A Cause Fair Contest!

March 8, 2018
21 Adar 5778


Dear AJA Community,

Each year in our Upper School, an incredible program takes place. Literature teacher Dave Byron (2015-2016 Recipient of The Martha Sanders Teacher of the Year Award!) charges his Upper School British and Contemporary Literature classes to select and research a topic - it is an extremely meaningful project that the students are passionate about!

Eighteen students participated in the Cause Fair last Tuesday and presented to a room filled with their peers, parents and faculty. They fielded questions and were judged on very specific criteria created by Mr. Byron. After the presentations, the top 4 presentations were selected by faculty and students.

I’m proud and honored to present to you the students who were voted the “winners” - Kol HaKavod to…

  • Esthey Cohen “Hazing: Is it Worth it?”
  • Caroline Garfunkel* A Recipe to End Malnutrition”
  • Zoe Sokol “16 and Married: Child Marriage in Developing Countries”
  • Yitzi Zolty “Holocaust Denial”

Now we look to you, our AJA Community, to be involved in selecting our Community winner. Share our nachas! Just wait until you see these impressive presentations HERE.

Vote for what you believe is the most compelling presentation - one that truly resonates with you and pulls you in. Being the “why” guy that I am...your vote is cast by telling us “why” you want that particular video to win.

  1. Enter your “why” HERE on our Facebook post     OR

  2. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to email us with your vote  (if you are not on Facebook!)

I also wanted to share the list of ALL of our talented and passionate students who participated:

Alex Cohen / Helping Me Manage Learning Disabilities in the Classroom • May May Cohen / DACA - Keeping the Dream Alive • Noa Dan / Social Isolation of Children with Disabilities  • Sam David / Homework: Sometimes Less is More • Esther Freitag / Misconceptions of Mental Illness • Ben Glinsky / Racially Unjust Marijuana Arrests • Nathan Grodzinsky (honorable mention) / Fitness Misinformation • Nate Linsider / Epilepsy: Symptoms, Risks, and the Lack of Education • Josh Mermelstein / Fuel for Food • Lielle Porat / Felon Disenfranchisement  • Oron Porat / Recidivism: The Never Ending Prison Cycle • Nittai Shiff / Net Neutrality: The Battle for the Internet • Nachum Silverman / Remember Our Vets: The Neglect of U.S. Veterans • Pase Zeiger: Smartphone Addiction

Voting will end on Friday, March 23 and the winner will be announced before Pesach. Again, we are beyond proud of our Upper School students, and I just had to share this with you.

We appreciate your connection to our school, and I look forward to reading your reasons “why” you cast your vote for our student videos.


Rabbi Ari Leubitz

P.S. *Caroline Garfunkel started her research on malnutrition, and she didn’t stop when her presentation was complete. She is starting an AJA food drive “Blessings in a Backpack." Students can bring in their chametz and donate this food to a good cause, rather than simply throwing it away. Caroline will be delivering these blessings to Cedar Grove students who live on the school meal plan. Brilliant idea - filled with middot and chesed! And, as Caroline reminds us, her Food Drive connects to this week’s Parsha, as Bnei Yisrael was so excited about giving to the Mishkan that they went above and beyond for the cause. Keep your eyes opened for details of how you can participate. Kol HaKavod, Caroline! 

Parsha Vayikra
Chet HaEgel


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Wednesday, 18 July 2018