Graphic by Aaron Newman ('24)

Many of our female staff members and students, their moms, their sisters, and a sea of other ladies were in attendance on Monday and Tuesday evenings as our talented actresses performed in this year’s KYHS musical, The Little Mermaid. (The men, of course, were excluded…those POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS.)

In shuls around the globe on Shabbat morning, we will continue to read about the Jews in Egypt. The story began last week in Parshat Shemot with Pharaoh ordering all Jewish male babies to be thrown into the water. Ironically, in the next chapter, Moshe’s mother saves her SWEET CHILD by setting him afloat in the very same body of water. As the Exodus story unfolds, water is seemingly everywhere. Moshe consistently meets Pharaoh by the water. The first of the plagues infiltrates the water. And, of course, the culmination of the Exodus story — the Jews walk between walls of water as the Egyptians are completely drowned UNDER THE SEA

Why does water play such a prominent role in our narrative? 

Let’s recall together the very first mention of water in the Torah. It’s already found in the second verse. The whole world is created, and yet Hashem chooses to have the Ruach Elokim restricted to a specific PART OF YOUR WORLD, above the water. Water has deep significance in the original creation story and in subsequent creation stories as well. When the world was created — it began with water. Our forefathers found their wives at the wells of water. When the Jews entered Eretz Yisrael, they did so through water. When members of other religions choose to convert to Judaism, the process concludes with immersion in water.

The Exodus story is also very much a creation story — one of a people who recognize that instead of being slaves in the land of Egypt, they would be better off in Israel, THE WORLD ABOVE. And when they request to take a three-day reprieve to feel more human-like, Pharoah ignores them and the Jews completely lose their voices. But then, in one of the most awesome displays of miracles BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS, Hashem redeems His beloved people from slavery, and with that, He creates the blossoming of the Jewish nation. 

While KYHS’s aquatic-themed theatrical performance this week was not necessarily a creation story, our students definitely brought The Township Center for Performing Arts to life. The acting, the singing, the drama — it was all incredible! IF ONLY it could’ve had a longer run. I am excited, though, that each day we are ONE STEP CLOSER to enjoying our comedy performance in the spring.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Lanner

Survivors' Special Insight

KYHS Hears Profound Messages from Survivors of October 7th

Graphic by Ezra Dimont ('25)

As time continues to pass since the October 7th terrorist attack, more stories of soldiers, families, and hostages are emerging. Over the past two weeks, KYHS staff and students have had the amazing opportunity of listening to the stories of Shira Perez and Amit Ades.

This past Tuesday, Shira Perez visited the KYHS community while traveling across the US with the mission of spreading awareness through her story. On October 7th, Shira’s morning began with sirens blaring at 6 am and Shira's oldest brother, Daniel, leaving the house to fight against the terrorists with his tank battalion. Yonatan, her other older brother, volunteered to defend Israel against Hamas. Meanwhile, Shira, her parents, and Yonatan’s fiancee sought refuge in a bomb shelter. Despite being accustomed to sirens, their increasing frequency made Shira and her family more nervous. After leaving the bunker, they learned that Yonatan was shot but safe in a hospital. However, Daniel’s status was unknown for days until it was confirmed that he was taken as a hostage in Gaza. Despite still not knowing any information about Daniel, Shira spoke about how she remains positive by turning to her relationship with Hashem.

Last week, Amit Ades spoke to the seniors about her experience during the October 7th attack. Mrs. Ades, along with her husband and two children, was at home when she heard the sounds of hundreds of explosions. Terrified, Mrs. Ades looked outside and saw armed men running into her neighborhood. Holding a knife, she took her children to hide in a closet. Simultaneously, her husband tried leaving to save someone he knew. Despite her efforts to stop him, he went anyway. Miraculously, he returned unharmed but couldn't find the person he was trying to save. They hid together for 50 hours, surviving on the cake from their child's birthday. During this time, they heard terrorists regrouping in the townhouse attached to theirs. After the noise subsided, they cautiously left their hiding place. Amit immediately charged her phone and witnessed the horrors of the attack on WhatsApp, realizing that many people were in need of help. Many people were shot or stuck under rubble and were texting for help because no support was coming.

The firsthand accounts of Shira Perez and Amit Ades provided us with powerful insights from the October 7th terrorist attack. As a community, let us continue to empathize with the pain endured and unite in the shared hope for the return of our hostages and peace in Israel.

Click here for Shira Perez's speech

Click here for Amit Ades' speech

Article by Joshua Reich ('25)

Take a Dive Under the Sea

Women and Children had the Privilege of Watching KYHS Girls Perform The Little Mermaid

Graphic by Esti Distenfeld ('26)

The Little Mermaid is a princess we all know and love. Katz Yeshiva High School put on a spectacular production of "The Little Mermaid" which brought the beloved tale to life in a dazzling display of talent and creativity. "The Little Mermaid" is a classic fairy tale about a young mermaid named Ariel who dreams of living on land. In exchange for a chance at a human life and true love, she makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula, sacrificing her voice. Ariel faces challenges in the human world but ultimately triumphs, realizing the importance of self-discovery and the true meaning of love. The story has been adapted into various forms of media, including the famous Disney animated film and of course a play. 

Students in the audience agree how great the play truly was. “Everyone was so talented, and it was truly amazing to watch! It blows my mind how some of the actors changed over ten times and still were able to execute the play perfectly,” said Melissa Tabbouche (‘25). Additionally the costumes were a visual feast, capturing the essence of each character: Glittering mermaid tails, elaborate fish costumes, and Ursula's fabulous gown contributed to the visual spectacle that enhanced the overall theatrical experience. As the final curtain fell, the standing ovation echoed the success of this high school production. The adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" not only showcased the incredible talents within the school but also left a lasting impression, proving that the magic of theater can flourish even in the halls of high school.

Click here for pictures!

Article by Lauren Tabbouche ('25)

Take a Flight Into Senior Night

Over the Past Two Weeks KYHS Sports Have Honored the Seniors

Graphic by Technical Staff

Katz Yeshiva High School's girls' soccer team celebrated a Senior Night for Gali Amar ('24), Jen Rosen ('24), Abby Eichner ('24) and Meira Salit ('24), our four seniors that are sadly leaving us after this soccer season. The night was a tribute to the graduating seniors, who have dedicated years to the team, leaving a mark on Katz Yeshiva's soccer legacy, and a hole that can’t be replaced.

As the game came to a close on Tuesday evening, the underclassmen and juniors showed  their appreciation to the seniors by presenting handmade posters, heartfelt speeches, and thoughtful gift bags for the seniors. Delicious cupcakes were provided by the coaches and may or may not have been shoved in the seniors faces.

Each senior was honored individually, with speeches reflecting shared memories, good times and hard  times, reminiscing wins and losses, and the unwavering bond that had been formed through countless practices and matches the team shared with these four beloved players. 

The colorful posters were filled with memories personalized to each senior, and the gift bags showcased the thoughtfulness of the underclassmen, showing our appreciation to each senior and the qualities that defined their contribution to the team. Our very own senior, Gali Amar (‘24), appreciated everything and loved Senior Night: “It was so touching to see the whole team come together and make cute gifts along with a nice  speech and great energy”.

Additionally, last week the basketball team also held a senior night for their one senior, Danielle Zaretsky ('24), who is leaving and will be extremely missed by all the players on the team. They made a poster and special gifts for her as well to show their appreciation for all her work for the team.

Senior Night at Katz Yeshiva High School was not just a ceremony, but a  reminder of the resilience, friendship, and sportsmanship that defined the girls' soccer and basketball teams. As the seniors move on to new chapters, they will always be remembered, and they will remember the unity of being on a high school team and all of the struggles and challenges will be lessons as they embark on their journeys.

Article by Keren Lazar ('25)

Bella's Un-Bella-Ievable News

Winter Not-So-Wonderland

Graphic by Technical Staff

The time to plan extravagant trips and go on none of them is upon us. Winter break is a constant struggle between reality and expectation. Sporadically baking and glaring at half-finished assignments is not the ideal way to spend these precious days, but there often seems to be no alternative. I’m here to tell you that there is a way to maximize your vacation time. So, here are a few ideas:

  • Go outside and pretend it’s snowing: this is helpful if you want to repel neighbors and attract therapists. I rate this a 10/10.
  • Go on a cruise: unless you don’t want to meet every single person you see in school.
  • Read an interesting book: this will probably keep you engaged for 0.5 seconds, after which you should probably aimlessly roam around your house.
  • Create a snowman: if you are staying in Florida, combine all the salt in your house with water, make a faux snowman, and surprise your mother when she comes home. Who needs snow anyways, right?
  • Binge-watch your favorite show: remember to leave your house in between episodes for a morsel of sunlight.

All in all, there is no reason to plan a fancy vacation if you know you will be happy right where you are. There is nothing wrong with chilling at home, and there is also nothing wrong with going out on an adventure. This winter break, I challenge you to enjoy yourself no matter where you are. Shabbat Shalom and have an awesome winter break!

Article by Bella Srugo ('24)

Highlites Staff