On Lag BaOmer at the Yeshiva of Central Queens, the elementary school and the JHS split into Red Eish and Blue Mayim and competed in the first ever virtual color war. Grades 1-5 competed in scavenger hunts, Torah Trivia Jeopardy, a general studies quiz game, and a d’var Torah competition. In grades four and five, they also played Name That Tune and participated in a free throw competition. Students dressed in their team colors and made banners and posters showing team spirit. The Lag BaOmer celebration continued with first grade students participating in a challenge to create their own version of bonfires for Lag BaOmer using items they could find around their homes.

While in the JHS under the leadership of the grade generals, the boys’ Blue Mayim and the girls’ Red Eish teams wrote team songs, performed stomp routines, created commercials selling their product (fire or water), and came up with memes relating to their team theme. They competed in free throw competitions, science and social studies trivia, and Torah Bowl-style activities. The day was filled with friendly competition, with points being given for winning activities and sportsmanship.

During the remainder of the week, learning continued with the third graders presenting their biography reports. Students dressed in costumes and shared their research reports. The other students got to learn about people like Neil Armstrong, Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Michael Jordon, Julia Child, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jane Goodall, to name a few. And the fourth-grade boys in 4-306, who have been learning for their unit on immigrants, each interviewed someone who immigrated to the US and wrote stories that were published into a book.

On Motza’ei Shabbos, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) sponsored a magical event for the staff in appreciation for all they do and have done to keep our students engaged in learning in their new, temporary, virtual learning environment, with an extreme magic event with Eric Wilzig, illusionist and magician, who has appeared on America’s Got Talent and has performed for audiences both nationally and internationally.

The YCQ Debate team completed their season virtually in its first-ever Zoom debate against HANC, HALB, HAFTR, Yeshivah of Flatbush, SAR, and Yavneh. The students debated the topic on The US should ban vaping and smoking. The students had to face the challenge of arguing their viewpoint, but also had to deal with restrictions of a Zoom meeting without changing the rules of the debate. YCQ rose to the challenge and won Third Place School. Debaters Benjamin Kochman, Eva Koffsky, Eitan Canter, Tani Lichtman, Joshua Aminov, Ilanit Kandhorov, Heidi Birnbaum, and Esther Nazarov did an excellent job competing in this forum and, after a year of hard work, the entire debate team finished with a successful year.