January 9, 2015

18th of Tevet 5775


 Parshat  Shemot
Candle Lighting at 5:27PM
Individual Within the Community


What's better--the individual or the community? Should we celebrate and develop the unique skills and qualities that highlight how different each of us is than the other or should we do our best to create a cohesive community that serves Hashem as one unit? To what extent does serving Hashem involve losing one's sense of self as opposed to celebrating that individuality?

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch offers a penetrating insight into this issue in his commentary on this week's parsha. Why did Hashem choose to encounter Moshe through a burning bush? What is the symbolic message of the bush burning yet not being consumed by the fire? Rav Hirsch explains that when one is devoted to God, his own identity does not become consumed. We can each serve Hashem with greater enthusiasm and integrity if we do so by recognizing our own unique sense of individuality. Thank you to the Highlites staff for putting together another fantastic edition that celebrates individuals united in their service of Hashem. 


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
Head of School
Good and Welfare

Coming Attractions

Mon. Jan 12
PSAT Guidance Program- Boca

Jan 15-23

Winter Break- No Classes

Fri. Jan 30
Next Edition of Highlites 

Shrek The Musical Earns Rave Reviews
Girls' Musical Highlights Students' Talents 

Graphic by Cherie Landa ('15)
Article by Michali Mazor ('15)

Being a part of the WYHS production of Shrek the Musical was an incredible experience. From the Shrektacular costumes to the ogre-the-top sets, this play truly had it all. All puns aside, I really enjoyed working with my cast mates and developing long lasting relationships with them - each of them being wonderful friends and talented individuals in their own right. I miss them all so much already and it has only been two days.

Since I am a senior, this was my last WYHS musical. I know I am going to miss the magic of the Crest theater, the zumba moves, the high belting notes, the knee pads, the Throat Coat, the daisy chains, and even the freshman (I love you guys, seriously). Though I am sad that my WYHS musical years are over, I know all of these memories are going to last a lifetime and I am so grateful for them.

I want to thank the school for making our theater program possible. I also want to thank my amazing cast, as well as the techies - the smart organized people - for truly being amazing throughout the theater process. And to Ms. Jill, thank you so much for your dedication to this show. You have been an amazing director and teacher, and I know this show would not have been possible without you.
WYHS Founder Visits
Rabbi Kenneth Brander Shares Vision for Modern Orthodoxy 

Graphic by Ariella Mamann('17)
Article by Jonathan Leff ('17)

This past week, we had the opportunity to hear from Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Rabbi Emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, and the founder of WYHS. Now working as a Vice President and dean at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Brander came to address us on the main tenets of Modern Orthodoxy. Starting out with the need for a Jewish state to attain Mashiach, he placed strong emphasis on the importance of Israel. He then went on to explain the value of both Judaic and secular knowledge - all while accentuating the search for holiness in every aspect of one's life. The key to modern orthodoxy is religious application in daily life.

After then stressing the need for more opportunities for women, Rabbi Brander proceeded to explain the profound responsibility of Orthodoxy in connecting and reaching out to all Jews, not just our religious equals. He conveyed to us the need to be part of a global Jewish community - not just limited by our specific religious borders.

Rabbi Brander's speech was an engaging and eye opening message to the Modern Orthodox community as a whole - and a pleasure to listen to.

From Gulag to Geulah
Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich Shares His Journey from Soviet Russia to Israel 

Graphic by Aaron Senfeld ('17)
Article by Eli Litwin ('18)

This past week the entire WYHS student body was privileged to hear from Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich. He captivated the audience when describing his life in Soviet Russia. Rabbi Mendelevich was able to develop a Jewish identity while living under harsh rules prohibiting the practice of religion. Rabbi Mendelevich told a fascinating story in which he and a group of like-minded people dreamed to escape Russia and emigrate to Israel but were denied exit visas. They devised to take control of a small Russian plane to fly over the border. Unfortunately, before they could take off the Russian army surrounded the plane and he was sent to prison. He remained in prison for 11 years, and was beaten and oppressed weakening him physically, but the fire within him, faith, spirituality, and a love for Israel, grew stronger. Worldwide pressure from the Soviet Jewry movement prompted his release from prison and allowed him to finally pursue his dream of moving to Israel. Hearing him speak was truly an inspiration and really made me feel more appreciative for all the religious freedoms I am granted in the United States.
Honorable Mention
5 Seniors Accepted to Prestigious YU Honors Program 

Photo by Ariel Schneider ('17)
Article by Mrs. Roberts

The entire WYHS community is extremely proud of our five talented seniors, Jonathan Attias, Shoshy Ciment, Yitzchak Kaminetsky, Yaacov Siev, and Ezra Splaver, who have been admitted Early Decision to the Yeshiva University Honors Program. Acceptance into this program is highly competitive, and only the very best and brightest students from around the world are invited to join YU's vibrant intellectual community of Honors Scholars.

This year, Yeshiva University had a bigger and more talented pool of applicants than ever before, and WYHS is one of only a handful of high schools around the country where each of the applicants has been awarded the very prestigious Yeshiva University Distinguished Scholarship in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, leadership, service, integrity, religious devotion, and potential.

Among our "fantastic five" are outstanding young leaders, Torah scholars, accomplished musicians, gifted athletes, talented thespians, ardent Zionists, award-winning writers, passionate community servants, brilliant computer programmers, avid readers, and deeply observant students. Thank you to YU for recognizing these remarkable WYHS students, and Mazel Tov and Yasher Ko'ach to our scholarship recipients for bringing honor to yourselves, your families, and your school.
This Week in Pictures

Graphic by Alex Factor ('16)