Over Pesach bein hazmanim, the FTI Mesivta launched a multi-faceted chazara (reviewing), and davening program. Thanks to our generous sponsors, monetary incentives, gift cards, and lunch with your rebbe (at a restaurant) were offered to talmidim who learned daily and davened all tefilos with a minyan.B”H, most of our talmidim participated on various levels with the recorded totals coming in at over 400 amudim of Gemara reviewed and over 300 hours learned (in truth, even more were actually learned, but many talmidim wanted the mitzvah lishma and didn’t claim their prize!).Students chose between Gemara, mussar, Chumash, and halacha; the more hours learned the greater the incentive. Several students reported that they reached the highest incentive possible, 24 hours of learning over 16 days, B”H. Thanks to this program, not only was there more learning over bein hazmanim, but there was a lot of positive momentum that carried over from last z’man straight through through the Pesach break, facilitating a strong start to the new z’man.
At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school, year FTI launched two brand new major academic programs. FTI’s new Bekiyus Reading Program and STEM. The bekiyus program includes in-class reading exercises with a chavrusa, reading for the class, comprehensive word lists, reading-based questions on quizzes and tests, and the reading chazara incentive element. Thanks to several generous sponsors, FTI students receive $5 when they correctly read, translate, and explain an amud of Gemara in front of a rebbe in five minutes or less. Ninety-five percent of the student body has earned this incentive already with many hundreds of amudim read B”H! FTI also launched our new 9th and 10th grade STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in conjunction with CIJE (Center of Initiatives for Jewish Education). Students are enjoying learning about electrical engineering, electricity, light, and coding. Our STEM students are working on a semester-long project where they are tasked to design and create a prototype of an electrical engineering-based invention. Students will present their invention at a culminating event hosted by STEM’s sponsoring organization, the Center of Initiatives for Jewish Education. Some of the projects FTI students are working on include a solar charger which will shift based on the location of the sun, eye-glasses that sense objects in front of the viewer, garbage dumpsters that will sense and communicate when the dumpster is full, among others. Next year, we are planning to offer even more exciting learning opportunities to our students. Please contact Rabbi Kramer or the FTI office if you would like to enable or sponsor a new program for the upcoming academic year.
FTI students attended the first round of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last month. FTI is one of the only Yeshivos that endeavors to compete with the area’s finest science students in this international competition, sponsored by Coriell Institute (a prominent international cell bank and biological research center in Camden). Students chose a research topic, created a professional style poster-board of their project, and presented their project before a panel of judges. Additionally, students needed to substantiate and submit their research with ongoing journal articles and documentation about their project. Submitting projects in the fair is a tremendous accomplishment. 300 of the top students in the area worked for months to prepare for the fair. Students with outstanding projects were eligible to advance to regional and national competitions. Prizes for winners included scholarships, cash, internships, and summer jobs. FTI submissions included automating the CPR procedure for EMT crews in ambulances, creating a solar-powered drone, and using a laser light beam to produce visual shapes. Two of FTI students, Yonatan Chiver (Lakewood) and Dov Aryeh Presby (Monsey) received awards, and were invited to the regional competition. Unfortunately, they were unable to participate in the regional competition because it conflicted with Pesach, but we are certainly proud of them and all of our students’ accomplishments!
FTI is excited to share that Mr. Michael Morgenstern recently joined the administration as our new General Studies Curriculum Coordinator. Mr. Morgenstern, already one of FTI’s highly regarded English Language teachers, will use his passion and expertise to examine and improve FTI’s curriculum applying the latest content and teaching models. Mr. Morgenstern’s goals include “Strengthening communication skills and creative thinking skills to better prepare students to teach themselves in the information age, and better prepare students for job challenges requiring collaboration with others and independent thinking.” Mr. Morgenstern will also be focused on ensuring students are challenged to become the best that they can be. Additionally, Mr. Morgenstern is excited to enhance FTI’s honors courses.As FTI continues to grow, Mr. Morgenstern “is excited to do his part to help such a thriving institution continue to improve its academic offerings.”
On the night of February 5th, 2018, the Cherry Hill Township Planning Board unanimously approved our major site plan to construct a 35,000 square foot new building. The modern and spacious new facility will consist of a bais medrash, classrooms, dining facilities, dormitories, a gym and recreation center, offices, lounges, and more, housing a student body of up to 150 talmidim. Phase 1 temporary construction expanding our current Bais Medrash has already begun, with Phase 2 construction of the dormitory wing and gym set to begin in July of 2018, and Phase 3 main building construction set to start in July 2019. As the only Jewish high school in all of Southern New Jersey, this is a very important milestone in our community’s development and future growth. FTI sincerely appreciates all those who have helped the yeshiva reach this point and is actively looking for enablers who believe in the Yeshiva and the impact it is having on its students, the greater community, and Klal Yisrael to get behind the project and help it become a reality. If you are interested in learning more about this exciting project, please contact Rabbi Davidowitz in the yeshiva office.
Once again, for the fourth consecutive year, FTI is expecting to close out enrollment for the incoming freshman class. Our applicants are primarily from local areas and regional cities such as Kew Gardens Hills, Far Rockaway and Five Towns, Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey, and Passaic. Some highlights from our recruiting department events held this year include a packed Cherry Hill Open House, our NYC open house, and our annual 8th grade Shabbaton (pictured above). There are still a few remaining spaces left in our incoming 9th grade class; if you are interested in applying or learning more please click here or call the Yeshiva office before it’s too late.
Rabbi Chananya Kramer, previously FTI’s Associate Menahel has become FTI’s Menahel. Rabbi Kramer was a legendary Rebbe in RSA in Queens and then assumed administrative duties there as well, prior to joining FTI in 2015 as Associate Menahel. Since his arrival at FTI, he has instituted a multitude of new systems and initiatives making a major yeshiva-wide impact. Now he will focus his attention on ensuring all students and staff members are supported and thriving.
On May 10th -11th, the entire FTI Yeshiva went on its annual spring camping trip. The trip was an incredible display of achdus from start to finish. All talmidim from 9th grade through bais medrash helped set up tents, prepare food, and coordinate the activities. Rebbeim and talmidim Continue reading “The Entire Yeshiva Goes Camping in the Poconos”
On Lag Ba’Omer this year, FTI started a new tradition. After a morning of intense learning, the entire FTI yeshiva went to a nearby park and played a multitude of sports, had a BBQ, and celebrated the upsherins of two of our Rebbeim’s children, Shmuel Mordechai Max and Shmuel Kramer. Continue reading “First Annual FTI Lag Ba’Omer Baseball and BBQ”
On Tuesday, May 23rd, Mr. Bernie Platt visited and addressed the Yeshiva. Mr. Platt clearly impressed upon the high school students, bais medrash boys, and faculty what it means to be a true baal chesed and baal tzedakah. Mr. Platt is well-known for having been the mayor of Cherry Hi Continue reading “Mr. Bernie Platt, Former Mayor of Cherry Hill, Addresses FTI”