the winner of the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National High School Design Competition.  Her winning design was featured at Cooper Hewitt last week - National Design Week (October 14–22, 2017), and at Target stores in New York City.  Read about Tova's project and the wonderful interview in which she describes how she initially thought of her design project through talks with her grandmother and visits to the elderly with her synagogue.  Link to Target Cooper Hewitt article


Congratulations to Tova too, for recently being selected as one of 40 students accepted to the Urban Barcode Research Program (UBRP), a science education initiative to engage high school students to study biodiversity in NYC using DNA technology.  Tova applied for the program at the culmination of her study in the Dolan DNA summer learning workshops this past summer.


Biology Challenge Option participants meet to discuss their scientists


Last week the 15 students who participated in the Biology Challenge Option, met to discuss the scientists whose biographies/autobiographies they had read, analyzed and written about this past summer.


The students had chosen to read In Search of Memory, the autobiography of Nobel laureate Eric Kandel in which he describes his ground breaking work in neuroscience, Rosalind Franklin and DNA by Anne Sayre, The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss, Marie Curie by her daughter Eve Curie, and Louis Pasteur by Renee Dubois.


Guided by questions individualized to the books they read, students were asked when writing their papers, to address the following questions:  What allowed their scientist to approach a problem and solve it in a way that no one had previously?  How was he/she able to persevere against obstacles?  How was the scientist affected by his/her time in history?   The goal of this biography project is to allow students a first hand view into the life of the scientist or physician they chose, and to expose them to how the scientist worked, what motivated him/her, and how the scientific mind operates. 


We met over lunch and dessert and the students discussed with each other the accomplishments of their scientists, and the personal characteristics and other factors that allowed each of them to succeed.  Students also shared with each other the elements in the lives of each of their scientists that had made a particular impression upon them.  We then discussed the common characteristics the scientists seemed to share.


The students did this biography project as part of the Biology Challenge Option in which they chose to go beyond our coursework in 9th grade biology to learn about the lives of the scientists whose discoveries we study and to note how historical events and culture affect scientific discovery.  


The students who completed the Bio Challenge option are: Ethan Burian, Michal Fass, Elisheva Feintuch, Samantha Horowitz, Eytan Israel, Noa Kalfus, Sam Kinches, Tova Kleiner, Micki Kleinman, Bailey Lerman, Maya Rubenstein, Andrew Shafer, Ayal Smith, Ma'ayan Zimand, and Kaila Zimnavoda.


Yasher koach to each of them for their work and for the really inspiring papers they wrote.



Off To A Great Start!

With the November 1st deadline beckoning for Early Decision/Early Action applications, the seniors have spent significant time finalizing their applications a week prior to the deadline while the College Counseling Team has meticulously reviewed each counselor and teacher recommendation letter.  The seniors have also met with many college admission representatives that have come to SAR in recent weeks.  Their essays have been outstanding and we have truly enjoyed working so closely on their applications.  On Wednesday, November 8th, we will meet with the juniors and parents as part of our annual "11th Grade College Planning Evening for Students & Parents" at 7:30pm in the auditorium.  The event will feature keynote speaker Christina Lopez, Director of Admissions at Barnard College.  Additionally, our junior parent committee met with the College Counseling Team on Thursday, October 19th.  We are excited to immerse ourselves within the Class of 2019 in the coming months! 



Upcoming Games

Saturday, Oct 28 - Boys Varsity Basketball vs TABC at SAR 8:30pm
Monday, Oct 30 - Boys Varsity Hockey at North Shore 6:30pm
Tuesday, Oct 31 - Boys JV Basketball vs Maor at SAR 8:00pm
Wednesday, Nov 1 - Boys Varsity Basketball at Flatbush 6:30pm
Wednesday, Nov 1 - Girls Varsity Basketball at Kushner 6:00pm
Thursday, Nov 2 - Boys Varsity Hockey vs JEC at SAR 8:00pm
Thursday, Nov 2 - Girls JV Basketball at Westchester 7:00pm
Saturday, Nov 4 - Boys Varsity Basketball vs MTA at SAR 8:30pm





SAR Broadcasting Club Website Update!


The Broadcasting Club has been hard at work since the end of last year creating a website for all information related to SAR sports. The website includes links to all archived livestreams and highlight clips along with a "watch live" tab to view SAR sports and event livestreams. Sports team rosters and pictures are also available and updated throughout the year. A sports calendar that lists all sports games is now available to view on the website!

The Sting Report is now a part of the Broadcasting Club! Students will be keeping Sting Nation updated with sports scores and records through the Sting Report twitter account as well as on the new Sting Report page on the website.


Check out the website!


Watch our first livestream this Motzai Shabbat at 8:45pm Boys Varsity Basketball vs. TABC



Simchat Beit HaShoeva

SAR HS Alumni from the Class of 2017 who are studying in Israel came together for a Simchat Beit HaShoeva in Jerusalem. There were students from programs throughout Israel and they had the opportunity to sing, catch up, and share divrei Torah. SAR's current and former teachers joined in the fun, those who live in Israel now and those who are visiting for Sukkot. Thanks to Ms. Karen Goldscheider for arranging the event, providing the ice cream sundaes and serving as a liaison for SAR's students while they learn and live in Israel. Thanks to Rabbi Benzion Scheinfeld for his inspiring words of Torah about Sukkot and the unique opportunity for mitzvot and spirituality the sukkah provides, as well as his guitar playing and niggunim. Thanks to Yoram Roschwalb as always, for leading us in song and spirit. A special Hakarat Hatov to the Schwartz family who graciously hosted Sting Nation in their beautiful and welcoming sukkah. What a special celebration! 

!שבת שלום



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