Academic Teams & Clubs
Extracurricular activities at TABC provide a valuable opportunity for each student to discover his passions and uncover hidden talents while also learning how to successfully work as part of a larger team. Students may gravitate toward clubs in areas in which they already excel or choose to try something new entirely. Each club is guided by a faculty member who fosters an environment that encourages personal and academic growth. Our extracurricular activities motivate students to work hard and taste the sweetness of success. Most importantly, they provide valuable experience to help each student develop as a well-rounded ben Torah. Below is a comprehensive listing of the more than three dozen academic teams and clubs available to TABC students. Ideas for new clubs are always welcome as students and administrators continue to work together to create a wide range of opportunities to match the interests of our diverse student body.
The Art Club builds on the expanding arts curriculum at TABC. Under the direction of Mrs. Helen Shankman, members of this club meet every Monday night to hone their artistic skills through a variety of projects. The club covers fundamental aspects of the visual language of drawing, including perspective, composition, charcoal tonal drawing, and mark making used in creating still-life, portraiture, and figure drawing. Behind many great works of art lies a strong drawing. Drawing is the bridge that connects seeing and conveying form. It is the key to understanding and translating an idea into a finished piece. Throughout the development of any great work of art – be it painting, sculpture, or design – the formal issues of drawing (line, tone, texture, and shape) remain at the forefront.
Under the leadership of Rick Briskin, a talented and accomplished music producer and Broadway mainstay, the band club offers our student musicians rigorous musical training. Band members learn to play new songs coherently as a band, enhance their own musical skills, and enjoy the company of fellow student musicians. The band performs at various school functions throughout the year such as at opening nights for sports, Yamim HaZikaron and HaAtzma'ut, and other celebrations, culminating in a final performance at the end of the year at TABC's first Night of the Arts.
The Business Club offers students the opportunity to hear from leading businessmen in a wide range of fields, including real estate, investing, accounting, marketing, microfinance and investment banking. Additionally, members will participate in a stock market challenge and learn how to develop a diversified stock portfolio.
Led by Coach Bobby Kaplan, the Chess Team is part of the Metropolitan Yeshiva High School League. Participants compete in matches against other yeshivot, culminating in the chess playoffs. The TABC Chess Team has been enormously successful and achieved a first place finish this past year. Tryouts for the team are held in the winter and matches begin after winter break.
Led by Coach Manny Landau, College Bowl is a quiz-show format competition. TABC’s teams compete against other metropolitan area yeshiva high schools. The Varsity Team (primarily seniors) and the Junior Varsity team (freshmen, sophomores and juniors) each feature four students competing at a time. The competitions test students’ knowledge in a variety of content areas and both teams have been very successful. Over the last ten years, either Varsity or Junior Varsity has been the citywide inter-Yeshiva high school College Bowl league champion, which makes TABC the most successful competitive team. Students need to have a great deal of knowledge, very good recall time, and excellent physical reflexes to be successful team members.
CURRENT EVENTS CLUB
This club meets once a week during breakfast to discuss world events. Participants go on trips once a semester and hear from several dynamic speakers to enhance the weekly discussions.
The TABC Debate Team competes with yeshiva high schools throughout the metropolitan area. Teams of two students take either the affirmative or negative side of a topical issue, such as the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance or the relevance of the United Nations. Debate cultivates students’ logic and public speaking skills, preparing them for both their personal and professional adult lives.
We are thrilled to once again be partnering with Rebecca Lopkin and Envision Theater, the Premier Educational Theater Company of NJ and NY to run the Theater Department! This is the same company who runs the Envision Shakespeare competition. The Theater Department offers students many way to learn about and explore theater. Mrs. Lopkin will direct and produce a fall comedy and a spring drama. Envision Theater encourages all students with any level of experience to join either on stage as an actor or backstage (set, lights, sound design, stage management, or assistant director). Acting Students will work collaboratively using hands-on experiential techniques taught by theater professionals used to explore scene work, and character using classic theater training methodologies of Constantin Stanislavski, Sanford Meisner and Uta Hagen. Tech students will learn how to properly light a show (focus and gel lights), run a light and sound board, set up mics, create underscoring and sound effect tracks, create sets and scenery. All students will learn special effects make up application as per needs of each show. In addition, students who compete the required hours of theater involvement - either on stage or behind the scenes, are eligible to be inducted into the International Thespian Society, a theater honor society for high school students. Students also attend two Broadway shows a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. A student directed and acted showcase of one acts plays as well as a junior elective, entitled- Acting and Directing for Film are also offered.
EYE OF THE STORM
Eye of the Storm, TABC’s official newspaper, is a space for students to present their opinions and to report on topics that are relevant to the TABC community. Students have the opportunity to work as individual reporters as well as collaborate with a team of writers and editors dedicated to the art of journalism. The newspaper’s main goal is to establish a strong student voice in written form. The editorial staff welcomes all enthusiastic writers to the team. Interested students should speak to the faculty advisor, Ms. Burstein.
The Film Club, under the leadership of renowned producer Uri Westrich, provides hands-on training. Students learn how to film, edit and create their own video projects.
Every Friday, a group of TABC alumni come to school to enhance the Beit Midrash atmosphere. The Kollel Fellows are divided into two groups and learn with four classes each week, enabling the rebbeim to divide the students into small chaburot. The Kollel then spends the rest of the morning learning in the Beit Midrash.
TABC is pleased to be among the pioneers of the yeshiva high school golf world. Golf Club will commence in the spring with practices and tournament play.
HISTORY BOWL & HISTORY BEE
The History Bowl is a team quiz-show format competition that involves schools from around the country. The Bowl features both junior varsity and varsity level teams. The competitions test students’ knowledge in all varieties of World and American History. The History Bee is a competition between individual players in a similar format to the History Bowl and also covers both World and American History. Like History Bowl, there are both varsity and junior varsity teams. Lastly, U.S. History Bee only includes American History. Students compete in regional competitions in an attempt to qualify for the national tournament usually held in late April. In its inaugural two seasons, the TABC team has set a high standard among yeshiva high schools. The team has qualified for the national competitions and has also hosted competitions at TABC. History Bowl and Bee Teams are led by Dr. Garry Katz. All students are encouraged to attend tryouts in September.
TABC hockey continues provides a serious and competitive hockey league for our students.
The Investment Club provides a unique opportunity for students to experience the thrill of the stock market, combining learning with real-life experience. The club has a student-run governing organization with regular meetings to monitor and discuss investment activities. Club participants will find the Investment Club a rewarding and challenging experience.
ISRAEL ADVOCACY CLUB
Are you passionate about Israel and current events? The Israel Advocacy Club empowers students to advocate for Israel. The student leadership is instrumental in bringing meaningful advocacy opportunities to TABC students. Club members hear from a variety of speakers, participate in trips once a semester and use traditional and social media to help people better understand the political situation in Israel. This year, the Israel Advocacy Club is proud to partner with AIPAC.
The TABC Israel Report is distributed weekly to approximately 50 shuls throughout the United States. TABC students gather articles on current events in Israel from a variety of publications, including Arutz Sheva, the Jerusalem Post, YNet and Israel HaYom. Through these articles, students help our communities stay updated on developments in Israel. This publication is an opportunity for members to combine their passion for Medinat Yisrael with their interest in publishing and graphic design.
Join the staff of the TABC weekly Torah publication and help thousands learn Torah! TABC’s Kol Torah, led by Rabbi Jachter and supported by a strong team of student leaders, is a compilation of divrei Torah written by our rebbeim and students and is distributed to shuls across the United States and beyond. The strength of Kol Torah is its strong student leadership. Staff positions are available for students who are interested in writing or editing divrei Torah, as well as in distribution, website design or business management. Students who are interested in joining the Kol Torah staff should speak to Rabbi Jachter at the beginning of the school year.
The TABC Math Team has won many awards and demonstrates the strength of the math department at TABC. All juniors and seniors who wish to participate are welcome on the team. Freshmen and sophomores must have a teacher recommendation in order to join. The Math Team participates in competitions with public and private schools including yeshivot. The members of the Math Team gain experience in solving problems different from those found in textbooks. Students gain new skills and broaden their mathematical abilities. The TABC Math Team has been very successful, placing first among all yeshivot in the metropolitan area.
MOCK TRIAL TEAM
Mock Trial is an imitation courtroom competition sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association. Students compete against teams from other schools in New Jersey and are judged by volunteer attorneys in a survival or elimination process. The Bergen County championship team then competes on a statewide and then national level. TABC has been the Bergen County champion five times. In 1999, TABC finished third in the entire state of New Jersey. In 2005, the team won the New Jersey statewide championship and represented New Jersey in the national competition in Charlotte, North Carolina. Two years ago, the team won the Bergen County Championship and advanced to the state semifinals.
MODEL BEIT DIN TEAM
The TABC Model Beit Din Team operates under the leadership of Rabbi Jachter, who is a dayan. The team is given a specific case and is tasked with researching the halachic issues involved, formulating halachic decisions and presenting a coherent and compelling argument. In its first three years, the TABC Model Beit Din Team won the competition sponsored by Lander College for Men. Tryouts take place after winter break. Students may speak with Rabbi Jachter for more information.
Model Congress is a program organized by HAFTR in which students compete in mock sessions of Congress with their peers from other local yeshiva high schools. Participating students compose their own bills and resolutions, present them to fellow committee members, and engage in debate and dialogue on the pressing issues facing our nation. Under the leadership of Rabbi Nachbar, students undertake serious preparation. Interested students must engage in extensive independent research, possess good writing skills, be able to articulate their thoughts in a persuasive oral presentation and demonstrate critical thinking skills. Tryouts for the team will be held in December.
The Yeshiva University National Model United Nations is a student-run simulation of the real United Nations. Students have the opportunity to learn about and experience the complex landscape of international diplomacy. Playing the roles of delegates to actual UN member nations, participants represent a variety of positions, often ones with which they may not agree. In advocating for a given country, students must conduct thorough research of that country’s interests and policies on a wide range of issues, adding both to their knowledge of world affairs and to their facility with research, communications and critical evaluation.
The Outdoors Club meets on several Sundays throughout the year to go hiking in northern New Jersey and in Harriman State Park. Most hikes are four to six miles in length. The club hikes year-round (including in the winter!) and hopes to add overnight backpacking trips and canoeing to its slate of outings in the coming year. The Outdoors Club operates under the supervision of parent volunteer Dr. Howard Friedman, with the strong support of student leaders. The club holds an organizational meeting in the beginning of the year and announces upcoming events after Shacharit. The club also maintains a gear closet with extra backpacks, hiking poles and tents for those who need them.
The Photography Club is under the supervision of award winning certified professional photographer Glenn Lesnick. The club offers students the chance to improve their photography skills. Students will learn the elements and techniques involved in composing and capturing artistic and aesthetically pleasing photos. In addition, club members will learn and experience the intricacies of exposure, lighting, fine art portraiture workflow and post-process editing and printing. The club will critique and analyze student-produced images. Feedback from the weekly sessions will help students develop as photographers. Photography Club will meet on Tuesdays in a photo studio two blocks from TABC.
Under the leadership of Mrs. Edelman, the TABC Poetry Slam team attends several competitions at local yeshivot. Students compose and perform original works of poetry in various and often exotic forms. The team is open to all students. In order to join the team, students must submit a poem and review it with Mrs. Edelman. Students who are interested in joining should speak with Mrs. Edelman.
The Pre-Engineering Club presents students with an overview of various engineering fields. In addition to hands-on projects, club members will hear from and interact with leading engineers.
The Pre-Law Club provides a great learning opportunity for students interested in the law profession. Our student leaders arrange for engaging speakers and interesting trips. Club members have the opportunity to hear from experts in a variety of fields related to law. Past speakers have included defense lawyers, district attorneys, private investigators and judges. Members of this club also take a trip once a year. Past trips have been to the Bergen County Prison and to a Manhattan courthouse.
The Science Olympiad team has been a consistent winner of the Lander College Science Olympiad competition, which includes yeshiva high schools throughout the metropolitan area. Students work in teams to invent technology based on the theme of that year’s competitions.
The TABC Student Council is an active organization within the school community. Members of Student Council work with Rabbi Miretzky on various programming throughout the year. Highlights include Color War, Chanukah activities and the Welcome Back Weekend. Additionally, members of Student Council meet regularly with Mr. Poleyeff to provide student feedback. Student Council is composed of representatives from each grade.
TABC boasts one of the strongest video broadcasting clubs of any of the yeshiva high schools. TABC-TV is a student-run club. Club members broadcast and provide live streams of sporting events throughout the year, offering opportunities for students to be involved as videographers, editors and broadcasters. In addition to sporting events, TABC-TV records shiurim and other presentations.
Our new Technology Club provides students with many hands-on opportunities to learn about technology, including coding, hardware and experimenting with cutting edge devices. The club is supported by TABC IT Director, Mr. Ken Harris. The club meets after school once a month and weekly follow-up sessions are held during lunch.
Torah Bowl is a team competition against other metropolitan area yeshiva high schools. It follows a quiz show format similar to College Bowl. Teams of four students compete at a time and questions are based on a pre-designated portion of Torah and Nach. The TABC Torah Bowl team has entered the championship round on numerous occasions. Each year, the competition focuses on a different sefer of Chumash and Rashi. Students study on their own to prepare for the Torah Bowl. Tryouts take place in the first few weeks of school where those interested prepare one parsha with Rashi and are tested on the material. Students with the highest rankings are invited to join the team. The team consists of a maximum of 14 players. Each grade is usually represented on the team.
SUNDAY MORNING SHIUR
Rabbi Ezra Wiener gives an optional shiur on Sunday mornings for students and parents. The shiur explores sugyot related to the Messechta the yeshiva is currently learning.
UV'LECHTECHA BA'DERECH PROGRAM
For students who take the bus home from TABC, there is another way to participate in our night Seder program. Students can take advantage of their time on the bus by learning Torah. These students outline what they will be learning and have oral bechinot to encourage their learning. Students in the program have made siyumim on several massechtot of Mishnah or parshiyot in Chumash.
LATE NIGHT LEARNING
Every six weeks, students enjoy a special Late Night Learning program. Well over 100 students stay in school for learning, food and sports. The students are treated to shiurim from our rebbeim, a shiur from a special guest speaker, chaburot from college students, and a kumzits. Of course, "Im ein kemach, ein Torah!" Participants enjoy a pizza dinner and then a late night snack of cholent and Dougie’s. The final segment of the night is sports in the gym ending at midnight.
The Alumni Kollel meets every Friday. TABC alumni college students help out in classrooms, enabling the students to work on skills in small chaburot. The alumni also lead a lunch and learn and create a vibrant atmosphere in the beit midrash. Our students enjoy the relationships they are able to develop with alumni through learning, as well as their participation in Shabbatonim and other programs. The kollel students are treated to their own special shiur from our rebbeim.