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SALUTE TO THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES OF 2016





Now that the school year has come to a close, Community Magazine extends the sincerest of congratulations to our yeshivot’s top students. All of the young men and women featured here have displayed not just academic excellence, but sterling character traits – intelligence
and middot befitting a true Ben or Bat Yisrael. We salute their accomplishments below!

Yeshivat Or Hatorah

Eli Chalouh

Torah Studies Co-Valedictorian

Throughout his four years at Or Hatorah, Eli has been an outstanding student in all areas of Torah and secular studies. His hatmadah(diligent learning) lifted him to great heights of Torah knowledge and earned him the honor of Torah Studies Co-Valedictorian. The Yeshiva wishes Eli much success in his Torah studies in Mikdash Melech Jerusalem next year.

Eli says, “Or Hatorah is family. I can really attest to how great Or Hatorah is, as I am the FOURTH boy in my family to attend Yeshivat Or Hatorah High School. I will truly miss the Yeshiva.”

Chaim Halabani

Torah Studies Co-Valedictorian

Throughout high school, Chaim has exhibited remarkable diligence in all subjects. His hard work and dedication in and out of school has led him to earn the honor of Torah Studies Co-Valedictorian. The Yeshiva wishes him much success as he continues his Torah studies in Mikdash Melech Jerusalem.

Chaim says, “My experience at Yeshivat Or Hatorah was amazing. I built friendships that will lastforever. The education at Or Hatorah was superb, with great rabbis and great teachers. Not only did we learn a lot, but we had amazing Shabbatons and trips. Thank you, Rabbi Marcus!”

Yosef Ajami

Valedictorian in Secular Studies

Yosef has been an outstanding student of Torah and secular studies. His effort paid off and earned him the honor of Valedictorian  in Secular Studies. The yeshiva wishes Yosef much success in his studies next year, wherever they may be.

Yosef says, “I can truly say that my years at Yeshivat Or Hatorah have been the best of my life. Not only did I meet new people and acquire friends for life, but I also grew in my Torah studies. Or Hatorah has taught me so much and has had such a positive influence on me. For that, I am very grateful. Thank you Rabbi Marcus for everything!”

Shaare Torah Boys

High School

Jack Jrade

Valedictorian

Jack Jrade is an outstanding ben Torah who had a combined GPA of over 96%. Jack has stellar middotand is beloved by all students and faculty at Shaare Torah. He excelled in all areas academically, earning him an AP Scholar designation for high scores on several AP exams. At the same time, he excelled in Limudei Kodesh, completing three mesechtot(Taanit, Megilla, and Succah) over the past two years. Jack was also captain of our Yeshiva’s Torah Bowl team and a member of the Mock Beit Din team last year. Thanks, in part, to his participation, the team earned second place in Landers College’s national competition. Jack was accepted to both NYU and the MaCaulay Honors Program at Brooklyn College. Before beginning his college studies, however, he plans to attend Yeshivat Mikdash Melech in Israel this coming fall.

Joe Levy

Limudei Kodesh Salutatorian

Joe Levy excelled in Limudei Kodeshduring his four years at Shaare Torah, earning a GPA of 96% in his classes. He has a deep love of Torah learning, received from his revered Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Hillel Haber. On the recent senior trip, Joe woke up early to learnwith his Rabbis and even brought his Gemara to learn after hiking to the majestic Hanging Lake in Colorado. Joe is well rounded, earning an over-90 average on all of his Regents exam. He also earned 18 college credits over the past two years from the University at Albany and Touro College. As one of our star athletes, Joe was a significant member of our basketball, softball and flag football teams. Joe will be continuing his learning next year at Yeshivat Mikdash Melech in Israel and plans ultimately to attend Brooklyn College.

Eddie Harari

Secular Studies Salutatorian

Eddie Harari is known for his eloquent introduction of Governor Andrew Cuomo at last year’s rally for EITC held at Shaare Torah Elementary School. He earned a record 31 college credits during his four years at Shaare Torah, combining his courses through the University at Albany, and his study senior year at Touro College Ave J with AP courses. His scores of 3 or above on 3 or more AP exams earned him an AP Scholar award. He graduates, too, with a New York State Real Estate License earned through our new program with Career Web School.

Eddie is a student who excels at secular studies but values Torah learning. Over the past four years he completed three mesechetot (Taanit, Megilla, and Succah).

He was a key member of our Mock Beit Din team that placed second in the country. He was also captain of and star pitcher for our Shaare Torah softball team that won fifteen straight regular season games. Eddie was accepted to Baruch College. However, as a true ben Torah, he will be pursuing Torah study in Israel next year at Yeshivat Mikdash Melech.

Magen David Yeshivah High School

Esti Hazkour

Valedictorian

On the outside, Esti is cheerful and bubbly. Her trademark giggle makes her endearing to all. Even when havinga difficult day, she forces a smile on her face. Underneath that soft exterior, though, is a very principled person. Esti’s essence is founded on deep core values. She has a strong love of and respect for Torah, and is committed to living by it completely. A spiritual person, she is self-motivated in regards to her own personal growth. Also admirable is the fact that Esti respects everyone around her unconditionally – and for that she is loved and respected by all. Esti is a recipient of the NYS Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Jack Hanon

Valedictorian

When Jack walks into the room, your day suddenly improves. With a big smile and a warm, respectful greeting, he is ready for action. Jack is a diligent and highly analytical student whose academic achievements are second to none. He is someone you can learn from, whether it be academically or because of his middotand character. Jack studies to learn, not just to get a good grade. He truly respects Torah and has excelled in Mishna and Gemara. Jack is the type of person who always aims high and usually reaches his goals. Jack was the recipient of the New York State Academic Excellence Scholarship. In the fall, he will study Business and Real Estate at Baruch College as part of their Deans Scholars Program.

Olga Zleta

Salutatorian

Olga is an exceptional personwho exhibits the finest of character traits and middot tovot. Olga is so very pleasant to be around, as she is warm, kind, sweet and always smiling. Above all, she is supremely respectful to teachers, authorities and peers alike.

What stands out about Olga, however, is her unique passion and love for Torah learning. She is driven to study Torah, both formally and informally, in her own free time. Olga’s face glows when she is inspired by a new idea or fresh information, and she is always eager to share herinsights. Not surprisingly, Olga embodies Torah ideals and values, and lives her life accordingly. She is dedicated to academic and career pursuits, and more importantly to her family and friends.

David Yazdi

Salutatorian

David is a Magen David Scholar Athlete. He was the captain of the Varsity Basketball team and also one of the top performing students academically. A gifted athlete, David has the ability to see the game in slow motion, and react accordingly, scoring at will from anywhere on the court. This is also true about David’s work ethic and commitment to Torah. He is not afraid to ask questions and tries to find ways to increase the quality of his Torah learning. His deep understanding of the Torah’s values and teachings, along with everything he has learned, has provided David with the keen insight to know, or inquire when unsure, the right thing to do. David was the recipient of the New York State Academic Excellence Scholarship and will be attending Baruch College this fall.

Hillel Yeshivah
High School

Rebecca Sasson

Salutatorian

Rebecca Sasson, one of this year’s salutatorians, brings enthusiasm and joy to her every pursuit. As student council vice-president she was instrumentalin planning programs that enriched the school. A student ambassador, Rebecca has also participated in Art Club, Mock Trial and Science League.

Under Rebecca’s leadership, Hillel won the annual yeshiva-wide Rikudia competitions. She has also choreographedintricate and beautiful dance numbers for our annual girls Cantata. Rebecca’s passion for art led her to teach art skills to school-age children and to pursue internships in the field of graphic and interior design. Currently, she works as a graphic designer.

Rebecca’s kindness comes through in the countless hours she spends volunteering at Sephardic Bikur Holim. Head of the food pantry and visiting committees, she is also a senior executive of the DSN High School Committee. A recipient of the Keter Shem Tov award for middot tovotat the National Honor Society program, Rebecca is a wonderful young woman with a sterling character and huge heart.

Millie Hakim

Valedictorian

Millie Hakim, this year’s valedictorian, has certainly enriched Hillel Yeshivah High School. Co-editor of the Senior Yearbook, and captain of the girls’ soccer team, she also participated in the softball team, debate team, Model UN, and College Bowl. As a student ambassador, she helped create a warm and welcoming environment for potential and incoming freshmen.

For many years, Millie has been visiting senior citizens for Sephardic Bikur Holim. She also participated twice in the SBH Disney Half Marathon. Last summer, for Young Magen David, Millie helped plan a Three Ball Tournament and a Magen Ezra event in memory of Rabbi Labaton, A”H. Additionally, each week, for the last two years, Millie has visited a teen through the Hand-in-Hand Program and taught her cooking and baking skills. Millie also organized this year’s very successful Hillel Yeshiva Blood Drive in memory of Rabbi Ezra Labaton, A”H.

Millie has been a member of the National Honor Society for three years. We know her conscientious spirit, humility, love of learning and compassion for others will guarantee her success when she attends Business School next year.

Ben Cohen

Salutatorian

Ben Cohen, one of this year’s salutatorians, is a sophisticated thinker who
also possesses a great sense of humor. Co-editor of the Yearbook, he has competed in Math League tournaments and College Bowl throughout high school. One of his fondest memories at Hillel involve his lab work in AP Bio. Showing his great love of Israel, Ben’s participated in the “Write On For Israel” program, which culminated in a trip to Israel, where he learned how to
combat anti-Semitism on college campuses.

As a student ambassador and member of National Honor Society, Ben has
been a wonderful role model and mentor to freshmen and peers alike. As a volunteer, Ben has devoted many hours to the young people from the
Friendship Circle. In his spare time, Ben also raises money for “The Gomez Foundation for Mill House” which is dedicated to preserving the oldest
standing Jewish dwelling in the United States. Ben’s kindness, wisdom and thoughtfulness are appreciated by all who know him. We know that he will continue to flourish academically and spiritually next year.

Yeshivat Darche Eres (YDE)

Saul J. Kassin High School for Boys

Isaac Esses

Valedictorian

Isaac is an outstanding student who has earned the highest overall grade point average, excelling in both Limude Kodeshand General Studies during his four years at YDE High School. YDE’s high honors level program is rigorous and extremely challenging, andIsaac maintained a consistent level of excellence throughout high school.

Isaac is a member of the Honor Society, and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll in all four years of high school. He has achieved the impressive status of AP Scholar, and has impressive results in Advanced Placement courses in European History, English Language, Psychology and Calculus.

Isaac is editor of the YDE Newsletter, Captain of the chess team, and an organizer and host of volleyball tournaments to benefit the Senior Fund. He is a distinguished role model for the other students through his outstanding academic achievements and his sterling character.

Isaac has been awarded an Academic Excellence Award, and has been accepted to Baruch College. He is the son of Sarah and Eddie Esses.

Abraham Sutton

Salutatorian

Abraham has achieved outstanding success during his four years at YDE H.S. He is a deeply involved intellectual who has excelled in his Judaic and Secular studies. Abraham has received numerous accolades for his accomplishments, which have included high scores in class and SAT examinations. He is Captain of the Mathematics Club and a feature writer for the school newspaper, having contributed to, and edited, multiple articles.

Abraham is a member of the Honor Society, and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll in all four years of high school, with numerous additional awards. He has taken Advanced Placement courses in European History, U.S. History, English Language and Calculus. He has organized and catalogued the YDE school library and organized sports tournaments to benefit the senior class. He is a cantor at his synagogue, and packages food for the needy at the Sephardic Center.

Abraham has been admitted to the Macaulay Honors Program at Baruch College. He is the son of Lori and Paul Sutton.

Shlomo Bassoul

Salutatorian

Ranked at the top of his class, Shlomo is respected not only for his intellect, but also for his maturity, sense of responsibility and care for others. Shlomo combines high academic achievement in all Judaic and Secular subjects, with strong volunteering and
community service.

Shlomo completed AP courses in European History, U.S. History and English Language, and has achieved stellar scores in his studies. Shlomo is a member of the Honor Society, and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll during all four years of high school. He has an in-depth comprehension of Talmudic and Biblical studies and helps weaker students in all subjects. He is a contributing writer for the school journal, and Editor of the school’s biweekly publication. Shlomo volunteers at Sephardic Bikur Holim, assisting in fundraisers; he also volunteers at Aishel Shabbat where he packages food for the needy.

Shlomo has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship
by Brooklyn College. Shlomo is the son of Becky and
Dr. Nissim Bassoul.

Ikey Sardar

Valedictorian

Ikey is an especially gifted student in both Limude Kodeshand General Studies. Ikey has a great capacity for finding solutions to difficult problems, particularly in Gemara, a subject at which he excels. Ikey is a gifted speaker and has often given in-depth presentations to the entire faculty and student body.

Ikey is a member of the Honor Society, and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll in all four years of high school. He has taken Advanced Placement courses in European History, English Language and Calculus. He is a contributing writer on the school’s newsletter, a member of the football team, and the starting pitcher on the softball team. A good friend and one who cares deeply about others, Ikey often spends his free time packing and delivering food to the needy through the Sephardic Bikur Holim. He is also a volunteer at Chai Lifeline, helping children suffering from cancer.

Ikey has been awarded the Sage Scholarship at Hunter College. Ikey is the son of Berta and Jack Sardar.