Six of the best

December 14, 2018 by Elana Bowman
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Jewish students were those amongst those students who scored top of the class in specific subjects in the HSC.

They were among the 120 students who headed their courses in 114 courses in the HSC.

They spoke with Elana Bowman.

Genevieve’s Story:
Genevieve Goldman studied at the Emanuel School and was awarded first for Drama in this year’s HSC results.

Genevieve Goldman

She has always loved drama from a very young age – mainly from her love of musical theatre, so doing drama for the HSC was an obvious choice for her.

She is inspired by Broadway performers such as Cynthia Erivo, Barrett Wilbert Weed and Ben Platt (just to name a few!) but was also inspired by the love and support of her drama teacher, Ms Bauer, as well as her family and friends.
She hopes to study musical theatre in 2020, spending next year training for the course with lots of acting, singing, and dance lessons.
The first musical Genevieve ever saw was Wicked. She was 7 years old and fell in love with musical theatre which pushed her to join all of her high school musicals. She played Elle Woods in Legally Blonde last year, which was the best experience of her life so far – she loved every bit of it and it inspired her to pursue her true passion and love of performing.
Her tips to students are to follow your instincts – “You will have instinctual passions so always study the subjects you enjoy because you will excel in what you love. Also, hard work, determination, and self-motivation go a long way!”
Drama is all about self-expression. Once you find what you want to share, or the genre you enjoy performing most, you will be able to connect with your audience and those around you and be able to form emotional bonds, which was the most gratifying element of drama for her personally.
Sophie’s Story:

Sophie Puterflam

Moriah College student Sophie Puterflam received an equal first in Mathematics General 2 in this year’s HSC results. She was originally doing advanced maths, so she dropped to general and it became her favourite subject.

Maths made sense to her and it was for her fun to learn. She is taking a gap year and will go to university the following year, but is not sure what she will study.

Her advice to kids is to do subjects you enjoy, but also choose ones that you know you can succeed in because it’s a long process. She feels that in order to maintain motivation and interest you need to be consistent in your studying. She believes that people should also be aware of their strengths and weaknesses so that you can play to those.

Jack’s Story:

Sydney Grammar School’s student Jack Zimmerman received a first in Italian Continuers for this year’s HSC results.

Jack has always had a fervent passion for languages – he has studied French and Spanish, and wants to study more languages at university. He chose Italian because he loves the Italian culture – the food, the countryside, the culture, and history and the Italian people who are friendly and warm. He also wanted to study it because of the way it sounds – the way it rolls off the tongue.

Jack Zimmerman

Jack spent two months living in the suburbs of Florence with a Muslim Italian family. They didn’t speak a word of English, so the exchange really challenged him, culturally and linguistically. He attended an Italian school where the students were also learning English, Spanish, and French, and made lots of friends who helped him to get closer to fluency. This was a real turning point for him as it was the moment when he decided to fully commit to the language and try as hard he could to become fluent.

The main thing advice that he would give students during their HSC year (final year) is to not go too hard at the start. People want to go hard because they are nervous and excited, but they lose momentum really easily. Jack learnt that the hard way and really struggled in the middle of the year – so he feels that people need to consistently and constantly be working towards the end goal, but still have breaks in between.

He plans on studying International relations and politics at Sydney University next year. He also wants to continue studying languages and do a six-month exchange overseas. His main goal is to become a filmmaker. He is passionate about cinema and wants to write and direct his own films. He made his first proper film this year as part of his English Extension 2 major work, which it taught him a lot and made him excited for his future in the industry. Films are just another language – another method of communicating.

Rivka’s Story:

Rivka Hirschowitz was a 16-year-old  student at Moriah College and was awarded a first for Classical Hebrew Continuers.

Rivka Hirschowitz

Rivka chose Classical Hebrew as it is a very useful subject because it gives skills to study any biblical text by themselves. She feels that as a Jew it is vital to understand how to engage with our written and oral texts. This ensures Jewish continuity and more importantly gives people the opportunity to discover their own heritage.

Rivka really enjoyed learning the stories, Mishnah, and times lessons.
Her tip for students who will study Classical Hebrew is that they must work hard and be consistent. The best thing to do is to read the stories every week so you are comfortable with the unseen texts.
Rivka is 16 years old, so she is the youngest in her year. As an accelerated student she has completed her HSC early. She will be finishing school when she is 17 in 2019.
Her plan is to go on a gap year to continue learning Torah in Israel and afterwards G-d willingly to uni.
She was really excited to come first in this course as she has been working so hard this past year with many other commitments.
She would like to thank her family for all their support. She would also like to thank Moriah College for everything they have done providing incredible teachers like Mimi Nussbaum, and Rabbi Ari Lobel who assisted students with the material.
Ariella’s Story:

Ariella Rev

Kesser Torah College’s Ariella Rev finished first in Classical Hebrew Extension.
Ariella chose Classical Hebrew Extension. because she had accelerated classical Hebrew continuers in year 11, really enjoyed it, so wanted to challenge herself with a harder course.
Her advice would be to study with friends. This allows everyone to share their own ideas and to develop a further understanding as there are so many different ways to interpret the texts. Being able to study with her friends definitely enabled her to achieve her success.
When she received the call about how she finished first in Classical Hebrew Extension in NSW, she was extremely happy. “It has been very rewarding to know that all my hard work had paid off.”
Or Israel Rotstein:
Or Israel Rotstein from Byron Bay High School received a first in NSW for Modern Hebrew Continuers in the latest HSC results.
Or’s story:

Or Israel receives his award

Or has always been speaking Hebrew as he moved to Australia from Israel when he was almost 11 years old. He stumbled onto the course by chance, his mother told him about it and the benefits of doing it as an accelerated course. So in year nine when he was presented the opportunity, he decided to take and it turned out better than he could have hoped for.

He wants to do as well as he can in year 12 to maximise his university options. He is thinking about studying something to do with IT or engineering because it has always been a passion.
He doesn’t usually get involved with the small Jewish community in Byron Bay, unless there’s a Jewish holiday.

His advice to other students is that study is important but not to the point that it takes over your social life. “It was really important to maintain a healthy balance of social life and study in order for me to stay calm and on top of things during my HSC.”

His study tip is that is important to give a great focus to the areas which are difficult, but still revise and practice your strong suits because that is where you are going to excel.


One Response to “Six of the best”
  1. Ilana Cohen says:

    Joseph Samuel of Coonabarabran came top in his school in the HSC!

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