In this Edition

Monthly Highlights | The 2019 SSSQ Tribute Dinner | Middle School Science Fair Competition | 17th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition | Tikun Olam | A Visit to our Nation's Capital | Eighth Grade Graduation Ceremony | Lag BaOmer | SSSQ Participates in the NYC Celebrate Israel Parade | Heritage Fair | Tzofim Performs at SSSQ | Camp Holaton | SSSQ Science Fair | Building Noah's Ark | SSSQ Celebrates Shavuot | The Kindergarten Moving Up Ceremony | Kudos | Alumni Corner | Upcoming Events |

Monthly Highlights
The 2019 SSSQ Tribute Dinner
On Thursday, May 30 th the Solomon Schechter School of Queens held their 2019 Tribute Dinner at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, NY. It was a beautiful evening that saw the whole SSSQ family come together to celebrate our well-deserved honorees. We would like to thank everyone for participating and making this a special event. Our honorees felt the love permeate the room as they were called on stage to receive their awards and that is thanks to all of you! As our community continues to grow, SSSQ looks forward to working together to help build a better future! 
Middle School Science Fair Competition
This year our SSSQ students took part in the CIJE - Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education - Middle School Science Fair, led by Mr. David Mushiev. Many 6 th , 7 th , and 8 th grade Jewish Day Schools participated in this STEAM based Fair, where 22 projects were submitted and over 60 students took part. We would like to wish a Mazal Tov to all of the SSSQ students who participated in the Science Fair. SSSQ students won awards in the following fields:

1 st Place: Natural Energy from Food Waster
Amit N. and Richard B.

2 nd Place: Which Type of Oil Lasts Longer in a Candle
Avital A., Maya Y., and Ariella L.

Environmental Engineering:
3 rd Place: How far can my catapult go compared to others?
Marianna S. 
17th Annual eCYBERMISSION STEM Competition
The eCYBERMISSION, administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), is a web-based competition for students in grades six through nine. Students are challenged to work in teams of 3-4 to identify a problem in their community and use scientific practices or the engineering design process to develop a solution. Student prizes for each grade level are awarded at the state, regional, and national levels. The Solomon Schechter School of Queens students worked together with Mr. Mushiev, Team Advisor. The teams submitted their Mission Folder—the official write-up of the project— through the eCYBERMISSION website to be evaluated and scored by volunteer virtual judges. First-place state winning teams received $1,000 per student team member in U.S. EE Savings Bonds and second-place state winning teams received $500 per student team member in U.S. EE Savings Bonds. “The remarkable projects submitted by these students demonstrate their commitment to tackling some of their communities’ most daunting challenges. The U.S. Army is truly awed by the thoughtfulness and originality behind the ideas put forth by these students,” said Christina Weber, AEOP Cooperative Agreement Manager.

SSSQ congratulates the students on being awarded in the competition:

1st Place: 6PD, Solomon Schechter School of Queens, NY, NY

The students: Sophia Y., Yuval H., Joelle S. and Tiffany B.

The focus of this science investigation was to compare different types of cleaners: Windex, Clorox wipes, Fabuloso, and Lysol.

2nd Place: 6th Girls Squad, Solomon Schechter School of Queens, NY, NY

The students: Maya R., Natalie M., Libi S. and Emma B. 

Students wanted to test under which light plants grow faster: under LED, natural or incandescent light. The results showed that plants prefer the LED light.

Honorable Mention: 6 Pastries, Solomon Schechter School of Queens, NY, NY

The students: David L., Jonah L. and Ethan H. 

Students wished to investigate what has the most bacteria in certain snacks. It will help the community because we can now see how long to wait before eating tasty snacks that we love.

Kol Hakavod to all the participants!
Tikun Olam
Every week during the school year SSSQ brings fifth graders to visit the residents of Boulevard Alp Assisted Living. The students set up and prepare a weekly baking class as well as talk to and help residents throughout the activity. It has been such a positive experience for both our students and the residents. Two of our students have great grandparents that live at Boulevard Alp and they look forward to seeing their grandchildren and friends. We would like to thank Sura Rozenberg for coordinating this experience between the residents and our students. We are very proud of our students for playing an active role in making a difference in the community.
A Visit to our Nation's Capital
Our entire 7 th grade class recently went on a three day trip to visit Washington D.C. and had a fantastic experience touring our nation’s capital! Some of the highlights from the trip include visiting Fort McHenry, Lincoln Memorial, Newseum, which focuses on the importance of Media and Journalism to a healthy democratic society, and the U.S. Supreme Court, where our students learned about the judicial branch of government. We would like to thank Rabbi Reis for leading this trip and providing our students with an incredible learning experience! 
Eighth Grade Graduation Ceremony
On Wednesday, June 12 th SSSQ was graciously invited to hold the 56 th Commencement Exercises at the Hillcrest Jewish Center. Our graduates gave a spectacular performance and everyone including the audience was singing and dancing along with them. The students worked hard leading up to the performance and we couldn’t be more proud of the way they represented themselves and our school. We congratulate our students on all of their achievements and wish them well as they take the next step in their education. Our graduates and parents will always have a home here at SSSQ and consider you part of the Schechter family. We thank Executive Director David Kalman for coordinating this event.  
Lag BaOmer
Our students had a great time celebrating Lag BaOmer this year! They participated in a color war where they each went into teams and competed in different activities. We also enjoyed a delicious BBQ prepared by our staff. Even though the weather wasn't so cooperative, everyone had fun participating in the festivities!
SSSQ Participates in the NYC Celebrate Israel Parade
 T he Solomon Schechter School of Queens was honored to participate in the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC on Sunday, June 2 nd . It was an amazing event that saw Jewish Day Schools, summer camps, JCC’s, synagogues, and many Jewish organizations from all over the East Coast march over 20 blocks to show their love and support for Israel. Thousands of people lined the streets to join in celebrating the Jewish state! SSSQ is proud to support Israel and we would like to thank our students, parents, faculty, and administration for organizing this special event.
Heritage Fair
Mrs. Ben-Harari and her 7th grade students organized an amazing Heritage Fair at the school. Each student created a family tree and presented the history of their family and how they arrived to the United States. It was a beautiful fair and we had a chance to learn where many students come from including Poland, Lithuania, Austria, Russia, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Columbia, Argentina, and many more! From listening to the history of each family we learned that many had to leave their home countries due to antisemitism and found a better life waiting for them before they eventually made their way to the United States. While we may come from many different parts of the world one thing that unites all of us is that we are proud Jews. Kol Hakavod to all of the students who made such beautiful projects and presented it to the community! 
Tzofim Performs at SSSQ
 SSSQ would like to show our gratitude to Tzofim for coming all the way from Israel to give a wonderful performance at our school! The students had a lot of fun singing and dancing with the group, who made them feel a part of the show. We appreciate their hard work to bring a little taste of Israel to our school and look forward to partnering again with Tzofim in the future! 
Camp Holaton
This year our 4 th and 5 th grade students had their Holaton retreat at Camp Ramah. The students had an incredible experience participating in summer camp activities, such as Tefilah in the morning, hiking, soccer, basketball, baseball, swimming, kayaking, boating in the lake, and at night they made a bonfire while roasting marshmallows. Being out in nature allowed students to bond and connect to their Judaism in a spiritual way. We would like to send special thanks to Rabbi Tomsky, Mr. Wiseman, and Mrs. Raskin for organizing a fantastic overnight trip for our students.
SSSQ Science Fair
Our students recently participated in a wonderful Science Fair held at SSSQ. Each student created their own project and explained it to people as they visited their station. They did an incredible job and we learned about volcanoes, water density, sugar, soda, etc. We would like to thank Mrs. Hale for organizing a fantastic Science Fair and creating a wonderful learning opportunity for our students! 
Building Noah's Ark
Mrs. Garber's 2nd grade students constructed their very own Noah's Ark to commemorate the time when G-d spared Noah, his family, and all the world's animals during the great flood. The amount of detail that went into the projects was extraordinary and they presented their work to their classmates. Kol Hakavod to Mrs. Garber and her students for their beautiful projects, which are currently displayed on the second floor! 
SSSQ Celebrates Shavuot

In preparation for Shavuot KA & KB made their own cheese cakes! Each child had the opportunity to crush the graham crackers and mix the farmer cheese, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and margarine together. The best part of the activity was eating the delicious dessert and learning about why we feast during this holiday. We hope everyone had a Chag Sameach!
The Kindergarten Moving Up Ceremony
We would like to wish a big Mazal tov to all of our graduating Kindergarten students! They worked hard for months rehearsing for the play and put forth a fantastic performance. We are proud of all the hard work they accomplished this year and wish them well as they continue their studies next year at SSSQ. Special thanks to Mrs. Stein, Mrs. Beinstock, Mrs. Blum, Mrs. Penzell, and especially Mrs. Bigler, who came out of maternity leave to work with the students.
Dear Alumni: If you would like to share your news (engagements, weddings, births, career milestones, B'nai Mitzvot , etc) with us or visit the school, please contact Naomi Horowitz at or 718-591-9800 ext. 323.
Naomi Danis '64
Naomi Danis (class of 1964) tells us about her early years at SSSQ and some of her adventures since then on the way to publishing her two recent picture books for young kids, While Grandpa Naps and I Hate Everyone .

Tell us about your class:
My graduating class, the second in the history of the school—which met in those days at the Rego Park Jewish Center— had 22 students who grew up to become five rabbis, one academic in Bible and one in philosophy, an Israeli rockstar, social workers, teachers, writers, scientists and entrepreneurs—all in all, a creative and idealistic bunch. (No attorneys; and when last heard from, one still-aspiring physician.)

Your sisters and parents?
My older sister Marion Danis, a physician and medical ethicist at the National Institute of Health, graduated in the first class, in 1963, and I remember singing the Lewandowski Halleluyah for the recessional in a choir that was created for the occasion. Even though we were younger kids, we could feel how emotional and momentous it was to be graduating a first class of a school. My younger sister Debra Danis Seiden, who recently retired from an administrative position at the Media Law Resource Center, graduated in 1967. My parents, Seymour and Ruth Danis, were involved in the school, and my mom was one of the early PTA presidents.

Your beginnings as a writer?
There were many artistically talented people in my family and making things— creativity—was encouraged. Perhaps writing was a way I differentiated myself.

Folks at the Forest Hills Jewish Center daily minyan might not believe it because I am a speedy davener when I am asked to lead prayers—which I attribute to stage fright—but I’ve actually always been a slow reader which might be helpful to a writer.

Along with seven other classmates, I skipped from second grade to fourth, in a move that allowed SSSQ not to expand to two third grade classes in those early days. Language arts—though alas not penmanship—was probably one of the few subjects which didn't become overly challenging for me in that transition.

Several of my classmates recall how Mrs. Levine taught us to make an outline with a topic sentence, a body with a, b and c points, and a conclusion for our compositions.

I also skipped a year of English as a freshman at Forest Hills High School by getting the heading right on a humorous composition I wrote about holding onto a tall friend's hand to navigate around the unfamiliar crowded hallways between classes.

Your kids?
Introduced by friends because I always enjoyed having house guests, I met my American husband, Gil Oberfield, in Israel, and we returned to the States to marry and start a family. Sophie Oberfield (class of 1993) lives in Brooklyn, teaches English and Asian American literature at Stuyvesant High School, and is a musical theatre lyricist; Ezra Oberfield (1995) is an economist at Princeton, married to Amanda Agan, also an economist, at Rutgers, and they have two children; Talya Oberfield (1997) is director of outreach for Girls Who Code, married to Ari Lucas, a rabbi in West Caldwell NJ, where they live with their three children.
And your books?
While Grandpa Naps , illustrated by Junghwa Park, is my fifth book for kids, and is inspired by a family story my husband told me, about how when he was a little boy, his grandfather asked him to sit by his side and watch that no flies would bother him while he napped in the backyard hammock. This book has a special personal meaning to me because it is about my husband (who died in 2000) so I was delighted the publisher felt it has universal appeal.

I Hate Everyone , illustrated by Cinta Arribas, which came out in 2018—also published by Pow! Kids Books—tells of a little girl at her birthday party who is a hot mess of feelings, tells everyone to go away, to leave her alone—and in the end changes her mind. I probably would not have written it or persisted in trying to find a publisher for a decade and 40 submissions without the years I engaged in therapy and psychoanalysis. It got a rave review in the New York Times.

Earlier books are, Walk With Me, Splish Splash , and It's Tot Shabbat .

I've been writing and submitting my stories for kids for about 35 years, and consider one of my main talents is persistence and resilience in the face of many rejections.

What else?
My day job is managing editor of Lilith magazine—“independent, Jewish and frankly feminist”—where I began working in 1988 when Talya started kindergarten. (She surprised her kindergarten teacher by answering in a class discussion that Adam's wife was named Lilith.) 

I'm a gardener, an absolute beginner at ballet, an Israeli folk dancer, and I like cooking for family and friends.

Thanks for asking me to tell about myself. More info at
Mazal Tov to:

Leor Kweller '93 on being honored as Teacher of the Year at Yeshiva of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School.

Julia Weinberg '95 and Aaron Naftchi who were married April 7th at the East Meadow Jewish Center.

Miriam Weinberg '95 and Todd Goldstein who were officially married January 23rd at their local Town Hall and celebrated with both of their families March 16th at the St. Albans VA Medical Center in Queens.

Ariela '97 (Jacob) Zizmor and her husband, Andrew and big brother, Noah on the birth of their son, Eli Ruben born May 16th.

Jenifer (Jakowsky) '97 Bigler and her husband Rich, on the birth of their son, Ryan, April 24. Big brother Jaxson is so happy to welcome his baby brother.
Adit (Tal) Ayalon '00 on her graduation from her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore. 
Cynthia '02 (Schweitzer) Goldberg and her husband, Dan on the birth of their son, Owen Lev born February 28th .

Serena Abraham '03 and her  fiancé Jonathan Sussman  on their engagement.

Emily Schweitzer '04 and her  fiancé   Ari Buchman on their engagement.
Tommy Gabay '04 and his  fiancée  Samantha Bell on their engagement.

Rachel '05 (Schonfeld) Blanchfeld on receiving her Masters in Social Work from the University Pennsylvania.
Hannah Kober '07 on being selected as a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar. Hannah is going to be attending Stanford University for a Ph.D in Educational Linguistics with a concentration in Jewish Studies, a four year program organized by the Wexner Foundation. 

Congratulations to SSSQ Alumni graduating from high school - Class '15 and college Class '11. Good luck to you all with your future plans!
Good and Welfare
Condolences to Ivy Weiner, Art Teacher, and her family on the passing of her mother, Lillian Holtzman .

Condolences to Judy Beizer and her family on the passing of her mother, Frances Oppenheim, grandmother of Dina Kook ('01) and David Beizer ('04), who passed away on the 1st day of Shavuot.

Condolences to Steven Topal and his family on the passing of his father, Jack Topal, grandfather of Scott ('02) and Andrew ('06), who passed away on June 19, 2019
Upcoming Events

06/21/19 - Last Day of School of Shorashim, Kindergarten - Grade 7 (1/2 day)
06/25/19 - Last Day of Pre-K
09/03/19 - First Day of 2019-2020 School Year
Stay tuned for the next edition of The Scoop which will be released in September 2019.
If you would like to contribute material for the monthly newsletter, please contact Paul Friedman Director of Development & Public Relations at  or 718-591-9800 ext. 305.  
Connect With Us
The Solomon Schechter School of Queens
76-16 Parsons Boulevard
Flushing, NY 11366
Tel: 718-591-9800