The Mordecai and Monique Katz Academic Building

120 West Century Road, Paramus, New Jersey, 07652

Tel: 201-267-9100 Fax: 201-261-9340 Auto Info: 201-487-2830

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oedipus Rex Vocabulary Projects for Greek Week

Students in Dr. Anne Berkman's 9H English class have made some creative vocabulary projects based on their studies of the Greek Play, Oedipus Rex. The projects appear below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Golden Ratio: A Greek Week Math Presentation

As a part of Greek Week, our 9th Graders saw a presentation today integrating the Geometry they are learning this year in Mathematics with the Greek culture they are studying in Ancient World History and the Biology they are learning in Science. The topic was the Golden Ratio. A summary of this presentation together with its supporting slides appears below.

The ancient Greeks are arguably the single largest contributors to the study of mathematics………

Particularly in the area of Geometry which all the Freshmen are studying this year.

The Greeks appreciated, studied and valued the connections between math, nature, and art. So you might be thinking “ What does math have to do with art?” Few people immediately see how math and art can be connected but I think after my presentation today you will have a greater and deeper understanding of a few mathematical ideas that were pervasive in ancient Greek art and design. Some of which is literally encoded in our bones.

The Parthenon, created by the ancient Greeks has been regarded through the ages as the pinnacle of architectural achievement. Having seen it myself in person, I can attest to its grandeur and regal presence. What is so cool is that it inspiring physical presence is created not only by its actual columns and facades but also by its openness or rather empty spaces. It sits on top of this mountain which I climbed in the heat of August so I remember it. From each opening between the columns you can see the vast and what once the splendid view of ancient Athens. The beauty of the Parthenon it no mere accident though.

See the ancient Greeks were keenly aware of a certain mathematical relationship called the golden ratio. Also known as the golden section, the golden mean, the divine proportion, golden number among other names. The ancient Greeks felt the Golden ratio held the mathematical key to beauty. They incorporated it into not only their study of math but also their art and architecture.

So what is the Golden Ratio? The Golden Ratio is a relationship between the sides of a rectangle of 1 to 1.618.

This golden ratio of 1 to 1.618 was eventually called “Phi” after the creator of the artwork of the Parthenon, a Greek man named Phidias. The first video we are going to watch will illustrate exactly what is the golden ratio and how it was used extensively in the creation of the Parthenon. Some thinkers feel there is no evidence that the Greeks actually thought of the golden ratio in their design of the Partheon but I think it is fair to say it was utilized.

See the golden ratio was not discovered by any one person. It is rather a mathematical fact that revealed itself to many people over the course of history. What is the very cool and mysterious part about the Golden ratio is its relationship to the Fibonacci sequence.

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where each term is the summation of the ones before it.
1+1 =
1+ 2=
2+3 =
3+ 5 = 8
And so on. This is nothing that interesting in itself until we look at the sequence more closely

1,1,2,3,5,8,13, ……These numbers end up being the natural dynamics of growth of many things in the world Hashem created. As the videos show, 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 is the natural growth of population of bunny rabbits, the bronchial branches in our lungs, the way many flowers grow, and on and on and on…….

When you look at the ratio of the numbers of the Fibonacci series, meaning 2/1, 3/2, 5/3 and so on you would expect the numbers to grow or be random numbers but NO they don’t!

The ratio gets closer and closer to the same number, PHI, the golden ratio.

See encoded in the sequence of numbers that explain the growth phenomena of much of our natural world is the golden ratio.

The entire presentation on the Golden Ratio appears below. Enjoy!

-Mrs. Sabrina Bernath
Math Department Chair

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Typical Day in 10th Grade Engineering

On Wednesday, December 14, students in Mrs. Silverman’s tenth grade engineering course entered the lab to find the instructor’s table strewn with catheters, twenty-pound x-ray resistant medical garb, an assortment of medical appliances, and a demonstration console of the Sensei® Robotic Catheter System. From the outset of the school year, students in the engineering course have become accustomed to visits from engineers, and professionals who work with cutting-edge technology, but this was something else. Frisch parent, Dr. David Feigenblum, a visiting electrophysiologist from Englewood Hospital, brought samples of the appliances he works with in operations on the heart, in order to demonstrate to the students the “real-world” application of engineering.

Dr. Feigenblum opened his presentation with a powerpoint outlining his work. As an electrophysiologist, Dr. Feigenblum is the “electrician of the heart,” and works on curing arrhythmia, or abnormal cardiac rhythms. Dr. Feigenblum explained that in operating on the heart, x-rays must be taken constantly to track the work of the physicians. Outlining the measures taken by electrophysiologists to avoid extended exposure to x-rays, Dr. Feigenblum donned a “suit” made with lead, which protects the body from x-ray exposure. Dr. Feigenblum wore the protective clothing until the concluding slides of the presentation, at which point, after taking questions, he allowed the class to approach the front desk and take a close-up look at the medical instruments.

Students began operating sample catheters and working with the Sensei operation console, which allowed the operator to experience the work carried out by an electrophysiologist. Cellphones were pulled out to take pictures of the medical instruments as well as to take photos of the students as they dressed in the protective layers worn by electrophysiologists. Mrs. Silverman’s engineering class, through lab-work and the help of visiting engineers and medical professionals, has truly been educating the students in the course about the fundamentals of engineering and its practical application.

-By Benjamin Glass, Class of 2014

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And the winners are...

You might recall our Sophomore Integrated Day of Learning on the Power of the Book which took place about six weeks ago. This day which was focused on censorship and book-burning was based on the 10th grade summer reading assignments, Zusak's The Book Thief, and Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind. Students studied these topics in a number of different subject areas including Chumash with a lesson on the Tower of Babel as a Metaphor for Anti-Totalitarianism, History with lessons on Book Burning throughout History, Chemistry with a lesson on the Art of Book-Making, Talmud with a lesson on Man as a Sefer Torah, and English with a lesson on Censorship. As a summative assessment of the day, students were asked to make technology-based presentations with the winning group winning an Amazon Kindle and the two runners up winning gift cards to Barnes and Noble.

Today the winning presentations were announced. They appear below. As you will see they are pretty impressive, representing a genuine integration and extension of the information learned in the various disciplines. Here they are.

1st Place: Isabelle Berman and Elisha Penn

2nd Place: Tamar Palgon and Marlee Goodman

2nd Place: Evan Risch and Joshua Fishman

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Frisch Africa Encounter, a Memorable Evening

The first ever Frisch Africa Encounter culminated on December 8, 2011. For the month of November, sophomores, whose integrated theme for the year is exploration, explored the continent of Africa. Why Africa? Aside from the fact that the curriculum at Frisch centers mostly around the Western world and so learning about a non-Western society seemed like a good idea, this year at Frisch students are learning Sefer Shmot, which tells us that we shouldn’t oppress the stranger, because we too were strangers in Egypt. By getting to know Africa and its culture, sophomores learned that we were more connected to the continent than we had thought. In fact, Golda Meir pointed out the similarities between Israel and Africa as early as the 1970’s when she said that Israel should help Africa because both had thrown off oppressors, needed to find ways to work a difficult soil and had to build up a land that had had a barely existing infrastructure.

For the Africa unit, students read either The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or Little Bee by Chris Cleave in English classes; learned about the integration of Ethiopian Jewry into Israeli society in Hebrew classes and through a webinar with Israeli educator Smadar Goldstein; discussed in Hebrew classes the controversy over Sudanese refugees and illegal immigrants in Israel; made silhouettes about the oppression of Bnai Yisrael in Egypt, projects which were based on the artwork of African-American artist Kara Walker; and worked in history on research projects. Each sophomore chose a topic about Africa to explore individually and then to combine into a presentation with a partner for the culminating event. The sophomores shared their presentations on PowerPoints at The Frisch Africa Encounter on December 8.

The Frisch Africa Encounter also included presentations by Sophomores Marni Loffman, Simmy Borodach, Isabelle Berman, Mendy Friedman, Max Milstein and Kayla Schiffer, who explained to the parents at the event how the month’s activities were interrelated among their classes. Ariela Rivkin and Aaron Fox gave a musical presentation, playing a piece that is the national anthem for five African countries. Sophomores and their parents listened that night to a playlist that Tamar Palgon had prepared. The playlist was of songs inspired by African music. The stage in the Frisch auditorium was turned into an African village by Danielle Fishbein, Samantha Kleinhaus and the Activities Committee. An African hut; a classroom complete with chalkboard explaining the effects of malnutrition on Africa’s children; a walk simulating how African women get water; and a multi-media presentation showing an African woman walking six hours to obtain water were part of the stage’s highlights. Other highlights of the “African village” included a display of African fashion made by Julia Scheebaum and Caroline Brauner and an art project by Maayan Mossaiov.

The night also included the results of the sophomore Green-a-thon. Throughout the month, sophomores were led by the Green-a-thon committee, Lea Braun, Isabelle Berman, Marni Loffman, Melissa Maza, Ariela Rivkin, and Kayla Schiffer, in a fundraising event to benefit Jewish Heart for Africa (JHA). Sophomores did green acts in school on November 30 and were sponsored for those acts by family, friends, and Frisch schoolmates. After learning about the plight of Africans, the need to be kind to the ger, the stranger, and the controversy over Israel’s not having enough room for all the refugees who enter its borders, the sophomores were motivated to take action and support JHA. JHA uses sustainable Israeli technologies to improve life in Africa. By doing so, JHA helps Israel and Africa! Rachel Ishofsky, Associate Executive Director of JHA, attended The Frisch Africa Encounter and was blown away by all the Frisch students had accomplished over the month! She thanked the Frisch sophomore grade for their support of JHA and for sharing with her their creativity and energy. In fact, everyone at the event was impressed by the spirit, talents and knowledge that the Frisch sophomores displayed. Go, Class of 2014!

-Mrs. Tikvah Wiener

Last night's Girls Night Out: Packing clothing for Yad Leah

Last night's program was a tremendous success. 45 girls from all grades (many freshmen) came to hear Morah Racheli discuss the double standard of chessed. On the one hand there is a theme of olam chesed yibaneh - this world revolves around chessed, which implies that there are recipients of chessed. On the other hand is the notion of sonei matanos yichye, which seems to not leave any room for doing chessed if one is not to receive it. Morah Racheli then cited Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch who highlighted that this double standard exists in several places, such as not to withhold wages, but one who is neglected wages shouldn't curse the one responsible for the injustice; the moral imperative not to be judgemental, while at the same time the obligation to judge a person favorably. The true definition of chessed, therefore, is one who does for others but does not expect back in return. Rav Eliyahu Dessler's notion that it is the little things of the day-to-day that is true chessed was highlighted by a series of very inspiring clips that literally had some of the seniors in tears. The feedback from many of the girls afterwards was that Morah Racheli's presentation really moved them.

We then proceeded to the cafteria where hundreds of bags were assembled, collected over a period of 3 weeks. The girls (along with Morah Racheli & daughter) sorted, folded, and packed in a very efficient manner. All in all we packed 45 boxes, ready to be shipped to needy families in Israel. The program was spearheaded by Erika Davidoff and Nicole Edi, and many others helped in various aspects of the program - a team effort where the students really felt empowered by the notion that they were making a difference.

-Rabbi Shelley Morris

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The 9th Grade has begun their Mini Art Program in preparation for "Greek Week"

As a precursor to the 9th grade integration and "Greek Week", the 9th Grade has begun their mini art Program. Above are the photos of the first class's work. The presentation introducing this topic appears below. The students were very receptive to this program, and I can't wait to see more classes do this project. The art they have done alters existing clothing and turns it into art that reflects, identity, body image, and understanding the self- body and soul. This exhibit will be displayed at Frisch during Chanukah and "Greek Week".

-Ms. Ahuva Mantell
Art Department Chair, The Frisch School

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lunch and Learn: Designer Genes: Using Science to Pick the Child You Want

Please join us for an
“Designer Genes: Using Science
to Pick the Child You Want”

Presentation by:
R. Joshua Wald, Mashgiach Ruchani
Monday, December 12, 2011
12 noon
The Frisch School
The Henry & Esther Swieca Family Campus
The Mordecai & Monique Katz Academic Building
120 West Century Road, Paramus, NJ
RSVP required: