Tip O' the Horn
The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


Photo by Teddy Zitron
D'var Torah
March 15, 2024

MCI to LAX: Moot Beit Din Brings Jewish Students Together


Moot Beit Din is an annual competition in which Jewish high school students come together to share their passion for Jewish learning. Teens around the country use critical thinking skills to apply halacha (Jewish law) to pressing, modern day topics. These topics range all the way from Internet privacy to immigration laws. Each year, a new topic and case is revealed to high school students around the country.

Throughout the year, students participating in Moot Beit Din work studiously to write a brief and put together a compelling oral presentation. At the annual Moot Beit Din competition, students state their opinions and present their case to the judges. The 2015 competition was held in Los Angeles.

The Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) high school Moot Beit Din team consists of six students, four of whom attended the competition, along with one adviser, Michal Cahlon. Cahlon supported and facilitated the process, but the program is otherwise completely student-run. The team starts working on their given case at the beginning of the year, creating a brief that they send into the judges before attending the competition. The brief is then graded, but this is only 50% of their score. The other part of their score is determined by judges at the competition itself when the team  presents their oral arguments.

HBHA’s Moot Beit Din team enjoys some time outside in the LA sun after competing. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Paul.

At the annual competition, students meet other teens from around the country, along with a few students from Canada. They experience their Judaism in a new way and learn to understand the differences in Jewish tradition across North America.

At the competition is Los Angeles this year, HBHA students made connections with other teens who they will hopefully meet again at competitions in years to come. Sophomore Leah Sosland who has been on the team for two years, attended the competition for the first time this year.

Sosland shares, “I’ve enjoyed talking to everyone. People come from all over America, as well as Canada! My roommates [were] Canadian, and it’s super cool how many things we have in common.” The competition weekend was jam packed with educational opportunities, an exciting outing to the iconic Santa Monica Pier, and organized social experiences.

Junior Jacob Katz also had an amazing time in L.A. Katz shared, “The competition was very, very fun. Everyone was so supportive, and it did not seem to matter if you won or if you lost.” The lively nature of the competition encouraged all participants to remember to have fun while competing.

The HBHA Moot Beit Din students agree that without Ms. Cahlon, there would be no Moot Beit Din team at HBHA. “Ms. Cahlon helped us a lot and kept us on track,” Katz commented.

Cahlon was not allowed to help the students with their case or make any suggestions, but she was supportive of the team. The team spent numerous hours in Cahlon’s classroom working on their brief and thinking of ways to present their case. Cahlon inspired the students to take action and compete to the best of their ability.

Team Captain, junior, Lindsey Paul added, “I am very proud of what we have accomplished this year, and I am so excited for Moot Beit Din next year.” The Moot Beit Din team can’t wait to discover what their new case will be next year.

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