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Now that the school year has come to a close, Community Magazineextends the sincerest of congratulations to our yeshivot’s top students. Being named Valedictorian or Salutatorian has come to symbolize one of the highest academic honors a student can achieve in high school. Community Magazine ispleased to introduce this year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorians!

Yeshivat Or Hatorah



Throughout his four years at Or Hatorah, Daniel has been an outstanding student in all areas, including both Judaic and secular studies. Daniel earned the highest overall grade point average in all subjects. His hatmadah(diligent learning) in and out of yeshiva, learning before shaharitevery morning, an extra masechet gemarawith a havruta(study partner) nightly, lifted him to great heights of Torah knowledge, and earned him the honor of Judaic Studies Valedictorian. Together with his sterling middot(character traits), tefilot(prayers) and strong yirat shamayim(fear of Heaven), he brings much pride and honor to his family, friends rabbis and yeshiva.

The Yeshiva wishes Daniel much success as he sets out on becoming a future leader in the community as he continues his Torah studies next year in Mikdash Melech, in Jerusalem.

David Allaham


Throughout his four years at Or Hatorah, David has exhibited remarkable diligence in all his subjects. His hard work and dedication has led him to earn the honor of General Studies Valedictorian, as he achieved the highest grade point averagein secular studies throughout high school. He was a role model for all, due to his diligence in his studies, tefilot(prayers), exemplary middot(character traits), and warmth.

The Yeshiva wishes David much success as he sets out on becoming a future leader in the community as he continues next year to further his knowledge, in college and bet medrash.

Yeshivat Shaare Torah

Irving Bijou 

Limude KodeshSalutatorian

Over the past four years, Irving Bijou has distinguished himself as a refined talmid hachamwith sterling middot. He is beloved by both the students and faculty at Shaare Torah. His hatmadahhas lifted him to great heights of Torah knowledge. Irving has a deep love of learning, which was imbued in him by the revered Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Hillel Haber, shlita. Irving has been a mainstay of our evening learning programs and has completed Masechet Succah, Masechet Megillah, and Masechet Taanit. Irving is a ba’al koreh and has frequently led the prayers over his high school years.Irving plans to continue his learning at Yeshivat Mikdash Melech in Israel next year.

Irving reflected, “I am grateful for the skills I acquired that have enabled me to open a gemaraand learn independently. I will forever cherish the love and commitment of theShaare staff.”

Menahel, Rabbi Yosef Abboud, said, “Irving is on a path to become a great Jewish educator in the future.”

Chayim Janani

Judaic & General Studies Valedictorian

Chayim has distinguished himself as a role model for all through his outstanding academic achievements and fine character. He has been an exceptional student in both Judaic and secular studies. Chayim made many siyumim in both the early learning and night programs that the Yeshiva offers. Throughout his high school years Chayim was focused on his future, accumulating college credits by taking AP Biology, AP Physics, and AP European History.

Additionally, he attended the Harvard University Pre-College program as well as the Baruch Leadership Academy. His impressive SAT score and GPA earned him acceptances to Brooklyn College Scholars, Baruch Honors, Hunter College, Lehman College, and John Jay College. Chayim hopes to study in Israel next year and then attend Brooklyn College Scholars, where he received a generous scholarship. He plans to study medicine and become a physician.

 Chayim will remember how Rabbi Hillel Haber and all of the rabbis of Shaare Torah sacrificed themselves to help him and every studentreach their full potential. They served as the ultimate Torah role models and their greatness influenced all. They provided a foundation of Torah and mitzvot and taught how to use those values in daily life.

 Menahel, Rabbi Yosef Abboud said, “Chayim has the tenacity and determination to succeed in any field he chooses as a real ben Torah.”

Isaac Nahmoud

General Studies

Isaac Nahmoud has always performed near the top of the class in all subjects, in both Judaic and general studies. Particularly in secular studies, he challenged himself in all areas, taking advanced placement courses in Chemistry, European History, Biology, and Physics, as well as English honors this past year. Isaac’s diligence made him a model student, with consistently high grades. His manners and respect both inside and outside the classroom endeared him to all. Isaac plans to learn in Israel this coming fall and then to return to attend college. He received a scholarship for academic excellence from the University of the State of New York. His goal is to become a pharmacist in the future.

 Isaac remarked, “My experience at Yeshivat Shaare Torah was terrific. The education at Shaare 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 Hillel Haber, the Rosh Yeshiva, for being a tremendous role model and pushing me to adapt to the environment of Torah and gemara. To all my rabbis, your dedication and encouragement is unparalleled.”

 Principal Rabbi Rafael Malavsky said, “Isaac’s outstanding work ethic and sterling middothave earned him the respect and affection of all, and will B’ezrat Hashemlead him to success in all of his endeavors.”

Hillel Yeshivah High School

Nathan Botton


Nathan Botton has enhanced each of his classes at Hillel with his keen mind and devotion to learning. He has a particular love for gemara, physics, and chemistry. His many extracurricular activities have included participation in Model UN, AIPAC, College Bowl, and Math Club. He also took part in Student Ambassador training, and as an ambassador he was a wonderful role model and mentor to freshmen entering the school. Throughout high school, Nathan has been a member of National Honor Society, and this year his superb talent for writing was on display in his role as
editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Nathan’s commitment to hesed
is evidenced in his several years of participation with the SBH Youth Committee. He was in charge of SBH Tutoring and Stocking the Pantry, and his energy and enthusiasm motivated many of his peers to be involved.

In addition to his intellectual abilities, Nathan was a tremendous asset to Hillel’s soccer team, and was a dynamic leader in color war and other activities promoting school spirit.  In his spare time he enjoys running, playing football, reading, and relaxing with friends. When asked what made Hillel so special, Nathan stated, “The close relationships and bonds I was able to make with my grade and my teachers. And I will always remember the strong sense of community within the school.”

Alex Dweck


Alex Dweck brings his love for learning and his thirst for knowledge to all of his classes, but his love of Torah expresses itself in his excelling in the highest level of shiurim, and being committed to Torah study outside of school. He also derives particular joy from AP physics and AP calculus. According to Alex, this is because “they made me use my brain to solve difficult logical problems, which always made me feel good when I got them right.”

His extracurricular activities have included Leadership Academy, Math Club, and College Bowl. Alex is a member of National Honor Society, and this year, as Student Council Vice President, he did a stellar job bringing exciting programs to the school, being responsive to students’ requests, and planning a phenomenal and inspiring seminar. Alex’s dedication to acts of kindness is illustrated by his many years baking and delivering for SBH, and participating in Ball for Israel. Alex excelled on the tennis and softball teams throughout his four years at Hillel, and hewas thrilled when his team won the championship in both sports in his junior year. In his spare time, Alex likes to golf, play football, and tennis. Alex shared, “What made Hillel so special and unique for me was the relationship I was able to have with my teachers. They weren’t just vehicles to feed me information, but rather they cared about me and wanted me to succeed. I knew I could always go to them for help when I needed it, which always made the tough times easier to get through.”

Magen David Yeshivah Celia Esses High School

Barry HanonValedictorian

I am most grateful to MDYHS for offering me countless social and educational opportunities over the last four years. I never doubt that through the people I have met in Magen David, I have increased myown capability, became highly involved in the world of hesed, and learned the virtues of a proper Jew. Therefore, I am honored to have been in connection with the rabbis, teachers, and students at school, and I believe that my transformation as a person is something that will benefit me for the rest of my life.

I have been accepted to Princeton University and Macaulay Honors at Baruch College. I plan on attending Princeton in pursuit of an economics degree with a certificate in computer science.

Tanya Bukai  Valedictorian

Upon graduating, I am most grateful to MDYHS for their guidance in Torah learning and in secular studies. The teachers are all so caring and professional, and not only shared their knowledge, but also created bonds with us, and gave us advice that we could apply to our daily lives. The College Office and Career Services Office have also been extremely helpful. They assisted tremendously with the college applications process, and provided us with an amazing opportunity to intern for a month at a potential workplace that we are interested in. This was a great learning experience, and helped me decide which career path I would like to pursue in the future.

I have been accepted to Brooklyn Macaulay Honors College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, LIU Honors College (full scholarship), and the City College of New York. I will be attending Brooklyn Macaulay Honors College, and I intend to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Joseph Kurtz


Joseph was accepted into NYU Stern School of Business, Johns Hopkins University, and Binghamton University. He will be attending NYU Stern School of Business.

Rose Fatiha


Rose was accepted into the Scholar/Honor Programs in all the CUNY’s as well as Long Island University’s Honors Accelerated Program for Early Admissions. Rose plans on attending LIU and pursuing a career in the healthcare field.

Yeshivat Darche Eres (YDE)
Saul J. Kassin High School for Boys

Jimmy Ades 


Recipient of
the New York State Award for Academic Excellence

Jimmy Ades is an outstanding student who has earned the highest overall grade point average, excelling in both Judaic and secular studies during his four years at YDE High School. YDE’s highest level Talmud class is a challenging collection of Judaic topics, and Jimmy excelled at all of them. Jimmy’s accomplishments are no mere accident or coincidence, but are the result of his ambition to perfect himself and do his personal best. Jimmy is a member of the Honor Society and is on the Principal’s Honor Roll. He took Advanced Placement courses in Biology, U.S. History, and World History. He is a member of the First Aid Club and has competed in the NYS Math Leagues. Jimmy is a distinguished role model for every student for his outstanding academics and his sterling character. He never backs down from daunting academic problems, instead he masters them with rigor and enthusiasm. He is head of the Finance Team in his e-commerce course and has gained advanced training in Excel and Pixlr. Jimmy has been granted an Academic Excellence Award and plans to study in Israel in the coming academic year. Upon his return, Jimmy will attend Macaulay Honors at Brooklyn College.

Moshe Chaya 


Tell anyone that Moshe Chaya is around, and you’ll hear words of admiration and praise. Ranked at the top of his class, Moshe is respected not only for his intellect, but also for his maturity, sense of responsibility, and care for others. Moshe combines high academic achievement in all Judaic and secular subjects, with a strong mission of giving back to his community and school. He in on the Principal’s Honor Roll and is a member of the Honor Society. Moshehas an in-depth comprehension of Talmudic and Biblical studies and helps weaker students in all subjects.
He has volunteered with developmentally disabled children in our after-school program. Additionally, Moshe has been the Head of Marketing for his entrepreneurial e-commerce course. He is
CPR-certified by the American Heart Association and is a member ofthe Survivalist Club. In the future, Moshe hopes to study business management, but will first learn in Israel this coming academic year, followed by attendance at Brooklyn College.

Akiva Ibragimov


Recipient of
the New York State Award for Academic Excellence

Akiva Ibragimov is a gifted student who has brought great honor to our school in both limudei kodeshand secular studies. Akiva has a great capacity for finding solutions to difficult problems, particularly in gemara, a subject at which he excels. Akiva is a gifted speaker and is a member of a Public Speaker’s Club, which trains its members in impromptu public addresses on various topics. He has often given in-depth Talmud presentations to the entire faculty and student body. Akiva is a member of the Honor Society and is on the Principal’s Honor Roll. He completed Advanced Placement courses in World History and US History, and is the Features Editor for the school newspaper. He is a member of the Survivalist Club and is a participant in the Science Olympiad, where he developed a writing protocol for 3D objects. As one who cares deeply about others, Akiva has spearheaded a tutoring program to help weaker students in the community. Next year, Akiva will attend Yeshiva Kol Torah in Israel, after which he plans to attend Baruch College.

Eddie Tawil


Eddie Tawil has achieved outstanding success during the past four years at YDE High School. He is a deeply involved intellectual who has excelled in his Judaic and secular studies. Eddie has received numerous accolades for his accomplishments, which have included high scores in class and on SAT examinations. He has taken Advanced Placement courses in Psychology and U.S. Government and a senior elective in Law. He was operations management in the school’s e-commerce course and completed an inquiry-based course in Living Environment and a research project titled “The Relationship of Family, Culture, and School.” He has held memberships in the Chess Club, the Stock Market Club, and the Survivalist Club. Eddie is a member of the Honor Society and is on the Principal’s Honor Roll. He is a weekly reader of the Torah in his synagogue. For the next academic year Eddie will learn in Israel, and upon his return will attend college in the United States.