Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

This week in school was Berachot Week. There was a renewed focus on making berachot before eating food. Classes took time to focus on the halachot of making various berachot, and the deeper meaning behind berachot as well- (please ask your children what they learned!) Extra foods were served during lunch for the students to make extra berachot on. Many people question the meaning behind the opening phrase of every beracha- Baruch Ata Hashem- Who are we to give a beracha to Hashem. As a result, many commentaries explain that we are saying that Hashem is the source of all blessings. 

But I once heard a different question to focus on. Why do we refer to Hashem in the second person- Ata- and not in the third person? We normally understand that we are so far removed from G-d’s perfection that we would not assume that we are in His presence, and should therefore refer to Him in the third person. 

But in truth while we do not have the ability to speak to Hashem face to face, we still are actually talking directly to Him with our own private audience. Even more so, this is exactly the relationship that He wants. To speak to G-d as someone who is real in our lives. In fact, making a beracha is a statement that we recognize that the food we have is from Hashem, not the grocer or farmer. That without His causing food to grow, we would not have anything to eat. The more we recognize Hashem’s presence in the world and in our own personal lives, the closer we get to Him.

Let us all be more aware of making berachot on the food we eat. And let us all be aware of all the things that Hashem does for us. The more berachot we make, the more we will be aware of what He does, and the more aware we are, the more berachot we will establish into our lives!


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Horowitz

Say Shalom To Domestic Abuse

Shalom Task Force’s Annual Purple Day Takes KYHS by Storm

Graphic by Josh Haik ('24)

This Tuesday the 10th, 11th, and 12th grade girls had the privilege of listening to guest speaker Yael from the Shalom task force. The Shalom Task Force website states that, “The mission of Shalom Task Force, Inc (STF) is to combat and prevent domestic violence and to foster healthy and safe relationships and families. STF focuses its work in the Jewish community, to help those that may not have access to traditional services and need culturally sensitive programming.” Yael opened the eyes of our students by sharing her story and her own experiences of domestic violence. Through her story, Yael gave insight as to what patterns we should look for in people, for example: being aware of narcissistic tendencies and forcing self isolation on their partner. Verbal and emotional abuse are large aspects of what to look for in the early stage when it may be less obvious. At the end, students were allowed to ask questions, one question that stood out was, “What made you want to share your story and how did you find the strength?”. Yael shared how much of an impact her emotions truly had. She shared that she was constantly anxious and fearful. She put a lot of emphasis on just how scared she was and why. First, she stated that as a woman who had been in two abusive relationships, she felt embarrassed that she went back. It’s extremely important to recognize how difficult it is to leave when a partner uses manipulation to instill insecurities and self-loathing and that paired with the isolation is enough to make a person rely on them . While convincing you that you are not enough, in Jewish communities, oftentimes people don’t recognize just how prominent domestic abuse can be and therefore people don’t speak about it. She explained to us how important it is that it can happen in Jewish communities as well and that we need to be the voices so that people can receive the help and care needed. The students gained many valuable lessons from this brave individual and were extremely inspired by her story.

Article by Abby Tache ('25)

Is this Law School or KYHS?

Students Participate in Mock Trial at the Court House

Graphic by Ezra Dimont ('25)

Do you watch Suits or Law & Order? I’m sure you weren’t aware of an activity here at KYHS that emulates the legal practices in these shows, drama and all. This past Thursday, KYHS’s Mock Trial team competed in the Florida high school state competition led by Coach Deena Sturm and Captains Ari Mergui (‘25), Aliyah Harow (‘25), Tyler Pilkington (‘25), and Tahel Peretz (‘24). Though it was nerve racking at first, the team got the opportunity to present a civil mock case to professional judges and juries in competition against schools from all over the state for a regional ranking. Over the course of the competition day, each team presents in 3 trials and gets scored on their individual performances, as well as their collective performance and case cohesion. We have been preparing this case since November, deeply analyzing the nuances and complexities of each witness’ testimony and practicing for hours on end in order to strategically articulate our cases for both the defense and the plaintiff. This activity allows students to work on public speaking skills, detail orientation, and character analysis, all the while having a memorable time team bonding and meeting the other teams. My co-council and I had an amazing time learning from presiding attorneys, practicing our litigation skills, mastering court procedures, and impressing the legal community of South Florida’’ (Ari Mergui ‘25). If you are interested in getting involved in the legal world in the future or perhaps like to wear suits for fun, join Mock Trial 2025 and get the chance to compete in a criminal trial!

Article by Aliyah Harow ('25)

Let's Feed the Buzz

About Brachot

Students Celebrate Brachot Week with Food and Games

Graphic By Joshua Reich ('25)

Throughout this week Teachers and Rabeim have tremendously impacted the student body as a whole, through emphasizing the importance of Brachot in one’s everyday life. Brachot carry such a simple, yet profound role in everyone’s daily routine and this week allowed everyone to recognize it more than ever before. Saying a Bracha on food allows everyone to appreciate Hashem in so many ways, and shows that people are conscious of what they are eating. Brachot truly shows everyone’s thanks to Hashem which is why it was crucial to dedicate a week to focusing on it. The Judiacs staff of KYHS showed true dedication to teaching Brachot this week and the students were intrigued by the power of Brachot. Furthermore this made the student body want to embrace the ideas of Brachot even more and were keys to a very formative week full of Brachot. Ikey Markovich (‘26), relayed the effect this week had on the student body. “This week has made me more mindful of the food I am putting in my mouth, and allowed me to understand the true importance of Brachot.” Ikey shows the impacts that this week had had on his life.

To promote these positive ideas, each day there was a different fruit or food that gave people the opportunity to say a bracha on that specific type of food. For example, one day there were grapes, and another day they had cookies to make a Mezonot on. This allowed students to actively participate in saying Brachot rather than just learning about them in classes. Rabbi Nachbar contributed to this Brachot week by sharing a Buzzfeed quiz to all the students to tell them which Brachot they best fit. Furthermore, posters made by Mrs. Zisquit were put up around the school representing each bracha. Overall, Teachers and Rabbeim did a beautiful job this week by engaging the students to learn about Brachot, and allowing them to say them in action!

Article By Avi Harris ('26)

It's Time to Storm the Field

The Storm Soccer Seasons Comes to an End

Graphic by Technical Staff

As the winter sports season winds down, the boy’s and girl’s soccer teams get ready to play in their district tournaments.

This past Monday, the boys played their first district game. They started off slow, going down 2-0 early. However, they fought back. Senior Noam Rinsberg ('24) scored three goals straight, giving KYHS a narrow lead. The other team tied it up, and eventually won in extra time. Even so, the match was exhilarating the entire time. Andy Levontin ('25), a defender, said, “ Even though we lost we had a ton of fun this season. Being able to play in districts again was definitely a rewarding experience.” The loss is not representative of the successful season the boys soccer team had. 

The girl’s team also played their district tournament game. Unfortunately, they lost 10-0. However, a big loss still has many positive lessons. Abby Tache (‘25) explained that “We lost, but we played as a team, and in our eyes we won. We got to see our flaws and realize what we can achieve in the future. The girls got to see what they need to work on to be better, which is always good. Also, nothing compares to playing together as a team, even in a loss.’’

Athletics are such an important part of KYHS student life. Even if they are not on the teams, students are excited about the district tournaments, and show up to watch the games until the end. The players and students are happy to be able to participate in the tournaments, which is clear in the tangible excitement around school before the games. 

Article by Elisha Horowitz ('25)

Our Hearts are in Israel

Recollections of a Student's Memorable Trip

Graphic by Esti Distenfeld ('26)

Many KYHS families were privileged to travel to the Holy Land this past winter break. Some went strictly to volunteer and dedicate their time to support the land, while others chose to support Israel economically by going to tourist attractions or booking tours they may have already enjoyed a thousand times. Plenty of students also journeyed to visit their relatives or siblings in Yeshiva or Seminary. Rebecca Freedman ('25) had the opportunity to go and relayed her meaningful trip in this interview below. 

Q: How does Israel compare to what it was before the war began spiritually? 

Rebecca: The love in the country was overwhelming and there were so many political issues before the war, but they were not felt anymore because of the unity that was felt instead. There was so much unity it didn’t even feel like a war was going on. 

Q: What did you do to help our brothers and sisters in Israel?

Rebecca: I volunteered with JNF and sponsored a carnival for the kids and families in a community called Shlomit who got displaced from their homes and are currently living in a hotel. All their husbands are fighting so the wives are alone with the children, and they’ve been out of their homes since the war began, and they don’t know when they’re leaving. I also volunteered at a special unit that was helping soldiers and grilled vegetables for soldiers. 

Q: How was it seeing family/friends?

Rebecca: I saw my brother who’s in yeshiva, and it was really nice to spend shabbos with him, and it was amazing to see him. 

Q: What can we do here in Florida to help our fellow Jews in Israel? 

Rebecca: Any support we can send them is amazing. Whether it’s supplies that they need or messages and letters; the smiles on their faces are so real. They just need to know that back in America we are all thinking about them and we are all on their team because from what they see on social media, it doesn’t really feel like we’re all there for them but they need to know we are.


Q: How did visiting affect you emotionally? 

Rebecca: Visiting was definitely an emotional experience. I visited the Kibbutz Be’eri and the Nova Music Festival, and the whole trip just made me feel more connected to the country as a whole and it brought back the idea that this is our land; it always has been and it’s important to fight for that. 

Q: How did you see Hashem throughout your trip? 

Rebecca: My trip made me see that Hashem is really always with us because we constantly persevere and it can be hard to see Hashem in these dark times especially when the whole world is against us, but our desire to fight back and survive as a nation shows that we have Hashem’s power on our side. 

Q: If you were able to stay for longer, what else would you have done?

Rebecca: I would have continued to volunteer and continued to visit the camp grounds/ kibbutzim because they’re being knocked down to start new so now is the time to visit them before the kibbutzim, which are a big part of our history, are wiped out. 

Q: After seeing firsthand what Israel is like at this time physically, spiritually and emotionally, what do you think would be the most effective method to restore hope in the Israeli people?

Rebecca: They will see hope when they see us. Moving there is the best way to give them hope and that is an obvious goal, but visiting them will provide them with hope as well. When they see that we are not only sympathizing for them from so many miles away and we are actually empathizing with them right next to them, they will find hope. We need to do whatever we can to make them feel hopeful with their personal situations in this war and with the war itself and as a nation. Being there for our brothers and sisters will be most beneficial.

Article by Amira Kahn ('25)

Highlites Staff