On Thursday, January 14th, author Elizabeth Bettina (It Happened in Italy), spoke to the seventh grade about her book and the Holocaust experience in Italy.
By Liam Bodurtha
On Friday April 25th, the BCDS Choir ventured out to Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, where they sang songs at the United Jewish Federation’s Yom HaShoah program. Senate-President Donald Williams, Jr. ran the hour-long event.
Jewish war veterans, including veterans from Stamford, carried the American and Israeli flags. Cantor Rafael Bokow from Stamford’s Agudath Sholom sang the Star Spangled Banner.
Wearing white shirts and black pants and skirts, the BCDS Choir sang melodies such as Lou Yehe, Eli Eli, and The Door.
“These are solemn and hopeful songs,” said Jonathan Cahr, the leader of the choir. All 22 members of the BCDS choir got to also listen to a Holocaust survivor at the program. Albert Linder, a survivor, who lives in Stamford, addressed everyone in the room after the choir concluded their songs.
Mr. Linder was born in 1936 and he is a survivor of the Ukranian concentration camps. As a boy, Mr. Linder lived in Bukovina and after the Romanians decided to adopt the Nuremberg Laws that Germany embraced, his troubles began.
He explained that one Friday, hooligans ran into his grandparents’ home before Shabbat, and shot his Grandfather. After that incident, he was sent to the Bershad concentration camp in Ukraine via train.
“We obviously did not know where we were going,” told Mr. Linder. When a group of Russian soldiers were marching by the camp, Albert Linder and his parents snuck out of the camp and followed behind the troops.
Even though this was a melancholy event, seventh grader Josh Leferman said, “I am really excited to go and sing.”
In addition to the BCDS Choir performing selections, eighth-grader Joshua Dweck and his sixth-grade brother Gabriel Dweck played a duet, the beautiful and stirring theme from the movie, Schindler’s List.
If you want to see the performance the entire program is available through this link: http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=10185
This year, BCDS is going to try something new, Race for Education. This is an all-school event that combines fundraising with fitness and will take place place at the school on Wednesday, April 2nd.
All students in the school are encouraged to bring in mailing labels with their family and friends’ names. Once you have the labels in, you send out letters asking people to sponsor you by donating money to the school — just like a professional runner! The school’s goal is to raise at least $15,000.
In addition, there will also be prizes for students who bring in the most labels by grade. One of the prizes is the chance to dunk Principal Mrs. Herman on field day in June.
So the reason that people will sponsor you is because after all of the labels, there is the race! You run as far as you like, showing your sponsors why they sponsored you, which is to support the best runner out there! So get running, BCDS!
By Zac Kitay
Bi-Cultural Day School is starting a new annual tradition, the Spelling Bee. In this brain-scrambling contest, every grade will have their own spelling challenge and ultimate champion. The contests are being held from March through April.
In order to compete with other schools, you must first be the best in your class and then beat all the other winning students in the other classes of your grade. Since the age-old tradition of the spelling bee is just coming to BCDS, there might be a new champion in Stamford.
Sam Essenfeld, seventh grader at BCDS, recently won the final round of the seventh grade spelling bee. Here is what he has to say:
Interview with Sam Essenfeld, the seventh grade winner.
Q: How does it feel being the best speller in your grade?
A: I cant believe I won. Its too good to be true.
Q: How much time did you put into studying for the spelling bee?
A: Two or three hours the night before.
Q: How to you feel going into the championships?
A: I’m excited and nervous at the same time.
Q: What’s your next step in the competition?
A: Going to districts and doing more studying.The words are very tough and got the best of most of the students, some words include correlation, mustache, and rejuvenation.
With that said you should probably start studying for next year!
(Update on spelling bee challenge: The two winners from BCDS who will proceed to the next round are fourth grader Max Dayan and fifth grader Georgia Baer.)
On Monday, February 10th, fifth graders and their parents and teachers gathered in the BCDS Cafe for the annual Fifth Grade Invention Convention. The culmination of months of research, preparation and creation was finally here as gadgets, machines and gizmos whirred and buzzed.
By Nathaniel Herman
On February 4th, the BCDS eighth graders set-off for their month-long journey to Israel. After years of waiting and watching past students leave, this group of eight graders was in shock because it was their turn to go.
At the school-wide assembly, with mixed emotions, each eighth grader got up to receive their tzedekah money (translated as justice or righteousness, but commonly used to signify charity).
Inbar and Yaffit, the Israeli students, were so excited to go back to their home land. Rabbi Israel, Dr. Cik, Mr. Cik and Rabbi Walk also left for the trip.
With big smiles and tears of sadness, the eighth graders were ready to head on their journey to the land of Israel.
By Liam Bodurtha
Finally, the big Israel trip all eighth graders have awaited is here. On Tuesday, February 4th, the eighth grade will leave for a one-month sojourn to Israel to learn about the country.
For a whole year, this grade has been preparing by taking an Israel class with Rabbi Israel. They are just finishing their projects about Israel, in which where students research a certain place or aspect. Students will present at various places on their trip.
Rabbi Walk and Rabbi Israel will be leading the trip, along with several adult chaperones. Some places the eight grade will visit include the Kotel, where they also explore the tunnels, Eilat, Tel Aviv, and of course, the world-famous Dead Sea.
This grade will also participate in many fun activities such as bike rides, camel rides, jeep rides, and ice-skating.
Eighth grader Eddie Weinstein commented, “I really hope to learn what daily life in Israel is like.”
In addition to learning about Israel, the eighth grade will get to spend lots of time together, bonding as a family. It is so nice to see a tradition that the founding BCDS Headmaster Mr. S. started is still going strong.
Look out for a new section in our newspaper, where we will have eighth graders post what is going on with the trip.
BCDS has started a lunch and learning program for middle schoolers to learn how to code. The program is being taught by Mr. Rotenberg in his science lab, on Tuesdays during the middle school lunch period. Students all over the country have started to learn how to code and now BCDS middle schoolers will now get a chance to learn to code as well. “I am excited to teach the program,” Mr. Rotenberg explains.
Code is computer language and the basics of computer application programming, telling the computer what to do. Not many people have the chance to learn how to code in the world. Students who join the program are lucky to learn something that is known as the “new age” of programming. In the class, students have started to learn the basics of coding. During the first class period, there were some technical difficulties due to Windows 8.1, however, all of the students seemed to appreciate the class in the end.
More lunchtime and learning classes will be held throughout the semester, so stay tuned for more opportunities for learning. In the meantime, you can find more information on coding for kids at www.code.org.
By Dean Bilenker and Sam Essenfeld
This year, Chanukah and the American holiday of Thanksgiving fell on the same day, November 28th. This is indeed a rare occurrence as this has not happened since 1868, according to the web site, www.forward.com. The next time Chanukah and Thanksgiving will overlap will be in the year 79,811.
Here at BCDS, it is important that we celebrate these holidays. “Giving thanks and expressing gratitude to God is an essential Jewish value. Both the Maccabees and the Pilgrims shared that value,” said the BCDS Director of Jewish Studies, Mrs. Michal Smart. “Thanksgiving can teach not only Jews, but everyone, that we should be grateful for what we have and that we should thank God ourselves for our achievements.”
BCDS organized an assembly to speak about this specifically. This is mainly what BCDS wants to teach our students. In addition, BCDS conducted special classes and held a unique festival, which took place the day before Thanksgiving, mainly to help demonstrate to our students about the values and importance of the two holidays. “Thanksgiving can teach Jews not to take what we have for granted and to be thankful for our achievements. As American Jews, it is special opportunity to celebrate both aspects of our heritage and customs together,” said Mrs. Smart.
“This is the kind of message the faculty wants to send to our students.”
By Andrew Ukhanov
The newly introduced BCDS Student Council marks the first chance for middle school students to voice their opinions on ideas or ways to improve student life within the school.
The BCDS Student Council, led by faculty advisor Mr. Bob Abrams, meets every Monday for lunch and they scout out and discuss ideas that they believe will be best for the school.
Just recently, they have introduced the idea of having a “dress down and dress up,” day. This took place on Wednesday, November 27th, and it signified the importance of the reunion of Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Students were encouraged to dress up as either Pilgrims or Maccabees.
The point of a Student Council is to have a portal for young students to voice their opinions as to what they believe will be best for the school. One of the greatest ideas that the Student Council has had is the idea for more recycling bins around the school.
Not all the ideas that the Student Council discusses can be implemented. What the Student Council does is that they talk about their ideas during the meetings and if they think that a particular idea is a good one, then they discuss it with Mrs. Herman. Ultimately, it is Mrs. Herman’s decision whether a specific idea will go through. The Student Council may seem like it has been around for a long time, but to people’s surprise, it has only been around for two years. Mr. Abrams has been the faculty adviser since the beginning.
Overall, the Student Council is a beneficial program for students in middle school. It meets every Monday for lunch in Mr. Abram’s office. If you want to voice your opinion, it’s the perfect activity for you.