Parashat Mishpatim - פרשת משפטים
Shabbat Shekalim - שבת שקלים
Candle Lighting: 5:04 pm
Havdalah: 6:06 pm

כד׳ שבט תשע״ח
24 Sh'vat 5778

February 9, 2018
Issue 8


Dear Parents,

As we begin our February break, I want to take the opportunity to wish all of you a relaxing and enjoyable week. I want to restate my pre-vacation message because it is so important to me.

As committed b'nai and b'not mitzvah, it is so important that each day be shaped by Tefilla and Torah. Students, please make sure to daven three times a day and to learn Torah each day. I encourage both boys and girls to daven with a minyan as often as you are able. Participating each day in tefilla b'tzibbur is a strong statement of our commitment to the power of prayer and to the Jewish people. Vacation time is also a great opportunity for wonderful cultural experiences. Read a good book, see a play, enjoy quality time with family and friends.

Since vacation is an opportunity for our students to congregate outside of school, I would like to encourage parents to speak with your children and help them make safe and healthy choices as they plan how they will use their time. Please be vigilant and take an active interest in where your children are spending their time when they are away from home. I encourage you to communicate with other parents as well to ensure that your children have the proper supervision and oversight in all of their activities. Open communication between teens and parents, with clear expectations and limits, helps them make positive choices.

To parents of ninth graders: please join us on Tuesday evening, March 13th, 7:30-9:00PM for the Grade 9 Parents' Social Evening in New Rochelle at the home of one of your fellow parents. It is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow parents and to chat with administrators and GLCs. Click here to RSVP. I look forward to greeting you there. 

Have a wonderful week.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tully Harcsztark


 Important Dates


February 12 - 19

Mid - Winter Break

No Sessions


February 20 

 Classes Resume

February 21

Student Teacher Confrences

 Regular Dismissal

February 27
Junior College Trips

February 28

Taanit Esther

2:30 pm Dismissal 

Megillah Readings & Program at SAR HS


March 1

HS No Sessions


March 13th

Grade 9 Parents' Social Evening

Click here to RSVP

March 16-17
Schoolwide Shabbaton!!


Sting Night Live!!!!


On Tuesday night, February 6th, over 250 students stayed late for SAR's annual Sting Night Live event (formally known as Homecoming).. This year, the event featured a girls and boys varsity basketball game against Frisch High School. The festivities began with a pep rally in the lobby, where music was blasted while students painted their faces, sprayed their hair, and made signs. Our cotton candy and popcorn were served to all students and fans in attendance. The seniors held a tailgating party and grilled hotdogs and hamburgers for the entire student body .A special thank you to Riverdale Kosher Market for generously contributing most of the meat. By the end of the pep rally, each student had their face painted in yellow and black!


The student athletes from Frisch were literally danced into SAR, as the song "Hashem Melech" played in the background. After some pre-game warmups, the girls took the court first for their big game. SAR took a commanding lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it, as the final score was 48-37 in favor of SAR. In the boys game, the competition was fierce. For most of the game, the score was close but in the end, Sting Nation emerged victorious by a score of 46-45.


The first halftime competition included a an HQ competition. Thank you to junior Henri Kolb for compiling the questions and congratulations to Freshman Gabriella Ceasar and Junior Zach Blitz for winning the competition, getting all 11 questions correct. The second halftime began with an intergrade half court shootout. Two representatives from each grade completed for 40 seconds. Congratulations to the sophomores, led by Sophia Reich and Eli Jesselson for winning the competition. They won an ice-cream party for their grade! After the competition, we had one last student race competition where all fans in attendance were able to vote on who they thought would win. Amazingly, over 50 percent of students voted correctly!


Students came to school wearing all sorts of Sting apparel. And then we shot out over 50 STING T-shirts to the fans. The ruach that permeated throughout the gym was unparalleled. Students from Frisch looked around, in awe, as SAR fans cheered on their teams with pride. A special yashar koach to Sarina Kofman and the entire Student Government for their hours of planning and preparation. Without them, Sting Night Live would not have been that awesome!


To sum up the experience with one sentence, "The Hive was buzzing"!


To see more...

Sting Night Live Photos 2/6/18 
Sting Night Live pump-up video

Sophomore Winter Wonderland!


This past week the sophomores set off on a tenth grade Winter Wonderland trip. The students left school on Thursday and headed off to New Jersey for dinner and some snow tubing. They raced each other down the snowy hills, shrieking all the while, and then warmed up afterwards with some hot cocoa. Once the icy fun was over with, they went to their hotel and got their rooms ready for the night ahead. They davened Maariv as a group, and then started the night activity. The tenth graders bonded over panoply, replete with questions and activities about Torah, math, literature, brain teasers, and the SAR experience. Everyone worked together to finish all of the questions in time. After an hour of free time, the students headed back to their rooms.

The next morning, after tefilah, they went to Bounce, a trampoline playground! Students hung out, did tricks, tried the obstacle course, and played games. Once the fun was over, they returned to school in time to go home for Shabbat. It was a fantastic time for all involved! The tenth grade extends a huge thank you to the GLCs and the devoted Student Activities Team.

Shakespeare Competition!!




On Wednesday, January 31st, SAR held its annual Shakespeare Monologue Competition. This year Tal Najman, a junior, earned the right to represent SAR at the NYC regional competition. Senior Libby Bergier-Pesin was the runner up.


Tal performed Benvolio's monologue from Romeo & Juliet, impressing the judges with her commitment, her truthfulness, and the specific ways she found to clarify many moments of her speech. The third finalist was junior Rebecca Shillingford.


The judges for this year's competition were Ms. Amy Heller, Ms. Sarah Medved, and Mr. Marshall Messer.


The event is the first round of the National Shakespeare Competition, which is sponsored by the English-Speaking Union. Nationwide, more than 20,000 students compete for the opportunity to study Shakespeare in London this summer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Mr. Messer, who coached each of the actors, gave the opening remarks. This year's competition fell on Tu Be'Shvat, which Mr. Messer connected to Shakespeare's view of nature. He also discussed the importance of working moment to moment and of using sound and gesture to express the meaning of a line. By way of example, he performed the monologue "All the world's a stage" from As You Like It. Then he turned the stage over to the student performers, who gave the crowd a taste of their quality.


The entire half-hour assembly can be watched by accessing the following link: Click here to watch.


The NYC regional competition will be held at the end of February at the English-Speaking Union in midtown. Tal will face more than sixty other students from around the city. In addition to her monologue, Tal must also learn a Shakespearean sonnet. Mazel tov, Tal! Break a leg at the regionals!


Building Bridges


SAR hosted students from University Heights High School and Fieldston on Thursday, February 8th for our fourth Building Bridges meeting of the year.  The last time we met with each other, the activities, discussions, and debrief we participated in centered around issues of race, class, power, privilege, and identity. During this meeting, students shared a personal story with a partner that related to these issues. Then, in larger groups, each student told the story of their partner, in first person, taking on their voice.  It was an eye-opening experience for students to hear their stories told by others, and to tell the stories of their peers.  In the words of participants, "it forced me to reconsider my identity as I heard my story told by someone else," "I felt pressure to do justice to my partner's story and experience," "I was struck by the fact that while our specific struggles were different, we all struggled with something," "I loved the fact that while we have different identities, we could all laugh and play together at the end."


Senior Grade Tisch!


Last Friday, Feb 2, seniors got into the spirit of shabbat SAR style. The tisch was filled with singing, divrei Torah, potato kugel and ruach! Fun fact: Tisches started regularly the year these seniors were freshmen!! Click here to watch the video!


Tzipora Kalish, the Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department


Tzipora Kalish, the Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department, and aunt of 9th grader Lindsey Kalish, visited with Rabbi Drelich and his 9th grade Gemara Bava Kama class.  In our unit, we have been learning about public and private domain and who is liable and who is exempt when it comes to liability and payment for property damage.

It was an amazing experience being able to hear current day cases that are being tried in a court that directly reflect similar principles of Gemara law! Thank you Tzipora for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to our class! 

Lirot Olam לראות עולם‎ - A wonderful chance to bring the world into your class room.


A 12th grade conversational Hebrew class met an Israeli MD in an online conference conversation. Before meeting Dr. Speier they learned different phrases and a wide vocabulary that revolved around medical assistance and health. They also learned about the difference between the Israeli and American health systems. It was the climax of a learning process and the students were very excited to meet a professional who answered their question seriously.


This class was done as a partnership with an organization called "Lir'ot Olam". They bring professionals and experts on jewish topics, science, languages, social studies, history and more to classes as part of the organization's pedagogy. They create an interactive classroom of learning between students and these professionals. It was a great opportunity to enrich different classes curriculum while bringing the real world of Israel to SAR students.

We are proud to be the frontier - SAR is the first school outside Israel to collaborate with "Lir'ot Olam" and many school have followed us.

THE THINGS WE SAY:  9th Grade Beit Midrash Community Meeting 


The 9th grade Beit Midrash classes recently completed an extended unit on language. They learned about Ona'at Devarim (deceitful and hurtful language), Lashon Hara, Emet V'Sheker (truth/lying) and Nivul Peh (profanity). On Friday, the whole grade gathered to talk through some ways to instill what we learned in our daily lives. Ms. Leah Silvera spoke about the way we talk about our grades and how we must be sensitive to context - with certain framing, even innocent comments can be deeply hurtful. Hillel Schwab shared about the maneuvers that are necessary to cover for meaningless lies and how quickly it often becomes clear that being truthful would have been easier. Deva Laifer told of the way people talk behind each other's backs and spread hurtful rumors about them - how deeply painful lashon Hara can be. Rabbi Helfgot illustrated the Kiddush Hashem that is available when people enjoy each other's company with friendly and even excited - but clean - speech. Finally, Mr. Josh Lannik expressed the need to plan for how we might respond when our friends speak to others hurtfully - knowing how to respond would show that we take these Mitzvot and values seriously. Thank you to all our speakers for inspiring us to think about the things we say.


On Tuesday morning, February 6th, the students in Ms. Karp's advisory loaded the bus and headed to Manhattan Children's Center for their chessed trip. Throughout the year, every 9th grade advisory group has been volunteering at Manhattan Children's Center. The students first had a short introductory session about autism and learned about the children they would be interacting with. In pairs, they quickly joined different classrooms. The SAR students talked to the children, played board games, helped them with their class work and even played together in the gym! Upon reflection, the SAR students noted how much fun they had playing silly games like Gooey Louie or reading books together. The SAR students loved that they could communicate with some of the nonverbal children using special apps on the ipad! It was wonderful to see the smiles that the SAR students brought to the children's faces!


Future Global Ambassadors


Who Am I?  Identity, Immigration and Globalization

Last week, in a lively and informative discussion on "Identity, Immigration and Globalization," Future Global Ambassadors hosted Mohamed Taguine. Born in France to North African Muslim immigrant parents, Mohamed offered thoughtful and reflective perspectives on differing attitudes on immigration and identity in France and America.

To begin the conversation, students introduced themselves and were asked to describe places from which their own families immigrated to the U.S.  Though most of them were removed by generations from these relatives, they mentioned a surprising range of countries including Morocco, France, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Russia and numerous Eastern European countries. Mohamed spoke about his own family's immigration experience coming from nations colonized by France. His mother migrated from Morocco and his father was forced to leave Algeria as a political refugee. These stories anchored his family narrative in suffering and oppression, but also in resistance.  He described the immigration experience as difficult and dislocating, and accommodating to a new life in a new place as arduous and challenging. He said that diversity is a difficult conversation in France and posed numerous challenges for immigrants. He explained that France differs from America where immigration has a long history, and where multiple identities are common and the accepted norm. His sense is that France paradoxically promotes the notion of a single "French identity" yet, is hostile to non-white, non Christian "others." As such, identity for him is a struggle. In the French existentialist author Jean Paul Sartre's words, he sees himself as a "traveller in a journey" where "otherness" plays a role.

Mohamed has been in the U.S. on and off for two years. He said that he feels very comfortable in America where racial and cultural differences are common and more acceptable, particularly in diverse New York.

Students asked many interesting questions including those concerning legal and illegal immigration, many of which raise a multitude of complexities. They also talked about their own identities as Jews in America and the kinds of identity challenges they thought they might encounter outside of the SAR environment.  We are grateful to Mohamed Taguine for sharing his story and stimulating SAR Global Ambassadors to think analytically and contribute their voices to this global discussion.

Harriet Mandel

SAR Future Global Ambassadors

January 31, 2018

SAR Students attend On the Brink panel entitled: Understanding and Managing BRCA-Related Cancer Risk


On Thursday evening, January 25, eleven SAR students accompanied by Ms. Brandriss and Mr. Goodman had the privilege of attending an On the Brink panel discussion at the 92nd Street Y entitled, Knowledge is Power: Understanding and Managing BRCA-Related Cancer Risk.


BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations greatly increase the risk of breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Jews of Ashkenazic ancestry are disproportionately impacted, but anyone can be affected and pass on the gene mutations, including men.  The students heard from leaders in the field of hereditary cancers.


Joan Lunden, an award winning journalist and health and wellness advocate, moderated the discussion. The speakers were Susan Domchek, MD, Executive Director of Penn Medicine's Basser Center for BRCA, Dr. Mark Robson of Memorial Sloan Kettering's, Community educator Nicole Schreiber-Agus, PhD. and author Elizabeth Wurtzel.


The panel members raised many of the issues involved in testing for BRCA and involved some heated back and forth discussion.  Some our students expressed how much they appreciated attending the event:


-       I truly enjoyed attending the BRCA gene talk at the 92 Street Y. It was amazing to hear from physicians and researchers who are top people in their respective fields. I now understand the prevalence of the BRCA gene in our world and specifically in the Ashkenazi community. Hearing how complex the issues…was quite surprising. So many factors, such as insurance, privacy, children and religion all tie into this. It … was both a highly educational and enjoyable experience.  Yonatan Perla 


-       … I liked how it wasn't just one doctor talking to us, but three and two women who have been or are cancer patients. A memory that will stay with me is when Tia and I spoke to Dr. Domcheck. We asked her questions that applied to what were are learning in science and to the discussion. She responded on our level, and when we were done talking she told us to stay in school and to keep learning.   Amalia  Stulbach


-       I was really glad I went because I learned about something I otherwise wouldn't have had exposure to… I loved Elizabeth Wurtzel.  Gabriella Mogilner


-       I am glad that I went to the BRCA gene talk … it was very informative about the danger of the BRCA gene and that it is important to be tested for it…It was interesting to hear about the different views everyone had, and if there were to be a follow up talk about the gene, I would definitely want to go.  Lucy Hecht 

We are most grateful that the 92nd Street Y has made possible our students' attendance at this enriching event.


Tobie Brandriss and Bob Goodman, SAR Science



The College Counseling Center had a fun-filled two experience prior to the February break! Students learned of their admission decisions to out-of-state institutions like the University of Maryland and University of Michigan, along with Early Decision II results from Brandeis University. There are several more Early Decision II colleges that notify students of their decisions by the middle of February. The seniors have been engaged (in the early stages) with their Senior Exploration projects through submitting the Essential Question document. Every 12th grader has an overarching research question to inform their capstone project and members of the Senior Exploration Committee met with every individual senior this week to review their plan of action.

Members of the College Counseling Team have been meeting with greater frequency with juniors and their parents in formulating a plan of action for their college admission process. We eagerly look forward to the out-of-town college trips that will take place on Tuesday, February 27th!



Sports Update:


The Yeshiva League season has just ended.
7 of 8 SAR Teams will participate in the playoffs.

They are:

  • Girls JV and Varsity Basketball Teams
  • Boys JV and Varsity Basketball Teams
  • Boys JV and Varsity Hockey Teams
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball Team (defeated Solomon Schecther in the quarter finals)

The Wrestling Team will participate in the Wittenberg Tournament Feb 16 - 18 at Frisch.

Congratulations and good luck to all!



College Bowl Victorious!


This past Monday, SAR hosted the second College Bowl meet of the year. After a long day filled with several matches with 6 other schools, SAR walked away victorious. The Junior Varsity team won all 4 of their games and the Varsity team won 2 out of 3 games. GO STING!!!

Hebrew Club


In the hebrew club צהריים ישראליים the students and the Ivrit department had a symbolic Seder in honor of Tu B'Shevat. We drank white and red grape juice, had dried and fresh fruit (even carob), sang hebrew songs and played games. It was a ט״ו בשבט שמח!


Environmental Tip of the Week


Use cold water - Using cold water can save up to 80 percent of the energy required to wash clothes. Choosing a low setting on the washing machine will also help save water.

Community Corner

Grade 9 Parents:

Please join us Tuesday, March 13th, 7:30-9:00PM, for the Grade 9 Parents' Social Evening at a private home in New Rochelle. Meet Rabbi Harcsztark, administrators, fellow parents.

Click here to RSVP


9th Grade Pre- Shabbat Kumzitz with Rabbi Block, Rabbi Kroll & Ms Schlaff's 9th grade gemara classes. Watch here!

!שבת שלום



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