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FALL 2016/5777


Shanah Tovah!

May this New Year be blessed with health, happiness and many sweet moments!12

IN THIS ISSUE Message from Head of School Tony 1 Message from Board President Lynn 1 Tiger Torah Rabbi Zachary Silver, Rav Beit 2 Celebrating a Year of 3 5 Athletic 6 Beyond Rochelle 7 Farewell to Faculty Members Ann Levinson and Bob 8 From Public School to Rochelle Zell The Vayngart 9 Alumni Connections Where Are They Now?......................................... page 10 Development Naming Dedication.............................................. page 11


The Class of 2016 College Acceptances............................................. page 13 ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Tony Frank, Head of School Bruce E. Scher, Academic Dean Dr. Roger Stein, Dean of Faculty Rabbi Zachary Silver, Rav Beit Sefer Dr. Rebecca Schorsch, Director of Jewish Studies Michelle Friedman, Director of Development Riv Lynch, Director of Admissions Bob Krakowsky, Director of Finance and Business Operations Inez Drazin, Director of Building and Administrative Services BOARD OF DIRECTORS Lynn S. Schrayer, President Michael Small, Vice President of Development Joel Erlichman, Treasurer Gigi Cohen, Assistant Treasurer Alan Frankel, Ph.D., Secretary Karen Peaceman, Assistant Secretary David Fishbaum, Immediate Past President Larry D. Adler, Founding President Margaret Cohn Cortney Stark Cope Sam Fleischacker, Ph.D. Kim Frankenthal Liz Geifman Neera Kaufman Judi Kelly Karen Kesner Scott Lederman Brad Levin Carolyn Rosenberg Melissa Weiss Spellman Ari Taitz Reuben Warshawsky Jason Wiznitzer Rabbi Carl Wolkin LAYOUT & DESIGN Michele Agbodza




Rochelle Zell Jewish High School creates a culture of academic excellence that inspires our students to think critically and achieve their full potential, while preparing them to live Judaism as responsible and involved citizens in the modern world.

MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL, TONY FRANK This past November we were thrilled to announce the renaming of our school in recognition of the extraordinary support of the Zell family, and in memory of Rochelle Zell z”l. Chicagoland Jewish High School, as we were previously known, was established just 15 years ago. A new school – like a new business – is a start-up venture with an untried and uncertain future. What the Zell family’s gift enables us to secure, along with the remarkable generosity of the Crown Family Philanthropies and the Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, is the permanence of our school for generations to come. A name change takes some getting used to, but it has been inspiring to see how our entire community – students, staff, parents and alumni – have embraced this change as an opportunity to celebrate a bright new future for our school. It has also given us the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the larger community and to reaffirm our commitment to those things that are the source of tremendous pride.

In particular I am thinking of our students, who come from a broad geographic area including Chicago, suburbs near and far, other states and even overseas. During their four years at Rochelle Zell, our students are challenged to open their minds and their hearts, to take risks in a safe and supportive environment, and to become their best selves. When they graduate, they continue on to a wide range of outstanding universities, large and small, and to lives of meaning and achievement. Many are activists and leaders in their communities throughout our country, in Israel, and elsewhere in the world. Our school is honored to bear the name of Rochelle Zell, whom we remember today as an advocate for excellence in education, for sustaining Jewish values, and for her philanthropic endeavors. We honor her memory – today and every day – by fulfilling our mission “to create a culture of academic excellence that inspires our students to think critically and achieve their full potential, while preparing them to live Judaism as responsible and involved citizens in the modern world.” With warm wishes for a Shanah Tovah V’Metukah, Tony Frank

MESSAGE FROM BOARD PRESIDENT, LYNN SCHRAYER As I begin to serve my second year as President of the Board of Directors of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, I find myself looking back on the past year. It was monumental, as we received an extraordinarily generous and name changing gift from the Zell Family Foundation. Like many of our students, I began my years at CJHS and will finish at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. While our name has changed, our mission remains the same, “...(to) create a culture of academic excellence that inspires our students to think critically and achieve their full potential, while preparing them to live Judaism as responsible and involved citizens in the modern world”. Our Board is a group of passionate, dedicated, intelligent, multifaceted and talented men and women working together to support Tony Frank, our Head of School, and his faculty and staff to carry out the school’s mission. Together with my husband Skip, I am the parent of two CJHS graduates and a current junior who will be a Rochelle Zell Jewish High School graduate. I have witnessed firsthand the many benefits of the education our students

receive, including their ability to navigate the complex world around them with thoughtfulness and ease. Our students graduate with a foundation that carries them through college and beyond in ways they cannot begin to imagine while they are in our hallways; ways they come to recognize and appreciate as their lives unfold.
With the critical thinking skills, self-confidence, humility and sensitivity they possess, our graduates are the leaders on college campuses all over the country and the future leaders of our Jewish communities. It is my honor and privilege to serve as President for many reasons, but most of all, for all of our children and for all of the CJHS and Rochelle Zell Jewish High School students, past, present and future. They are our future and the future is each and every day at our school. Wishing you and your family a year of health, happiness, peace and fulfillment. Shanah Tovah, Lynn Schrayer I am always happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me anytime at or 312.618.8133.


TIGER TORAH WITH RABBI ZACHARY SILVER The Torah speaks of three commandments of love: Love of God (veahavta et Hashem elokeicha) Love of your neighbor as yourself (veahavta l’reecha kamocha) and Love of the Stranger, for you too were a stranger (veahavtem et hager ki gerim heyitem b’eretz mitzrayim). These three mitzvot serve as concentric circles of relationship and covenant. A relationship with God, a relationship with your immediate community, and a relationship with the global community. These also serve as the educational backbone of the work that we do at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. Chancellor Arnold Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary notes that in the Veahavta, immediately after we are commanded to love God, we are told to educate our children in the mitzvot (veshinantam levanecha). In Judaism, love is not a personal, or relative construct. It is a means of building community through specific actions on a daily basis, for the sake of a higher ideal. It is a covenant of mutual obligation.

The opportunities also bring challenges. For the most part, these aren’t new — they’ve been around since the Emancipation. But these challenges are certainly heightened today, in a world with infinite access to information, in a world which pushes us toward the universal to the negation of the particular, toward headlines to the negation of sophistication. As we see all around us, nowhere more than the American political elections, teaching toward a world of subtlety and gray is that much more important, and also difficult, in 2016. Judaism has always been countercultural. In many ways, the world needs this approach toward Jewish education as much as Judaism needs it. Teaching how Biblical and Rabbinic criticism complement Jewish theology is a tough task. It is also essential because we cannot avoid subjects out of convenience. Engaging in daily tefillah with teenagers is difficult in a very different way.

This is a community where students are better able to relate to their universal selves, because of a grounding in their Jewish selves. It is a community where students are fully grounded in the literature of our people and The educational vision that we strive to foster is grounded also have the freedom to question that tradition. It is a in this covenantal structure and is grounded in Jewish community where a student can claim during tefillah that text. It is a framework for navigating the world. We do Mordecai Kaplan’s theology sounds Emmersonian. this holy work together in a supportive community. Now, as ever, it is essential for individuals to take control We live at the most exciting time in the history of Judaism of their Jewish lives and to do so in positive terms. — 21st century America. We have more opportunities In the words of Maya Michalewicz (’16) referring to than ever before and only 11 hours away from Israel, we a text we read by Dr. Devorah Steinmetz: “When Jews also stand in relationship with a nation that is continually mature together, they can construct rich religious lives.” crafting what it means to build a Jewish civil society that May this be both a blessing and imperative for all of us.a echoes the ideals of the Torah.


Our school has been ranked among the six best private schools in Illinois, along with Latin School of Chicago, Lake Forest Academy, University of Chicago Lab School, North Shore Country Day, and Francis Parker!


In May 2016, 60 students took 109 Advanced Placement Exams. Seventeen percent of the scores were 5, 28.4% of the scores were 4, and 77.9% of the scores were 3 or higher. Seven students were named National AP Scholars, and nine students earned the AP Scholar with distinction award.


Fifteen Rochelle Zell seniors were named Illinois State Scholars for outstanding academic achievement. Congratulations to Bessie Cohen, Sarah Comar, Jorie Dayan, Coby Drexler, Matt Dulberg, Max Gruenberg, Aviva Hirsch, Melissa Levin, Hana Lieber, Celia Pivo, Gabrielle Pretekin, Emily Reisler, Jack Rubinstein, Arthur Sredni and Jason Taitz.


Eleven Rochelle Zell students have been admitted to the Tri-M Music Honor Society, an international music honor society for high school students. Congratulations to Rebecca Abrams (’16), Zach Becker (’16), Emma Canter (’19), Sarah Comar (’16), Coby Drexler (’16), Hana Lieber (’16), Aitan Maeir (’19), Dina Matkowsky (’18), Maya Michalewicz (’16), Sarah Tenner (’18) and Henry Wolle (’17).


Congratulations to our social service team on a year of educational and informative fund raising and awareness of educational injustice. The year’s efforts raised a total of $7,000 for the Chicago Foundation for Education, a local organization that provides resources to teachers and schools to enhance the quality of education.


Athletic Director and varsity girls soccer coach, David Martinez, was recognized as Coach of the Year by the Chicago Prep Conference.


This year musical theatre was brought back to Rochelle Zell with the production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Students enjoyed a performance during the day and guests enjoyed a second show in the evening.


‘From entrepreneurs, to educators, to Jewish professionals paving the way for the future, this city is full of talented, giving, forward-thinking young adults striving to make the world a better place.” Mazal Tov to our own Rabbi Zachary Silver on his recognition as one of the Chicago Jewish Community’s distinguished 36 Under 36, a project of Oy!Chicago and JUF’s Young Leadership Division.


Jake Newlander (’13), Josh Newlander (’15) and Jordan Krauss (’16) were introducted as the first three studentathletes on the Athletics Recognition Wall.


Ms. Rebecca Nadis, Ms. Ellen Singer, and Mr. Peter Roothaan worked tirelessly with students to put on an all-school performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee during the day and a public performance in the evening. The show was a hit!

Students and administrators worked together to maintain kashrut standards, tackle social implications, implement planning strategies, and publish an official menu for our new Wednesday meat lunches!

Packing Mishloach Manot (delivery of portions) on Purim is one of many ways the Rochelle Zell community gives back to the greater community throughout the year. This year’s proceeds went to The Chicago Foundation for Education, a local organization that provides resources to teachers and schools to enhance the quality of education.



25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE After many years as “virtual grandparents” of our school, Founding President Larry Adler and Angie Adler were proud to preside over Grandparents Day as honest-to-goodness grandparents of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School students!

Along with our new name came a lot of changes in the building. We are proud to announce the “Class Wall” which features each graduating class from 2004 to 2016, with room to grow.


In November 2015, in honor of the Zell Family Foundation’s gift to our school, CJHS was renamed Rochelle Zell Jewish High School after the grandmother of Matt Zell, parent of two of our former students and a current freshman.


The school also received major gifts from the Crown Family Philanthropies and the Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation.


Accomplishments Model UN

For the second year in a row, Rochelle Zell students took home first place in the National High School Model U.N. Conference, attended by over 3,800 students from 150 schools. “It’s the kippahs,” said Jason Taitz (’16), adding that having a Jewish identity is important to our team—being visible in public as representatives of the Jewish community, getting up early every morning to daven and eschewing Saturday morning rest without sacrificing their energy levels, their written eloquence, or their reputation for leadership. At the Deerfield Village Board meeting on June 6, Mayor Harriet Rosenthal formally commended the team for its second year as National High School Model U.N. champions. Read all about it at or read the team’s blog at rzjhsmun.

Finishing with medals in their overall combined events were Sara Behn (’17) (gold), Emma Siegel (’17) (gold), Akiva Stein (’17) (gold), Melissa Levin (’16) (bronze), Shai Sklar (’19) (bronze), Joshua Weisskopf (’19) (bronze), Samson Hoffman, (’17) (bronze), and Ari Rosenthal (’16) (bronze). Earning one or more medals in individual competitions were Akiva Stein, (gold, bronze), Yoni Maltsman, (’17) (gold, silver), David Levin, (’19) (gold), Ethan Harris (’19) (gold), Jonathan Taitz (’19) (silver, bronze), Shai Sklar, (silver), Emma Siegel, (silver, bronze), Samson Hoffman, (silver, silver), Sara Behn, (bronze, bronze), Ari Rosenthal, (bronze, bronze), Joshua Weisskopf, (bronze), and Melissa Levin, (bronze).

junior/senior pairs competition. David took third place in the pairs competition, working all by himself against five other pairs! Hadar, Gabby, Jake, and Joshua won first place in the freshman/sophomore team competition, and Sarah, Sara, and David won second place in the junior/senior team competition.


Rochelle Zell Jewish High School’s yearbook has been named a 2016 Jostens’ National Yearbook Program of Excellence recipient. Our award winning yearbook program was led by editors Emily Reisler (’16), and Hannah Taussig (’16) and business editor Bobbi Hochberg (’17) under the direction of Ms. Vanessa Averbach, yearbook advisor.


DECA hosted several parent speakers this year, including Marc Sacks, Chief Executive Officer of Mesirow Financial Private Equity, Albert Karoll, the sole proprietor and owner of Richard Bennett Custom Tailors and Gigi Cohen, a family-member executive of Magid Glove and Safety, a mid-sized family-owned and operated manufacturer of personal safety equipment. While competing against other North Suburban schools in the annual regional conference, our DECA students showed professionalism, enthusiasm and poise. There were 21 schools represented at this competition including Glenbrook North, Highland Park, Deerfield, Niles North and Niles West to name just a few local competitors.


Leading our math team to victory in the season finale against ICJA were Gabby Ecanow (’18), Hadar Halivni (’18), Jake Korol (’19), Joshua Weisskopf (‘19), David Weisskopf (’17), Sara Behn, and Sarah Comar, (’16). Hadar and Gabby won first place in the freshman/sophomore pairs competition, while Sara and Sarah won first place in the

The Prints Literary Magazine

Congratulations to Ms. Lauren Hines and the staff of our literary magazine for winning a 2014-2015 Certificate of Excellence from the National Council of Teachers of English! The award-winning edition was edited by Hannah Lynch (’15), Sari Mishell, (’15) and Hannah Given (’15). 5

Athletic Spotlight “Being a student-athlete at Rochelle Zell offered me a unique opportunity to develop life-long values, skills, and intellectual companionship through countless learning experiences on and off the field. The athletics program challenged me to prioritize rigorous academics while striving to learn and succeed in additional extra-curricular activities. Coming from public school, the Rochelle Zell culture taught me how to be proactive, time-efficient, and ultimately how to be an effective leader and team player. Win or lose, being a student-athlete at Rochelle Zell teaches you that the journey is just as important as the goal.”

“I am so grateful to have been able to play three seasons of sports at RZJHS. Rochelle Zell athletics has given me the opportunity to develop my athletic talent while strengthening my confidence, sportsmanship, and leadership skills. Over the course of the past four years, I have realized that being a Rochelle Zell Tiger is more than just winning the game. More importantly, it is about grasping the values of teamwork, respect and determination both on and off the court.”

Jacob Erlichman (’15)

Ariel Saxton (’17)

The following Rochelle Zell athletic teams have received the IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award Boys Tennis Team/3.64 grade-point average Boys Baseball Team/3.36 grade-point average

Boys Volleyball Team/3.64 grade-point average Girls Soccer Team/3.62 grade-point average

All Rochelle Zell 2015–16 varsity teams received the IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award Team GPA Boys Basketball – 3.49 Boys Cross Country – 3.73 Girls Basketball – 3.65 Girls Cross Country – 3.65 Baseball – 3.36 Boys Soccer – 3.52 Girls Soccer – 3.62 Girls Tennis – 3.71 Boys Tennis – 3.64 Golf – 3.67 Boys Volleyball – 3.64 Girls Volleyball – 3.44 Chicago Prep Conference All Conference Awards Boys Soccer 1st Team – Joshua Levitas (’18) 2nd Team – Gabriel Chasin (’17)

Girls Basketball 2nd Team – Emily Reisler (’16)

Girls Volleyball 2nd team – Lucy Cohen (’18)

Baseball 1st Team – Coby Drexler (’16) 2nd Team – Max Pivo (’18)

Boys Cross Country 1st Team - Benjamin Lesch (’19), Yoni Maltsman (’17), Zev Mishell (’17), Felix Rosen (’17), Ari Rosenthal (’16), Akiva Stein (’17) and Solomon Treister (’18)

Girls Soccer 1st Team – Jorie Dayan (’16), Jordan Krauss (’16), Livia Moses (’18) and Hannah Taussig (’16) 2nd Team – Ariel Saxton (’17)

Girls Cross Country 1st Team – Gabrielle Ecanow (’18), Ann Kushnir (’19), and Romi Moller (’19)

Boys Volleyball 2nd Team – Benjamin Salzman (’16)

Boys Basketball 2nd Team – Felix Rosen 6

Chicago Prep Conference Player of the Year Award Girls Soccer Jordan Krauss

Beyond Rochelle Zell Zev Mishell (’17) won first place in the Tribute to the Rescuers Essay Contest sponsored by the Institute for Holocaust Education and the Plains States Anti-Defamation League. His essay about Roddie Edmonds was chosen from 350 essays submitted in combined categories. He was also selected as one of five finalists in the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Essay Contest for High School Students. His essay on US Congressman Jerrold Nadler was one of the top seven essays selected by the Profiles in Courage Award Committee of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation from 2,070 essays submitted. Zev was also named a Bronfman Youth Fellow, and spent five weeks this summer in Israel immersed in an intensive exploration of Jewish text and pluralistic community. Daniel Silver (’16) spent the past two years building and running a Youth Training Garden at the North Suburban YMCA, an outdoor nook to enable children, individuals with special needs, and others to feed their passion for the outdoors. The produce grown by Daniel’s charges has been used for service projects at the Y camps, Glenview Youth Services, and the Northfield Township Food Pantry. Daniel’s accomplishment was recently recognized in a Boy Scouts Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony. In addition, Daniel was one of eight Chicago-area students picked to receive a $1,000 Naftali Steinfeld Israel Experience Merit Scholarship from the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. These awards, which go to high school, college and graduate students who demonstrate significant leadership skills, are designed to encourage the development of Jewish identity, nourish great commitment to Israel and the Chicago Jewish community, and recognize future leaders.

Emma Siegel (’17) explored Hungary and Ukraine through the Ramah Ukraine Leadership Experience as part of a fantastic group of high school students from Ramah camps across North America. She served as a counselor at Camp Ramah Yachad, run by The Schechter Institute. Check out her blog reflection, “What Can Happen In Ten Years?”, here:

Felix Rosen (’17) and chemistry teacher Mrs. Ann Levinson were published in the American Association of Chemistry Teachers magazine Chemistry Solutions, presenting a new lab procedure developed by Felix to eliminate error in the common silver/copper nitrate chemistry lab.

Micah Shaffer (’19) asked for food and other donations to bring to the ARK in West Rogers Park for her birthday, ultimately collecting several bags full. Micah has come to know the ARK this year while volunteering at the Ark Café, and managed to turn her birthday into a way to help the clients there. 12

ROCHELLE ZELL BIDS FAREWELL Mrs. Ann Levinson Nationally recognized as the best chemistry teacher in Illinois, Mrs. Ann Levinson is the woman who teaches AP chemistry teachers how to teach AP chemistry. She founded our incredible math and science departments. Mrs. Levinson has never stopped learning and growing, bringing our science department the latest STEM research and technology: nanotechnology seminars, a pilot DNA learning center, and the Mentor Matching Engine she set up last year are only a few of her recent projects! She sets the bar high, and her students rise to the challenge. David Weisskopf (’17) said, “Mrs. Levinson was one of the most inspiring science teachers I have ever had because she encouraged me to think outside the box, strive for excellence, and ultimately reach my full potential. Most importantly, she taught me to always believe in myself and never give up.” Mrs. Levinson’s students compete in major chemistry competitions and appear a few years later as T.A.s, research fellows, and desperately sought-after tutors at prestigious universities. She loves them, frets over them and tutors them at her kitchen counter with home-baked cookies to make sure that they can go that extra mile: both her students and her teachers soar to great heights, not because she pressures them, but because she inspires them. She is a role model always motivating, always accessible, always supportive, leading by example, never lecturing, but instead showing us what good teaching and good administration ought to be. Mrs. Levinson retires after 50 years teaching chemistry to travel and pursue her dreams of being a full time grandmother to her five grandchildren. We wish Mrs. Levinson all the best in her retirement. To keep in touch with Mrs. Levinson, e-mail her at

Mr. Bob Taylor Anyone who has ever seen the biology lab on the third floor knows that Mr. Bob Taylor is a master gardener. He inspires students with a love of science both inside and outside of the classroom. Under his guidance, they build robots and engineering models, learn to plant and care for gardens, and pursue their interests in current science and technology. Here is what one of his students, Sarah Tenner (’18) had to say about him: “Mr. Taylor is genuinely one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met, and the way he teaches proves this. Many teachers encourage critical thinking and problem solving. Mr. Taylor takes this encouragement one step further. He guides you through problems, but refuses to give answers. He wholeheartedly recognizes and understands that each student learns differently, and actively tweaks lesson plans to fit the individual needs of students. For example, several units contain more labs than others. Mr. Taylor has the capability to create a new lab in a second, simply to capture the lesson in a more hands-on manner. He sees the true potential in every student, and actively attempts to draw it out. For example, kids who don’t ask questions are constantly encouraged to advocate for themselves. The fact that he teaches freshmen is absolutely vital, simply because he prepares students for the rest of their difficult high school careers. He is a phenomenal teacher, and one I’m proud to call a friend.” This summer, Mr. Taylor spent time in Door County with his granddaughter and traveled to Kansas for July 4th fireworks that lasted five days! Next, on to Corpus Christi Texas via Nashville and the Louisiana Coast. He’ll be working with Habitat for Humanity this summer, then in the fall, he is off for a tour of the east coast from New York to Nova Scotia. And of course, he’ll always be in the garden. After decades of first-class teaching and truly making a difference in students’ lives, we wish Mr. Taylor all the best in his retirement. To keep in touch with Mr. Taylor, e-mail him at 8

Portions of these articles are from farewell speeches given to Mrs. Levinson and Mr. Taylor by faculty members Mrs. Shira Eliaser and Mrs. Robyn Murphy.

From Public School To Rochelle Zell Describe the transfer process. Dave: Very easy. As soon as I had shadowed I knew that I would try to transfer. The paperwork was handled very well and it was all dealt with very quickly.

Dave Vayngart transferred to Rochelle Zell from Glenbrook South High School, and his brother Sammy entered as a freshman from Maple School, in the fall of 2015. We talked with Sammy and Dave and their parents, Anna and Vlad Vayngart, about their experiences coming to Rochelle Zell. When did Rochelle Zell become a school choice for you and your family? Anna and Vlad: After meeting Rochelle Zell parents at a basketball tournament, we decided to explore the possibility of joining the Rochelle Zell community. How did you, as parents, facilitate the conversation about transferring Dave to Rochelle Zell? Was he the driving force? Anna and Vlad: It was a family decision with Dave as the driving force, looking to improve his social and academic experience. We have always wanted our children to receive a Jewish education, and Rochelle Zell was the perfect choice. Sammy, what are some of the reasons you chose Rochelle Zell Jewish High School? Sammy: The turning point for me was when my brother, Dave, decided to transfer to Rochelle Zell because there is something special about going to school and playing basketball with your brother. Rochelle Zell is a school that cares for and has such a personal relationship with families. Dave, why did you decide to transfer to Rochelle Zell? Dave: I felt so connected to the entire place. The kids were way friendlier than the ones at public school, and the whole environment had this feeling of inclusion. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

What was the transition like for your family after admission into the school? Anna and Vlad: Smooth and very easy due to the kindness of the community. Dave: Going from a school with 800 kids in a grade to a school with less than 200 kids total was surprisingly easy. What has been your favorite class and student activity? Sammy: My favorite class at Rochelle Zell during freshman year was biology. I especially enjoyed it because I thought that Mr. Taylor was a great teacher and he made the subject interesting. Dave: My favorite class was physics. I’m very math oriented and the things I learned in physics came naturally to me. Plus I have seen how they work in everyday situations and I think that’s amazing. How would you describe the Rochelle Zell community? Sammy: The Rochelle Zell community is one of the nicest, friendliest, most compassionate and open communities. Anna and Vlad: Some of the nicest and sweetest people we have ever met! Dave: We have been to Shabbat dinners with families, something we never did before. I’m close with people in every grade. There’s really not as much of a distinction between grades as compared to public high school. Sammy, what advice would you offer to an incoming 9th grade student coming to Rochelle Zell from a public school? Sammy: High school may sound like a scary thing, but Rochelle Zell makes this process extremely easy and allows students to grow on their own and have fun. All you need to do is relax and enjoy the experience. Dave, what advice would you offer to students coming from public schools or a transfer student? Dave: Don’t stress out about losing your friends at your old school. I am still in touch with many of my friends from public school and stay close with a lot of them. In addition, you are coming to a new school, where you will meet many new people and make new friends. 9

Where Are They Now? Jonah Glick Unterman (’15) Jonah spent this past year living in Jerusalem and traveling as part of Kivunim. From Mumbai and Morocco to Bulgaria and Berlin, Jonah experienced the diverse history of the Jewish people. He sang in Hebrew, chanted and studied Torah with Bulgarians, shared Shabbat dinner with the Jewish community of Marrakech, practiced the Arabic he learned with the Jews of Fes, prayed Shabbat morning in Prague’s Altneushul, and recited kaddish at Theresienstadt’s crematorium. Jonah begins college at Stanford University this fall. Tamar Meltzer (’13) Tamar is entering her junior year at the University of Michigan with a major in International Studies and a concentration in International Security, Norms and Cooperation and a minor in History of Law and Policy. This summer Tamar was in Tel Aviv working at IsraAID which provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief worldwide. Tamar works in the IsraAID headquarters in both the Communications department and Admin and Finance. She is still using her Spanish (shout out to Sra. Brejcha and Sra. Linda) and is studying abroad second semester in Seville! Currently, her plan is to either go to law school and become a human rights attorney or make aliyah and earn a Master’s degree. At school, she is a member of Chi Omega and she frequents Hillel and is the copresident of a club that raises awareness of human trafficking. Danny Stamos (’11) Danny recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Bimolecular Science. He lives in Washington DC and works at the National Institutes of Health, where he is studying the development of the mammalian hematopoietic system with a focus on T-cell development and differentiation. Danny also spent the 10

past few months shadowing the transplant rounds at the NIH Clinical Center. He hopes that in the next few years he will attend medical school and ultimately practice high-impact medicine. Iszy H. Licht (’11) Iszy graduated from Northwestern University in June 2015 with B.A. in Political Science and minors in Spanish and Economics. As a student, he was an active participant in the Jewish community at Hillel. Continuing his STAND legacy from the CJHS years he quickly became involved with the organization at Northwestern, and served as President as a sophomore. Iszy was a board member of Northwestern College Democrats, where he gained a particular interest in gun violence policy. He helped start the organization Northwestern Students for Gun Violence Prevention, which continues today under the leadership of Iszy’s brother, Aitan H. Licht (‘13). In January 2016, Iszy began an internship with the Democratic staff of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Currently, Iszy is working as a data assistant for a health policy researcher in Chicago, and he’s looking to kick start a career in public policy and social justice. Elli Cohn (’09) Elli is a fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She served as a chaplain intern at Mount Sinai West Hospital last summer upon her return to New York after living in Jerusalem for a year. She was a teacher at the Ivry Prozdor High School this past year and spent this summer as a rabbinic fellow at the JTS summer beit midrash program, Nishma. Beginning in the fall, Elli will serve as a rabbinic intern for Columbia/Barnard’s Hillel student group, Koach. Along with her rabbinic ordination, Elli is working toward her MA degree in Talmud and rabbinics. Upon ordination in 2018, she hopes to teach Talmud to high school students to follow in the footsteps of her first talmud teachers at CJHS.

DEVELOPMENT On May 29, 2016, Rochelle Zell Jewish High School welcomed over 200 guests to formally dedicate our new name. Among the several speakers that day, Jonah Karoll (’17), expressed what many of us feel in our hearts. “Our society, our culture, and our religion face unique obstacles in today’s era. There is an antiintellectualism and a consuming ignorance sweeping our world, and the roots of this epidemic are entrenched deep within our society’s constructs, from our political machines, to our public education systems, and across our daily life. To navigate this labyrinth and come out the other side as a fulfilled Jewish individual requires a place like Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. A place where critical thinking is at the core of its mission statement, a place where students refuse to conform to a world of superficiality, a place where Torah is an integral element of who we truly are. And this is all ingrained in our community which is always pushing its students to dig deep in all of our studies and endeavors. We are global citizens, always embracing our rich roots with Israel and elevating our consciousness of our surroundings, whether it be through programs like Model UN, clubs like Interfaith Youth Corps, or through simply embracing our community.” For many of us, after the initial surprise about the renaming of our school, we became excited. And we also were thankful. When we come together as a community every day to daven, to educate and to learn, we again celebrate this extraordinary event, the naming of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. We are reminded why we teach here, why we learn here, and why we contribute here. We all want a better future for our children, and we can make a difference today. Let’s take Rochelle Zell Jewish High School to the next level, together. In the words of Jonah Karoll, “(We) would like to thank the Zell Family Foundation and everyone here for ensuring that a place like Rochelle Zell Jewish High School will be around for (our) children.” We still need your help, and no amount is too small. Contact Michelle Friedman, Director of Development, at 847.324.3720 or e-mail or visit our website at www. to donate today.

Rochelle Zell Jewish High School Parent Organization The Rochelle Zell Parent Organization is gearing up for a great year! We have exciting Adult Education and Social Event plans in the works for 2016-2017/5777. Watch your in boxes for information on the return of the hugely popular Schorsch-Griffith debate coming this fall. There are many opportunities to get involved with us. Please contact us at with questions, comments or to volunteer. We look forward to hearing from you! Debbie Copley and Susan Laney Rochelle Zell PO Co-Presidents 11

Mazal Tov To The Class of 2016/5776!

“There isn’t a member of this class that hasn’t been impacted by one of his or her peers; there isn’t a member of this class who has made it to this moment completely on his or her own. Part of the human experience—part of our Rochelle Zell experience—is leaving our mark on each other. We don’t know where we’d be or who we’d be without the people that surround us. Just as Ruth felt, ‘Wherever you go, I will go’ (Ruth 1:16), the link we have formed with our classmates is stronger than we realize. This link is so strong, in fact, that, although we’ll all be miles apart next year, we follow each other through the impacts we have made. My heart will always be with the girl who saved my seat in tefillah every day; wherever she goes, I’ll go. My heart will always be with the boy whom I met for the first time on the Senior Israel Experience; wherever he goes, I’ll go. We will all follow each other in our future journeys. But, most importantly, after today we’ll never be alone. We will remain permanently in each other’s hearts. I wish my classmates success in all their future endeavors.” —Celia Pivo (’16)

Did You Know? • The Class of 2016 had an average ACT Score of 28. The national average is a 21 and the state average is 20.7 • Almost half the Class of 2016 were named Illinois State Scholars • 81% of the Class of 2016 participated in athletics • 100% of the Class of 2016 participated in Tikkun Olam • The Class of 2016 was accepted into over 55 universities and programs. • 20% of the Class of 2016 applied and were accepted into gap year programs • 100% of the class of 2016 were admitted to colleges and universities • Over 70 colleges and universities visited Rochelle Zell in 2015-2016

Colleges Choose Rochelle Zell Students “We are each about to begin our journeys, but, at the end of the day, we will always return to our roots at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School.” Jack Rubinstein (’16)

The 41 members of the class of 2016 were accepted to the following universities, colleges and programs Beloit College

Northeastern University

Binghamton University

Nova Southeastern University

Boston University

Purdue University

Bradley University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Brandeis University

Southern Illinois University

Butler University

The Ohio State University

Case Western Reserve University

Tulane University

Clark University

University of Alabama

Dartmouth College

University of Iowa

Emory University

University of California, Los Angeles

Georgia Institute of Technology

University of California, Santa Cruz

Hebrew Theological College

University of Chicago

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

University of Colorado, Boulder

Hofstra University

University of Delaware

Indiana University

University of Denver

Iowa State University

University of Illinois, Chicago

Johns Hopkins University

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


University of Iowa

Lehigh University

University of Kansas

Lynn University

University of Maryland

Marquette University

University of Miami

Michigan State University

University of Michigan

Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim

University of Minnesota

Midreshet HaRova

University of Missouri, Columbia

Missouri University of Science and Technology

University of Oklahoma

Muhlenberg College

University of Pittsburgh


University of Wisconsin

Nishmat - The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women

Washington University in St. Louis Wesleyan University


Rochelle Zell Jewish High School 1095 Lake Cook Road Deerfield, IL 60015 847.470.6700


2016-2017/5777 EVENTS September 9 – 10, 2016 Freshman Shabbaton

January 13, 17– 20, 2017 Final Exams

September 27, 2016 Grandparents Meet and Greet

January 15, 2017 Placement Test (incoming freshmen)

October 20, 2016 Sukkah Hop

February 21, 2017 Curriculum Night (incoming freshmen)

November 1 & 10, 2016 Parent -Teacher Conferences

March 3 – 4, 2017 All-School Shabbaton

November 6, 2016 Open House for Prospective Families

March 15 – 19, 2017 Model UN Conference

November 19, 2016 Homecoming

April 10 – 19, 2017 Pesach Break

November 26, 2016 Alumni Reunion

April 23, 2017 Wagner Institute

May 19, 2017 Last day of classes/all-school BBQ

December 11, 2016 Placement Test (incoming freshmen)

May 11, 2017 New Student Bowling Party

May 21, 2017 Prom

December 26, 2016 – Jan 6, 2017 Winter Break

May 17, 2017 Athletic Recognition Night

May 23, 25 & 26, 2017 Final Exams

January 8 – 27, 2017 Senior Israel Experience

May 18, 2017 Grandparents and Special Friends Day

May 24, 2017 Siyum and Graduation


A partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. Affiliated with Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools. Accredited by the Illinois State Board of Education and The Independent Schools Association of the Central States.

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