The Student News Site of Northwest Yeshiva High School

The Mane Idea

The Student News Site of Northwest Yeshiva High School

The Mane Idea

The Student News Site of Northwest Yeshiva High School

The Mane Idea

From a smile to a handshake, HOS regenerates school environment


Each morning, as NYHS students exit the morning prayer service, they are welcomed by the smile of Rabbi Yehuda Gabay. 

Gabay, NYHS’s new head of school, attends shacharit and mincha (morning and afternoon) prayer services every day. When he speaks to students, he refers to them as tzadik and tzadikah. “It makes me feel really good when he calls me a tzadik,” said Evan Kaufthal, a sophomore. “Also, he says Shabbat shalom to me every week. You can tell he cares for his students.” 

Gabay, who started in June, brought a new theme of ayin tova, which means seeing the good. According to Gabay, this was in order to create more unity and to increase focus on positivity. “I came up with ayin tova because everything that causes destruction comes from the way we perceive things; I want to help people in school and the environment,” said Gabay. “We need to look at the good in others. There’s so much good and I want to create unity and family in the school.” 

In years prior, NYHS students complained of a lack of school spirit and a climate of negativity. Students notice a new positive transformation in the overall school atmosphere with Gabay’s arrival.

“The effect his presence has on our school is so obvious, his positivity and love for life and NYHS is so apparent with all his words and actions,” said Becca Benezra, a senior. 

“Every single day I see Rabbi Gabay and he makes it clear that he’s here for you,” said math teacher Michelle Pearce. “You see a change when he walks in.”

Since Gabay came into his role in June, NYHS has seen heightened enrollment. The school went from 42 students to 57 students, a 36 percent increase. The majority of these new students are freshmen coming from the greater Seattle area. 

In addition to Gabay’s influence on the school environment, the administration has implemented several policy and program changes. The phone policy, lunches, and advisory have all changed since the previous year. “I did support all the changes, and the cell phone policy was the first question I got but I strongly feel we should trust teenagers and give them responsibility,” said Gabay.

Last year, NYHS changed its phone policy from granting students full access to their phones to imposing no access at all except during lunch. This year, the policy reverted and has received positive feedback from students. “Me along with the other guys appreciate the newfound freedom,” said Sephi Alhadeff, a senior. “I enjoy being able to have my phone and being treated like a young adult.” 

NYHS also lengthened the lunches from 30 minutes to 45 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Students had shown great interest in extending lunch, which prompted the administration to consider having longer lunches. 

Gabay aims to keep the positive environment running and he enjoys the tight-knit NYHS community. “I like that I can be around at all times, it feels like a real family,” said Gabay. 


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Yasmin Jassen
Yasmin Jassen, Staff Writer

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