There is a most amazing quote that goes something like this: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Who are you not to be? You are a child of G-d. We are all meant to shine…and as we do so, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same…our presence automatically liberates others.” Shani Kahan, North Shore’s June Student of the Month, and Class of 2017 graduate, is the perfect embodiment of these words.
Her name Shani (pronounced Sha nee’ with the emphasis on the “ni”) means Crimson and Marvelous. How perfect is that? She has truly risen to meet the strength of her name. She will soon be off to college attending the Stern Honors program, and after that, there will be medical school to fulfill her goal of being a doctor. Shani can’t think of a job better than saving peoples’ lives and is so excited for her future career.
However, since it’s just before graduation, let’s talk about some highlights from her years at North Shore starting with her love of science research. The topic of neurobiology is of particular interest to her and started when she was a volunteer at Friendship Circle working with autistic children. She was drawn to the many questions about what goes on in the brain and the ways we are affected. In ninth grade, Shani brought that interest to light when she entered LISC (Long Island Science Competition) and won first place, highest honors, honorable mention state nominee, and recipient of the Daniel Wilson Memorial Award for her research entry about olfaction and how it affects memory; like when you smell something delicious, and it reminds you of a fun vacation. In her sophomore year, she competed at LISEF (Long Island Science and Engineering Fair) with her neurobiology entry called “Synergistic Effects of Neuroanalgesics” addressing how oral medications affect neural receptors with the testing being done on termites. She loved the neuro part but did not enjoy the bugs…
A second project begun that year, and continued into 11th grade, was a team effort with Arie Monas and Elior Levy for the 2016 Toshiba Exploravision competition winning National Honorable Mention for their work on Optogenetics Controlled Targeted Cancer Drug Delivery - an alternative cancer treatment that involved the discovery of a less toxic chemical in Naked Mole Rats utilizing animal-created antibodies injected back into the patient using pluronic hydrogels containing the antibodies and a chemotherapeutic agent that would be attracted only to that specific antigen (cancer cells).
The following summer between 10th and 11th grade, Shani was accepted into a research program at Stony Brook University’s prestigious Neurobiology and Synthetic Chemistry department. Her eyes lit up when reciting the title of her research project: “A Novel Bio-orthogonal Trans-synaptic Tracer of Neural Circuitry” where she synthesized a linker called “Mono-Boc Diethylene Triamine.” In other words, she linked together a Lipid (a fatty neural substance), Tetrazine (an unstable compound) and a Fluorphore (a substance that will light up when stimulated in a specific way and can be used as a marker for observation). Working with larval zebrafish, she was able to see every time a neural impulse was stimulated by observing the synapse fluoresce (light up). This same summer, Shani then interned at Brookhaven National Lab where she studied a protein-solving program to crystallize a protein called “thermolysin” found in artificial sweeteners, and learned to analyze and work the data online with computer modeling software to determine the 3-D structure of proteins.
In addition to her love of neurobiology, Shani is passionate about computer science as well. She appreciates the beauty of computer science and is fascinated that no matter how difficult the problem, it can be abstracted using equations with the end result whatever you choose to make of it. She started “Girls Who Code” with Arielle Rothman under the guise of Ms. Robin Wilensky and was written up in great Newsday and LI Herald articles. http://liherald.com/stories/Girls-work-to-eliminate-the-technology-gap,80779. In addition, she is Co-President of FiCS-IT (Females in Computer Science and Information Technology) with Arielle Rothman to analyze the gender gap in today’s technology.
Last summer, Shani interned at Conductor in NYC where she worked with a software engineer and developed a Backlink Exporter (links that help determine the popularity of a website) that she presented at LISC and LISEF receiving Highest Honors, Honorable Mention, and even a cool $50! In her senior year, she also entered Siemens and Regeneron (Intel) competitions.
Israel Activism is high on Shani’s list of personal priorities. This year, Shani served as President of Israel Awareness and is a member of Write On for Israel (an advocacy program for Israel activism). This past February, she traveled to Israel with Write On for Israel where she experienced an awe-inspiring moment visiting Ziv Hospital in Sfat where she was able to meet and speak with Syrians from the war that are being treated by Israelis. They were humbled that their “enemies” were taking such good care of them. One of the stops on the trip that stood out the most was at Mount Herzl and hearing from Alex Singer's mother. Alex Singer was an IDF officer who made Aliyah and died in the Lebanon War.
Shani says she has a passion for counter-terrorism feeling it her duty to protect and says, “I've always dreamed of serving the IDF either as a paramedic or in the Intelligence Unit. I feel that my love for Israel and my involvement with Israel Activism would be incomplete without it”.
Other North Shore career highlights include acting officer in the Investment Club, Assistant Editor of North Shore Notes, and National Honor Society Light of Character.
Some of Shani’s favorite things are first and foremost - loves being the adoring older sister to her three younger brothers (the feeling is mutual), fitness and nutrition, a book titled If There’s Heaven by Ron Leshem about a dialogue with IDF soldiers that gave her a new level of appreciation of them as individuals, Hebrew literature class at North Shore, purple because it’s a calm, pretty and multi-dimensional color, ice skating (LOVES), and winter.
Shani’s lifelong dreams are to feel productive for a greater good, participate in the potential to improve society and most of all, to find a cure for neurological disorders. We can’t wait to read about her amazing accomplishments in the near future.
Mazel Tov Shani!
Best of luck as you graduate and move on to your next adventures in success!!
Answer: North Shore’s May Student of the Month – Ben Gilman.
A junior who commutes all the way from East Northport, Ben chose North Shore for a more academic and science-oriented high school experience. It was clearly an excellent choice as Ben is currently one of two students from all of Long Island (the other is his team partner Noah Oberstein) to be selected as a round 3 finalist in the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Competition and has been invited to present at the International Spirit of Innovation Summit at Kennedy Space Center in Cocoa Beach, Florida April 26 through 29, 2017. Their team name is BNGO Tech, and their project is in the Cyber-Technology & Security category with the creation of an app called PhishNet; a community-driven computer application to prevent phishing attacks. Check out the project pitch video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsyQ45BwT9M
This is a direct result of Ben’s interest in computer science and engineering. One of his hobbies is developing code. Just for fun, he decided to repurpose an old remote to turn lights on and off in his room by reconfiguring the remote’s code via infrared light. In addition, he also competes in the realm of math research. He enjoys going beyond what he learns in the classroom to challenge himself. His most recent math competition project is titled “Gravitational Time Dilation.” This is the concept that the closer you are to a strong gravitational field such as earth or a black hole, the slower time will go, and the slower you will age. In contrast, astronauts far out of strong gravity, will age faster unless they are traveling at very high speeds to counter the effects. Ben did topical research previously proved by the famous physicists, among them Albert Einstein, wrote a paper on his findings, and presented at the competitions.
Ben was also part of the first North Shore robotics team that partnered with Great Neck South High School Rebellions Robotics Squad with the goal of starting the first ever North Shore robotics squad next year. Ben and the team worked many afterschool hours to help GNS build and develop a robot and associated software. They then participated in the Robotics Competition at Hofstra University.
Last summer, Ben traveled to Israel on a month-long Machmed teen tour. Having hiked through the Golan and visiting sites such as the Dead Sea and Eilat, the standout experience was the Yad Vesham World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem saying that although he felt sadness, it made him very proud to be Jewish.
When not involved in his many academic activities, Ben can be found competing on the school Tennis team, playing the trumpet in the school band and jazz band, playing the piano, or peer tutoring. When he wants to unplug and recharge, he likes to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm and It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia on TV while eating his favorite food - mom’s chicken soup or favorite junk food – whatever’s on the counter.
Next year Ben will embark on his senior year at North Shore and is looking forward to all the great choices for his bright future. Perhaps he will develop an app or a code to help define and select from his many preferences!
Excellent work Ben. Congratulations!
Every now and then, someone comes along who does everything with poise and excellence, and makes it look easy. North Shore Junior Caylie Tuerack is that girl. Whether she is involved in a creative adventure, an athletic endeavor, or an academic challenge, Caylie approaches it all with wide-eyed joy and intense focus for success.
Since her freshman year at North Shore, she has participated in many activities that support her love of public speaking. This passion began while in Middle School when Caylie was asked to speak to hundreds of her fellow students on the insightful subject of Dvar Torah. She enjoys the connection to the audience when speaking on a topic that deeply interests her. While she gets nervous before a speech, she says that as soon as the first word is out, the nerves disappear, and the enjoyment takes over.
Taking her oratory experience to the next level, Caylie is part of both the Yale and Penn Model Congress teams where, as a committee member, she presented two bills this year: “Education and the Workforce” and “Health, Education, Labor and Pensions: paid parental leave and increasing funding for teachers’ salaries”. In addition, she is a member of YUNMUN (Yeshiva University National Model United Nations) serving on the committee representing Germany on the subject of Counter Terrorism, and is on the Debate Team. Next year she will be using her written voice as the Editor of North Shore Notes.
When not pursuing academic projects either in some of her favorite subjects such as English and AP Biology or co-curricular clubs, well-rounded Caylie can be found on the court playing varsity basketball or on the field as a pitcher/3rd base for the varsity softball team. Her out of school hobbies include regular horseback riding, playing the piano, and acro-dance. (She also loves eating Skippy out of the jar.)
Coming from a very close-knit family that puts a high value on encouragement, support and community service, Caylie has developed a strong desire to help others. In ninth grade she started a chesid club outside of the school working with a local Chabad family to “adopt” the residents of an assisted living home. They bring them baked holiday treats such as hamentashen, apple crumbles, and Shabbat challah, bringing light to the residents who love sharing their World War II experiences and life stories with their young visitors. With her mom, an avid UJA Federation volunteer, she has also become involved in several charity projects to give back to the community. Her two favorites so far have been making Thanksgiving food baskets and personally delivering them to families in need and putting together birthday and cold weather packages those less fortunate. Caylie says that doing this work makes her feel so grateful and appreciative for everything she has.
While she is not yet sure what she wants to be “when she grows up”, she has said since she was little, “I’m going to change the world, and make it a better place.” She wants to use her voice to speak about the injustices in the world and how to make changes. She feels that a career in politics could make the best impact to make these changes.
Caylie’s favorite color is Turquoise that comes from the stone first mined over 6000 years ago. It is said that the spiritual meaning of this ancient stone is that it promotes leadership, clear communication and friendship. This makes perfect sense since her favorite quote is: “someone can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”. With her open friendly smile and clear voice, Caylie is that “someone” and is sure to achieve her goal of making positive change out in the world. We can’t wait to see what happens! Congratulations Caylie!
Haley has many interests and loves to help people. For the past several years, she and her mom came up with the idea to approach Trader Joe’s in Hewlett to partner with the Greater Five Towns Jewish Community Center. Their imaginative alliance enables the JCC food pantry to augment their regular canned goods donations with Trader Joe’s generously donated fruits and vegetables, meats, and other delicious fresh foods. Even with her busy schedule, she even manages to occasionally work at the food pantry.
A lover of public speaking, Haley had the amazing opportunity to speak to the Nassau County Legislature, jointly with the German Ambassador to the United Nations, about the rise of anti-Semitism in today’s world. She was then invited to U.N. Holocaust Remembrance Day that included presentations, videos and speakers from all over. Back in middle school, Haley made a documentary on the holocaust, and interviewed a survivor. She is deeply interested in the psychology of how survivors managed to mentally and physically endure and persevere through such atrocities and ultimately were able to thrive.
Last summer 2016, Haley participated in a program at Columbia University that was a joint venture between Columbia and the Jewish Theological Seminary on social justice through a Jewish perspective. What she enjoyed most about it was meeting kids from many aspects of Jewish religious culture and lifestyle as well as, learning how to create her own initiative program. It is her goal to launch a domestic abuse and awareness program in Jewish communities for adults and later on for children and teens.
Haley has won many awards including the Bridges Award given by the New York State Assembly and Senate with the Jewish Community Relations Council. She received the award for running a teen girls’ leadership program in the Cedarhurst JCC and is also is a peer tutor for the sheer joy of helping other students do well. In addition to all of the above, College Bowl, Debate Team 9th grade, Softball, and 10th grade Shiriyah Captain are on the long list of Haley’s co-curricular activities.
And because all girls wanna have some fun and chill out, this Renaissance gal is into photography, cooking, or can totally settle in with some Nutella and “whatever” to watch favorite movies such as the iconic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club.
Haley’s favorite color is turquoise, because she says that it’s like looking at a person – it has depth and sometimes it looks blue and sometimes it looks like green, but either way it’s turquoise. Regarding her bright future, she is thinking of either Law or Medicine, but the one thing she is absolutely sure of is that she “wants to help people, but not by sitting at a desk.” And that says everything about Haley, and how she sees the world.
Arie Monas has grown up in the North Shore Hebrew Academy family since elementary school, and we could not be more proud of the young man he has become. He enjoys the endless numbers of opportunities North Shore offers, and wow, has he taken full advantage!
He has known from a young age that he wanted to help people and has created experiences for himself to enrich and support his goal. In addition to enjoying his AP Econ and AP Bio (his favorite) courses, Arie has participated in several school-sponsored research programs starting as early as ninth grade, as well as working in a fascinating research program outside of the school.
His first major school research project, entered into the 2016 Toshiba Exploravision Competition, was in his junior year called Optogenetic Controlled Targeted Cancer Drug Delivery and was awarded Honorable Mention. This propelled him to go forward. Arie and two other students, Elior Levy and Shani Kahan, researched online for months looking for alternate cures for cancer that would be without the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. What they found was an animal called the Naked Mole-Rat that does not develop cancer which inspired them to develop their research proposal. The main points of their project submission are to take a biopsy of a tumor and implant it into the Mole-Rat which will develop antibodies to the biopsied cancer cells or antigen. The antibodies would then be injected back into the patient using a hydrogel containing the antibodies and a chemotherapeutic agent that would be attracted only to that specific antigen (cancer cells).
Continuing his research momentum, Arie spent the summer after his junior year at North Shore University Hospital (Northwell Health), as the only high school student working with Dr. John N. Makaryus and his research team of medical Residents and Fellows in the Department of Non-Invasive Cardiology. The goal of the research project was to explore and establish diagnostic accuracy and cost-effectiveness of non-invasive Coronary CT Angiography as a way to manage patients as compared to the standard protocols of serial blood tests, stress testing and the gold-standard of invasive Coronary Angiography. The research has been submitted to a journal for possible publication for which Arie participated in the process by assuring requirement compliance and data results and research. This amazing opportunity for him to combine his interests in science, medicine, and economics as a learning experience of contributing to the advancement of medicine has been extremely fulfilling and stimulating for him.
During the school year, he also volunteers at North Shore Hospital attending to patients’ needs and floor supply management. Arie says that giving back to his community by helping others and making a difference in their lives make him feel rewarded and uplifted by creating uplifting moments for others.
In addition to his medical and scientific pursuits, Arie is Captain of the North Shore Tennis Team (his favorite sport in his spare time), President of DECA Business, and a member of the Mock Trial Team. He enjoys art and architecture and has always enjoyed building things. A young man who wants to help others, is passionate, creative, and builds things! Imagine where he will go!
Who loves baking? Eliana Mosseri does. It is both her passion and her natural talent. Eliana is a sophomore transfer student who started this past September and has been selected as Student of the Month, because of the way she has embraced North Shore and brought such caring, remarkable imagination and great follow-through to the school. Eliana’s enthusiasm and that passion for baking inspired her to take the initiative to bake for charity.
When North Shore sponsored the 4K4Kids charity event benefitting another NSHAHS student – Adeena Paknoush, Eliana recruited her friend Daniella Baranis to bake cookies, brownies, and cupcakes to sell and raise money for the cause. The two took the train to Brooklyn where Eliana’s dad has a bagel store, worked until 1:00am, brought the treats to the school for the event where they sold out to the last crumb, and donated over $500 to the charity! That’s really something special.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Eliana suggested that she bake Hanukkah shaped cookies for the tenth grade chesid event for Yachad. She baked 120 blank sugar cookies shaped like dreidels and Stars of David. Her generosity and creativity didn’t end there. She brought in all the ingredients to make blue and white royal icing, piping bags for her classmates to professionally decorate the cookies, and clear bags with ribbons to make the cookies into beautiful gifts for the visiting students. Check out the photo (left) to see the finished products.
Eliana is a young lady of distinction who in just a few months has grown to love North Shore because of the support and enhancement of her abilities and the many creative opportunities offered. She is someone who is very self-sufficient, an independent thinker, and a doer. Eliana started the first NSHAHS Baking Club, which is a real testament to her can-do attitude since the school does not have any baking facilities! She researches no-bake options, and the club, now at about 25 members, meets to learn how and to create the no-bake confections. Some of her other baking experiences include making a video and winning a contest to be a guest judge on the Cake Boss (Buddy Valastro) TV show called “The Next Great Baker”, making her own Challah for Shabbat, and cake decorating which she posts regularly on her Instagram.
This Student of the Month is clearly a person destined for success. She has taken her passion for baking to a level where she not only has joy for herself, but uplifts and engages others along her way. She is very proud of her accomplishments and her personal growth. Eliana says it’s important to please yourself and do things that make you happy. Her favorite quote on a sign in her room says: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain". And if you can have something delicious to eat along the way, why not? Congratulations Eliana!
Daniel Zenou has been a history-maker at NSHA HS since he entered as a freshman. His goal was to make the most out of his high school experience and did just that. Since he has always known that he wanted to practice International Law, Daniel chose to participate in the Debate Club, both Penn and Yale Model Congress, and Mock Trial. This is where he started on his path of record-breaking successes. He was the first freshman from North Shore to receive U Penn Model Congress Honorable Mention. In addition, Daniel was the first and only freshman to be on the Varsity Debate Team.
In his junior year, Daniel was the first North Shore student to win both Honorable Mention and Best Delegate at U Penn Model Congress. In addition, his Yale Model Congress YouTube video, arguing as to why Israel should not be defunded, has garnered close to 6400 hits (Click on the link below to see the video).
In his final year at North Shore, Daniel is captain of the Debate Team (for the second time), both Yale and U Penn Model Congress, and Mock Trial. This year he won the prestigious Yale Model Congress Best Piece of Legislation in the Presidential Cabinet.
Very much the adventurer, Daniel spent the summer between his junior and senior years at the University of Oxford in England studying debate and public speaking. From England, he spent the rest of his summer in Israel at the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism. This is an opportunity open only to graduate and post-graduate students - never to high school students – to work in this think-tank for the Israeli government.
Daniel decided at a very young age to be someone who leaves a legacy of a high level of excellence and achievement in his path, to be someone to whom others can look up to, and to make feeling great about his experiences a tenet to live by. He wanted to be someone who can graduate knowing that he has taken full advantage of the many opportunities at North Shore with his message being “be content with what you have truly accomplished, and always do your best to improve and increase your success.”