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.
The newspaper elective, which meets every Tuesday as part of the Jewish Studies Department’s course offerings, is thrilled to launch the very first edition of the BCDS Times, the online student newspaper for the BCDS community.
All of the content you will see on this site, including the news and sports features, fashion and advice columns, photographs, word search and comics section, are all original works and created by the students in this elective class. The newspaper staff, consisting of 18 enthusiastic middle schoolers with Mrs. Salm and Morah Hochman as the faculty advisers, meets each week to discuss ideas for the upcoming issue and to learn the basics of creating a digital newspaper. What began as a small seed of an idea coming from our sixth grader Kaila Rosovsky has blossomed into an exciting creation!
We hope that you enjoy the our first issue. Please stay tuned for more updates to the BCDS Times!
By Liam Bodurtha
For the first time in BCDS history, a Wall Street Club is available to give children an advantage in the world of stocks and finance. The club is led by math teacher Mr. Miranti every Thursday in the computer lab.
The first week, Mr. Miranti taught half a dozen middle school students the basics on how to invest in company stocks. They got the chance to start their own investment firms and obtained $10,000 of pretend money to invest. The students chose which companies they wanted to invest in. Each week, the results of the companies are posted on the bulletin board next to the computer lab. They include a snapshot of each company’s performance and the gains and losses. Mr. Miranti said that soon students will be able to elect a member of the group to help run the club. Sam Terr, an 8th grade student in the Wall Street club, whose company is currently investing in Apple, Walmart, Exxon, and Mobil said that he enjoys having Mr. Miranti as his teacher for the club.
Gabriel Yaghoubian, another 8th grader in the club, agrees. “I’ve learned so much from Mr. Mirante,” said Gabriel.
Mr. Mirante has high hopes for the club. “In one or two years, we hope to start investing real money for the school,” Mr. Miranti remarked.