Ma’ayanot’s Mock Trial team, coached by Rabbi Donny Besser, had an impressive year, completing the preliminary season 3-0, followed by wins in the quarter and semifinals last week. On Thursday evening, February 1, they advanced to the county finals, competing against Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest. More than 20 teams competed countywide. The final trial, the State of New Jersey v. Dana Martin, was held at the Hackensack Municipal Court, with Ma’ayanot’s prosecution team headed by Malka Kaminetsky, a senior, and Tali Wolff, a sophomore. Although Ma’ayanot didn’t win, they built a strong and convincing case.
“Of course it’s disappointing to lose in the finals, but I am so proud of this team,” said Rabbi Besser, an attorney. “To win five straight trials, the last two against some of the best teams in the state, reflects the talent and hard work that our students displayed night after night.” Kaminetzky was co-captain of the team, along with classmate Sarah Berman, who was an attorney for the defense with teammate Avital Novogrodsky, a sophomore. “It was particularly gratifying to see how much the team continued to improve from last year to this year, and with each successive competition this year. The extraordinary work of our team—lawyers, witnesses, and backups—leaves me confident that we can build off of this experience going forward.”