Weekly Updates

Dear JHSC Families,


Today we had the pleasure of hosting Judith Kallman, author of Candle in the Heart, a moving memoir of her experience during and after the Holocaust.  Her visit was timed to commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht ("Night of the Broken Glass"), which marked the beginning of state-sponsored Nazi violence against the Jews of Germany.  Many consider it to be the beginning of the Holocaust. 

Ben S., Doris Zelinsky, Judith Kallman, and Miriam G.


Judith seemed especially moved by a question from Alex, who asked what teens can do today to prevent another Holocaust.  She answered that everyone has the power to control their actions, to stop bullying, to stand up against hateful speech, and in general to be a good person.  Judith spoke as a personal witness to what hate can do to people, and told us that if we stand up and speak out against hatred, we can literally save lives. In a very powerful way, she pleaded with the students, "Please promise me that each one of you will stand up for what you believe in and will not stay silent." 


JHSC Trustee Doris Zelinsky also spoke with the students.  Doris is the child of Holocaust survivors, and she brought her mother's immigration document in lieu of passport.  The students had a chance to see this important artifact from a Holocaust survivor. Doris, among many other leadership positions, helped to found the nonprofit corporation Greater New Haven Holocaust Memory which is dedicated to the New Haven Holocaust Memorial's upkeep. 


Thank you to everyone who helped make this special event possible, especially Trustees Randie Weseley, Doris Zelinsky, Susan Birke Fiedler, and the Steinberg and Erickson families.


Shabbat Shalom,


Dr. Yonatan Yussman

Head of School


Welcome Joel!

We extend a very warm Baruch HaBa (welcome) to Joel Castle, who will be transferring to JHSC starting this coming Monday.  Joel, we look forward to you joining our community!



We hope to see as many of you as possible at the Phone-a-Thon this Sunday, November 10th from 11am-3pm. 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. Contact Director of Development Josh Lipshitz with any questions at jlipshitz@jhsct.org.


Batsheva at AIPAC

Each year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) partners with select Jewish Day Schools, synagogues, national youth groups and teen leadership organizations to bring 400 student leaders from across the country to Washington, D.C. for Israel advocacy and political activism training. Through AIPAC's Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit, AIPAC identifies and mentors high school students committed to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship through the American political process. From November 3rd-5th, 415 students, 60 advisors and 51 college peer facilitators attended the Summit.


One of the participants was JHSC 11th grader Batsheva.  She came back very enthused from the 3-day summit in Washington.  She reports having learned all about policy issues surrounding Iran, and she especially enjoyed her experience lobbying the staffers of Congressman John Larson.  Batsheva said, "It was such a great experience!  It made me want to be much more involved in politics.  I had such an inspiring time at the conference and I encourage everyone to learn more about AIPAC and become involved in advocating for Israel."  Kol HaKavod, Batsheva!


Painting Party: Date Change

Please note that due to scheduling conflicts, the painting party has been moved to December 8th, starting at 11am.  Everyone in the JHSC community is invited to help paint 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.


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.


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.


Visit to Solomon Schechter in Hartford

Mrs. Rossiter, Dr. Yussman and selected students will be visiting the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater New Haven on Tuesday, November 12th.  The purpose is to speak to their 8th graders and share all the wonderful reasons to attend JHSC. 



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.


Electives Update

JHSC is proud to offer a robust selection of electives.  Below, you can read more about the electives we are offering for the second semester.  Students have already received this information, and have until November 20th to turn in their elective choices. Students also have the choice of suggesting an elective that is not currently being offered.  Elective offerings depend upon a critical mass of students choosing them and scheduling constraints. Thank you to Dr. Castle for managing this process so well.


Power in Society (Mr. Kordik): This course will provide students with multiple frameworks through which to view and better understand how power operates. We will consider power that is wielded in obvious ways, as in dictatorships, and also how power can be leveraged in less obvious ways, including agenda-setting and the controlling or shaping of choices and preferences. In our studies of various historical moments, we will analyze who is endowed with power, how it is functioning, and how it might be reinforced or resisted by individual or collective action.


American Jewish History (taught virtually by a teacher at the Lookstein Center in Israel): In this semester-long course, students will explore the immigrant experience and investigate their local community's past.    


Advanced Judaic Studies (Rabbi Komisar): This is a semester course. In this course, students will be learning a particular Talmudic masechet (tractate), and relevant sections of halacha (law) and other primary Jewish texts. Students will develop their textual skills, and experience the intellectual and spiritual immersion in the Talmud. In addition, they will have a basis for understanding the halachic process, our Sages' role in the legal details and be part of the discussion of generations of Jewish learners. 
Theater (Dr. Riemer): This is a semester course. Students will help write and/or perform in a play, skits, etc. This elective will be capped at 11 students, with priority given to students who have not previously taken this class. Please contact Dr Riemer with any questions.
Theoretical Math (Ms. Mastros): This is a semester course. The prerequisite is be enrolled in Honors Geometry or above. Please contact Ms Mastros with any questions.
Mixed Media (To Be Determined): This is a semester course. Students will explore basic concepts of 2D and 3D art and design in a variety of media. Realistic and abstract elements of design such as light, value, shape, form, color, and texture will be examined through a variety of drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and craft exercises. Individual creativity will be encouraged and students will have the opportunity to work on projects and media of their choosing both individually and in a group. No previous art experience is necessary, just an interest in exploring your creativity and imagination.

Modern Midrash (Rabbi Judd): This is a semester course. Midrash is a rabbinical answer to attempt to explain biblical and historical events that really do seem beyond one's natural limits of belief. And yet still... there is so much we do not understand. While the words we will read might not explain-in-full all of Torah's characters', it might shed light on some. Noah, Dina, Moses and Tziporah are some of the more than 15 biblical-folk we encounter in this class. This class demands reading Torah and established rabbinical midrashim, as well as creating one's own Modern Midrash.


Writing Workshop (Lazarre Simckes)- Finding Your Voice (Lazarre S. Simckes):  Just as every human being has a unique personality, every writer has a unique voice through which his/her vision may be best expressed. Designed to help both beginning and established writers discover/develop that voice, this workshop includes exercises to discover personal patterns of diction and imagery, dissolve blocks, recover lost memories, tap into the individual wellsprings of creativity, and explore personal mythologies. Through active and playful class participation, you will learn how to listen for your own writing voice and let it emerge.


Lazarre S. Simckes is a prizewinning author of fiction and drama with extensive experience teaching creative writing at both the college and the high school level. He has previously taught writing at Harvard, Yale, Williams, Vassar, Brandeis and Tufts. His plays have appeared both on Broadway and off-Broadway. He is a winner of the National Jewish Book Award and two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.


VHS Courses - Students also have 114 courses to choose from via the VHS Collaborative.  You can see the courses by following this link, and then selecting "high school" as the program and "SP14" as the semester.



Shabbat Shalom



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