Hachnassat Sefer Torah at Rambam. Snow? What snow? The weather this past Sunday could not deter hundreds of Rambam Mesivta talmidim and their rebbeim from dancing in the streets to welcome a new seferTorah to Rambam, dedicated by Michael and Susan Sosnowik and family, on the 50th yahrzeit of Dora Sosnowik, z’l. The procession started at the Young Israel of Lawrence–Cedarhurst and made its way to Rambam. It was led by members of the Sosnowik family, friends of the family, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, and the Rambam mishpachah. Rambam junior Avraham Sosnowik was at the head of the procession, joyously partaking in the dancing. Not 24 hours later, he received an aliyah while holding the new seferTorah, secure in the knowledge that his grandmother’s legacy would continue to give back “mi’dor la’dor.”
Jewish Music Star Lipa Schmeltzer Rocks Rambam in Adar! Rambam rebbe, Rabbi Ari Boiangiu, himself a superstar guitarist, calmly stood at the podium and announced to the assembled students at Rambam that their next guest speaker was a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, a learner, a worker, a person engaged in chesed, in short—a Rambam Man. With that, Lipa Schmeltzer emerged and was greeted with howls of joy from the eager audience. RoshMesivta Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman presented Lipa with the “Sameach Tesamach Award,” for bringing joy, inspiration, and simcha to Klal Yisrael. Lipa then proceeded to rock the house, jumping into the crowd and singing—sometimes even inserting words about Rambam into his songs. After the chagigah, Rambam talmidim were treated to another surprise: cholent and kugel thanks to the generosity of the Yizhaky family. Rambam: Where Anything Can Happen!
Kulanu and Rambam Welcome Adar. This past Friday, ninth-graders from Rambam Mesivta, accompanied by their rebbeim, led a RoshChodeshdavening and chagigah with their friends at Kulanu. The Rambam talmidim were treated to a scrumptious breakfast from the Kulanu students and divreiTorah, ruach, singing, and dancing were the order of the day. The sounds of Rambam rebbe Rabbi Noam Singer’s guitar filled the atmosphere with uproarious melodies and poignant words.
Rambam and Kulanu continue building their wonderful relationship that includes the inclusion of Kulanu students in Rambam’s Wednesday Club Hour, melaveh malkahs, and extra learning.
Rambam JV Hockey in Semifinals. Rambam JV Hockey won a huge playoff game against HAFTR in a 4–1 game to advance to the semifinal round. Under the leadership of Coach Avi Herschman, and with the stellar play from back-up goalie Benji Aryeh, the Ravens are looking to return to the championship for the second year in a row. Go Ravens!
Schoolwide 3-on-3 Basketball Tzedakah Tournament Begins. The entire Rambam Mesivta this past week has been engaged in an epic 3-on-3 February Madness Tzedakah Basketball Tournament. The 32 teams that began the tournament have dwindled to just eight, and now, amidst upsets, only the Dark Horse teams remain to see who will be crowned champions. This year’s tournament is benefiting “Oz Ve’Hadar,” an organization that restores sifreiTorah for units the IDF.
Being Orthodox in Kentucky. This week also featured another surprise: Mr. Motti Edelstein, Evan’s dad, came to speak to Rambam about his experiences as the new CFO at University of Kentucky Health Care. He discussed the reaction of the people there seeing their first yarmulke and how he is working to change the culture at the hospital and the challenges he faces with the status quo. His message was inspiring in that he made it clear he was a proud Jew, and he said that “consistency is key” when it comes to observance and representing Klal Yisrael. He made it clear that no matter where one goes, one must be conscious of making a Kiddush Hashem, look to help, be patient in answering questions, and never shy away from showing your roots.
Rambam Mock Trial Advances. This Wednesday, Rambam’s perennial Final Four Mock Trial team looks to keep advancing in a quest to win the Nassau County Mock Trial Competition. With Professor Stevens at the helm, and Philip Nagler and Aharon Goldblatt stepping up their games, the team is eagerly awaiting this week’s crucible.
Rambam Goes to Washington. Rambam Mesivta has always considered political activism and support for Israel as part of its educational philosophy. Students are exposed to various rallies, assemblies, speakers, and Israel chesed and advocacy projects on an ongoing basis. Rambam students have learned that they truly can make a difference.
Next week, 12 students from Rambam will iy’H embark on a trip to Washington DC to be part of the AIPAC conference. The delegates, Zach Beer, Ezra Cinamon, Johnathan Deutsch, Evan Edelstein, Ephraim Fruchter, Yoni Nirenberg, Yoni Meiri, Zechariah Rosenthal, Josh Saltzman, Avraham Sosnowik, and Yossi Zimilover, are students in Rabbi Eliach’s Religious Zionism class.
Their mission is dedicated to the memory of Joel Shiff, z’l, an outspoken advocate on behalf of Israel and ardent supporter of AIPAC.
Rabbi Friedman’s relationship with the Shiff family goes back many years. It began when he taught their son, Jonathan, and continued years later when Mrs. Jane Shiff taught AP Biology in Rambam. Joel was a well-known leader in the Five Towns community and served as the president of Congregation Beth Sholom, the very same congregation that hosted his barmitzvah and his wedding to his wife, Jane.
“Having such a large group participate in AIPAC and paying tribute to Joel Shiff, a community leader and staunch supporter of Israel, will certainly inspire our students and enable them to realize what one man accomplished and how they can follow in his footsteps. This trip will build on the foundations of preparing them to be the Jewish leaders of tomorrow and I look forward to being with them next week in Washington,” said Rabbi Friedman.
With an eye toward chesed, ruach, excellence, and simcha, it was another amazing week at Rambam: A Place for Every Person. v