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Champagne class of 2013 Jewish matriculants




The crop of 2013 Jewish matriculants did it again! Every year when one thinks: The next class will never be able to equal these results, they do so – or even improve on them.


Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib awarded R50,000 a year bursaries to ten pupils whom he said had all shown exceptional academic ability. “These learners are the crème de la crème of the matric class of 2014, and we will be proudly welcoming them to the university and encouraging their academic progress over the next few years.”


Two of the ten came from King David, Shannon Rabinowitz and Ricky Smith (pictured above), will both study for a Bachelor of Science degree.


South African Jewish day schools have become a shining light on the matric firmament, with a 100 per cent pass rate now (unfortunately) accepted as a given. To a degree that tends to take away from the back-breaking hard work put in by the learners over 12 years; the excellent dedication and pride of a well-qualified teaching staff; and parents who passionately believe in knowledge and without whose support the children would not have been able to excel to this degree.


Jews truly remain the “people of the book”. We salute this unbeatable tripartite who again made our community proud.


At the same time we salute those hard workers – maybe not multiple distinction material – who through perseverance and support can look back, knowing they have done a good job to the best of their ability.


Exclusively focusing on the top achievers alas paints a somewhat one-dimensional picture.


King David Linksfield in 2013 again had an exceptional year – in terms of the matric results, maybe the most successful ever.


Once again the school achieved a 100 per cent pass rate and every one of the 127 candidates who wrote qualified with a university exemption – the first year that this has happened.


The school achieved an impressive total of 380 distinctions and for the seventh consecutive year the aggregate improved, including the achievements of the significant number of pupils on the Education Support programme.


Also showing a distinct improvement on previous years is the 44 per cent of candidates who achieved at least three distinctions and the 72 per cent who achieved at least one distinction.


Shannon Rabinowitz’s 10 distinctions is an extraordinary triumph and Yakira Amoils, Zack Nudelman, Ricky Smith and Sinead Urisohn, each with nine, is almost as remarkable. Then there are the host of learners who achieved, eight, seven, six distinctions…


Academic matric achievements are, however, not an end in themselves, headmaster Marc Falconer stressed, but indicate the determination and drive of pupils, the expertise and dedication of an experienced and committed staff and the support and encouragement of involved and caring parents and the smooth and professional examination IEB.


King David Victory Park’s 99 matriculants achieved 272 distinctions in the IEB examinations. This means that over 30 per cent of the group achieved five or more As. All KDVP matriculants improved the marks they achieved in their preliminary examinations, headmaster Gavin Budd pointed out.


“Our students have certainly done their school and families proud. In fact, 2013’s grade12 group typifies what we at KDVP aspire to produce: well-rounded menschen who have discovered and actualised their individual talents and passions and achieved excellence and success.


“My thanks to the academic staff for their excellent preparation of our students and for creating a caring and stimulating learning environment in which each student felt nurtured as an individual and inspired to achieve their best. A final thank you to our parents for their unwavering support for their children.”


Herzlia High School in Cape Town again lived up to its enviable reputation as a school of excellence. Marianne Marks, principal of Herzlia, writes that they are “basking in the glory of another year of outstanding matric results”, with another 100 per cent pass rate.


“For an academically inclusive school this is an amazing achievement of which we are justifiably proud and which is the result of pupils and teachers working very hard together, as a team.


“In addition we can also boast 112 pupils out of 115 with a ‘Pass Bachelors’ (97,4 per cent of the year group); 340 subject distinctions; 80 per cent of pupils achieving one or more distinctions; and two pupils, Hannah Delit and Kezia Varkel, achieving an amazing 100 per cent for economics!”


Saul Bloch scored an unbelievable 10 out of 10; Tamsin Kantor and Joshua Stein got nine out of nine; eight out of eight was achieved by Cleo Candy and Jamie Froman; seven out of eight for Gary Finkelstein, Tao Klitzner and Kezia Varkel; and Richard Harrisberg and Georgia Saacks obtained an excellent seven out of seven.


Crawford College’s matric class of 2013 did it again! The 641 matriculants did the school proud.


Once again, Crawford College Sandton was awarded the accolade of the Top Independent School in the NSC by the Gauteng Department of Education. Crawford College Lonehill was placed second and Crawford College Pretoria third.


All the candidates from Crawford College La Lucia and Crawford College Sandton achieved 100 per cent Bachelors Degree passes.


“Special mention must be made of Stephen Slabbert from Crawford College Pretoria who achieved 11 distinctions (the most in the group this year). Six Crawford matriculants got 10 distinctions.


Yeshiva College again lived up to its motto as “distinctions from a school of distinctions” with a 100 per cent pass rate, with an average of three distinctions per learner.


The four top matriculants at Yeshiva College were: Gila Glazerson, Yaffa Abadi, Kayla Rabson and Yonatan Kohaly. In addition, many of the matric learners achieved distinctions in their “Torah” subjects.


“The hard work of our teachers and pupils are reflected in not only this year’s results, but in the consistent achievements of Yeshiva over time. In the last three years Yeshiva College has enjoyed a 100 per cent pass rate, over 88 per cent university passes, and eight- distinction achievers in every year.


“Together with Torah subjects, these learners often achieve 12 distinctions each – a full house indeed,” says headmaster Denese Bloch.


Torah Academy Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools also excelled. Dean of Torah Academy, Rabbi Dovid Hazdan, stated: “Torah Academy is once again delighted at our exceptional results. We congratulate our matrics on their achievements and for realising their individual potential. We are proud of the multiple achievements as we are of each and every student for meeting the challenge of matric with confidence and strength.


“We are grateful to our exceptional educators who worked tirelessly to make each individual student shine and thank our principals Rebecca Sarchi and Rabbi Motti Hadar for their leadership, commitment and passion.”


“We are particularly proud of the results in view of Torah Academy’s vision of a bigger picture of success. The preparation for matric is a particular ingredient in a broader pursuit of excellence in education.


The learners have, simultaneously with their academic subjects, been afforded in-depth studies in Talmud, Chumash, Jewish law and philosophy.


“This wholesome achievement will always be a springboard to growth and success in life.”


Torah Academy Boys’ High saw Menachem Rose, son of Rabbi Aharon and Mashi Rose, notch up second place in Gauteng in the independent schools’ NSC exams. He received eight distinctions.


The school maintained its unbroken record of a 100 per cent pass rate, which prompted Rebecca Sarchi, principal of TA Girls’ High School, to remark that the school was “ecstatic”, but added that she believed the results were part of a bigger picture as the learners had accomplished “so much more”.

Hirsch Lyons Boys and Girls High Schools may be smaller in numbers, but this did not detract from the school’s excellent results.

“Our 12 matric students achieved 43 distinctions and 23 B symbols in the IEB matric examinations,” said principal, Rabbi Steven Krawitz. Two of the learners achieved seven distinctions each, and three six distinctions each.

As in previous years, all the learners obtained university exemption.

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  1. lynette

    Jan 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    ‘typo in the first paragraph – Tghis is the result of back-breaking hard work put in by learners over 12 years;

    Thanks for pointing that out, Lynette, will fix asap. Best regards and have a good Shabbos  -ANT

  2. Israeli

    Jan 18, 2014 at 8:12 am

    First off, I am grateful to the editorial staff for allowing me to express my message in this forum.


    Like many others, I congratulate all the matriculants on their academic achievments.
    \n{Everything from here on in is 100% trolling and harassment of our users and has been deleted. This is not a political platform – once again I refer you to OUR COMMENT GUIDELINES.  -EDITOR}
    \nUnfortunately, Choni, this right will, unfortunately, soon come to an end.


    FYI: We developed a “Shout-box” which will allow any (responsible & respectful) user to be able to post urgent notices with no pre-moderation (although it will be subject to post-moderation) and it has been available for some six weeks. The only reason we haven’t switched it on yet is that we have been looking for a way to lock out disrespectful trollers such as yourself. Sadly, it seems, the Shout-box and Comments sections will be mutually inclusive and we will have to cut you off from the ability to comment on anything once we switch it on. -EDITOR]


    What is a troll?  


    Troll (Internet): Wikipedia describes it as follows: In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    \n \n

    This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with ONLINE HARASSMENT. For example, mass media has used troll to describe \”a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.\”

  3. Israeli

    Jan 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

    \”We are not Jews. (cont.)



  4. Isreli

    Jan 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

    How can you judge on-line harassment if nobody has seen the comment?

    Your policy is dictatorial and biased against someone you dislike. I challenge you to print the message, and let your users decide if it is harassment. Better still, consult with your collegues to judge the comment.

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