The middle school girls had an amazing Shabbaton this past week at the Dovid Oved Retreat Center in Running Springs. The theme of the Shabbos was “Shabbos, The Heartbeat of the Week.” The girls had inspiring and fun events throughout Shabbos that connected to the theme. From Friday afternoon with fun “prepare for Shabbos” races, to an insightful and relatable panel discussion led by our Bais Yaakov of Los Angeles chaperones, to a late-night oneg and hysterical game of Freeze and Justify, the girls
were kept very busy!
Shabbos day continued with an incredible Shabbos themed round-robin workshop given by our staff and Moros. The overall feel of Shabbos was one of Achdus and the girls exemplary Middos shined throughout the entire Shabbaton. It was a Shabbos where the girls were not only able to bond with each other, but they were also uplifted and plugged into the significance and beauty of Shabbos Kodesh.
The girls gave beautiful Divrei Torah at the Seudos that were elegantly set up and everyone participated in the heartfelt Zemiros and singing. Walking around the Shabbaton and seeing the girls with smiles on their faces, positive attitudes, Achdus and amazing manners was so special to see!
We escorted the Shabbos queen with Havdalah and immediately broke into a lively dance celebration followed by a delicious milchig Melava Malka. Although we could not believe how quickly the time went, after the Melava Malka it was time to load onto the buses and head back down the mountain.
Thank you to all of the staff members and their families who joined us in Running Springs and helped make this Shabbaton possible. A special thank you to Mrs. Shaina Davidowitz and Mrs. Esther Malka Heller for planning and executing this memorable Shabbaton, to the Moros and office staff for their participation and support, and especially to the girls themselves who made the Shabbaton such a beautiful experience for all! What an amazing two days we had with these incredible Talmidos.
The energy in the room was palpable as over 60 Yeshiva Ketana mothers, grandmothers and friends came together for the first ever Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles Kosher Chopped competition. Hosted by world-renowned chef and cookbook author Naomi Nachman, five teams came together for a fun and “healthy competition”, as a sold-out audience looked on. Each cooking station was equipped with burners, pans, water, oil and a surprise bowl with ingredients the teams were required to use including; mandarin oranges, quinoa, popcorn and salmon. The teams also had access to a make-shift pantry filled with fruits, veggies, sauces, spices and many basic household cooking ingredients. They had 30 minutes to create a dish that incorporated all of their secret ingredients. Each team came up with beautifully plated and unique dishes, which included salmon wontons, fried salmon and more. The winning team wowed the judges with a unique side-plated blackened salmon on a quinoa patty garnished with popcorn, veggie slaw, mandarin oranges and a radish. Congratulations to Yeshiva Ketana parents Mrs. Leah Freeman, Rachel Leah Keradnam, Mrs. Ahuva Kovitz, Mrs. Shira Levine and Mrs. Nechama Nafisi on winning the competition! A special thank you to Mrs. Naomi Nachman, Bubby Linda Rubenstein and Mrs. Elana Berman for all of their hard work preparing and executing this lovely event.
On Monday, December 19th, the first grade girls visited with the residents of Atria Tarzana. What a treat it was for the residents, students and our teachers to experience our first in-person Nursing Home visit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The girls prepared lively Chanukah songs that they enthusiastically performed for the residents. The singing was followed by wood dreidel decorating. Both the residents and students immensely enjoyed decorating dreidels with colorful markers. Their finished products were lovely. Our girls finished off their visit with some lively games of dreidel which, of course, including enjoying some delicious chocolate gelt. We are so grateful to be meeting with the residents in-person again and are truly looking forward to visiting again with them soon.
On Wednesday, December 21st, the Elementary and Middle School divisions took a very cool trip to Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center in Van Nuys. The girls loaded the buses right after davening and headed straight for the ice rink. Equipped with lots of warm layers they got off the bus and lined right up to get their skates. Once the girls were all booted up, they got on the ice and had a great time. From beginners (equipped with walkers) to seasoned skaters, everyone had a blast. Our seniors even surprised the rest of the girls and their Moros with a lively on-ice Chanukah performance.
Once the girls returned back to Yeshiva it was time for the boys to have their turn on the ice. The boys bused to the ice rink where they booted up and got on the ice. Together with their Rebbeim and teachers they enjoyed lively music, laughs and some healthy competition. B”H, the staff of the ice rink was very impressed by our talmidim and talmidos and their polite and refined behavior at the rink. We are so proud that they made such a Kiddush Hashem!
This past November, the Yeshiva celebrated the completion of a successful $600,000+ crowd funding campaign that said good-bye to the budget blackhole and gave donors control over where and how their funds are spent.
Prospective donors were given the choice of supporting one of three integral budgetary needs; Student Scholarships, Facilities Improvements and Expansion, or Educational Programming.
What was the driving force behind this groundbreaking fundraising paradigm shift? Rabbi Rubenstein has always believed that fiduciary responsibility to our donors and stakeholders is of utmost importance. Since founding the Yeshiva eleven years ago his goal has been to ensure that funds are spent responsibly. This campaign helped to spotlight that goal and really bring it to the forefront of our constituents’ minds and hearts.
The Yeshiva kicked off the campaign with an Ice Cream celebration for our over 300 students and 65 faculty and staff members. This “cool” surprise helped generate excitement around the campaign.
It was an all-hands-on-deck effort! Parents, Grandparents and students were all busy getting the campaign buzz out to their family, friends and networks. The seniors even volunteered their time to make phone calls and spread the word. BH, everyone’s hard work paid off as the Yeshiva surpassed our $600,000 goal.
Thank everyone who supported the campaign through their time and resources- it really takes a (Valley) Village to make a campaign like this successful.
What an inspiring and uplifting Haschalas Gemara breakfast we had! On Sunday, October 2nd, the 5th grade celebrated their introduction to Gemara with a beautiful and festive breakfast. The students’ fathers and some grandfathers had the opportunity to be the first to learn Gemara with their children. We had the zechus to hear Divrei Torah from their Rebbe, Rabbi Apter. After the moving Divrei Torah and spirited dancing, the students and their parents were treated to a delicious breakfast.
On Monday, August 29th, the Yeshiva hosted a welcome back bowling event for our Elementary and Middle School students. The afternoon started with a girls’ bowling event, where mother’s were invited to spend time with their daughters and other mothers from their daughter’s classes.
Shortly after the completion of the mother-daughter event, the Yeshiva welcomed fathers and sons for more bowling fun and excitement.
All of the students were treated to delicious Italian Ices on their way out.
These events are so important for both the students and parents as they give the children an opportunity to reunite with their classmates after a long and exciting summer. Just as important, it gives the parents a much appreciated opportunity to catch up and schmooze with other parents, something that was sorely missed during the pandemic.
On November 24th the PTA welcomed an excited group of over thirty-five Mothers for their first in-person event since the pandemic began. The room was decorated beautifully, and the parent volunteers set-up refreshments that included a tropical fruit platter, sushi and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Mrs. Shaindel Blaustein, an artist and Yeshiva Ketana Mother, led the paint night by introducing the design and explaining the different painting techniques. She distributed the pallets, paints, brushes, and stencils and the ladies got to work. Each participant went home with a unique and colorful work of art. Most importantly, they enjoyed the long-awaited opportunity to reunite and schmooze, in-person. A special thank you to Mrs. Berman and Mrs. Mendelson for setting the room so beautifully and to Mr. and Mrs. Irving and Linda Rubenstein for once again opening their home for the Yeshiva.
Throughout the year the Elementary girl’s have had the opportunity to explore in depth various middos through our monthly Rosh Chodesh assembles. Each month the girl’s were introduced to a different middah in the form of a color (e.g. grateful green) and throughout the month the girl’s had the opportunity to learn about and internalize each important character trait. Monday’s achdus performance was a meaningful culmination to this year’s program. Each class choose a color andcorrespondingMiddah to present musically to the crowd full of mothers, grandmothers and special friends. It was truly a site to be seen as the performance culminated with all of the classes coming together to unite as a harmonious blend. Thank you to the teachers, staff and Mrs. Rita Freylicher for her time working with and accompanying the children so beautifully. A special thank you to Mrs. Esther MalkaHeller for all of the hard work and vision that brought this musical vision to life!
This past Sunday, May 26th, the preschool hosted its annual “mommy and me” play date. The goal of the event is for new and returning families to meet and begin building friendship for the upcoming school year and beyond. The children got to explore the outdoor classroom including the mud kitchen, life size easel and, of course, lots of play dough! Mother’s used this as an opportunity to exchange contact information while the children fostered existing friendship and formed new relationships. What a great way to transition into the next school year.