At this mid-year mark of the school year, I feel that is an opportune time to reflect and take pride in some of the great accomplishments in our Yeshiva.
TORAH LEARNING – Our wonderful pre-shacharis learning programs set the tone for the day. We are so proud of our many students who arrive in the beis midrash before shacharis to learn halacha with Rabbi Haskell, mussar and hashafa with Rabbi Weiss or Mishna Berura with Zalman Cohen. The Halacha seder following davening not only creates a beautiful kol Torah, it also teaches great discipline, that we learn Torah before we eat breakfast.
All shiurim have been steadily progressing in the first perek of Maseches Gittin. Special mazal tov to our 12th grade accelerated Gemorah shiur, taught by Rabbi Segal, for recently making a siyum on the first perek in their b’iyun learning and on the ninth perek in their second seder bekius learning. Our school-wide night seder program is a great demonstration that even after a long day of school, there is always room for more Torah. Thursday nights are a highlight, as students stay for the Mishmar program, which includes amazing food and the ever-popular Chumash shiur given by 9th grade Rebbe and Mashgiach, Rabbi Zimmerman. We are also very proud of the over 20 students who participate in the Honors Bekius Option (HBO) learning on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening.
GENERAL STUDIES – Over a recent lunch meeting with a group of ninth graders, one student commented to me, “We underestimated the amount of General Studies work we would have here at the Yeshiva.” Our boys are really working hard! In Mr. Passman’s Accelerate honors U.S. History course, the students have been immersed in the study of the Constitution. Mr. Gabrail’s popular Sports Science course was introduced this year with a hybrid curriculum based on Anatomy & Physiology and Conceptual Physics. Dr. Kovalsky’s STEM classes have filled every seat in the lab with budding engineers. Students in Mr. Lindner’s ninth-grade English classes completed their reading of To Kill a Mockingbird, while students in the upper grades have been busy with Shakespeare’s writings. Students are participating in the Names Not Numbers Holocaust program and are busy interviewing survivors in Chicago and New York.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR –FYHS offers a wide range of activities, including academic programs, sports, and chesed. This semester, FYHS had teams participate in the Illinois State Stock Market contest and initiated a new robotics club. We formed a new Israel Advocacy Club and students met with Congressman David Young of Iowa. Students continue to volunteer for Yachad, Chai Lifeline, and numerous chesed initiatives. Student council has been busy with lunch meetings to plan great school-wide programs from the Chanukah mesiba to the upcoming school-wide ski trip. In the wild world of FYHS sports, the flag football fall season was a tremendous success, the new running club has been off and running under the guidance of FYHS parent Rabbi Gelman. The intramural basketball season has begun and our school basketball teams are giving the school much to cheer about.
RUACH – The first week of school culminated in the “kumzits heard around Chicago” as the students and Rebbeim ushered in the new Yemei Hadin with spirited singing and emotions. This momentum led to a meaningful Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur davening in the yeshiva, a ruach filled YPA Shabbos, spirited Friday night onegs in the community, leibedig Simchas Torah hakafos, ruach-filled Chanukah chagigah, and most recently, a ninth-grade shabbaton with their Rebbeim. FYHS welcomed HaGaon HaRav Reuven Feinstein and Rabbi Dovid Nojowitz, National Director of Torah U’Mesorah. Coming attractions include a Shabbos in the Skokie community and a school-wide ski trip and shabbaton.
We are pleased with the accomplishments from the first half of this school year, and we look forward to even more exciting and meaningful moments in the upcoming second semester. Go Yeshiva!