Observer May 2012
O BSERVER ObserverJCHS.com THE may/june 2012 Jewish Community High School of the Bay “Audemus jura nostra defendere” free speech Memes Intervention Raises Free Speech Issues Inside the Facebook Blocking illustration by the observer This article was written by Micah Fenner & Arno Rosenfeld The administration announced on Wednesday, April 25, that it had blocked access to websites it said consumed too much bandwidth on the student wireless network. The emailed announcement said a handful of websites, including Facebook, were consuming the majority of Renee MacDonald ...On Sports Building Staff Have Rich Sports Backgrounds W e’ve all seen the signs on the bathrooms, telling us to wait while they get cleaned. We’ve seen the windows being cleaned by men in blue shirts. We’ve seen the garbage bins being emptied throughout the day and lined with new black bags. We’ve all experienced the security guards letting us into the parking lot, or greeting us in the morning. But what we don’t see are the people behind these jobs walking home, seeing their families or partaking in their favorite activity. One of the many talented people on our staff here at JCHS is Alvaro, a member of the janitorial service. Throughout the course of a normal day at JCHS, Alvaro can be seen washing the windows, whistling as he works. But if you take a closer look, you can see Alvaro’s Adidas that he wears everyday. These shoes aren’t merely worn for comfort, but allude to a side of Alvaro that is rarely considered by the average student. Please turn to page 5 the bandwidth, compelling the school to block them. The student reaction to this announcement has ranged from outrage to understanding. “It gets extremely irritating when I need to get work done and it takes so much time to load any webpage,” says Yonah Tor (‘12), who has been frustrated recently by the speed of the AirStudents internet connection. Tor is not alone in her sentiment. When sitting in the Commons, it is not uncommon to hear frustrated students banging on the table, or worse, their computers, bemoaning the condition of the school’s internet connection. Bandwidth, for the less technically knowledgeable among us, means the maximum amount of data that can run through the internet connection at one time. Every internet connection has a limited amount of data that it can handle at any given time, and it would appear that the constant connections to Facebook as well as the other sites that were blocked, have been clogging the bandwidth, making it difficult for students and teachers alike to access the internet. The school has been actively working to improve the state of the internet for some time. In February, 2011, The Observer reported that upgrades had made the internet ten times faster. Un- sacremento bee Bill Leonard authored the Leonard Law during his time as a fortunately, though the speed of California State Senator. The law grants students at private high the school’s internet connection schools the same first amendment rights as their public school was increased, demand for bandcounterparts. width also increased, as students increased their consumption of maybe through a cartoon, but not online media such as Hulu, You- By ARNO ROSENFELD on the information super-highTube and Pandora, as well as OBSERVER EDITOR way,” said Kertesz in an interview. various internet gaming websites. Kertesz said the administraIt started as a way to mimic In December, 2011, Assistant tion met and reached a consenwhat some students noticed colHead of School Mallory Rome sus that the memes were accepttold The Observer that the ad- leges doing: creating “meme” able but decided to meet with the pages on Facebook as a way to ministration was aware of probstudents in charge of the page poke fun at things about a school lems with internet speed but and request that no names of inneeded “more data” and infor- that only students could relate to. Since the “JCHS Memes!!!1” dividuals be used in the memes. mation from teachers before tak“We felt…that there was a cerpage posted the link to a meme ing any action. According to the tain number of them that made generator on the night of Februannouncement, signed by Rome fun of people,” Kertesz said, addand Director of Technology Tony ary 13 with the message, “use it ing, “Anything that intentionwisely,” the page has garnered Gruen, a “regular analysis of the ally or unintentionally makes network” revealed the websites 142 fans and published over 50 fun of, or humiliates someone responsible for the slowdown. “memes,” a few words over a in public is wrong and shouldn’t In the past, Gruen has been simple background, in this case happen in a Jewish school.” one featuring the JCHS logo. reluctant to increase network Ben Oreper (’12), who creBut beyond attracting fans capacity, saying students simply ated the page, said Kertesz met and laughs, the page caught the needed to use it responsibly. At with him about not using indithe start of the Technology Ini- eye of several JCHS parents vidual’s names in the memes. tiative, the program launched at who alerted the administration, Oreper said this “brought up the start of the 2010-2011 school which then proceeded to talk to an issue I’d already considered year requiring students have lap- several of the students involved posting on the [page] about.” with the meme project and lay tops and encouraging the use of This amenable attitude was out guidelines for acceptable technology in classroom, Gruen common among the page admeme creation. The involvesaid the network was “more than ministrators who the deans adequate” so long as students ment of the administration, spespoke to, and it was agreed did not download large files and cifically the student deans Rabbi that names would be banned otherwise abided by the internet Dean Kertesz and Michelle Matz, from memes on the page. the online-speech of students guidelines set forth in a contract But the issue brings up the raises first amendment issues. all students were required to sign. “[This] was something I would have done in the pre-comPlease turn to page 4 Please turn to page 5 puter age just in conversation or observer investigation Israel Journey Tour Provider CEO Harbors Right-Wing Views Strong political views on Israeli-Palestinian conflict published online By MICAH FENNER OBSERVER STAFF WRITER The Junior Journey to Israel began three years ago as a joint Junior-Senior trip, and in all past years the Israeli tour company Keshet has overseen programming and assisted the school in planning the trip. The trip was first organized by former JCHS faculty member and Chair of Israel Education, Igael Gurin-Malous, in coopera- flickr Yitzhak Sokoloff, founder & CEO of Keshet, said that Israel leaving the West Bank would be a retreat to the borders of Auschwitz copyright the observer 2012. volume 3, issue 6; 10 pages tion with Keshet. “They all start the same,” Gurin-Malous, who has years of experience planning and organizing such trips, said of the planning process. Rabbi Dean Kertesz, who took over the trip planning this year after Gurin-Malous left the school, said the planning process is pretty standard: the school sends a list of goals or themes that they would like to have represented in the itinerary, and Keshet will propose an itinerary based on those goals. The itinerary is then edited and modified by JCHS so it fits the needs Please turn to page 6 2 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL MAY/JUNE 2012 editorial on Israel THE O BSERVER They Look Like the Enemy Knesset Creates Committee to Work With Admin Micah Fenner, Student Life Exec, started an all-senior committee to work with Ms. Rome. p.4 Daniella Kesel Photography The Observer’s main photographer for the past couple years has her artistic photographs featured in the Style section. p.9 Editorials ............................. 2 Opinion ................................. 3 Style ..........................................7 JCHS Journal ...................10 hen it comes to Israel the real truth is this: Israel, for all its moral imperfections, is a successful democracy forced to fend off constant attacks rooted in the new anti-Semitism: anti-Zonism. It’s no longer acceptable to say Jews run America, but it’s acceptable to say that America’s support of Israel is the result of Zionists in the government. It’s no longer acceptable to claim Jews drink the blood of Christian babies, but it’s acceptable to say Israeli soldiers intentionally killed Palestinian children during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. So many of the attacks on Israel are rooted in a prejudice against Jews that it’s only natural to feel that as Jews we must defend Israel against these attacks. Many of the Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist, many don’t like Jews, many support terrorism against innocent Israeli civilians, many throw stones at Israeli soldiers, some launch rockets into Israel and many would prefer to wait until there are more Arabs living in Israel and the Occupied Territories than Jews and force Israel to become a bi-national, non-“Jewish” state. I srael has a right to exist and so does Palestine. As Jews it’s important to stay vigilant in holding Israel accountable for its mistakes and its mistreatment of the Palestinians, but it is also important to stop the misinformation that leads people to compare Israel to Apartheid South Africa and the likes. It’s important to ask yourself if you would throw stones at IDF soldiers if they fenced off your family’s field, arrested your brother, treated you as inferior. But it’s also important to know that this is not the right course of action. Something needs to change in Israel, and change soon. The blame cannot be placed purely on one side, but neither can either side be completely absolved. Ask questions, educate yourself, and avoid falling into partisan traps set by the “pro-Israel” or “antiIsrael” forces. - The Editorial Board of The Observer An Israeli settler youth launches a stone at Palestinians driving on the road below. A heavy traditional bent was put on religious activities at this year’s conference held in Florida. p.5 W W Pluralism Was Lacking At Moot Beit Din Conference A Palestinian youth launches a stone at Israeli soldiers. hen it comes to Israel, the real truth is this: Israel’s creation resulted in the displacement of thousands of families who had lived on the land now making up the country for hundreds of years. Many of the descendants of these families now live in poverty in the West Bank and Gaza, forced to endure the daily pain of occupation. Their travel is restricted, their economy crippled, their human right’s essentially deemed less important than those of Jews by the Israeli government. Israel has a Foreign Minister who has suggested blowing up the Gaza Strip and who has made repeated racist statements regarding Arabs and Israel has shown a tremendous reluctance to make serious steps toward creating a two-state solution while happily allowing settlers to move into what is theoretically the future Palestinian state. Israel has refused to grant true self-determination to the Palestinians, it has blown up their houses, it has humiliated them at checkpoints and raided their houses in the middle of the night. Israel has fenced off their fields and built walls around their villages. Inside galasso carmine/the record/mct Established April 2010 THE OBSERVER Executive Editor Arno Rosenfeld (’12) Faculty Adviser Karie Rubin Printing Maura Feingold & Sean Gribbons We Look Like the Enemy Style Editor Jenna Zimmerman (’13) Sports Editor Sophie Navarro (’12) Opinion Editor Micah Fenner (’12) Web Editor Evan Fenner (’14) Copy Editor Sofi Hecht (’13) Editor’s Note The Observer is student run and not a product of any formal academic instruction. The paper undergoes prior review by the Administration of JCHS and content may have been altered in order to allow publication. The Observer is an open forum for reader opinion and will publish reader letters. comments 3 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 Tossing the Disc For a Good Cause kony 2012 Invisible Children, Visible Flaws kony 2012/invisible children By YONAH TOR GUEST COLUMNIST KONY 2012, who hasn’t heard of it? In the past couple months, the video produced by the tzvi miller organization Invisible Children The author of the article (far left, front row) with a group of Ultimate players from JCHS who became a viral sensation onparticipated in an Ultimate Peace fundraiser. line. I remember the first time I “Ultimate relies upon a spirit of Ultimate Peace, founded by Dawatched the video on YouTube, it By TZVI MILLER sportsmanship that places the vid Barkan, Linda Sidorsky and had roughly three million views. GUEST COLUMNIST responsibility for fair play on the Dori Yaniv, realized the potential The following day I looked and of these unique attributes that Stack! Cut! Clear! These com- player. Highly competitive play found that the number of views is encouraged, but never at the Ultimate holds, and molded them had tripled. By now, over 88 milmands are perhaps most ubiquiexpense of mutual respect among into an organization that current- lion people have watched KONY tously heard in a bustling bistro, 2012, and for a good reason: it is competitors, adherence to the ly promotes peace in the Middle where an unfortunate waiter is compelling and persuasive. agreed upon rules, or the basic East, and more recently in Comoving just as fast as his small As the viewing numbers joy of play…Such actions as taunt- lombia, using Ultimate and five feet can carry him. The second increased, the video began to ing opposing players, dangerous core values as their tools. The most likely place to hear these aggression…or other ‘win-at-allvalues are mutual respect, integ- spark controversy. Jason Russell, words is on an Ultimate pitch. rity, non-violence, friendship and the creator of the video and the Ultimate disc, sometimes dubbed costs’ behavior are contrary to co-founder of Invisible Children, fun, all of which are mentioned Ultimate Frisbee, or just Frisbee, the Spirit of the Game and must began the campaign to capture in the official rules of the game. has long been misunderstood as a be avoided by all players.” Joseph Kony, the head of the Because the sport is self-offi- This summer, the organization wishy-washy-beach-tossing-dogLord’s Resistance Army, a brutal ciating, which essentially means is traveling to the Middle East to game. While this is indeed one militia based in eastern and centhat there is no one who runs host the third year of Ultimate form that the beautiful, multitral Africa. The video describes around wearing a silly shirt ridic- Peace Overnight Summer Camp, the horrible atrocities carried out faceted Disc can take, it is not ulously waving his arms while si- where in two 5-day sessions, over by the LRA and presents a very the only one. Gaining popularity multaneously and unnecessarily 200 kids from Arab, Jewish and throughout the world, Ultimate specific goal: “to capture Kony blowing a whistle, players build Palestinian communities will live and bring him to justice.” has become an extraordinarily trust not only in their teammates, together and partake in on and competitive sport at the college But before we all jump on but in their opponents as well. off field activities that promote and club level. the bandwagon in pursuit of this Conflict resolution and commupeace and understanding. UltiHowever, what sets Ultimate noble goal, let’s consider the ismate Peace is a young organizaapart from other sports is the fact nication skills are learned, and sues. And let’s do that before we somehow none of this takes away tion, and is very accepting of any tout the video’s importance on that it is centered on inclusivity Facebook (admittedly, I did this from the ferocity with which kind of donation, monetary or and spirit. A huge component of equipment or otherwise. To learn myself ). We should start with Ultimate is Spirit of the Game, or many play the game. the questions: What is the curIn 2008, a group of people more visit ultimatepeace.org, SOTG. SOTG is not an invented rent situation in Uganda? Is the noticed these unique elements of and make sure to check out the ideal; it actually has its own secLRA still active? Does the video Ultimate, and created an orgatable in the commons for more tion in the eleventh edition of even touch on Uganda’s current nization based around the sport. information. the Official Ultimate Rule Book: problems? The facts are Joseph Kony is not in Uganda, and hasn’t been there for years. The LRA is much smaller than depicted in the video, and is not as much of a threat. But the main problem with focusing on KONY 2012 is that it is a distraction from the real problems of Uganda and Africa today. Arresting Kony is a good goal, but it doesn’t address the core issues in Uganda, which are rooted in the political and social system that exists in the country and allows a person like Kony to achieve power in the first place. The Ugandan leadership is very corrupt. Human rights are not high on their agenda. Just consider the anti-homosexuality bill proposed in Uganda not long ago, a bill that sentences people to death for homosexuality. Invisible Children wants us to help this government in capturing Kony, and to contribute money so they can strengthen their armed forces. I just don’t see how that makes sense. The Kony 2012 video caused great anger among Ugandans because they saw it as a simplistic and largely misleading depiction of reality and a diversion of Western attention and aid. I am not saying that capturing Kony is not a good cause, but helping Africa should not be about feeling good about ourselves by clicking “Like” on Facebook. We need to truly learn the issues, and if we want to help, to actually get involved and do some real work. NatCon Connects American Teens To Build a Better Country believed the environment was an unimportant issue, and most GUEST COLUMNIST shocking to me personally, were vehemently homophobic. One Last summer, I served as a Page laughed at the thought of Congressional Page for Minority having a gay president, saying if Leader Nancy Pelosi. This was one were ever elected he would one of the most eye-opening and be the first in line with a shotgun. formative experiences in my life, As the son of gay parents, and showed me the destructive I was deeply hurt. At first, I impact intransigent legislators would completely refuse to who refuse to listen to the other listen to them, stomping out of side’s opinions can have on the effectiveness of American govern- the room whenever they made such remarks. But then it began ment. dawning on me that my actions Some of the most remarkable aspects of my experience were the were comparable to those of the intransigent legislators I was eerie parallels I began drawing between the chaos I was witness- witnessing surrounding the debt ceiling debate showdown. ing on the House floor and my The stagnancy in Congress interactions with fellow Pages. I met Pages who were creationists, this past summer was what drove By ELIJAH JATOVSKY me to do my Senior Keystone project on reforming the American government. I believe the system of American government is inherently sound, and that what needs reformation is the people who are running the system. I created a high school networking project called National Connect, which pairs high school students of different backgrounds and facilitates a respectful online dialogue about their fundamental beliefs. NatCon is an effort to provide the next generation of American citizens with the skill set to be able to communicate and work with those of different opinions to create positive change in our society. As an immediate impact, I drafted a piece of legislation called the Communication Act, which calls for mandatory “Communication Sessions” for all congressmen preceding each session of Congress. These sessions are intended to encourage congressmen of different parties to cooperate more and to provide them with the communication tools to do so. Today’s society is filled with disenchanted citizens who are skeptical of our government’s ability to function. My message to these people is that this need not be so. Respectful communication is the key to cooperation; cooperation is an essential component of change. I made a decision as my sum- mer progressed that I would not follow in the footsteps of the legislators who were supposed to be setting examples for us. I chose to put my anger at these Pages’ homophobia aside, and talk it out with them, respectfully. This respectful communication was the key to getting one of these Pages to write me later saying, “You changed my views of San Francisco…It’s full of liberals, but they’re okay peeps.” If you are interested in participating in the National Connect project, email Elijah at email@example.com. For more information and to read the NatCon Blog, please visit www. NationalConnect.org. 4 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 from the cover Blocking Websites Was Progression In Quest to Improve Network Speed From page one In December, 2011, he told The Observer, in response to a teacher’s frustrations at the slow speed of the internet in his classes, that the primary problem with the network was that internet cables were being unplugged by mischievous students, shrinking access to the network. However, according to Gruen, “live monitoring of network statistics revealed that Facebook (along with several music streaming sites) was consuming a massive amount of the school’s bandwidth.” The administration is in general very hesitant to block student access to internet resources outright because blocking itself has little educational value. “We would rather educate and have students make the decision [whether or not to go on Facebook] for themselves rather than making the decision for them,” says Ms Rome. However earlier this year, they took the step of restricting the students’ access to Steam, an online gaming portal, as they felt that this would reduce some of the congestion on the network. Despite the upgrades to the network and the blocking of Steam, congestion on the network continued to build and the educational capacities of the school’s internet connection suffered. This was brought to the attention of the the IT department by Rabbi Dean Kertesz and Evan Wolkenstein. Wolkenstein, who runs a “paperless class” relying heavily on the wireless network, told The Observer in December that he knew “Tony [Gruen] works really hard to keep [the network] running well,” but feels bad “for students who are trying to do work and they can’t get a document open” for class. The announcement to the daniella kesel/the observer In this file photo, Director of Technology Tony Gruen, who oversaw the website blocking, greets students at the start of the school day. student body emphasized this Gruen deemed to be the larg- tion keeps doing things that lose issue. “It is of primary impor- est sources of data congestion. them points with the students.” tance to us to make sure that the As might have been expected, Some students took a more network is available for learning many students are unhappy with nuanced view of the action. and educational purposes,” Rome the decision to block the popu- Freshman Oren Abusch-Magder and Gruen wrote. Though media lar websites. The email seemed said, “I understand where the streaming sites were consum- to take this into consideration, school is coming from.” But, he ing a large amount of bandwidth, referring to the decision as “re- added, “I think I am not alone the IT department was surprised grettable” and adding that, “We when I say that I use Facebook to discover that it was Facebook try not to block sites except when multiple times a day for school. I usage consuming the majority of absolutely necessary.” Some stu- have to find a new and less conbandwidth on AirStudents, caus- dents also appeared to believe venient way of sending notes.” ing the slowdown. The adminis- the action was taken for reasons The administration did point tration has been aware for years besides increasing network effi- out that students are still able to of the amount of student Face- ciency. Many believed the admin- access Facebook on their mobile book usage, and they have toyed istration wished to cut down on devices, as well as on the computwith the idea of blocking it to in- illicit use of Facebook and other ers in the Library, and that “if in crease focus and concentration websites during class. “I don’t fact, there is still network conwithin the student body. That believe them at all,” said Havneh gestion despite Facebook being idea, though, had never gathered Haugabook (’13), allowing only blocked, [they] will reevaluate if traction because there had been that Facebook could have been “a the blockage is still beneficial.” no consensus on whether such a small addition to the slowness” of In fact, the administration said ban would be in the best interest the internet. Haugabook said he they understand the educational of the students. However, once felt, “It is our responsibility as stu- and collaborative potential of teachers began to feel the ef- dents to monitor our time well.” Facebook and for this reason fects of the data crunch on their Senior Florencia Hasson ex- have not cracked down on usclasses, the administration made pressed frustration with the de- age in the past. This despite the the final call to block the websites cision, saying, “The administra- fact that, according to Rome, many other private high schools in the Bay Area do block Facebook on their student networks. In contrast to Rome’s more open view of Facebook, Ken Sanders, principal of East Middle School in Plymouth, Michigan, which has one of the stiffest social media bans, told the New York Times in September that, “We know there is no education in social networking. Sanders, whose school bans personal laptops and cellphones, added, “Kids should be in school to learn, so we have a system that blocks all personal access” to the internet. While the school is not banning Facebook out of worries over student use of the site, but rather over the effects of the use on the network, students will now be unable to access a website that some experts have begun to deem increasingly important to students’ educations. “Many students use social media to enhance their learning, expand the reach of the classroom, find the things they ‘need to know,’ and fashion their own personal learning networks,” wrote Craig Watkins, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who has studied the use of social media by teenagers. “In the not so distant future the notion that schools should block social media will become difficult to defend,” Watkins, wrote in an essay for DMLCentral, a website about technology and education. Despite such concerns, Rome says that not only has the network been experiencing much lower levels of congestion, but she has received “positive feedback from both teachers and students about the network quality since the block.” She acknowledges that problems exist with blocking any site and she has been working with the IT department to ensure that it proves to be as little of a hindrance as possible. In fact, though the initial announcement said that the school would be unable to unblock Facebook after school, this is no longer the case and it is automatically unblocked at the end of every day as the demand for bandwidth decreases. knesset New Committee Works With Administration to Improve Academics both allow seniors to attend more Keystone presentations as well as ease some of the end of the year p r e s s u r e. It would also create a reflection “wrap -up week” to allow seniors time to contemplate the end By BEN FEINER SPECIAL TO THE OBSERVER In the middle of this year, Knesset formed the Academic Affairs Committee which has been meeting monthly with Assistant Head of School Mallory Rome to discuss issues affecting students. Senior Micah Fenner, a member of the committee, explained, “We meet with Ms. Rome once a month to discuss various concerns about things pertaining to academics, to discuss ideas we have, and for her to flesh out academic initiatives that are being considered by the school.” One of the notable student-led initiatives coming out of discussions with Rome has been to move up senior final exams to around the time of AP testing. This would arno rosenfeld/the observer Knesset Exec for Student Life Micah Fenner, center, spearheaded the AAC. of their JCHS careers. There is another effort underway to improve teacher communication and adherence to the JCHS assessment calendar. Every student has had one of those days where they had two tests, a quiz or two and a major project. Unfortunately, this sort of thing occurs far too often as many teachers seem to not update their curriculum in the assessment calender, members of the committee believe.Other committee projects have been to improve Israel education, experiential education and interdepartmental collaboration. What’s the next subject on the list? According to Fenner, the topic of the one meeting was technology related issues at JCHS. The meeting should address many student concerns about internet speed and computer problems. 5 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 The Pluralism Scandal at Moot Beit Din JCHS sends letter of complaint following moot court conference organized by RAVSAK By JENNA ZIMMERMAN OBSERVER STAFF WRITER Last month, five members of the JCHS community headed off to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete against 21 other Moot Beit Din teams from Jewish day schools across the country. What the team hadn't expected was an encounter with a definition of pluralism very different from the one created here at JCHS. Student participants Talia Beck('12), Ruth Hollander('13), Elijah Jatovsky('12), and Danny Robinow('12), along with Faculty Advisor Rabbi Ladon, represented roughly half of the school's greater Moot Beit Din team who began work in the fall. The group was given a set of difficult circumstances with the assignment to use all kinds of Jewish resources and propose what the Moot Beit Din calls a “Jewish legal opinion.” The circumstances given to the teams this year were theoretical salary cuts in a fictional country, Petogogia. The question posed for the students was whether or not strike and formation of a union would be in order according to Jewish law. The JCHS team analyzed numerous sources and prepared an in depth response. In an interview, Rabbi Ladon explained that prior to the fourday trip, the travelling students and faculty received a survey with tefillah options for the Shabbaton they’d observe together in Janitors & Security Guards Have a Sporty History solutely adores boxing and plans to pick it back up next year, he actually started his sports career When Alvaro was our age, he in high school when he ran track, played soccer for his high school participated in cross country (the 2 mile being his favorite) and team back in Mexico. His love was a champion pole vaulter for for soccer began when he was much younger, but he soon found his high school three of his four years. Green did martial arts for a home when his team went to play in competitions. What really many years of his life and wanted motivated Alvaro, who played de- to try kickboxing but had to start with boxing and let’s just say he fense, was the way he felt when his team would score a goal. This never really moved on to kickboxing. He has gone very far in was Alvaro’s favorite part of the game. Unfortunately, for the past boxing, winning a trophy at the Golden Gloves. Green recently 8 years, Alvaro hasn’t played on a soccer team, but he still tries to stopped boxing because of scheduling conflicts, but plans to pick play as often as possible, even if it up next year. it’s just on the weekends in the Scheduling conflicts also middle of a pick-up game. When plagued Ron White, the after these opportunities don’t present school guard, in his basketball themselves, Alvaro is content career. White played baseball in with watching soccer on televielementary and middle school, sion, especially Barcelona--his and started playing basketfavorite team. ball towards the end of middle And what about the security school. When he was 16, he guards? We are lucky enough to started playing more seriously. At be guarded by three incredibly 20 years old, he started coaching interesting men who have acbasketball for park and rec teams. complished some pretty amazAbout nine years ago, raising ing feats in their sports careers. kids, playing and coaching basLet’s start with the smiling face ketball and having a full time job that welcomes us every morning. Mitch Schlachterman, when became too much for White, so he gave up playing to focus more he was our age, enjoyed playing on the important things already forward in basketball and fullback in soccer for his high school on his plate. Now White has been coaching for 30 years, everyone teams in the Philippines. In colfrom girls to boys, junior high lege, he started playing on their golf team and fell in love with the to high school. His proudest sport. In fact, he still plays twice accomplishments have been cocreating the Showcase League in a week at Harding Park. At one Daly City (now in its 29th year), point, Schlachterman stopped and seeing his own players get playing golf because he wanted recruited to numerous colleges to try something new so he started tennis and played for two with the help of the rest of the coaching staff. years, but eventually had to go The four men all affect our back to his first love: golf. While everyday lives in big and small not playing golf with old or new ways. We support our Wolves, friends at the park, Schlachterand at one time, these men were man enjoys watching basketball supported by their school comnamely the Oklahoma Thunder, munities. Many of them are still because he feels that they are a active in their respective sports cohesive team. and have the same passion for Schlachterman’s desk mate, them that we do, so feel free to Nate Green, also has interesting sports stories in his past. A lot of go up to them during the day and start a conversation about students think of Green’s sports basketball, pole vaulting, soccer, career and the word “boxing” comes to mind. While Green ab- baseball and the list goes on. mct Florida. The options were either an Egalitarian service or an Orthodox service with a mechitzah. This was the first thing that set off a bit of a red flag for JCHS senior and Moot Beit Din travelling team member Danny Robinow. The two alternatives given sounded comparable to JCHS’s own Egalitar- ian and mechitzah minyans. The problem was uneasiness about what Robinow described as a “complete absence” of a Reform or more liberal minyan option. The host organization for the competition was RAVSAK, which also calls itself “The Jewish Community Day School Network.” Robinow issued in an interview that he finds this title misleading, as an entire main sect and “observance level” of Judaism was being overlooked in the planning of the Shabbaton. Rabbi Ladon vindicates that there is a spectrum, even between different pluralistic Jewish communities. The faculty advisor was most surprised by the more observant majority of the demographic. Ladon suggests that JCHS’s articulation of pluralism may be reflective of our already very liberal sur- roundings. However, it was a different trouble that led the JCHS teacher to write RAVSAK a letter. The issue that drove this action was the demographic of the judges themselves during the actual competition. The team was in Group A, meaning that they had been given the opportunity and challenge of finding their own sources and forming an argument from them. All three of the judges for Group A were orthodox, which Ladon finds “problematic.” The JCHS team members presented for ten minutes, answered questions for ten minutes and created a wonderfully multifaceted argument, but couldn’t satisfy those judges as the team returned home without a winning title. Ladon remarks about the importance of pluralism being a community discussion and recognizes JCHS and its distinguished ability to use pluralism as a system of comfort and respect for Jews at all observance levels. California Law Protects Free Speech at Private High Schools From page one From page one question of what would have happened if the students had refused to agree to the deans’ requests. How far can the school go in regulating student speech inside and outside of school. Public school students have their free speech rights protected by the 1969 landmark Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines School District which set the standard for student speech in schools. “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” the court wrote in deciding that it was unconstitutional for an Iowa high school to suspend students for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. In early April, George Washington High School in San Francisco attempted to suspend several students for posting memes about their teachers, but was forced to take back the suspension after the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in. “Criticism of authority figures is exactly the type of speech the Constitution was designed to protect,” the ACLU said in a statement. The San Francisco Unified School District, after being contacted by the ACLU, instructed the high school not to discipline the students. But the first amendment protections have historically applied only to public schools, while private school students have had to abide by whatever rules were set forth by their respective administration. This is still the case in 49 states, but in 1992, California passed a law, known as the “Leonard Law,” granting students at private high schools the same free speech rights as their public school counterparts. The law, actually part of the California Education Code, reads, “Private secondary schools shall not make or enforce any rule mct Some restrictions on memes stemmed from Jewish values, Kertesz said subjecting any high school pupil to disciplinary sanctions solely on the basis of conduct, this is speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside of the campus, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution…” Under the Leonard Law it would appear that the administration would not have had the legal standing to stop students from creating memes if they had so wished. Or, at least they would have had difficulty enforcing such a ban. “If, after enacting [a ban on memes], they were to take steps to enforce and punish students for their otherwise lawful mems then, yes, I think that would probably raise some Leonard Law concerns,” Mike Hiestand, Consulting Attorney at the Student Press Law Center, which deals with free speech issues in high schools and colleges, wrote in an email. But what about the ban on using individuals names? Does that impinge on student speech rights, or is it within the rights of school to protect members of its community from any potential embarrassment? “Identifying individuals by name—as long as you don’t libel, invade their privacy or otherwise break the law when you do so—is a lawful speech activity. So, yes, I think the Leonard Law would be applicable,” Hiestand wrote, adding, “There is a religious exemption that allows schools to get out from under the LL if the speech conflicts with their basic religious tenets, but that doesn’t sound like what we’re talking about here.” On Hiestand’s last point, Kertesz disagreed. Preventing individuals from being identified in the memes was “consistent with Jewish values,” he said. But he didn’t take as much issue with the idea of restricting student speech. Legally speaking, he said, the school might have some standing in stopping the memes at least in their current form, because the background on most of the memes uses the school’s logo. “It’s not just students doing whatever they want, it’s publicly JCHS because they’re using the JCHS logo. It’s not completely black and white. It’s grey.” Still, while the “request” never turned into a “demand or command,” as Kertesz characterized it, he said he understood the free-speech restrictions at play. “The minute I tell somebody not to post something they want to post it impinges on their free-speech…For me, the issue is free speech vs. hurting someone’s feelings, and I would argue limit the speech to avoid causing someone pain.” 6 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 jchs gymnasium Gym Plans Revealed to Community By ELIJAH JATOVSKY OBSERVER STAFF WRITER The JCHS Board of Directors is in the process of exploring the construction of a gym and life-fitness center on what is now the Terrace. Following construction of the gym and life-fitness center, additional classrooms may be added to accommodate a growing student body. The school has not begun raising money for the new gym, though Head of School Rabbi Howard Ruben wrote in an email that, “One primary responsibility for the new Director of Institutional Advancement working with the Board and Head of School will be to develop a strategic plan and capital campaign for the resources necessary to build the gym.” Ruben said that the Board believed an addition of such facilities would be a major step in fulfilling the aspect of the JCHS Vision Statement which states, JCHS is “committed to an extensive enrichment program, including the arts and athletics.” President of the Board Barry Cohn stated that the gym “will advance the institution towards deepening its well rounded, c o m prehensive high school experience. It will enable the school to provide its students the full range of human expression.” In addition to advancing the school’s athletic program, Ruben believes the gym will act as a necessary communal meeting space for the growing community. The Board has hired Starkweather Bondy Architecture, which has been used by numerous other local middle and high schools in the Bay Area, including Brandeis. Lead architects Bill Bondy and Richard Springwater have been holding meetings with the Board, The Terrace, seen above on its opening day, will be home to the JCHS Gymnasium. students, members of the Athletic Department and others who have input about planning the gym. The Board is waiting to make public details of the cost, physical structure and time frame of construction until plans have been finalized. Athletic Director Coach Tim Kjar wrote in an email that, “The a d d i tion of the gym will…add to our thriving community here at JCHS… W i t h J C H S having our own g y m , t h e athletic teams will have m o r e jchs t i m e to practice and prepare.” Students are understandably excited at the prospect of a new gym. Girls varsity basketball captain Sophie Navarro (’12) said, “It’s very important… as our athletics program expands and strengthens, that we have our own facilities to support our growth.” While Navarro will be graduating this year, she continued that the gym and life-fitness center will “make games and practices a lot more convenient” and that it will help centralize athletics and sports, allowing more fans to attend games and overcome what she sees as divisions among current sports teams. Admissions Director Katharina Stromeyer said the new gym and life-fitness center will be used as a promotional tool for JCHS. She believes a new state of the art building will “create a big buzz in the community and attract more potential families.” She mentioned that the gym and lifefitness center would likely attract more boys, which is something the Admissions team is working on after this year’s freshman class had more girls than boys. She added that the gym would be used as a place to hold recruitment events like basketball clinics. According to Ruben, “The gym and life-fitness center will ‘complete’ the campus and program at the school.” Stromeyer agreed, saying, “The investment in a new gym gives the strong message to the community that we are an established, financially stable school with a vision for the future.” observer investigation Israel Journey Founder’s Published Political Views Seem To Have Minimal Impact on Programming From page one of the school. Once the itinerary has been set, Keshet is mostly responsible for logistics and providing tour guides for the group. Keshet was founded in 1996 by Yitzhak Sokoloff, a Jewish philosophy teacher who moved to Israel and decided that there was need for a pluralistic, non-denominational tour provider. Since then, Keshet has grown to become one of the largest tour companies in Israel, providing tours for groups of all denominations, including synagogue groups, school groups, and birthright groups. Keshet’s staff is made up largely of Americans who have made aliyah and are now Israeli citizens, including Sokoloff, the current CEO. Using Americans helps ensure tour leaders don’t have accents that are difficult to understand and that the guides and primary staff members have some degree of familiarity with U.S. mannerisms and customs. An Observer investigation has revealed that Keshet CEO Sokoloff harbors strong right-wing political views regarding the conflict. Sokoloff has written in depth online about his political beliefs. For example, he has written and co-written articles opposing an Israeli ceasefire with Hamas, the political and terrorist group controlling Gaza. In another article criticizing the liberal Israel lobby J-Street, Sokoloff reiterated a famous line referring to the relinquishing of the West Bank as a “retreat elijah jatovsky The Class of 2012 sits along a pathway in Mitzpe Yericho, the West Bank settlement considered illegal under internatioanl law that their tour guide brought them to during the 2011 Israel Journey. to the borders of Auschwitz.” during the stop in the settlement, During the 2011 Journey, sev- and it was treated in the same eral students were disgruntled to manner as other stops on the trip. find that the group had unwitting“It was a conscious effort to ly been taken into the West Bank promote the very specific politifor a bathroom stop at a settle- cal agenda that the West Bank is ment where a friend of the head a part of Israel and the settletour guide lived. The West Bank ments are legitimate,” said Elijah is the territory adjacent to Israel, Jatovsky, one of the seniors who occupied by the Israeli military was ideologically opposed to ensince 1967, that is home to 2.5 mil- tering the West Bank settlements. lion Palestinians and several hunThe school says that discusdred thousand Jewish settlers sion of the Israeli-Palestinian whose presence is considered conflict, including the issue of illegal under international law the West Bank, is built into the (the Israeli government considers trip but in the case of the detour some settlements legal and others on the 2011 trip, it did not ocillegal). Part of the students’ dis- cur while in the settlement becomfort stemmed from the fact cause it was an unplanned stop. that the political issues surroundThe stop in the settlement may ing the West Bank and Palestin- have appeared to some students ian territories were not discussed as fitting with Sokoloff’s political beliefs, however it appears to be an isolated incident, as no such event was reported as occurring on the 2012 Journey and the school has made efforts to be vigilant in avoiding a repeat. The school offers students the opportunity of declining to participate in the very limited amount pre-planned programming that takes place in the West Bank if they or their families object. Furthermore, many students on the 2011 Journey found a political tour of Tel Aviv that was presented as displaying a leftwing and right-wing perspective as being tilted toward the left-wing, in stark contrast to Sokoloff’s published opinions. As for the 2012 trip, David Dolgonosov (‘13) said he felt that the programming was quite neutral, and at times leftleaning. “Of course”, he said, “there was definitely a proIsrael tilt,” but not blindly so. The political differences between Keshet and JCHS have not gone unnoticed. Gurin-Malous, views past issues that have come up with Keshet as indicative of an insurmountable cultural differ- ence. “As Americans, we see the conflict from a perspective that Israelis don’t,” Gurin Malous said. “What we see as balanced, they see as giving legitimacy to voices they don’t agree with.” According to Kertesz, Keshet has learned to work with JCHS and the ideological differences are not a problem. Head of School Rabbi Howard Ruben said he was aware of the political views of Sokoloff but pointed out that in Israel, it isn’t easy to find tour companies whose founders do not feel strongly about their political views. This is corroborated by TourismWatch, a German organization dedicated to “bridging people in Europe with people in developing countries.” According to a paper published by TourismWatch, the tourism industry has an enormous amount of peacemaking potential on both the side of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, however, “As far as the political representation... the information conveyed about the political situation and its backgrounds is concerned, there are deficits... within tour operators material” which may harm how tourists understand Israel. Ruben said if JCHS did not feel confident that Keshet could plan a trip according to the standards set by the school, they would find a different tour provider. JCHS’s Israel Mission Statement says Israel “plays a central role in the mission of [JCHS]” and “recognizes [Israel] as the national homeland for the Jewish people,” but the school has no official political doctrine regarding the country. Style STYLE EDITOR: JENNA ZIMMERMAN JZIMMERMAN@JCHSOFTHEBAY.ORG may/june 2012 page seven observer interview with Israeli newspaper columnist Ben Dror Yemini ‘It’s Coming’ ‘When I sayBerkeley, youknow what I mean’ This is politicide’ ‘Demonization’ ‘Iask about factsandtheyjust say,Apartheid!’ ‘have Weaproblem’ Vicious attacks on Israel and Jews are mounting, what’s an ambivalent Zionist to do? jordan dong/the observer By ARNO ROSENFELD OBSERVER EDITOR Listening to Ben Dror Yemini speak, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I heard Israel accused of ethnic-cleansing. In June 2010, a friend and I went to a Board of Supervisors meeting at City Hall in San Francisco, where public comment was being held on a resolution to condemn Israel for intercepting the “freedom flotilla,” the convoy of ships trying to break the naval blockade on Gaza. The issue was the last to be discussed, and waiting in the meeting room for four hours, I had managed to work my way to the front of the line, and ended up as the fifth speaker—and the first not there to criticize Israel. I knew things might get ugly at the meeting. Public debate about Israel tends to bring out the worst in people. Nevertheless, I felt waves of shock wash over me as I listened to the four speakers ahead of me in line: “The Zionist Israeli State is not only suffocating the Palestinian people but they are ethnically cleansing [them]!” Gaza is being “strangled from the inhale of the universe” “Israel killed [members of the flotilla] in cold blood.” I stood and—taken aback by what I had just heard—disregarded my written statement: “I didn’t actually get up here to defend Israel from ethnic cleansing,” I said, “But apparently that’s what they’re being accused of.” Ethnic cleansing? What the comment meant, at its heart, was that Israel was no better than the Nazis. That if the world, in this case the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, failed to eliminate Israel, then a crime on the level of the murder of six million Jews would be allowed to continue. After pointing out that it was Hamas’s charter that threatened to search behind every tree and rock in Israel—save for the “Jew trees,” which will naturally hide the Jews—and kill all the Jews, I made it through my original statement. “By all means speak out for the rights of Palestinians and speak out against the blockade [of Gaza]. But do not condemn Israel’s right as a sovereign, democratic nation to defend itself and protect its citizens,” I said. Please turn to page 8 The Problem With Drug Company Motives and Overprescribed Teens By AMIR AMADO-FEELEY GUEST COLUMNIST Drug companies are some of the most powerful and profitable companies in the world. In 2002, the worldwide sales of prescription drugs was estimated to be around $400 billion. Americans alone spent over $200 billion on drugs. In 2002, the combined profits of the top ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) exceeded the profits of the 490 other business put together (33.7 billion). These big drug companies take full advantage of their power and money to influence, if not dominate, the medical profession. One noted medical administrator, Dr. Angell, has written: The pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to coopt every institution that might stand in its way, including the U.S. Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself… Forest Laboratories fits Dr. Angell’s description perfectly. In 2009, Forest Labs launched two new drugs, Celexa and Lexapro. Both are anti-depressants and both were approved by the FDA for use by adults. However, Forest Labs was anxious to expand sales of the drugs to the huge market for children. A lawsuit later revealed what the company did to try to gain a foothold in this market. 1) They had elaborate plans to mix crushed Lexapro with apple sauce so as to make it more suitable for children, and they withheld data which showed that Lexapro and Celexa increased mct suicidal tendencies in children; 2) Forest Labs also anticipated that they would be sued, and purposefully set aside $170 million to settle with the Department of Justice. They were caught and charged, and in 2011 the company was forced to settle for $313 million, almost twice the amount they had anticipated. Still, the settlement amount did minimal damage to the company and Forest Labs can afford to continue their ways without major setbacks. The lawsuit also brought out the following facts: to market Lexapro and Celexa to kids, Forest labs bribed a series of pediatricians. They gave the doctors tickets to St. Louis Cardinals games, thousand dollar certificates to expensive restaurants in New York, tickets to George Please turn to page 8 8 THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 Figuring Out How To Stand With Israel The Problem With Drug Companies From page seven From page seven Yemini, the opinions editor for Ma’ariv, a leading Israeli newspaper, came to JCHS on March 3, as part of a publicspeaking tour in the Bay Area. He spoke to Aaron Pollock’s Media and Advertising F Block class, and prior to that I had an opportunity to interview him. In a brief but wide-ranging interview, Yemini got across his main point: I don’t think “Israel has any exemption from criticism, of course not—I mean it would be so stupid to say,” he said talking at a fast-clip. But Israel “is facing a huge campaign of demonization, a huge campaign of what I call,” he paused for dramatic effect, “an industry of lies.” That’s what I encountered at the Board of Supervisors meeting years ago, and that’s what Yemini is trying to fight against: demonization, or “politicide” as he calls it. Yemini talked with classic Israeli bluster, waving his hands and trying to slip pro-Israel trivia into answers. “Israel is enjoying the same kind of freedom of speech just like in the United States, sometimes even more!” He said in response to a question about whether his belief that Israeli settlements should Carlin performances, tickets to plays, etc; Forest Labs also spent $100,000 to hire ghostwriters to produce research reports on the safety of the two drugs. Ghostwriting in the medical community is when a company hires someone to write a report and pays a well-known psychiatrist to put his or her name on the paper to give it credibility. Forest Labs enlisted over 2,000 psychiatrists and primary care doctors to promote Lexapro and Celexa. These 2,000 doctors were paid a total of $34.7 million to deliver over 15,000 lectures about the benefits of the two drugs. On average, each physician received $17,350 dollar per lecture. Sadly, the truth is that most pharmaceutical companies do the same or worse things as Forest Labs. Furthermore, Forest Labs does not even make the top ten most profitable drug companies, thus leaving richer and greedier companies to create an imbalance with prescriptions. Next time you are at the doctor and get prescribed a medication, we need to look out for ourselves, as clearly drug companies are not doing it for us. ever, as a Jew, I’m inherently attached to Israel, so I allow myself to hold Israel to a high standard and be consistently and deeply disappointed with its record of treatment toward Palestinians, its continued occupation of their land, its societal racism toward Arabs and the disregard some members of the current government treat democracy with. mct I am a sometimes-Zionist. I struggle with what it means for a country to be both Jewish and democratic. I firmly believe be evacuated would be palatable a country’s purpose should be to the Israeli public. The relation to ensure the best life possible for all its citizens, and a country of answer to question? Somededicated to just one ethnicthing about how he could write ity—in this case Jews—can never whatever he wanted regardless do that for its minorities. Furof what people believed because thermore, to the extent being a Israel is democratic. Zionist means supporting Israel, Perhaps this was just a bit I see so many wrongdoings in its of reflexiveness on the part of a founding and history that I am man who must endure his share ambivalent about supporting it. of tough crowds when he visits However, I can never say the Bay Area. But once he had that I would be happy if Israel tolerated my questions about didn’t exist. I read about antisuch trivial matters as settlements, the future of Israel as both Semitism in Europe. I see the a Jewish and democratic country American public turn against Muslim-Americans, picketing and whether Hasbara—or Israel advocacy—was simply a mask for their mosques and questioning their allegiance. And I think “that the country’s ills, he got to talk about what he really cared about. could be here, that could be us.” When I walk off the field See, Yemini is a political columnist in a country full of plenty following a soccer game and I of politics on which to comment. hear an opposing player mutter under his breath, “go back to But he primarily focuses on the the furnaces,” I can’t help but be negative obsession he sees the glad there is at least one place on international media-- and the people of the world at large--hav- earth where I am not a minority and where there is a powerful ing with Israel. military that—no matter its moral This is nothing new, and there are many American Jewish missteps—will fight to keep my people safe. organizations dedicated to “exI love walking the streets of posing media bias,” and showing how the international fixation on Tel Aviv or Jerusalem and being surrounded by Jews. It gives me Israel is rooted in anti-Semitism tremendous pride in my people rather than legitimate human to see what we built in such a rights concerns. I’ve always short period of time. Every time understood this view, as it’s true Israel hits a new milestone it that many people hold an incormakes me proud. I find joy in rect world view wherein Israel each new Nobel Prize given to is one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world. How- an Israel; each time an American university pairs with an Israeli one and each time an Israeli artist makes it onto mainstream playlists. I feel connected to Israel, and I am glad the Jews have a homeland. With this ambivalence in mind, something Yemini said near the end of the interview stuck with me. I pointed out to him that for all the anti-Israel attitudes he described the world as holding, Israel is actually doing quite well lately. Its trade deals with foreign countries are increasing, tourism is healthy, the boycott movement hasn’t caught steam, and here we are attending a relatively new Jewish school in America with strong ties to Israel. What was the real effect of all this “bias”? All this demonization? “The point is, it’s coming… In Irvine, it’s coming, in many other places, it’s coming,” he said resolutely. I had heard this before, but what got me this time was that I realized he was right. Following the conviction of several UC Irvine students for conspiring to disrupt Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren when he came to speak on campus, a friend in Los Angeles posted a Facebook status expressing outrage that, “students who were exercising their freedom of speech in a peaceful way against someone who is responsible for deaths of so many are convicted.” The deaths of so many? Michael Oren the murderer? This was a friend I liked and respected, one who paid attention to the world and thought deeply about political issues. And yet, here she was treating Israel with as much scorn as if it were an evil, oppressive and murderous regime. This is the attitude taken on by so many young people today. In some respects, this is the “proIsrael” lobby’s fault. Instead of telling the truth, the whole truth, mct that Israel is a deeply flawed, and yet still wonderful country, they force people to choose sides. On one side is the powerful, noble, righteous Israel, which can do no wrong and which is deserving of no criticism. On the other side is oppressed, impoverished and humble Palestine, which is living under the iron fist of the Zionists. These narratives are both false. But in this world of soundbites and shallow thought, this is the reality. And Israel cannot win this game. The person who spoke right before me at the Board of Supervisors meeting was a 15-year old girl. She got up there to speak out against Israel. Several hundred people spoke at that meeting, ignoring the resolution much of the time and delivering speeches for or against Israel. Out of those hundreds of people, many teenagers stood up and spoke with passion for their cause. My friend and I were the only two non-adults there to support Israel, and in a meeting where Zionist was essentially a stand-in for “Jew,” that was unsettling to say the least. This doesn’t mean we should all run out and become huge advocates for Israel. In fact, blind advocacy for Israel will accelerate Israel’s downfall. Israel cannot win the war of narratives, because it is Goliath to the Palestinian David. Instead, we must educate ourselves, understand Israel’s flaws and its strengths. Decide for ourselves what we truly believe, and more importantly why, and then be prepared to break friends and other people we encounter out of their ideological molds and into a reasonable discussion about what the reality of Israel is, and what should be done about it. It’s only then, when we turn the discussion to real facts and real thought, that Israel stands a chance. THE OBSERVER JEWISH COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL may/june 2012 photography Portraits by Daniella Kesel, Observer Photographer Junior Daniella Kesel has been The ObserverÂ’s primary photographer since 2010. In addition to her photojournalism, Kesel does portraiture and fashion photography. She recently launched Daniella Marlene Photography on Facebook to attract potential clients. In honor of her diligent work for The Observer we are featuring several of her photographs in this collage. Enjoy! 9 JCHS Journal may/june 2012 page ten â–şâ–ş Get the picture? For her Keystone, senior Zoe Robins (center) worked to design several articles of clothing and put on a fashion show in the JCHS Theater on Thursday, April 26. The show raised money for The Princess Project, a charity which helps girls in California afford dresses for prom. The event raised over $250. Models (from left): Seniors Florencia Hasson, Jael Berger, Danielle Cohen, Sophie Marinoff and Jennifer Klonoff.