q4Eleventh Grade Celebrates Chanukah With Rebbe Young. The sounds of divrei Torah and singing enhanced the delicious atmosphere in Hapina. Rabbi Aryeh Young, along with his eleventh grade Gemara iyun shiur, were celebrating Chanukah. With a menu consisting of noodle soup and choice of shwarma, schnitzel, or burger, the talmidim and their Rebbe had food for the body to go along with the food for the soul. Rabbi Young also recently had his whole shiur over for a West Hempstead Shabbaton and a Motzaei Shabbos trip to an “Ultimate Gaga Tournament Complex” where the boys competed in adult-sized gaga rinks and took the childhood sport to a whole new level.

At Rambam Mesivta, the rebbe/talmid kesher is a natural byproduct of the learning accomplished in shiur. The genuine way in which the rebbeim interact with the talmidim through challenging shiurim and thought-provoking discussions, and the manner in which they go out of their way to make sure they engage and connect with their talmidim in different ways and venues, creates an unaffected, real kesher built on a love of learning, shared values, and a desire to grow.

Fourth Annual Dodgeball Tournament Benefits Kids With Courage. Four teams. Four balls. For tzedakah. Over 50 students participated in Rambam Mesivta’s one of a kind 4-Corner-Dodgeball Tournament of Champions. They raised almost $1,000 to benefit the Kids With Courage Foundation, dedicated to helping children living with Type 1 Diabetes.

In 4-Corner Dodgeball, invented by Al Hecht, a’h, the Blue, Green/Yellow, White, and Red teams are sectioned off in different corners of the gym and are each given one ball to start a round. They are then allowed to throw at any of the other three teams. Each team gets points for the number of players remaining after each 90-second round.

As the final round approached, every team still had a chance to win. The trophies and medals were brought out to set the stage for a grueling 90 seconds that would determine the 2013/5774 champions of 4-Corner-Dodgeball! As the final whistle sounded, it was clear by the deft calculations that . . . every team had an unbelievable time! In the end, the White team emerged victorious and Yosef Chaim Septimus, a junior, was named the Al Hecht Memorial MVP.

A player from each team earned an all-star award for outstanding play and everyone from the White team won a medal. The student organizers of this event, Yaakov Nussbaum, Yarden Sokol, and Avi Martin, were then thanked, as were scorekeeper Tzvi Strauss and refs Akiva Hochbaum, Yoni Nirenberg, Yitz Milworn, Benny Besalel, and Mr. Goldman.

Rambam Mesivta is proud to find unique ways to raise awareness and funds for noble institutions. In addition to its fundraisers involving flag-football tournaments, home-run derbies, and basketball tournaments, Rambam has also raised significant donations through running cholent cook-offs, a “Gotcha” tournament, and a knee-hockey tournament.

“One of the great things about Rambam Mesivta is that the guys are comfortable here to be who they are and engage in their passions,” said assistant principal, Hillel Goldman, the faculty organizer of the 4-Corner-Dodgeball Tournament. “At Rambam, there is something for everyone, as our student activities motto is: ‘A team for every talent. A club for every curiosity. A place for every person.’”

Trip to Aviator. Surprise! After watching a video featuring a lone Israeli pilot being surrounded by 11 Egyptian MiG fighter planes and successfully shooting them all down, dominating the Mideast sky, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, rosh mesivta of Rambam, pointed out that it highlighted the theme of Chanukah, as one pilot took on an entire team of enemy pilots and emerged victorious. “This video exemplifies the idea of Chanukah of rabim byad miatim.” He also said it was a hint of things to come . . . a surprise trip to Aviator sports complex on Chanukah!

The next day, following Shacharis and a full morning seder, the student body gathered in the shul after lunch for Minchah. There was one more surprise in store before boarding the buses: recognizing excellence. Rabbi Friedman and Mr. Hillel Goldman awarded plaques to juniors Hudi Rosenfeld and Shlomo Sandler in recognition of their leadership in running the chesed committee. Hudi and Shlomo recently spearheaded a can drive, a tzedakah Chinese auction, and the school’s Chai Lifeline toy drive. Sam Cohen, Akiva Hochbaum, and Tzvi Strauss, all seniors, along with sophomore Evan Edelstein, earned School Service plaques as members of the school’s Masmidim program who both learn and actively help to facilitate the learning of the whole program. Freshman Ariel Blumstein and sophomores Jacob Roffe and Yakov Weinberger were recognized as masmidim of the semester.

All of the awardees were showered with applause from the other students, and then a fun-filled afternoon of sports, ranging from ice-skating to Frisbee to flag football was on. The football fields, the full-court basketball courts, and the great indoor soccer arena were used to their fullest extent.

Everyone had an amazing time and the night concluded with Ma’ariv back at the school and Snapple and Dunkin’ Donuts for everyone.

Chanukah at Rambam was a chagigah; a chesed Chinese auction; a trip to Aviator; a chance to strengthen the rebbe/talmid kesher, and a chance to recognize the greatness of the past and apply it to the present in the pursuit of chesed and achdus. v

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