Dear JHSC Families,


I'm proud that JHSC has a well-deserved reputation as a progressive school, but sumo wrestling during lunch? Well, kind of.


During lunch today, the JHSC Engineering students held a robot wrestling smackdown, which commenced at high noon in Dr. Castle's room.  The Sumobots were "Miriam" (created by Natalie, Eva and Anya) versus "The Patriarchy" (created by Eli, Yoni and Greg).  The students built and programmed their own robots with sensors which enabled them to fight each other in an actual wrestling match!


JHSC is the first school in Connecticut that is offering the groundbreaking CIJE-Tech Engineering Program, provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education.  Focused on scientific and biomedical engineering, CIJE-Tech exposes students to a diverse range of science and technical knowledge areas while helping develop multidisciplinary and abstract thinking as well as leadership and teamwork skills.  


Our engineering program will prepare our students to be 21st century learners, while inspiring them to explore a career in STEM.  I love how the students have to problem solve, think critically, collaborate, be creative, apply information, and explore and fix their own mistakes as well as manage complex group projects.  This program helps to fill an urgent need to provide Jewish school students with a 21st century education that imparts them with the skills necessary for success in today's global economy.


Thank you to Dr. Castle for teaching this course so well, and to the students who are truly amazing me with what they are doing with these robots.  I also want to applaud the many students and teachers and staff who came to watch and support the engineering students.  It was a wonderful display of community.


Shabbat Shalom,


Dr. Yonatan Yussman

Head of School



New Friday Dismissal Time

Please remember to "fall back" on Sunday--set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.  Due to the shorter winter days, we will begin a 2:00pm Friday dismissal time starting November 8th and continuing through March 14th. 


Winter Clothing Drive

JHSC is partnering with the Integrated Immigrant and Refugee Service (IRIS), a New Haven organization dedicated to helping recent immigrants and refugees resettle.  The JHSC advisory group that collects the most winter clothing will win a pizza party!  You may bring in new or gently used coats, scarves, gloves, hats, snowpants, sweaters, blankets, and any other winter apparel. The clothing collection will end on November 11th.  Please bring your clothing to your advisor's room. Thank you to Eva G. for spearheading this worthwhile event.


Annual Giving Campaign

Several weeks ago, you should have received a letter and email about JHSC's Annual Giving Campaign.  As you probably know, this campaign is a critical component of our fundraising effort and helps cover the expenses that are not covered by tuition alone. Thank you to those parents who have already contributed to the campaign.  


Our goal is 100% giving from our parents. Many foundations will only accept our grant applications if we can say that 100% of our families support our annual campaign. You can make your contribution securely on our website, by mailing in a check, or by dropping off your donation at the school.  Please feel free to contact Josh Lipshitz, Director of Development, at jlipshitz@jhsct.org or 203-907-0055 Ext. 228 if you have any questions.



On Sunday, November 10th from 11am-3 pm, we will be holding a Phone-a-Thon where we will be calling several hundred individuals who have previously donated their resources to help make our school a reality. This is a wonderful opportunity to thank supporters for their past support, update them about all the exciting things going on at the school and ask for their continued support.


We have many phone calls to make, so we hope that as many of you as possible will be able to give us some time to ensure that we can reach everyone on our list.  We ask that you sign up for a 90-minute slot. No experience is necessary! All callers will be trained and prepared to make these calls.


We will provide refreshments and prizes for the most successful phone call, the funniest phone call, the most surprising tidbit learned on a phone call and many other creative categories.  Contact Director of Development Josh Lipshitz with any questions at jlipshitz@jhsct.org.



For those who signed up to take the PLAN, that test will be held in the Community Room on November 4th, starting promptly at 8:45am.  The test will end at approximately 12:00pm, after which students will return to classes.


Painting Party

Everyone in the JHSC community is invited to a painting party!  On Sunday, November 24, starting at 11am, we will be painting all of the JHSC classrooms.  Lunch is included.  Please RSVP to tblume@jhsct.org if you can make it to this event which will not only beautify our school, but will be a lot of fun as well.


Strategic Planning Update

JHSC is proud to have earned accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  But the accreditation process is really ongoing.  JHSC, as an institution, is continually in a state of strategic reflection and continual growth and improvement, which are the hallmarks of a NEASC-accredited school. 


One of the things that the JHSC administrative team is doing right now, in consultation with a Board strategic planning committee, is crafting a strategic multi-year plan which is based off the recommendations from the accreditation report and our own internal self-study.  This plan will define our direction and help us make decisions on allocating our resources to pursue our strategies for improvement. In addition, this strategic plan will prepare us for our accreditation review in 2015, when NEASC will be expecting to see significant progress on their recommendations from their original report.  


Dr. Yussman Teaching at Tapestry in Stamford

The JHSC community is invited to a community celebration of adult Jewish learning at Tapestry, hosted by the UJF and JCC of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien. Choose from over 30 classes to attend. The event will be held at the JCC in Stamford on Saturday evening, November 23, 2013. Registration begins at 6:30pm, community Havdalah is at 7:00pm, and learning sessions begin at 7:40pm.


Dr. Yussman will be teaching a class that evening entitled "Wrestling with God." This workshop introduces different approaches to thinking about God, some of them quite different than what you might be used to. By reading from Jewish philosophers and rabbis, participants will discover that Judaism offers many choices about how to approach God, and how to think through one's struggles and journeys.


Bronfman Youth Fellowship

The Bronfman Youth Fellowship is a fully-funded Fellowship that is among the most prestigious programs available to outstanding Jewish students of all backgrounds who are in their junior year of high school.  The purpose of the Bronfman Fellowships is to invest in a cohort of bright young Jews who will be leaders of tomorrow in all areas of Jewish and public life.  The program includes an all-expense paid five-week trip to Israel and two seminars in New York City where Fellows explore Jewish identity, Jewish ideas, and connect to other young Jews from both Israel and America. 


Interested people can learn more and sign up at www.bronfman.org.  Application deadline: January 6, 2014.  Summer dates: July 1, 2014 August 7, 2014.


Spirit Week a Success

Thank you to the Student Council for a very nice Spirit Week.  Students showed their school pride, and had fun on the various themed-days.  Kol haKavod to Tori, Director of Social Programming, and the entire Student Council for planning such wonderful events.



JHSC and the JCC of Greater New Haven invite you to a presentation from Sarit Catz, Director of the International Letter Writing Group at CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. This is an American non-profit media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. Sarit's presentation is entitled "Israel Advocacy and Confronting Media Bias: Effective Use of Traditional and New Media" and will be on Sunday, November 17, 2013, 10am-12pm at the JCC.  Includes free brunch.

March of the Living 

JHSC encourages students to explore participating in the March of the Living, a transformational program that teaches thousands of Jewish teens about the Holocaust via a trip to Poland and Israel. You can find out more information at motl.org or by contacting our regional March of the Living coordinator, Sima Broza, at Simabroza@gmail.com.


Kristalnacht Speaker

On November 8th at 10:00am in the Community Room, we will have a guest speaker in memory of the anniversary of Kristalnacht.  This awful event, often translated as "Night of the Broken Glass", marks the beginning of state-sponsored Nazi violence against the Jews of Germany.  Many consider it to be the beginning of the Holocaust.


Holocaust survivor Judith Kallman will be coming to speak with us on that date.  She has recently published a memoir of her experience in the Holocaust.  She has been kind enough to give each student a copy of her book, entitled "A Candle in the Heart".


Parents and community members are encouraged to attend.  Please RSVP to tblume@jhsct.org.


Shabbat Shalom


Jewish High School of Connecticut | 1937 West Main Street | Stamford, CT 06902 | 203-357-0850 | info@jhsct.org