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30
Apr

A Week In Pictorial Review

VTHS Improv Team attends ComedySportz College Show!

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Ok. This did not actually happen this week. It happened last Thursday, but it was awesome and I wanted to share it. I am behind the camera and the gentleman on the right is Tom Clark our ComedySportz High School League coach.

Monday 4/27/15: Staff Development Day!

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This monday was a half day for our students as we had another wonderful staff development half-day program. The program began with a great Sushi lunch followed by our continued work on our vision and mission of VTHS. We focused on the development of a new tagline that represents the amazing teaching and learning that happens at VTHS and then focused on the theme of day which was team building. In order to achieve our continued goal of enhancing the cohesion and collaboration among our team we headed to Ventura Blvd for some competitive rounds of Bowling at PINZ. Rabbi Samuels led the way with bowling over 200 and inspired many of us to get those strikes and spares. We had fun, enjoyed each others company, proudly crowned the winning team and left for the day a stronger more connected staff!

Tuesday 4/28/15: WASC Visit!

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This Tuesday we had our WASC Mid-Cycle review. The team that came were extremely impressed with our progress towards the action plans developed three year ago. Throughout the report words like “outstanding”, “tremendous growth” and “laudable achievement” set the tone for a an extremely positive report. They gladly confirmed what we already knew. Valley Torah High School continues to shine and grow as a Jewish educational institution dedicated to excellent teaching and learning, while producing future leaders of the Jewish community. To qoute the report, “[T]he passion for education and shared vision of all the staff members at VTHS is magnificant. The ongoing strive for excellence is highly commendable and a reflection of the strength, professionalism and commitment of the school administration and leadership team.” A special thank you to all those who assisted with the visit and, above all, thank you to our entire staff who made it clear to the visiting committee what we stand for.

 

Wednesday 4/29/15: Aerial Robotics Club

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The new VTHS Ariel Robotics Club is in full effect! This week (we meet every Wednesday during lunch) was our third meeting and the students are working on finishing soldering all the electronics to their drones. We hope to complete the drones in the next couple of weeks and begin flight training for the end of the year competition!

Thursday 4/30/15: National College Fair

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This Thursday I checked out the National College Fair held in Pasadena with some our Juniors! There were hundreds of colleges and Universities represented from around the world and thousands of students in attendance. I have been promoting the fair for a while in our weekly newsletter and certainly recommend any and all high school students checking it out next time it comes around. You can find out when and where they are held here: http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/

Friday 5/1/15: Celebrating a Student

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I recently began celebrating a student each week. This is always a difficult choice, but this week I have chosen Mr. Gavriel Menlo. Gavriel is a young man who is a wonderful student, is a good friend to his peers, kind hearted, respectful of his Rebbeim and teachers and truly emulates what it means to be a VTHS student. This Jones Soda is for you Gavriel!

30
Apr

Shabbos Parashas Acharei-Kedoshim

Shabbos Parashas Acharei-Kedoshim 5775

28
Apr

Win $750 Costco Spree or MacBook Air

VTHS Auction Prize 10 – $750 Costco Bying Spree

VTHS Auction Prize 11 – MacBook Air

Auction 2105 (prize 10-11)

 

This years VTHS Auction will be held at Em Habanim in North Hollywood on May 3, 2015. Doors open at 6:00 PM.

The amazing prizes you can win include an Apple Watch, iPads, MacBooks, a 10 ticket package to Disneyland, a DJI Phantom Drone and much more. Please download the Prize Catalog and the Order Form.

Dinner will be served and ComedySportz will entertain you.

You do not have to present to win.

 

24
Apr

Shabbaton Update

Camping at the beach was a blast. Everyone kept warm at the bonfire. On to Tarzana.

23
Apr

Shabbos Parashas Tazria-Metzora

BREAKING NEWS: There will be a second minyan this Friday at 7:15

Shabbos Parashas Tazria-Metzora 5775

23
Apr

10th Grade Shabbaton

Beach  - 2   The 10th grade boys left for their Shabbaton today. They are camping out tonight at Leo Carillo State Beach and spending Shabbos in Tarzana.

23
Apr

Valley Torah Girls Making A Difference

On Wednesday, Valley Torah students gathered in the social hall to watch an inspiring video clip called, “Hospital Window.” The chesed heads spoke about how during Sefiras Haomar we should work on being especially nice and carrying towards one another, since Rabbi Akiva’s students died from not having the proper respect for one another during this time period. One never knows what small act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. The girls then were each given an envelope with another student’s name and address on it within which they wrote personal messages of positivity and love to their peers.  The students can’t wait to receive their letters in a few days. Remember to always be kind, for you never know who you are affecting.

#VTMAKINGADIFFERENCE

23
Apr

Dean’s Office – Tazria-Metzora

This is the latest segment of the weekly video series from Rabbi Stulberger – You’ve Been Called to the Dean’s Office. It’s a short (four minute) message on a timely Torah topic.

22
Apr

Bone Marrow Registration Drive

Bone Marrow CAPTURE

22
Apr

Reflecting on the Principal Project

It is easy to look at a finished product and see how all the hard work was worth it. It is much more difficult to realize the benefits of one’s unrelenting effort in the middle of a process and take pride in the unfinished work. However, this week I decided to do just that. You see, after we got back from Pesach vacation the third phase of the Principal Project was due. As a quick reminder, the Principal Project is an independent passion-based research project in which 9th grade students research professions they are intrigued by, 10th graders research colleges and Universities, 11th graders work to solve a local issue, and 12th graders develop solutions for a global problem. As this was a new program for the students, at the start of the year it was met with a mix of enthusiasm and hesitation. Yet, as I took a step back this week to read their phase three submissions, which was a narrative of their project and research, I have to say I am impressed and proud of our students.

The 9th and 10th graders have chosen professions and Universities that any parent would be proud of. As Principal, what I personally take the most pride in is the amount of effort our boys put into their research. There have been many instances of freshman coming into my office to tell me about what it takes to get a job in their chosen profession, the mean salary and other things they never even thought about before they began their research. Sophomores would stop me in the hall and let me know about graduation rates, minimum GPA’s and why their chosen University had the best “this” program and “that” program. It has been wonderful to see. The 11th and 12th graders, focused on solving problems in the world with a social entrepreneurship lens, have also blown me away.

Here are a few examples of the social entrepreneurship projects our Juniors and Seniors are tackling:

  • A campaign to fight racism
  • A method to make donating used clothings, books, furniture, etc. easier
  • An electronic sensor to automatically stop drunk driving
  • A program to decrease smoking among young people in third world countries due to hunger
  • A campaign to reduce local pollution
  • A method to reduce poverty in areas of Africa
  • A program to get medical supplies to third world countries by enlisting local hospitals

I look forward to sharing the final products with the world, as it is already evident how amazing these projects will be. In the mean time, I am glad I took a step back and reviewed what they are working on, to share these proud reflections with you.


Good to luck to all my students as you perfect your projects in phase four. We’re all excited to see the finished work in phase five!

22
Apr

Yom Hashoah 5775/2015

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Commemorating Yom Hashoah this year among the number of different messages, two stood out for me as they were particularly germane to the current situation the Jewish people find themselves. Even though Yom Hasoah has been a fixture in our calendar for the last 70 years these messages had not been as relevant then as they are now.

The first message was the recognition that today’s survivors are not the generation that escaped Nazi Germany, that lived through the labor camps and or the notorious concentration camps. Today’s survivors are their children. While the distinction “survivor” is apt even when describing the next generation the conferring of this title is unfortunately theirs by default. The number of actual survivors has diminished to the extent that one needs to look far and wide to find them. This reality hit me the hardest last may when on May 8th, 2014 Mendel Flaster a Holocaust survivor, who my family and I had come to know fondly, sadly, passed away. Mendel was 19 when the war broke out in 1939. He went through 14 concentration camps and through a combination of self-care, self-sacrifice, and Divine assistance (Siyata D’Ismaya) was able to survive. His powerful message to us was the importance of helping others and he always attributed his survival as being a direct result of his altruism.

The second message was one that Rabbi Stulberger during a special assembly at school and later Rabbi Pini Dunner at a Yom Hashoah event held in his shul (that some of our students  were fortunate enough to attend) shared. They both highlighted the resemblance of current events around the world with the years preceding World War II. They cautioned about the dangers of being complacent and ignoring the rearing of the ugly monster known as anti-semitism.

I am not sure if Yom Hashoah was placed in the calendar so close to Pesach for a specific reason but it seems to me that it echoes the Vehi Sheomda passage that we read during the Seder. Lets us never forget that it is HKBH who ultimately is our savior.

Felt tips

The following is from a news article I read last week.

A Brussels-based European Jewish umbrella organization has launched a campaign which calls on Europeans to wear a Kippah, the traditional Jewish skullcap, and other Jewish symbols to fight rising anti-Semitism on the continent. They are being asked to film themselves walking down the street to show their opposition to rising anti-Semitism.

“The idea is to get as many non-Jews as possible to wear Jewish symbols and show solidarity, and that they are a part of the silent majority that is not anti-Semitic.

While I think this is an interesting initiative I feel the emphasis for us should be on the reason we wear a Kippa. We do so to remind us constantly that we are standing before our creator. The purpose of the reminder is to help us be aware of whose presence we are in and to act accordingly. By following in the footsteps of Hashem we are able to be a light unto the nations. This message needs to be shared with our children who I fear are letting go of their Kippas to blend in with their environment. We need to stand proud of our mission in this world and never shirk our responsibility to Hashem and his creations.

22
Apr

Aerial Robotics

Aerial Robotics Club in full swing! Teams learned how to solder in preparation to build their competitive drones!

22
Apr

Beis Medrash Bochrim Arrive

Four young men from Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim, NY (two of them home-grown: Ariel Darrison & Nosson Felt)  arrived last week to learn in our beis medrash and to mentor our boys. They will be staying until Shavuos. Their presence has already greatly enhanced the atmosphere.

19
Apr

Auction 2015

This years VTHS Auction will be held at Em Habanim in North Hollywood on May 3, 2015. Doors open at 6:00 PM.

The amazing prizes you can win include an Apple Watch, iPads, MacBooks, a 10 ticket package to Disneyland, a DJI Phantom Drone and much more. Please download the Prize Catalog and the Order Form.

Dinner will be served and ComedySportz will entertain you.

You do not have to present to win.

The deadline for the early-bird discount is April 26, so order now!

Auction Ad 2015

16
Apr

Shabbos Parashas Shemini

Shabbos Parashas Shemini 5775