North Shore Hebrew Academy High School Where Dreams Become Accomplishments

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Student of the Month » Student of the Month Archive

Student of the Month Archive

Each month North Shore Hebrew Academy High School's Headmaster Dr. Daniel J. Vitow
selects one student as Student of the Month. This student is featured, because he/she
achieved a level of excellence that is exceptionally noteworthy.
2018 - 2019




June 2019 Student of the Month - RACHEL SCHLESINGER



              La            La                      

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La                                           La                            


Musical scales are like the colors of the rainbow. North Shore’s June Student of the Month, Rachel Schlesinger (pay special attention to her last name) uses her voice like a paintbrush, dipping into all the beautifully colored notes and creating an amazing painting – a work of art, really. Rachel is a singer. A classical opera soprano to be exact.

Rachel has been singing since age five, but the defining moment of clarity came when she was eleven and on vacation with her family in Mexico. During karaoke night she performed her favorite song, Phantom of the Opera’s “Think of Me”, and her parents said “maybe we should start singing lessons”. That was it.

Even with her full-time job as a North Shore junior, Rachel travels to NYC every Monday and Wednesday night for hours of training and performing at the Metropolitan Opera High School program where she is a member of The Metropolitan Youth Chamber Chorale. In addition, in ninth grade, she auditioned and was selected as one of the fifty students chosen for the Met Student Symphonic Choir. She auditioned again and was accepted as one of fifteen students to participate in the Met Opera High School Choir! Rachel has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and sang a highlight solo of the “National Anthem” at Yankee Stadium. On top of all that, there’s performing musical theater at the Cultural Arts Playhouse in Syosset where she has had parts in The Wiz, Hairspray, High School Musical, and best of all as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Rachel enjoys being both a vocal (opera) performer and singing in musical theater.

At North Shore, Rachel has also immersed her curriculum in music. She plays the piano, sings in the Chamber Choir, the Symphonic Choir, in Jazz Band and is taking AP Music Theory with Mr. Torres. However, there’s more to Rachel than just her music talent. She loves math and creative writing, is a member of the National Honor Society, the Tri-M Honor Society, is a NYSSMA All-State and a Peer Tutor for Chemistry and Biology! Rachel also has a very active co-curricular life. She is Vice President of the Medical Minds Club, and a member of Anti-Bias Club, Investing Club, DECA, Israel Awareness and Science Society. Love that right brain – left brain balance. Rachel has also found a way to honor Chesed and share her love of music by singing and volunteering at the Bristal Senior Living Center where she says the residents enjoy her mini-concerts.

Last summer, Rachel lived in Boston at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute for six weeks in a pre-college program for which she auditioned and won a spot. She attended master classes with stars such as Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming, and had a private lesson with Grammy Award-winning Joyce DiDonato that moved her to tears. This summer, Rachel will be living in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University. She auditioned and received a full scholarship to their prestigious summer program specially geared to preparing for college auditions and applications. She will be studying opera, acting, diction, and finessing her singing in German, Italian and French.

Even artists enjoy some competition and Rachel is a fierce competitor. She trains like an athlete with both voice and vocal coaches and gets to wear beautiful gowns for competitions. This past December she was a finalist in the Schmidt Vocal Competition featuring all opera and classical voice and just returned from a long weekend in Chicago at the Classical Singer Magazine Competition and music convention where she traveled solo (brave girl) and took master classes with professors from Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Mannes, Eastman, Vanderbilt, and Boston University and as the bonus made it to the second round of the competition! Soon, Rachel will be starting the process of creating college applications to include videos and traveling for live auditions for coveted programs.

Rachel definitely has extreme focus and works hard but always has time for fun! She especially loves going to NYC with her friends and hanging out in Greenwich Village around NYU. She enjoys eating at yummy places like Jack’s Wife Frieda and Cha Cha Matcha. Her fave foods are anything Italian and Mac & Cheese. She loves when she’s at the piano and her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Benji cuddles under her feet listening, relaxing and enjoying her music.

Rachel’s favorite color is lavender – the grown up version of pink – symbolizing refinement, grace, and elegance – so true of this young woman who is wise and mature beyond her years. The perseverance and strength it takes to follow her path in music with passion and poise is indicative of her depth of talent. We can’t wait to hear where she will land after North Shore, but one thing that’s for sure – it’s going to be someplace great. Keep an eye out, because in the not too distant future, her name is going to be in lights, and we can all say we knew her when…


Congratulations Rachel! Keep the magic coming!



May 2019 Student of the Month - ARIEL HOMAYOONFAR

Cardiology. Neurosurgery. Plecostomus. Homayoonfar. All of these have a lot of syllables, are deeply interesting, have many facets and possess innate brilliance. Cardiology is the study of the heart. Neurosurgery is the study of the nervous system and the fine steady hand it takes to operate.  Hypostomus Plecostomus is a large size species of armored catfish.  Ariel Homayoonfar is North Shore’s May Student of the Month. His passions are Cardiology, Neurosurgery and his pet Hypostomus Plecostomus fish he has had since its birth. How is that for deeply interesting, multi-faceted, and exceptionally talented?

Ariel Homayoonfar is a junior. He is that student who goes the extra miles way past just doing well and participating. He is the one with a “big player” attitude and pushes to his max for success. And success he is having!

This coming summer he will be doing two medical internships concurrently for two months. One will be in a Cardiology research program at Northwell hospital with fellow NSHAHS student Alia Hakakian, and for the second he will be working with Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Brisman to learn both the technical and business sides of medicine. In his typical way, Ariel is diving into his passion right off the high board.

Speaking of passion…Ariel has always been a math and science kid – especially science.  For several years, he has been a very active member of the both the Science Society and the Science Olympiad with Mr. Wykes. In the Science Society, Ariel worked closely with Mr. Wykes to go past the regular boundaries to do several and more advanced types of dissections. Most recently he, and about twenty other North Shore students, had the opportunity to dissect a sheep’s brain during a presentation by Hofstra University doctors called “The Brain Like You’ve Never Seen It Before.” He also enjoys competing in the Science Olympiad with students from other schools. The challenge of preparation, as the categories are released in November in anticipation of the actual event in March, keeps his interest piqued with brain teasing problems such as “Calculate how many drops of water there are in the ocean.”

In the world of North Shore academic science, Ariel partnered with Mr. Anderson by coming up with and submitting new ideas for labs.  Ariel really appreciates a good AP class and is currently taking AP Economics, AP Psych, and of course AP Chemistry. Next year as a senior, (when others may take things a little lighter), he has signed on for a slew of AP classes: Statistics, US Government, Calculus B&C, Physics and Microeconomics! What??

On the lighter side of things, Ariel plays tennis and is on Rabbi Chinskey’s Chess Team. A self-proclaimed roller coaster person, Ariel prefers them complicated and fast. In the future he wants to try sky diving, bungee jumping and cliff diving. In addition, he loves anything to do with being outdoors in nature and hiking. That includes his favorite food – anything outdoors on the BBQ.

Ariel possesses a unique point of view about success. He says he would rather try everything and decide what he’s good at and most enjoys and take those things further. If he really enjoys something, but he’s not great at it, he will challenge himself to be great. He feels this is a kind of “gift” from his mom when he was a child, because she gave him so many choices to experience. For example, she started him swimming at four months old. As a result, he loves all things water-related including taking the North Shore Life Guarding class last year and passing the test with ease.

His love of water extends to his hobbies and has always been fascinated with marine life. As a child he had a collection of fresh water tanks where he bred Mollies for four straight generations. Now he has one large forty gallon tank where “Biggie” the algae eating Plecostomus lives. (check out the photo of Biggie who is now about 18” long) 

To round out his many interests, Ariel is a seasoned traveler. Last summer he went to Israel for two months with Bnei Akiva, a religious Zionist youth program, with close to 300 kids from the US and Canada traveling by bus throughout Israel. Ariel’s favorite moments were living on a religious Kibbutz and taking days-long hikes and sleeping in tents they pitched themselves. His family also loves to travel and last year celebrated Passover in Morocco. This year they spent Passover in Spain which was especially great, because in addition to his immediate family, his grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin (10 in total) traveled together. They were part of a Passover program enabling them to stay kosher and observant during the trip. While there, Ariel enjoyed a festival featuring covering government buildings in fresh flowers, people dressing in traditional Spanish garb and great music in the streets.

Ariel’s quiet drive, extreme focus and inner knowing of what he wants to accomplish is in his DNA. He already has an idea of his life direction while being open to other possibilities. This is the secret to his success now at North Shore and far into the future. Will he be researching the heart, doing brain surgery or traveling the world as a doctor without borders? Whatever it will be, it will be with passion.

Awesome attitude and great work Ariel!





April 2019 Student of the Month - HANNAH SHEDLO



Many North Shore students start on their North Shore Hebrew Academy path as young as preschool.  However, there are some who make the calculated decision on their own to apply to and attend NSHAHS for the academic challenge and vast array of co-curricular offerings.  It’s not an easy thing to transfer into tenth grade in a new school, but North Shore’s April Student of the Month Hannah Shedlo did just that.  It’s not about being easy, it’s about knowing what you want, going after it, and doing what you have to do to get where you want to be.  Hannah wanted to be at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. 

Hannah desire to attend North Shore is so great that she is willing to get up extra early every day to catch the bus at 6:30AM from Queens, and she says “it’s worth it”!  She loves the emphasis on science and math, especially since she is considering a future as an electrical engineer.  Hannah enjoys building circuits, problem solving and creative thinking.  She also is a puzzle person.  Her ease of transition to a new school comes from being the middle of five kids.  She has three brothers and two sisters and learned from an early age how to get along and adapt quickly to different situations and personalities.  She always looks like she’s having fun even on days she has a test!

It’s hard to believe that in just a year and a half at North Shore, Hannah has already accrued an impressive list of activities and some awards as well.  She is the founder and president of the STEM Club with Mr. Weinberg as faculty advisor.  Not only was starting a club a great learning experience and fun to do, but she says that teaching other students about engineering projects is very gratifying.  She is also very active in Girls Who Code advised by Mrs. Wilensky.  She loves the positive girl environment – girls supporting girls – and learning about HTML and Python.  In addition, she partnered with her friend Danielle Ryba and Mrs. Wilensky to create a networking program with actual field professionals.

This year Hannah added Math Research to her resume and the Al Kalfus competition with her presentation on Knot Theory.  She joined Math Team this year, and because she loves random trivia and competing – she is also on the College Bowl team.  She is also a member of the Science Society for the interesting lectures and out-of-the-box activities not taught in class.  For example, she likes seeing how information is applied in real life as she explained how cold is really the absence of heat and that a refrigerator removes heat rather than making things cold.  And then there was the Science Olympiad with Mr. Wykes where the competitors take tests and are given projects such as using actual physical maps (printed on real paper – remember those?) to hand-draw topographical maps, make up a story about a person traveling through New England and navigate long distance driving trips.

In addition to her more academic memberships, Hannah is passionate about social issues as well.  She is a very active member of the Anti-Bias Club with Ms. Ferraro and appreciates the discussions and debates about politics and current events during meetings such as immigration and the Pittsburgh shooting.  However, her particular point of attention is the Women’s Initiative founded by her friend Lea Chen.  This is a coed group where they discuss feminism with a focus on women’s history, defining key issues and how to bring women up without putting men down.  She says the boys bring another perspective to the discussions, and they are all learning from each other about tolerance, cooperation and open communication. 

How is all of this possible as a transfer student at NSHAHS in such a short time you ask? Wait – there’s more!  Hannah has five AP classes in her portfolio and was inducted into the National Honor Society in her first year as a sophomore at North Shore.  She also studied Pre-AP Art last year, because she loves being creative and artistic and especially enjoyed drawing with charcoal for its flowy dreamy effect.  She is part of the Peer Tutor program here helping students with their chemistry and geometry.  Last summer 2018, she attended a six-week STEM program at the Cooper Union Albert Nerken School of Engineering and was placed in the I.O.T. (the Internet of Things) group to learn how the internet works and about all devices that connect to the internet other than phones.  She made many new friends from New Jersey while in the program.  This summer she plans to attend an Electrical Engineering Lab to do research at New York University and Columbia.

In the “outside of school” department, Hannah splits her precious time between being a Group Leader at her local Young Israel each week supervising and entertaining pre-k kids.  She also volunteers at the Tomchei Shabbos of Queens delivering food packages to the needy and annually participates in the Lustgarten Foundation cancer walk.  For fun Hannah spends time reading fantasy books like the Lemony Snicket series by Daniel Handler being her favorite.  However, classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Huckleberry Finn recommended to her by Mr. Muir are not far behind, and to share her love of books she volunteers at Book Fairies.  Then, of course, there’s just hanging out with friends and going to Martha’s for their yummy cheesecake.

In the future Hannah wants to travel to Israel, Italy and the Netherlands to experience culture and architecture.  She is also looking forward to this summer to take Driver’s Ed.  And finally – wait for it – her fave foods are pizza and pancakes at the bagel shop, and her fave color is yellow. 

Getting to know Hannah brings to mind the phrase “go with the flow” for her easy, real, joyful way and sweet personality.  We are sure that her creativity, interest in social issues, and observant detail-oriented mind will take her far in a variety of ways and places not yet imagined.  She is sure to be an innovator bringing everyone along on her amazing ride!

Awesome work Hannah!  Can't wait to see more!



March 2019 Student of the Month - MAYTAL RAHIMZADA
There is a quote that goes like this…”People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you MADE THEM FEEL.” These words aptly describe the experience of knowing Maytal Rahimzada. Her sweet smile, sparkling eyes and happy demeanor tell the whole story.
Behind that lighthearted exterior though, is a strong young woman with a bright mind. Maytal is a real North Shore Hebrew Academy success story. She started out in NSHA Pre-K and now she is a senior, soon to be graduating! As the only girl with four older brothers (also North Shore Alums), Maytal loves attending North Shore and says it’s “fun – not like going to school”. She feels it is like a second home and looks forward to each and every day filled with joy.

Speaking of joy – Maytal’s favorite class this year is Rabbi Levy’s Sephardic Halacha, because it is both religiously and culturally focused. His class has brought her a new depth of understanding and appreciation for her rich Persian Jewish roots. Other favorite classes include AP Psychology (she is the first sophomore that Dr. Vitow ever allowed to take this class), 11th grade English for the discussion of many controversial ideas, and Jewish Philosophy for the challenging and provoking questions that sparked her thoughts.
Maytal wears a ring with a beautiful Hebrew message that says: A woman of valor who can find her value is far beyond pearls. For her, this is a statement about what she strives to be. This is the way, even as a teen, she has chosen to be in her life. An example of this point of view is how committed she is to expanding her knowledge and giving back to her community. She has a long list of co-curricular pursuits and then there’s her love of Chesed. The first thing that comes to mind is her recent trip to Florida, with her friends Anna Glasman and Kayla Carmili, to run in the Miami Marathon in memory of their friend Adeena. They raised $80,000 to support the Chai Lifeline! Another experience that deeply affected her was when she was nine and her parents took the family to visit the OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services in Brooklyn. Since that very moving visit, she has been collecting clothes and Purim costumes for the children at the residence and finds this to be very rewarding.
Her extensive list of co-curricular activities is impressive and very diverse! In the realm of science and technology, Maytal was a member of Medical Explorers to learn about medical conditions and how to treat them, participated in Science Research by investigating a relaxation device called “The Muse” to lessen student stress levels thus enabling increased memory recall, and joined “Girls Who Code” for extensive courses and projects in Python and HTML. To enhance her creative side, Maytal took part in Drama Club, Photography Club, Broadcasting Club, Creative Writing Club, Choir, and plays an award winning clarinet! She says that music is a non-verbal expression of thoughts and feelings and loves all kinds of music from her mom’s Persian radio play, her brothers’ Techno and Rap, and her dad’s love of classic rock, but mostly she loves to play Klezmer on her clarinet.
She has been an active member of North Shore’s Investing and Stock Market Game Clubs, Chesed Club and Yachad Club and is also into team sports, as a player for several years, on both the Varsity Hockey and Softball teams. Maytal has been an enthusiastic participant on the Anti-Bias Task Force and in Ms. Amir’s Israel Awareness learning how to deal with Anti- Semitism on campus.
Maytal wears a necklace inscribed with the words: Her mouth opened in wisdom and the words of Torah were on her tongue. This is a testament to her active and strong spiritual connection. She was Chapter Vice President of the Great Neck Chapter of NCSY (National Conference of Orthodox Youth) and is currently the Ahavat Shalom Synagogue of Great Neck Youth President. She volunteers by doing childcare at her Shul, delivering Passover food packages to needy families, visiting rehab patients and at a community Senior Center. Unsurprisingly, she has received awards that include the Rotary Youth Merit Award, Chesed and Kindness Award and is an A.P. Scholar!
Here’s the favorite things part…
Maytal loves talking to people and learning about their lives and hanging out with her friends at Stern College. She adores her family and all the exotic travels they do together including Israel, Poland, Dubai, Morocco, India, safari in South Africa and Greece. She loved the camel ride in the Sahara (check out the cool photo). She looooves animals and has had more than 20 gerbils, snakes, a gecko and a chameleon! 
Lastly, Maytal’s favorite piece of jewelry is a bracelet inscribed with the words: Her palm reached out to help the poor, and her hand went out to give to the needy. This generosity of self and spirit is the embodiment of who she is. She is dedicated to being her best self and to share that love of life with all who cross her path now and in the future.

Congratulations Maytal, and happy travels!

We can't wait to hear about your trailblazing!

February 2019 Student of the Month - SCOTT MAYER

If you’re the new kid in school and need a hand – who’re you going to call? Scott Mayer. If you need a first baseman to throw a ball – who’re you going to call? Scott Mayer. If you need a natural leader to inspire you all - who’re you going to call? Scott Mayer. Junior, Scott Mayer is the February 2019 Student of the Month, and with good reason.

Scott is one of those people who flies a bit under the radar, but upon closer inspection, he is everywhere with everyone and always at the ready to do whatever needs to be done. The eldest of three, he considers himself a bit of a throwback to a different time. A time of selflessness and doing the right thing just for the mere sake of it. He loves to tell “dad and grandpa jokes”, is known for his somewhat wacky and unusual sense of humor and has a talent for coaxing a smile out of just about everyone.

Being a role model is one of Scott’s top personal values. At North Shore, he was selected by Rabbi Weinberg to be a Gabbai – a manager of Minyan ensuring that daily davening runs smoothly. He takes this position very seriously from both a spiritual standpoint and an intellectual one and feels honored to have this responsibility. In his Shul, Scott was invited by Rabbi Jensen to be a group leader and loves working with the fifth through seventh graders during Shabbat services. Lastly, he has spent the last two summers working at the Ruach Day Camp as a counselor. He thoroughly enjoys working with the boys the summer before they start middle school. He feels this is a powerful time for the influence of positive role models.

Here at North Shore, Scott is involved in several activities about which he is very passionate. The first being sports. He is something of a sports fanatic, but as a serious Yankee fan, he plays First Base (like Don Mattingly) on the NSHAHS Varsity Baseball Team. (Needless to say, he is very happy with Mariano Rivera being inducted into the Hall of Fame.) Another of his favorite pastimes is chess, and this year he is a member of the Chess Team coached by Rabbi Chinskey. In addition, Scott is head of the NSHAHS Live Stream Committee. He attends events and games (when he’s not playing) and sets up equipment and software for streaming. Scott is also responsible for actual camera work and programming to YouTube.

Scott participated in Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) with the best part meeting like-minded students from yeshivas all over including L.A., Brazil and Chicago and making lasting friendships! He is a member of the North Shore Investing Club and is enjoying this year’s new class on wealth management. He also lent a hand to an important event at North Shore by running the school Blood Drive. On a different note, Scott sings bass as a member of the NSHAHS choir performing at New York City Concert Hall, various school, intra-school, and community events, as well as on CDs, in music videos, and song releases on iTunes and Spotify.

As a North Shore enthusiast with a good balance of Judaic and secular studies (favorite classes are Double Gemara and College Accounting) and an open easy demeanor, Scott was frequently asked to have prospective students “shadow” him during school visits. He says that whenever there is a new person in the school, he makes sure to introduce himself and welcome them – sort of like a mayor. Or perhaps that’s - Mayer?

During the January break, Scott and his family went to Israel for the first time. He competed in the Siddur Madness event at his Shul, and by answering the most questions about Jewish prayers correctly, he won two free tickets to Israel! His parents decided they would then purchase three more tickets and travel to Israel all together. Scott’s most memorable moments were an impromptu invitation to a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah and the grand highlight of attending Shabbat services at the Western Wall outside under the stars, with his dad and brother, and running into friends from North Shore there.

When asked what inspires him, he laughed and quickly answered “fear of failure.” He added that his sense of humor and close family values are what always keeps him going. Because you love to know – his favorite color is Yankees Navy Blue and his favorite food is homemade fried chicken for Shabbat. Scott’s future interests lie in Business and Law, but there may be political success in his future. Imagine Mayor Mayer…

Great work - keep the momentum going! Mazel tov Scott!




January 2019 Student of the Month - RUBEN PRAWER






What’s in a name? Plenty. Many times names are chosen simply because they are liked or, because it’s a family name. But then, there are the times a name is chosen from a higher place and the recipient becomes the meaning and embodiment of that name. Such is the case with Ruben Prawer, North Shore’s first Student of the Month for 2019. The name Ruben, whether in Hebrew, Scandinavian or Spanish cultures means see or behold a son who will have a deep inner desire to lead, organize, supervise and achieve great things.

Ruben indeed owns his name. His list of achievements and leadership experiences is pages long. As his name suggests, he is a young man who enjoys all aspects of life including spirit (especially spirit), math (anything math-related), science, sports and acts of chesed. They all compete for his passion and attention, and somehow, he satisfies them all.

From day one at North Shore, Ruben hit the ground running by becoming a member of Track Club. In ninth grade, he entered the Science Olympiad and placed third in the Towers category. Olympiad competitors were required to demonstrate not only general knowledge in a particular area of science but out-of-the-box creativity as well. Ruben participated in Model United Nations (YUNMUN), Engineering Club, Computer Science Club and Torah Bowl. He also became a North Shore Notes staff writer. Pretty amazing stuff for a freshman in a new school.

Just to make sure he outdid his ninth-grade experience, Ruben more than doubled his involvement in competitions and co-curricular activities. In addition to maintaining membership in his freshman co-curriculars, as a sophomore, he became the Vice President of Finance/Treasurer of Mr. Garfinkel’s Investing Club, joined the choir, and traded Track Club for the Tennis Team. As someone who enjoys current events and political discussions, Ruben joined both Penn and Yale Model Congress, the North Shore Debate Team and Mock Trial. Mr. Nagel’s Traveling Math Team and Rabbi Lehrer’s Siyum Scholars also fed Ruben’s hunger for learning. In addition, he threw his efforts into the competition ring and came up a winner. He and his teammates took first place in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, and this year Ruben is the team captain. He also entered the LISEF and Conrad Spirit of Innovation competitions and was a semi-finalist with the Smart Pill Box app that requires a fingerprint to open and has an app for reminders. Another award winner was his Virtual Menu app taking Best App Design in the NYC Computer Science Expo.

Now in his junior year, the year needing the strongest academic performance and attention, Ruben has not been deterred from participation in his favorites with several new additions. He has been promoted to President of the Investing Club and is the incoming President of the Anti-Bias Club where he enjoys moderating discussions on controversial topics. To enhance his interest in math and science memberships in the Science Society and Math Research Club (Al-Kalfus Math Fair competition) are also on the program. Ruben and team mates Ari Ostrow and Adriel Kohananoo are hard at work on this year’s LISEF entry called RDI or Robotic De-Icer – a robot to dispense ice melt on driveways and walks. Who wouldn’t want one of their own?

Last summer, Ruben joined Rabbi Weinberg’s five-week J.O.L.T. (Jewish Overseas Leadership Training) program in Israel with 48 like-minded students from around the U.S. and Canada, five of whom were from North Shore. For him, the experience encompassed the most ideal aspects of personal growth, his personal connection to Israel, and his connection to Judaism, specifically with regard to Tefila. During two weeks of the five-week program, the focus was on humanitarian projects such as picking up brush on the ground to prevent fires, giving out food and drinks on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, and his favorite – running a “Happiness” camp for kids ages 8 - 16 whose siblings have disabilities. He keeps in touch with many of his traveling companions and camp kids.

One of the primary goals of J.O.L.T. is to inspire others with a message of Judaic connection. This year, with this in mind, Ruben is the founder and President of the J.L.C. (Jewish Life Committee) here at North Shore to improve Jewish life and culture at school. For example, one of their goal activities is to set up a Shabbos cart, play Jewish music and hand out magnets with prayers for IDF soldiers to give students a good feeling as they leave for Shabbot. In addition, he is working with Rabbi Weinberg on setting up whatapp group learning chats run by three faculty members, so students can sign up for a particular chat subject of interest.

As Israel Advocacy is of paramount importance to Ruben, he applied and was selected to be part of the Write On For Israel Program, an Israel advocacy journalism program. The group attends Sunday sessions in NYC this year and next. They also go on short trips such as visiting a synagogue in Philly built by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and are encouraged to write about various topics and submit them to Judaic publications. The program will culminate next February with a ten-day trip to Israel.

A natural leader, Ruben truly lives up to the meaning of his name. His enthusiasm and deep spiritual nature paired with his positive attitude of approaching everything with excellence, achievement, fun and a smile will take him very far in life. He is one to keep on your radar.

 Way to go Ruben!

(written in Blue - Ruben's favorite color)




December 2018 Student of the Month - KAYLA HUTT 



What is the difference between a Cardinal number and an Ordinal number? Let’s ask North Shore’s December Student of the Month, sophomore Kayla Hutt. Cardinal numbers answer the question, “How many?”, and Kayla will tell you “three”. Ordinal numbers describe the position of something in a list, and Kayla will tell you “third”. To clarify, Kayla Hutt is a triplet, and the youngest of the three, with the older two sibs being brothers who also attend North Shore. How fun is that? Kayla will tell you “lots”.

Kayla says she loves North Shore, because it is so different from other schools. It’s a friendly environment filled with happy kids and welcoming seniors. She thoroughly enjoys the diverse nature of the offerings at the school both in academics and co-curricular activities. Kayla is a student who likes a plethora of different things – she knows what she likes, but always likes to experiment and expand her horizons. In just her second year at North Shore, she has already managed to make her mark in her academic pursuits, sports and on the Headmaster’s Council.

She delights in creative writing, especially poetry, and as a freshman won Honorable Mention at the JCC competition for her poem called “Homework First”. Now, in her second year as a member of the Creative Writing Club she is President helping other students with content, editing and contest preparation. This is definitely a theme for Kayla who is also an active member of the Debate Team and Model Congress. She really enjoys public speaking and persuasively proving her point which really worked for her at Penn Model Congress last year when she won Honorable Mention for her bill called “Solar Panels for Roadways”. This year Kayla is participating in both Penn and Yale Model Congresses with a bill entitled “Equal Pay for Women”.

Science is also of great interest to Kayla. Last year she won Honorable Mention at the Long Island Science Congress (LISC) for her work inspired by the previous work of Adeena Paknoush. Kayla and Shirelle Shaulian germinated pea plants and after they sprouted, they were transplanted onto two different turntables set at two different speeds to test how this rotation would affect their growth and curvature. The plants that rotated at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute grew less in height, but had a greater degree of bend than those rotated at a speed of 45 revolutions per minute. Both Kayla and Shirelle felt enormous pride in completing the work Adeena had started. This year Kayla is part of the Medical Explorers and looks forward to learning more about the medical profession with a hands-on attitude.

To feed both her sporty and her artistic sides, Kayla plays three sports for North Shore. She has been on the JV Basketball, Soccer and Hockey (her fave) teams since ninth grade. She loves the action, running and excitement of these super team sports. In the artsy realm, she looooves fashion and has a fun and fashion-filled Instagram page called #betterthanokayfashion with close to 3000 followers! In addition, she is starting a new club at North Shore (with the help of Ms. Dammacco) called Fashion Social Media. It will be focused on modesty in school fashion or how to look cute for school and still dress respectfully and with modesty. Great idea!

School participation and making positive impact are two of Kayla’s passions. She is in the Chesed Club and was the grade rep for the blood drive committee. She is also working with Mrs. Gold to send letters to people devastated by the tragic synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh. She feels that reaching out to connect through heartfelt communication is very important in life. Outside of school, Kayla travels to Queens, on many Wednesday nights, with her dad and brothers for Tom Chei Shabbos. She helps pack food boxes for families in need of help.

Kayla was selected by Dr. Vitow to be a part of Headmaster’s Council. There are 2 guys and 2 gals selected as class reps from each grade to have regular meetings with Dr. Vitow and Rabbi Weinberg regarding issues in the school. The goals of the meetings are to communicate the voices of their classmates and to find and implement solutions. A recent example was the need for full length mirrors in the girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. Kayla took the initiative to research possible styles of mirrors and met with Dr. Vitow with her recommendations. As a result, mirrors have been purchased and will be installed over the December break. Go Kayla!

In her time out of school, Kayla is an avid reader, especially mysteries, but is known to change it up from time to time. In addition, over the summer, she will be doing an internship and then going on a teen tour called Camp Kanfei Nesharim and traveling to New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and California. She will be back just in time for her Junior year.

It is unusual to be named Student of the Month as a sophomore. Clearly, Kayla has achieved a lot in a very short period of time at North Shore. She makes it look easy! Just think, she will be here for another two and a half years – has anyone ever been nominated twice? Hmmm. There’s always a first time for everything.

Excellent way to go Kayla!


PS - Kayla's favorite color is RED!




November 2018 Student of the Month - Andrew Gottlieb




Did you know that only 0.5 % of the world’s population are ginger-haired males? North Shore is lucky enough to have one of their very own. Senior Andrew Gottlieb is NSHAHS November Student of the Month. This unique trait fosters strong-mindedness and a solid level of confidence. Two traits possessed by Andrew that have been demonstrated throughout his high school career.


The youngest of three, and the third to graduate from North Shore, Andrew has carved a place for himself at North Shore as unique as he his. A stellar student with many AP subjects under his belt, Andrew shares his knowledge and skill with his fellow classmates as a peer tutor. He has been teaching study skills and doing subject-specific tutoring since ninth grade in groups and for as many as eight individual students per week. Some of the subjects he covers are AP Biology, Chemistry, AP European and American History, and Economics. He says helping others succeed gives him a lot of satisfaction.


He has been involved in a wide array of activities throughout his career at North Shore ranging from business and science to sports and academic competitive teams. This is a testament to his confidence in himself. When he sets his mind to something, he goes full on for it. For example, Andrew started on the hockey team in ninth grade and each year rose to a higher level of success to include the Most Dedicated Player award and by becoming the Assistant Captain of the Varsity team. His experience on the Soccer team was similar starting on the JV team and becoming the Varsity Top Defenseman by his junior year!


Academically, Andrew was a member of the Math Team in ninth grade and has been named Captain in his senior year. This may be due in part to math-related subjects such as Advanced Calculus and Statistics being his favorites. He enjoys and is very interested in analytics for the joy of recognizing patterns that are not easily noticed at first glance. He likes the challenge of seeing these patterns in historical events and economics as well.


In addition to his sports and mathematical pursuits, he has participated in the Long Island Science Congress by creating a tongue depressor pressure sensor that works similarly to a biofeedback mechanism. The sensor worked as a sort of game to help people with speech impairments caused by tongue weakness. Andrew won Honorable Mention for this invention. Creating things that are helpful to society is important to him. Last year Andrew was Co-Captain of the 2018 Regional II First Place winning Rube Goldberg Machine contest. The competition entailed building a device to complete a simple task in a minimum of twenty steps. In the realm of Science Research, he created a design for a safer and more comfortable seat belt he calls the Ridesafe Seatbelt.


To round out his high school experience, Andrew also engaged in many competitive co-curricular activities including Yale Model Congress and Penn Model Congress where he won Outstanding Courtroom Team. There is also his time spent on the Mock Trial Team, the Debate Team and the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations, not to mention participating in the Science Olympiad and the Anti-Bias Task Force! Clearly, he performs well under pressure!


A young man with an easy smile and a great sense of humor, this National Honor Society student will soon be graduating and going to college. He said he has thoroughly enjoyed attending NSHAHS, because he was with good friends he grew up with and could count on and had great teachers and an excellent headmaster. His favorite food depends on his mood, and his favorite candy is whatever’s available.


What is he planning going forward? He is not sure, but he knows he loves business and science, so that will be his starting point as his rocket takes off and upwards.


But, the most interesting thing by far is Andrew’s quote for life: “If something doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world…unless it’s really the end of the world.”


Mazel tov Andrew! The end is just the beginning!


October 2018 Student of the Month - JACK HEDAYA

They say…you can’t tell a book by its cover. October Student of the Month, junior Jack Hedaya appears at first glance to be a reserved and serious student. However, once the book is opened, you’ll find a teen with the cool factor, a lot of passion for computers and a great sense of humor.


Hailing from Brooklyn, Jack has quite a commute every day to North Shore but feels it’s worth all the effort. Even on the days when the two-hour ride seems like a long haul, once he arrives he says the school brings out the best in him and just being there buoys him up. He selected NSHAHS, because he wanted a more diverse academic experience, and he’s living it.


Jack is a numbers and computers guy. He enjoys his computer science, business and math classes best. Once he starts talking about programming, his enthusiasm is palpable. In ninth grade, Jack independently studied AP Computer Science A and scored a 4 on the AP exam. When he came to North Shore, he actually took the class and scored his goal of 5. In eighth grade, he created and built a video game called “Cartastrophy” that was very popular in the Apple App store, and according to Apple it had over 2000 downloads in China!


This past summer, Jack interned for EXEQ, a personal budgeting and category spending finance for millenials app start-up company in New York City, as a full stack developer aka programmer with specialized knowledge in all stages of software development. He went in with the desire to work on the three main aspects of the company: website design, app development and database management, and was able to experience all of them.


In his sophomore year, he especially liked physics and math and participated in the MIT launch program along with his cousins David and Jacob Esses. They were just notified that their project to replace the inside of wire with plasma, a super conductor that offers very little resistance, was selected to receive $10,000 from MIT to move their project forward. This year, he has a very full plate and is so far enjoying Money Management, Double Gemmara, Macroeconomics and College Accounting.


Even with such a demanding schedule, Jack is always thinking of ways to help others. He is in the process of developing an app to connect people of all ages with appropriate mentors in the community. This aligns perfectly with his favorite hobby - programming. He appreciates observing a problem and finding and developing a clear quick concise solution. His passion started at about age ten when he started to research and teach himself programming inspired by his grandmother who told him that that’s where the future is. He participated in several programs and online classes while in middle school and when he learned Java, he was completely hooked. He plans to continue on this path to become a CTO or Chief Technology Office of a company he starts with his brothers. There are no official plans just yet, but they’re all on board and will see what direction the future holds.


Because all work and no play…well you know…Jack enjoys spending his precious free time playing football, video games, playing chess (he was on the NS team last year) and hanging out with friends lunching on sushi (yellowtail), M&M’s (all colors) and white chocolate.


Jack is a laser observer with a great dry sense of humor. This quality along with his positive attitude, enthusiasm and ambition in the world of technology will assure him a place of great future success!


Great job Jack – keep it going!




September 2018 Student of the Month - KAYLA KREINIK
Congratulations to Kayla Kreinik, North Shore’s first Student of the Month for the 2018-19 school year! What a great way to start 11th grade!


Kayla is a spirited exuberant student with many passions. Her diverse interests run the full gamut between her right and left brain including chemistry, art, neuroscience, jewelry design, Chesed leadership, writing, reading and computer studies to name a few. All this while keeping a cheerful life balance.


One of the activities Kayla most enjoys is being a Chesed project leader. She works with IVDU (Individualized Vocational Development Unit – a part of Yachad, The National Jewish Council for Disabilities ). She organizes workshops for North Shore students to prep them prior to spending the day with visiting IVDU students by teaching subjects such as sensitivity training. In a recent workshop she ran in her sophomore year, Kayla came up with creative ideas to provide experiential learning for her classmates. Each student had a postcard taped to their back with something written on it visible and known only to others causing the wearer to respond to how others treated them as a result. Another teaching moment was when she had North Shore students attempt to read aloud the Gettysburg Address with multiple lollipops in their mouths. Both practicums illustrated first-hand the frustrations and tribulations the IVDU students go through each day and provided feelings of greater tolerance and empathy by the North Shore students.


Another great Chesed success is Kayla’s involvement with Chai Lifeline (a volunteer-based non-profit organization that primarily works with children battling cancer and other serious diseases) where she contacted the director of Camp Simcha, organized a bake sale, and raised and donated $800 to help build a new accessible baking room. In addition, she designs and makes jewelry and donates 10% of each purchase to Chai Lifeline. She sells her chokers and bracelets on her website, and last summer Kayla studied metal jewelry making at FIT and was deeply inspired by the jewelry she found in Israel at the Tel Aviv Shuk. In fact, Kayla had her own booth at North Shore’s Shuk for the school Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) celebration.



Kayla approaches her academic side with the same amount of excitement, imagination and dedication. In her sophomore year she won Best Educational App for an app she invented and coded called “Jeopardy for Kids” at the 2nd Annual Mobile CSP Expo for the NY Metro area AP Computer Science Fair. She also entered this winning app in the Congressional App Challenge by doing a write up and making a three minute video about the app.


Last year, she was one of three sophomores on Mr. Nagel’s Traveling Math Team, is a member of the Science Society and a peer tutor for students needing help with chemistry. She also enjoys Mr. Muir’s English class for the way he relates classic books like Catcher in the Rye to make them relevant to current times and Mrs. Rozanski’s very lively Hebrew literature class Bechina Yerushalmit. An avid reader of what she calls “realistic fiction”, Kayla is an active member of Novel & Nosh with one of her favorite books being The Book Thief. In addition, Kayla won three awards in the Scholastic writing and art competition: Honorable Mention-Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention-Mixed Media, and Gold Key-Painting. Drawing hands and faces for their expressiveness are her particularly favorite subjects.


The North Shore world of co-curricular activities also gets her attention with her participation as a writer for North Shore Notes, Girls Who Code, both Drawing & Painting and Fashion Design & Sewing clubs. She also finished her first year on the Girls’ Softball team as a left fielder who likes being on a team to make memories and have fun with friends.


This past summer Kayla volunteered at the Bristal Assisted Living facility for memory care residents. She fulfilled her goals of helping in the painting classes and playing games with the residents. She feels this is a step towards her desire to be a psychologist or art therapist with her love of neuroscience. Kayla also took Mrs. Wilensky’s online web development class and learned how to build codes and a website from scratch.


We look forward to seeing Kayla’s professional and student growth in her next and final two years at North Shore. She has accomplished so much already and has affected the lives of so many in the most positive of ways.


And because you love to know – her favorite color is purple and her favorite food is cherries! It is said that cherries teach us to value each moment and that people who love purple have great imagination and artistic qualities. That’s Kayla all the way.


Good luck Kayla!

Have a great, successful and fun Junior year!




2017 - 2018



June 2018 Student of the Month Ethan Rutta


When asked why he thought Dr. Vitow selected him as the June Student of the Month, North Shore Junior, Ethan Rutta smiled and thoughtfully said “my passion.” He has tremendous enthusiasm for all of the activities in which he engages, and with North Shore offering so much opportunity for exploration of interests, Ethan is very happy to keep his diverse options open! His interests run the gamut including academic pursuits, athletic team participation, community involvement and religious leadership. He says that when he commits to something he really goes for it! That’s for sure.

Since ninth grade, Ethan has enjoyed being a member of Model UN (YUNMUN). A highlight was in tenth grade when he was selected to be a delegate representing Saudi Arabia taking the pro position regarding the right of women to become more involved outside the home and into the Science, English and Technology sectors. He took on the challenge of sticking to the Saudi position culturally but still was able to successfully argue his position with creative solutions and getting his resolution passed.

In addition, Ethan has also been a member of Penn Model Congress and Debate Team where he has learned to do thorough research, be well-prepared and think on his feet, with his favorite part of debating being the concluding speech for the pressure of the deadline. There’s also JV College Bowl where his team made it into the playoffs against other schools with questions on any subject from the Super Bowl to 19th century opera.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ethan has been actively involved in science research winning the National Emperor Science Competition award program sponsored by PBS and Stand Up to Cancer. It is based upon students' essays detailing the need to find a cure for cancer. He was selected as one of 6 students in New York State (out of a total of 100 students from across the United States!) and the only student from a Yeshiva to be awarded the Emperor Science Award. As an award recipient, Ethan will work with an esteemed university scientist on a multi-week cancer research project, receive a Google Chromebook computer to enhance his studies, plus a $1500 stipend for expenses! 

Ethan is a big participator in many other North Shore co-curricular activities including Science Society, Environmental Science Club, Anti-Bias Task Force and Investing Club. He also has been a member of the Computer Science Club where he and his teammate Ben Basaleli competed in the Mobile CSP Expo with their app invention called “Wake Up to Math” winning both 1st Place and the award for Most Real Life Applicable. Their app alarm clock requires the answers to five questions before it can be turned off so you’ll be sure to be fully awake and on time.

Religion and Judaic spirit are very important to Ethan. He is a youth leader at the Great Neck Synagogue and assists in running children’s groups and weekly prayers. Last summer, he spent five weeks in Israel on a teen tour with 120 other kids. They were based in Jerusalem at Camp Morasha and traveled all over the country. The highlights for him were sleeping outside without tents while in the north and army night with IDF commanders giving drills such as running while carrying a sack of potatoes at 2:30 AM. However, the best of all was visiting Tzfat for the artsy vibe, the spirituality and the amazing passion there. He felt the deep pride and happiness for Israel from the people there and forged lifelong friendships.

This summer for Ethan will be a completely different experience. He will spend the first half working at Cold Spring Harbor Labs with a PhD scientist on researching a particular sector of pancreatic cancer. After completing his work at the lab, he will spend the second half of the summer commuting to NYC to intern with Senator Chuck Schumer.

On a lighter note, Ethan plays shortstop and second base on the North Shore Varsity Baseball team and volunteers as an umpire in a community baseball league for kids from third to eighth grade. In his spare time, he also plays basketball and football just for fun. Other favorites are medium rare steak with mashed and brownies for dessert, but mostly it’s his two amazing sisters with whom he is super close and considers them great friends,

Ethan was right when he said he was selected for his passion. He thrives in a competitive environment, loves public speaking, research of all kinds, problem solving and getting others on board for support. Only someone who devotes such energy and creativity across such a broad array of activities could succeed and enjoy them all. He truly searches for the nuggets of awesome in everything. In his words, “North Shore = Awesome”.


Congratulations & Great Work Ethan!!





May 2018 Student of the Month Eden Schneck


On Junior Eden Schneck’s resume, there is a section titled “Summer Enrichment.” Perhaps there should be a section called “How Eden Enriches the World.” A natural leader from a very young age, she has already accrued a long list of achievements and thoughtful Chesed activities.

As the only girl with three older brothers (all NSHAHS alums), Eden has developed a strong and wise personality under their tutelage. At age 14, when her brothers left for college, she became President of the literacy organization they started. She was only four when they collectively started Reading Reflections in honor of their grandmother Edith (for whom Eden is named) who started a classroom library in the rural Texas school where she was a teacher in the 1950’s. Their organization promotes literacy by providing books to those in need; sometimes gifting a child their first book ever. They make collections and donations in the metro area, as well as in other countries such as Africa. When she chose to continue their work and became president, she found herself answering hundreds of emails, coordinating a multitude of volunteers and book deliveries, and speaking to students about volunteerism. Her goal is to communicate to donors that their books will be cherished by their new owners and to spark a love of reading in the next generation and those to come.

Through Reading Reflections, Eden’s leadership role has given her incredible growth experiences and ongoing strength as a leader by being instrumental in creating libraries across the globe and connecting with other like-minded leaders which brought another unexpected opportunity. She was invited to support an initiative to bring hygiene education to girls in remote parts of Nigeria served by Reading Reflections and therefore expanded their global mission of reading and keeping them in school. As a result of her amazing efforts, Eden received two Presidential Volunteer Services Awards!

Upon learning about the devastating effects poor hygiene has in these areas, especially for girls, she supports WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) libraries and education which became the catalyst for her award-winning science research project “CuClean: Antimicrobial Copper Hygiene Solution” along with her partners Ethan Abizadeh and Ella Shakin. CuClean is a copper lunchbox they created based upon research that copper is naturally antibacterial and would reduce transfer of disease through food. For this project, they are Bronze Award winners of the 2018 International ISOPO (International Scientific Online Project Olympiad) and received Honorable Mention in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition.

Eden also competed in the Al Kalfus Math Fair competition winning 2017 Gold Medal for her research project “The Application of Biostatistics to Determine How Prevalence of Disease Affects the Predictive Value of Laboratory Tests in the Emerging Zika Epidemic” explaining how a positive test result has only an eight percent chance of true positive for actual disease presence versus testing negative is a definite negative. This project was creatively inspired by a family member planning a destination wedding during a peak Zika period. In true Eden style, she was relentless in her pursuit of information contacting the CDC, many commercial labs, and finally making a connection at the FDA to achieve her informational goals!

She also won Al Kalfus 2016 Gold as a freshman with her research project “Use of Eratosthenes Method of Calculating the Sun’s Incidence Angle to Harness Solar Energy” describing how the incidence angle of the sun affects the climate and seasons of Long Island. In addition, Eden received both the Silver Key for Humor and Honorable Mention for Sci/Fi Fantasy in the Scholastic Writing competition.

This coming summer Eden received the exciting honor of being one of 160 students accepted out of over 1000 to participate in the Leadership in the Business World program at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania. Last summer, she was invited to intern in the laboratory of the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Center for Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Eden’s list of co-curricular activities is also impressive. She is a leading member of the Headmaster’s Council, Class Representative 4K4Kids Run event, Model UN, Science Research Club, Math Research Club, DECA Business Club, Track Club and starting varsity player on the NSHAHS Tennis Team.

In her spare time, Eden loves snowboarding with her brothers anywhere from Vermont to Colorado and is a huge NY Jets fan. As a serious Jets fan (and North Shore student), she loves the color green. From a color psychology perspective, it is a great balancer and harmonizer, an emotionally positive color representing one who loves to contribute to society and encompasses clarity, optimism, insight, prosperity, generosity and inspiration. Yep – sounds just like Eden!

Congratulations & Great Work Eden!!




April 2018 Student of the Month - Daniel Kroll


In law, a commonly used phrase is “may the record reflect...”  Well – North Shore sophomore Daniel Kroll’s record reflects plenty of great stuff thus far.

Daniel apparently is already on the path of himself becoming an attorney, engaging in public speaking and politics.

At first, Daniel appears to be like any other student. However, upon closer inspection, it is clear the facts present a truly extraordinary, very interesting and well-spoken young man. Here is the supporting evidence: 

Exhibit 1:  Daniel attended Model Congress 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania and won a Gavel for Best Delegate in Committee. Daniel was also selected by Model Congress Advisor Mr. Miles to participate in a special Supreme Court Program where he litigated two Supreme Court cases (first - representing Al Gore in the 2000 election of Bush vs. Gore and second - representing and protecting the First Amendment rights of a bake shop owner) and won a second Gavel for Outstanding Team in Courtroom along with fellow teammate Andrew Gottlieb. Mr. Miles chose the right student, because winning two Gavels, is a very rare thing. During Model Congress 2017 at Penn and Yale, Daniel won Outstanding Delegate and Honorable Mention respectively.

Exhibit 2:  The summer after ninth grade, Daniel participated in a week-long mock trial program at the Federal Court in Islip focusing on Civic Education. The highlight was meeting Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayer of the Supreme Court of the United States. This coming summer, Daniel will be doing a month-long internship with a criminal court judge in the Nassau County Court. Usually only open to law students, he will get to witness trials, formulate questions, read and summarize probationary reports, and tail the judge for first-hand experience to see what day-to-day court is like.

Exhibit 3:  Daniel recently entered an essay competition sponsored by the Polish Jewish Dialog Committee where he wrote about Polish Jewish relations during the holocaust. He has been invited to and will attend a dinner at the spectacular beaux-arts architectural building of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York City. 

Exhibit 4:  Chesid is paramount to Daniel’s personal sense of purpose. In the spirit of giving back to the community, he does food packing and clothing drives for Vets. After Pesach, he will be volunteering at a local soup kitchen, because he wants a more direct connection to helping people in the moment. He also is very involved in local political meetings that he attends with his dad. He had the amazing experience of collecting district ballots from polling locations in the last presidential election!

Final thoughts and comments:  Daniel’s favorite subjects are AP European History with Mr. Miles because he has so much passion for the subject matter, and English with Mr. Muir because he gives the vision and historical context of the books they read in class. He is actively involved in many other North Shore co-curricular activities that support his legal interests such as Mock Trial, College Bowl, Anti-Bias Club, Debate Team, and is the political contributor for North Shore Notes. Outside of school, Daniel enjoys sailing, playing football with friends, and eating his favorite foods – steak and fries. In addition, he feels a great sense of accomplishment playing video games on the gaming computer he built himself with the help of his uncle.

Beyond any doubt, we are sure Daniel is well on his way to an exciting and successful career in the public eye. 

Good Luck and Congratulations Daniel!

The defense rests.     



March 2018 Student of the Month Danielle Ryba



Junior, Danielle Ryba says that she enjoys reading the Student of the Month stories on the North Shore website, because they make each student seem “fabulous”. Her favorite part is when she learns something new and special about someone she sees every day. A few synonyms for the word “fabulous” describe Danielle to a T. Here we go…awesome, amazing, first-rate, phenomenal, remarkable, and sensational. Add to that, great student, mature, thoughtful, creative, and a natural leader. Welcome to the world of Danielle Ryba!

Danielle hails from Brooklyn where she lives with her parents and two sisters and aspires to be an architect. She chose to attend North Shore and endure the long daily commute, because she prefers its creative freedom and academic diversity. As a child, she built doll houses with Lego, and now with a sophisticated eye for texture, pattern and color she can discuss her preference for whimsical contemporary structures that focus on texture and no wasted space like a real pro. That is a true example of the evolution of materials and design comprehension she has already learned at NSHAHS. Danielle takes full advantage of any opportunity to enhance and express her creative skills as shown in her participation in Architecture class and the Ceramics and Drawing and Painting Clubs.

The summer after tenth grade, Danielle traveled to NYC every day to work in an architectural firm specializing in commercial development. She started by simply reading magazines, and then kept asking for more and varied work and responsibility. Her wish was granted and was given several Excel projects. Towards the end of the summer, based upon her stellar work, she achieved her goal of utilizing CAD (computer aided design) helping the staff wth professional design projects.

This natural leadership ability is also evident at school where she took over recruitment of ninth graders for the co-curricular Girls Who Code group. Every Wednesday during lunch, Danielle can be found fulfilling her desire to give back by teaching the younger gals about basic web design and coding. She writes weekly Google slide modules, reviewed by the Girls Who Code Faculty Advisor Mrs. Wilensky. She also researches and sends additional online suggestion links to her “class” for more independent learning opportunities.

Danielle is working with Dr. Runco and Mr. Weinberg on a Science Research project (using a vaporizer to inhale Advil for faster nasal delivery) to be presented at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair next year. In addition, she explores her other diverse interests by participating in the Investment Club and Novel and Nosh where she satisfies her love of books particularly sci-fi and mysteries.

In the spirit of Chesed, for the past three years Danielle volunteers outside of school at SBH (Sephardic Bikur Holim) – a food panty and community service organization, near her home in Brooklyn, staffed by high school students. Her other passions include swimming (with a desire to be a lifeguard), playing tennis, puzzles, baking, and anything chocolate.

With regard to her future, she is looking forward to spending part of the summer at the beach in Deal, New Jersey hoping to spend the rest in a 3-D modeling course in NYC or back working at last summer’s architectural firm where she was invited to return.

Just think, Danielle is only a junior here at North Shore! Where will she be in five or ten years? Well – you just may be living or working in one of her architectural creations.

Great work Danielle!


February 2018 Student of the Month - Kayla Lieb


Most of the world’s diamonds have their origin from South Africa. Some are the kind you wear, and some are the exceptional people we describe as diamonds. One of these diamonds is named Kayla Lieb. Both kinds have many qualities in common:  both are very valuable, both have tremendous sparkle and both have many colors and facets.

Kayla’s grandparents and parents bravely moved from South Africa to New York and made successful and fruitful lives. Though born here, Kayla has many of their focused and courageous qualities (and secretly wishes she had their accents). These traits will serve her well for her future. You see, Kayla intends to become a surgeon. She is inspired by and wants to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. He is a pediatric general surgeon at New York Weill Cornell where Kayla interned the summer after her junior year. She had the amazing opportunity to be in the operating room as he performed a surgical fistula repair on a one week old baby. Kayla said she loved the experience, because it was eye-opening to see her grandfather as a focused, strong, professional and not just as “grandpa”. It was life changing for her.

While at Cornell, Kayla worked for one of the head doctors in the Transplant Surgery department where she shadowed in the operating room, had daily patient interaction, and just loved being around surgeons. She thoroughly enjoyed being able to apply the knowledge she gained in her North Shore science classes and the absolute professionalism in the hospital culture.

Kayla admits that even as a child she was always curious about anatomy and has never been squeamish. She was anxious to further her education outside of school, and the summer after her sophomore year at North Shore, Kayla applied to and was selected to go to the University of Massachusetts as a representative of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition (GNBCC) to study the effects of different chemicals on the mammary glands of mice. These chemicals known as Endocrine Destructing Chemicals, or EDC’s, are commonly found in many synthetic plastics, with the hypothesis of the research stating that small amounts have the same effect on the body as large doses. Kayla and Stacy Okin dormed and worked together in the lab helping with the imaging and prepping of slides from tissue gathered in the study. She was fascinated by having first-hand experience in a real lab and working with doctors to help prove their hypothesis to be true.

The diverse and successful work ethic instilled by both of her parents motivated Kayla to engage a rigorous class load at North Shore and to be involved in many co-curricular activities such as Math Team and College Bowl for the fun of the competition and love of the content, Science Research with Mr. Suchmann and the Science Society. She is also a member of Choir and Chamber Choir and many times will accompany them on the piano (her second love).

Kayla is very health-conscious and can be found at the gym at least three times a week, plus she likes having a healthy diet. She never met an avocado she didn’t like, though she will admit to a penchant for baking brownies, muffins and Shabbat coffee cake and dark chocolate. Her favorite author is Jodi Picoult with Stephen King a close second – Kayla is the girl you see leaving the library with seven books…

The Hebrew meaning of the name Kayla means “Crown of Laurels” which is quite fitting for this extraordinary young woman. Her laurels at North Shore are her passion, creative thought, productive and positive influencing actions, enthusiasm and self-expression. We have no doubt we will be hearing about her tremendous successes and contributions in her future in the medical profession.

Congratulations Kayla!  Best of luck!


January 2018 Student of the Month - James Modlin


Many children dream of becoming a firefighter when they grow up, but few actualize this dream. James Modlin made this dream happen at age seventeen! Now a senior at North Shore, James is not only a dedicated student but is also a senior volunteer firefighter in his town of Great Neck. He and twin brother embarked on this journey in ninth grade. Once old enough they attended Fire School in Old Bethpage with training simulations of different types of fire events, Probie and company drills, Bail-out class training with full equipment and learned how to repel out of windows carrying a person, and lifesaving techniques. They were hooked. (Pun intended.)

James attributes his decision to act on his desire to be a volunteer to Mrs. Gold, who told his class about community service. He saw an ad for training and went for it. His parents are supportive of his choice and very proud of him. When asked, James said that he did not know where this drive to be a firefighter came from, as no one in his immediate family had ever done anything like it. Surprisingly, once he was in the firehouse, he learned that he had distant cousins that had been in the same firehouse!

The first fire he ever experienced was a brush fire in a neighborhood Shul. When he received the call, he ran there on foot and helped extinguish the fire. He said he was amazed that he could do something he’d never done before that had such an impact. The most recent fire he was called to was a very large one involving the home of four families totaling seventeen people that was caused by a hotplate with too many wires and extension cords that exploded. James and his brother got the call around 9:00PM and left home immediately only to find the road to the firehouse blocked. They took off on foot, and when they finally arrived at the location of the fire, they went into action taking hoses off the truck, handing out LED lights, and along with approximately forty active members in his company, put out the fire. James then went inside the home, watered down all the rooms searching for hotspots and using a 12 foot pole with a hook took down the roof for ventilation and hosed down the attic. That is some kind of fearless. The guys finally got home after midnight and went to school the next day. 

Speaking of school…James is passionate about business and is very interested in how the business world unfolds. Actively involved in Mr. Garfinkel’s business classes, he especially enjoys all aspects of marketing and advertising to express ideas. As someone with a very quick wit, he likes to use humor in the delivery of information. In his Virtual Enterprise class, James is in the marketing department putting together the flyer explaining their virtual product, setting pricing and promotion using creative thought and various social media. His plan is to take his business studies further when he graduates and goes off to college.

James is also involved in a number of co-curricular activities such as playing on the Varsity Hockey and Baseball teams. As someone who likes to help others, he works on the annual North Shore Blood Drive and participated in the 4K For Kids charity program. Outside of school, he is a group leader at Synagogue and helps with childcare during services. He also actively plays lacrosse and soccer and has been a lifeguard for the past two years at the Great Neck pools.

It’s clear that James is an out-of-the-box thinker and doer and follows his instincts to achieve his goals. His selfless acts of bravery are something to be respected and his modesty about it admired as he moves ahead to the future.

Congratulations & Good Luck James! Great job!



December 2017 Student of the Month - Leeal Kahen



Did you know that Leeal Kahen is the only student in the history of North Shore to achieve a 100% on the Jerusalem/Bechina Yerushalmit Exam? Leeal accomplished this in large part because of her passion to analyze Hebrew literature and Tanach. She loves that she gets a true picture and feels the historical experiences through the writers’ eyes. This is just one of the many reasons Leeal has been selected as the December Student of the Month. There are so many more!

Leeal has such a sweet and easy demeanor, but don’t let that fool you. She is a fierce competitor with confidence, determination and drive to bring good into the world. It is important to her to feel that she is helping others to have positive experiences. Self-expression through public speaking, writing or simply through conversation interacting with people of different thoughts and opinions is paramount to her. At North Shore, along with her demanding academic classes, Leeal participates on Debate Team, Mock Trial, and in both Penn and Yale Model Congress. One of the Model Congress highlights for her was serving on the Intelligence Committee and Foreign Affairs Committees where she created virtual bills for Constitutional boundary awareness in hacking and for schools in the Middle East supported by the United Nations and the United States for true academic education rather than terrorism, respectively. She enjoys finding a topic and researching all sides, developing questions and then making a truly informed decision.

In the realm of public service, Leeal spent last summer as an intern for Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Gary Knobel and had the distinction of being the youngest intern in the program amidst college students. The focus of the program was specialization in elder and special needs law. There was an interactive lecture each week where she was able to utilize the skills she learned from both the North Shore Debate and Mock Trial teams. In fact, one week she volunteered and was selected to make an opening statement to the group allowing her to use her love of public speaking. What an honor! She says that this experience opened her eyes to the real world giving her a take away of real life in action and a feeling of deep appreciation.

Leeal also enhanced her interest in social issues by using some creative thinking and getting involved in science research. However, rather than biological science in nature, she teamed up with Caylie Tuerack and engaged in social science inspired research. The topic? What incentivizes students to cheat. They presented their paper at the Long Island Science Congress (LISC) in ninth and tenth grade taking first place and moving on to States level where they received Honorable Mention.

Speaking of social issues…Leeal holds bringing a smile to someone in need as a high personal priority. One of her favorite ways to do this is her volunteer community work for a local chapter of Bike NY; an organization that developed a technique of teaching autistic individuals ranging in age from 8 to 20 how to ride a bicycle. Leeal attended training to learn this very specialized technique of teaching in specific steps, adapting each bike, and speaking gently and has spent many hours in Queens Corona Park reveling in the success of her students and the joy on the riders’ and their families’ faces.

She also participates in Friendship Circle as a mentor to children with special needs, helping them gain confidence to make the most of their abilities and talents, and integrating them into the community. The trips they take also gives parents and siblings a much-needed respite and support. In addition, Leeal spends time as a volunteer at Parker Geriatric and delights in hearing their many stories.

Some fun facts about Leeal tell us that she loves eating sushi, chocolate and pizza. I mean – really – who doesn’t? Yum. She enjoys jogging, long walks, playing Persian and Broadway music on the piano, playing tennis, and is an avid Pinterest pinner. Leeal is very organized and goal-oriented and keeps a planner and enjoys the act of actually writing down her lists and plans and checking them off as each is completed. She derives great satisfaction and sense of accomplishment upon achieving every goal no matter how small.

As Leeal looks back on and completes her four years of high school, she says that she really appreciates her time spent and all the variety offered at North Shore. For her future, some of her goals include studying abroad in a place where she can use her Hebrew, Farci and Spanish and exploring new and creative ways to help others. Even though she considers herself to be a traditional gal, she looks forward to following a bit of an out-of-the-box non-traditional path. We can’t wait to see where that yellow brick road takes her.

Congratulations & Good Luck Leeal on a job well done!



November 2017 Student of the Month Dylan Makani


Dylan Makani is the November Student of the Month. He is only a sophomore and already making his mark both at North Shore and in the public eye. Back in ninth grade, Dylan took Science Research with Mr. Suchmann. As part of the class, they entered their project on bullying into the Long Island Youth Summit, presented at St. John’s University in front of three hundred people and became finalists. Dylan was hooked. His newest achievement just a few weeks ago was being named as a semifinalist in the 2017 Siemen’s Competition for Math, Science and Technology. His winning topic is titled "Mitigation of TiO2 stress and characterization of a putative Brassinosteroid Insensitive-1 gene in Lemna minor."

Thanks to Dr. Lisa Runco connecting with a scientist/Chem teacher at Hewlett High School to find a great research project, Dylan spent four weeks during the summer after ninth grade at Nassau Community College’s newly open iResearch Institute. His team included two gals from Half Hollow Hills High School and St. Anthony’s High School. He said this was also an interesting part of the experience as each of them came from different social and academic cultures.

For anyone not sure, Lemna minor is an aquatic bioindicator species commonly known as Duckweed. TiO2 is a substance prevalent in paint, household products and sunscreen that can get into the water system and cause stress to the Duckweed and other plants that can affect growth. During the four weeks, Dylan and his team did a controlled experiment incubating this plant species, researched past journals, and conducted physiological and molecular research that was then sent to a lab for genetic sequencing. He said that this was a highlight, because this was the first time Lemna minor has ever sequenced. They made history!

Dylan says that in addition to the actual research, he enjoyed learning how to do a proper research paper while honing his slide and oral presentation skills. Though a semifinalist at Siemen’s, he doesn’t want to rest on his laurels and will be presenting this project at LYSEF in the spring. In addition, he is already planning where he will be doing an internship next summer and is hoping for something in the realm of cancer research.

To make sure of a well-rounded North Shore experience, Dylan takes full advantage of many other types of co-curricular activities outside of the realm of science. He is a member of Model Congress, Vice President of Finance in the Investment Club, also a VP in Engineering Club and a member of DECA business club. Nope that’s not all folks! He is on Mr. Nagel’s Math Team, part of Medical Explorers, MIT Launch program with Scott Soifer and a writer for North Shore Notes where he aspires to become an editor. Nope, that’s still not all. Dylan is on the JV Basketball team, JV Soccer team and Varsity Volleyball team. Wow!

On a personal note…Dylan is the eldest of four kids, strives to be a well-rounded person who is both creative and artistic liking to keep that right – left brain balance, enjoys making healthy food choices, watches TV news to be politically informed, has been playing the piano for the past eight years, and likes to write. He also likes to read all types of Sci Fi books. Although leaning toward the medical field, he thinks he may like to combine his passion for medicine with engineering and creativity for study in the field of bioengineering.

Excellent work Dylan! Congratulations, and we can’t wait to see how you move forward in your next few years here at North Shore!



October 2017 Student of the Month - Aryeh Hajibay


Aryeh Hajibay is a senior this year. What a great ride! As the writer for the “Get to Know” column in North Shore Notes, he was the interviewer being interviewed and approached it with the same level of commitment and enthusiasm he brought to his career at North Shore.

He is someone who looks way beyond the obvious; beyond the “what you see is what you get” to eke out the amazing. His smile is both magnetic and contagious reflecting his point of view of positivity; making the most of moments. In that regard, Aryeh availed himself of all that North Shore offers to fuel his passion for arguing on behalf of certain issues. He is captain of the Debate Team and a member of Model United Nations and both Yale and Penn Model Congress.

Aryeh’s interest in government and politics began when he was just eight years old and has continued and only increased with time. Aside from the academic aspects of his success, he attributes having good goal-oriented focus from his mom and a great sense of humor from his dad. He feels this will serve him well should he take the path into politics and certainly on any other path he may choose.

This past summer, with the help of Mrs. Robbins, Aryeh worked as an intern for Senator Chuck Schumer. He spent part of his time in the Immigration Section of Constituent Services where he was a liaison between government services and constituents in need of help with issues such as green card status. However, the part he most enjoyed was doing research and writing in the Press Department with the Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary to help the senator get the best press coverage based upon research into current issues. There were two projects he had to complete during the internship – presentation of a Policy Proposal and a weekly Press Project searching for non-partisan issues for the senator to address. Aryeh also marched in the Labor Day Parade and took a selfie with the senator.

The fall of his junior year, Aryeh worked in the congressional campaign for Tom Suozzi in his pursuit of being elected U.S. Representative for New York's 3rd district. He was part of a group of interns that went door to door discussing the election and encouraging constituents to vote. Aryeh really enjoys how “kids can actually influence politics.”

In addition to his more serious academic pursuits, Aryeh is the captain of the College Bowl team. He appreciates the team effort required to compete against other schools. It is a fun way to enhance self-knowledge with any trivia topic being game for points. Last year, one of his favorite events was participation in Book Trials with Dr. Maxwell where he made the All-Star round. The two teams created their own mock law firms and put the SAT’s on trial. Aryeh’s team was the Starlight Law Firm and won the case for standardized testing although this is against his personal point of view. That really takes a special kind of zealousness!

Aryeh also took action in the realm of community service becoming a Certified Peer Leader. He was invited by Mrs. Gold to attend peer leadership training. As a Peer Leader, he taught freshmen and spoke at Mrs. Rosenberg’s Anti-Bias Club and says this changed him to become more empathetic to kids feeling invisible in school. He reaches out to them and helps them feel a part of the school.

With regard to other favorite things about North Shore, Aryeh listed Dr. Maxwell’s 11th grade English class saying she helped bring out students’ inner voices, encourages creativity with relevant reading and discussion topics, and Mr. Miles’ AP US and European History classes, because his passion is contagious and his breadth of knowledge is something truly inspiring.

On a lighter note, Aryeh’s hobbies and other faves include a penchant for mystery and thriller books and movies citing author Dan Brown in particular, the edge-of-your-seat movie Gone Girl, fitness at the gym, sour gummy lips and the color yellow for the bright happy mood it imparts.

Aryeh concluded by speaking with enthusiasm about how his four years at North Shore affected him. “I found a family here. The walls of the school have nurtured me – a place where, all efforts all in, lead to achievement.”

Great job Aryeh! As the doors close behind you upon your graduation, the doors of success in your future are all wide open. Good luck!


September 2017 Student of the Month - Jason Kurlander



Who is Jason Kurlander? He is on the go, on the up and up, a brother to three older sisters (also North Shore alums), a young man of many diverse interests and talents, and full steam ahead to his future with the North Shore wind at his back.


Jason started his high school career as a freshman at North Shore. His passion is computer science in business, but his interests run the gamut. For example this past summer between his junior and senior years he was an intern, within the field of polymer science and technology, at Stony Brook University Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces Program Summer Research Program. Jason performed research of characterized microbial transglutaminase cross-linked gelatin hydrogels with encapsulated dental pulp stem cells (unspecialized cells having a property of self-renewal and can further differentiate into various types of specialized cells) for cell delivery in applications of regenerative medicine and will be submitted to the Siemens Competition this month. He worked in the lab alongside two other students from Central Yeshiva High School.


The previous summer Jason spent at Ramaz Upper School in NYC, in a six-week immersion engineering program called BlueStamp, for high school students to build projects they’re truly passionate about. Judging by his enthusiasm describing this project, he thoroughly enjoyed the experience. His selected project was an Autonomous Nerf Sentry Gun. Using a store bought Nerf gun, Jason rebuilt it with rewired electrical circuits, made a motorized wood stand, and installed a video camera enabling his invention to independently view, seek and shoot. (see pics)





In his freshman year, Jason worked on an independent engineering project with fellow student Ben Gilman, presented at the WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair and won a Merit award for their prototype of a Train Crossing Collision Prevention System to prevent cars from getting stuck on train tracks and being hit by trains.


Other academic awards and achievements include multiple Honor Roll placements every year, the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award for having the highest average in science for the first five semesters in high school and automatically considered for the Bausch + Lomb Science Scholarship at the University of Rochester. Not to miss the right brain creativity, in his junior year Jason placed at Level 4 at NYSSMA, with a near perfect score, playing the clarinet. Note that he only started playing the instrument in his sophomore year! He chose to play because his grandfather played, and now Jason inherited his clarinet and clearly his talent as well. He also plays the piano.


Jason’s co-curricular activities this year include Captain of the Math Team, College Bowl, President of the Investing Club where he enjoys using an online investment simulator and hasn’t lost money yet, and Jazz Band.


Even with all of the above, Jason manages to fit in some interesting fun. For the past few summers, he has been flying high on the trapeze at Eisenhower Park to overcome his fear of heights. He has mastered flips, turns and various types of catch and release moves. Wow! He also enjoys playing soccer with friends. By far the most interesting thing in the fun category is his love of magic. Jason volunteers at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center at Northwell Hospital by going room to room with a child life specialist and doing magic tricks for patients and their families. He said their reactions range from interested to just plain amazed. What a great way to share his passion!


As Jason begins his senior year at North Shore as the first Student of the Month for 2017-18, he is excited about his future and applying to colleges. He is a thoughtful and highly successful student with a great smile, who brings his high level of imagination and his A-game every day. Just in case you’re wondering…his favorite class is Mr. Nagel’s Calculus, fave food is Friendly’s Mint Chocolate Chip, and he does his best to be good at everything – but he can’t sing…


Congrats Jason! What a great way to start off your senior year!



2016 - 2017



June 2017 Student of the Month - Shani Kahan


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.,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!!




May 2017 Student of the Month - Ben Gilman

Question: What do science research, math, tennis, and coding have in common?

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.

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!




April 2017 Student of the Month - Caylie Tuerack


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 happensCongratulations Caylie!





February 2017 Student of the Month - Arie Monas





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! 

Congratulations Arie! 



March 2017 Student of the Month - Haley Klein



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.

Congratulations Haley! 




January 2017 Student of the Month - Eliana Mosseri


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!








December 2016 Student of the Month Daniel Zenou




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.”