Page 1

CJHS NEWS Chicagoland Jewish High School


hile a newsletter introduction might not strike you as the most exciting of genres, I can tell you that attempting to capture the vital essence of our school in 350 words or less can be a daunting task. Until this year, that is. If you have not yet seen our Facebook campaign “Reasons Why CJHS is the #1 Choice,” you are in for a treat. The brainchild of Tara Seymour, Marketing and Communications Manager, and Lily Zoberman, Director of Admissions, “Reasons Why CJHS is the #1 Choice” brilliantly captures what is remarkable about our school in so many ways. So rather than reinvent the wheel, I am devoting a significant portion of this space to a recap of the 20 Top Reasons (see box). But rather than simply read this brief summary, I urge you to visit our website ( and Facebook page ( to read the entries and view the photos for each one. Every one of them is a treasure, and I guarantee that you will find yourself smiling and eager to read on!

A little over a year ago, in advance of this coming year’s reaccreditation with the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS), we surveyed students, parents, faculty and alumni. A broad consensus emerged that CJHS provides its students with a very strong foundation not only for success, but for a rich and meaningful life in college and beyond. What was most striking, though, was the high level of good feeling—in fact,

a very real love—for our school, on the part of all our constituent groups. The 20 reasons summarized below are but a fraction of the explanation why. Stay tuned for more…and share with us your own!

Reasons CJHS is the #1 Choice 1. Committed to Academic Excellence 2. Basketball Champions On and Off the Court 3. Innovative Teachers 4. Colleges Choose CJHS Students 5. State-of-the-Art Facility 6. Model U.N. Team Triumphs at National Conference 7. CJHS Celebrates the Holidays 8. CJHS Students Know How to Have Fun 9. CJHS is One Big Family 10. CJHS Students are Making a Difference 11. CJHS Teachers and Students Share Special Bonds 12. CJHS Students Discover Israel 13. CJHS is Dedicated to Affordability 14. Choose the Best of Both Worlds 15. CJHS Students Enjoy the Ride 16. CJHS Students Soar Beyond the Classroom 17. Alumni Make CJHS Proud 18. CJHS Students Bring Home the Medals 19. CJHS: Easy to Get to, Hard to Pass Up 20. Fine, Performing and Literary Arts Program Inspires Creativity CJHS Fall 2013/ 5774

FALL 2013/5774 Message from the Head of School Tony Frank

Message from the Board President David Fishbaum Tiger Torah Rabbi Zachary Silver

Mazal Tov Graduates A look at the graduating class of 2013

CJHS Academics Accomplishments at a glance, 2012/2013 Athletics Athletic achievements, school spirit


Student Perspective The train family

Development News Stained glass windows endowment campaign Alumni Connections Where are they now?

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Head of School Tony Frank

Academic Dean Bruce E. Scher

Dean of Faculty Roger Stein, Ph.D.

Rav Beit Sefer Rabbi Zachary Silver

Director of Jewish Studies Rebecca Schorsch, Ph.D. Director of Development Michelle Friedman

Director of Admissions Lily Zoberman Director of Finance and Business Operations Robert Krakowsky Director of Building and Administrative Services Inez Drazin




Marketing and Communications Manager Tara Seymour Executive Administrative Assistant Michele Agbodza

I have accepted the role of President of the Board of CJHS to repay those who granted me a Jewish education 30 years ago. I am a proud graduate of the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, a Jewish high school that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It was critical to me that my children received the same benefits and opportunities I did, and I am privileged to support CJHS’ mission to do the same. In my “day job”, I am the CEO of a 150-person actuarial consulting firm and enjoy biking whenever I can. (As I tell my sons, I get paid to do corporate America’s math homework.) I first came to Chicago in 1988 to get my MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. After a return stint to Canada upon graduation, my wife, Anne—a Chicago native—and our two sons, moved back here in 1998. My eldest son, Daniel, a.k.a “Fish”, graduated from CJHS in June while Benji is starting his junior year. Last year I served as one of the faculty advisors of the Interfaith Youth Corps (IFYC), an interfaith dialogue group between CJHS, Loyola Academy (Catholic) and the Universal School (Muslim). During the final program of the year, our students planned a program to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using a dialogue technique known as “This I believe.” Students began by writing statements about the conflict using the prompt “I Believe” with the goal of receiving 60 individual opinions by each student in the room. Students were then assigned to groups of six. Each group was asked to compile statements of “We Believe,” a consensus for the group.There were some overlaps among the answers of the groups. But what amazed me most was how two groups arrived at the following statements: -“We believe that peace will come with a one-state solution.”

- “We believe that peace will come with a two-state solution.”

I joke (with a single tear down my cheek) that if Anne and I didn’t send our kids to Schechter and CJHS, we could each have Bentleys. But instead, we have two sons with world-class critical thinking skills and universe-class Jewish hearts. Investing in our children is the best insurance we give ourselves and our community, both in the short and long term. The nachas we get from our kids is the highest yield from any of my investments. While Bentleys look nice in the driveway, CJHS graduates hold value and values for eternity. Please join me in sustaining our heritage for the benefit of our ancestors and our descendants. The entire Board of CJHS is tasked with this responsibility and will ask for your support. Our mission is to ensure a strong Jewish education is available for all our children just like others provided for me. I wish you and your family a sweet and healthy New Year and may peace come upon Israel in the coming year. Shanah Tovah, David Fishbaum

PS: If you need to reach me for any reason, my e-mail address is

Hearing these opposite opinons on this particular afternoon in the CJHS dining hall led me to a renewed understanding of a Talmudic sugyah (section), which asks how one can possibly learn Torah for the sake of religious practice amidst voices that state opposite opinions on the same issue, some permitting an act and some prohibiting it. The anonymous voice of the Talmud responds: “You are to turn your ear into a funnel, thereby acquiring for yourself an understanding heart” (Massechet Hagigah 3b).

A CJHS education teaches students to turn their ears into funnels, to listen to multiple voices and then make a educated decision, both as an individual and as a member of the community. Disagreements about fundamental issues are essential, one of the foundations of our tradition. Confidence in one’s own opinion and listening to multiple views are also complementary practices.

Our IFYC event featured a unique example of listening to disparate opinions and articulating them with confidence. Our school’s deep commitment to rich Jewish content and fostering critical thinking leads the way for our students to enter a world that is filled with contradictions. And in turn, CJHS students develop understanding p.3 hearts in the process.

The 36 members of the Class of 2013 were admitted to the following universities and programs: American University Bar-Ilan University Boston University Bradley University Bryn Mawr College Butler University University of California at Berkeley University of California at San Diego Case Western Reserve University University of Chicago Clark University Colby College Columbia University DePaul University Emory University The George Washington University University of Illinois at Chicago University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign


Illinois State University Illinois Wesleyan University Indiana University at Bloomington The University of Iowa Jewish Theological Seminary of America University of Kansas Kivunim (New Directions) Knox College Lake Forest College Loyola University Chicago Lynn University University of Maryland, College Park McGill University Miami University, Oxford Michigan State University University of Michigan University of Minnesota, Twin Cities University of Missouri Columbia Nativ

University of Nebraska at Lincoln Northern Illinois University Northwestern University Oakton Community College University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh Princeton University Purdue University University of Rochester Binghamton University Tufts University Tulane University Washington University in St. Louis University of Washington Western Illinois University University of Wisconsin, Madison Yale University

of seniors were admitted to colleges and universities of students participated in community service of students participated in extracurricular activities

Celebrating a year of academic success • The Model United Nations team placed second at the national Model United Nations Conference in New York City for the second year in a row • The Debate team won second place at the 24th Annual Marsha Stein Talmudical Academy Great Debate Tournament at New York’s Yeshiva University • The DECA team won 17 medals at the North Suburban DECA Regional meet • Nate Swetlitz and Elan Sykes were named National Merit Finalists • The Math Team placed first at the ICTM Regional Meet • Nate Swetlitz won a genetic essay contest • Over one dozen seniors were named Illinois State Scholars p.5

Boy’s Basketball team wins Regional Championship With an unprecedented winning season of 25-4, the boy’s basketball team took home the National Cooper Invitational Championship and the Illinois High School Association Regional Championship, along with a second place finish in the Chicago Prep Conference. The team ended the season with a top 16 finish in Illinois Class 1A.

Girl’s Volleyball team wins Regional Crown For the first time in our school’s history, the volleyball team won the Illinois High School Association Regional Championship and finished the season with a record of 13-6. This is the first CJHS girl’s team to bring home the Regional Championship title!

Boy’s Cross Country team wins Championship title For the third year in a row, the varsity team took home the Chicago Prep Conference Championship title.


*All CJHS 2012/13 varsity athletic teams received the IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award.

FALL Cross Country Boy’s Golf Boy’s Soccer Girl’s Volleyball Girl’s Tennis WINTER Bowling Boy’s Basketball Girl’s Basketball SPRING Dance Boy’s Volleyball Boy’s Tennis Girl’s Badminton Girl’s Soccer Baseball

“I am so proud to have been a member of the golf and tennis teams over the past three years. It has been an incredible experience! From competing in golf regionals two seasons ago to winning multiple matches last season in tennis, the improvement and dedication of the players has been tremendous. As a returning senior on both of these teams, I am really looking forward to leading CJHS to victory on the course and courts.”- Adam Taitz ‘14

Display your Tiger Pride! Visit the Roar Store online at or at CJHS—your home for all Tiger spiritwear!


By Isaac Johnston, ‘15

UP-N Express train from Chicago

Free time to relax , read or work

The Shalom bus arrives at Braeside

For the CJHS students living in Chicago, Evanston and Wilmette, getting to CJHS can be quite a trek. However, for those who get to school by taking the Metra Union Pacific-North line train, the ride is exciting!

To the CJHS community, we have been forever dubbed as the Train Family. As a proud member of this group, I commute alongside my friends and teachers every day. I enjoy being a part of this family because I have the opportunity to hang out with my friends before school begins. As we commute, I get to talk to them about the up-coming day or the events that just passed. If I am tired, the Metra provides me with an opportunity to get some shuteye before I begin my day. Additionally, the train provides me with the chance to work on homework, especially if there is construction on Lake Cook Road. These trips are never boring. We always come up with ways to liven up the commute.Whether it’s constantly checking the time to make sure the train is on schedule (I’ve only missed the train once!) or enjoying the Friday afternoon Shabbat sing-alongs, there isn’t a boring day in the life of the Train Family!

“Independence is something that before going to CJHS I strived for. Having the responsibility of getting myself on and off of the train is great because I am learning how to be self-sufficient and responsible.” - Emma Siegel ‘17


The bus arrives at school!

Dozens of CJHS students and staff living in Chicago and Skokie take Pace Bus Route 626 to get to and from school every day!

In 2006, Chicagoland Jewish High School became the proud recipient of sixteen stained glass windows created by the Drehobl Brothers, which were then incorporated into the design of the school’s building. Today, upon entering the main lobby of the school, visitors are immediately captivated by eight awe-inspiring works of art bedecking the outside wall of the Beit Knesset. Each unique window tells a story and together they symbolize the past, present and future of the Jewish People. Their colors can be seen vividly during the day or night as they are brightened by both natural and artificial light. Located on the second floor of the school are eight equally exquisite windows that are positioned outside the upper portion of the Beit Knesset facing the second floor lobby. This year we are embarking on a special endowment campaign to name each of the windows. Three windows have already been sold and thirteen remain to be endowed. Each remaining window on the first floor can be endowed for $75,000 and those on the second floor can be endowed for a $50,000 contribution. If you are interested in learning more about endowing a window or other ways to support CJHS, please contact Michelle Friedman, Director of Development (847.324.3720 or or contact Sheldon Moss, Senior Major Gifts Officer (847.324.3722 or


CJHS talks to alumnus, jacob rabinowitz ‘10 Just four years ago, Jacob was a rising high school senior actively involved in student life and extracurricular activities on campus. He enjoyed participating in Model UN and the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. Like many high school students, Jacob contemplated how to translate his diverse interests into a career path in college. When he arrived at the University of Chicago, his passion for public service ignited and his vision for the future became clear. Today, Jacob is a fourth-year student studying economics and political science. He serves on the Advisory Council for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. He is also the President Emeritus of the University of Chicago Republicans. “I’d like to pursue a career in public service,” Jacob said. “I’m happy there is an institute that is dedicated to helping students like myself achieve their goals.” In the midst of his busy schedule, Jacob enjoys putting his public service knowledge to the test. Over the summer, Jacob interned at the New York City’s Mayor’s office on the Government Affairs and Communications team. His group handled a diverse set of citywide initiatives set forth by the administration, which aids the mayor in work between city, state and federal government agencies.

Zach Berkman is a professional musician living in New York City.

Lisa Michelle Banoff graduated from Indiana University in 2009. Since then, she has worked at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School, Mayer Kaplan JCC and Hayt Elementary School. Lisa recently graduated from National-Louis University with a Master of Education in Special Education K-12. Joe Waldman is a graduate of Purdue University. Currently, he is a Process Control and Instrumentation Field Engineer where he consults refineries throughout the world. Joe met his wife on a birthright trip in 2007. They were married in 2011. Mazal Tov!


Throughout his internships and college experiences, Jacob often reflects back to his earlier years as a high school student. “CJHS set the main course for my life after high school,” he said. “I wouldn’t have chosen to attend the University of Chicago without the mentors I had at CJHS. I think the concept of work and life balance was first introduced to me in high school, and I’ve been following that balance since graduating. I also attribute CJHS’ acceptance of intellectual bravery (and rigor) to my current worldview.” With his dreams set for a career in public service, Jacob is focused on networking and staying involved on and off campus. “Public service is really a responsibility, particularly for those of us who have the talents and the opportunity,” he said. “I am looking forward to finding an enjoyable full-time opportunity where I can work on issues of policy in a significan way.”

Ron Gejman graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a BA in Biology and Philosophy. He is currently in an MD-PhD program.

Aaron Gore graduated from the Univeristy of Illinois in May 2012. After graduation, Aaron traveled throughout Europe and then started a full time job at Eli Lilly and Co. based in Indianapolis. He works as a Quality Control Chemist supporting the testing of parenteral products. Jen Hipps is currently working as the Youth Director at Northbrook Community Synagogue where she coordinates programs for kids and their families. Seth Berkman spent his summer as a counselor for the Atzmayim program at

Camp Ramah Wisconsin. Currently, Seth is living in Israel and is a Nativ counselor. Ronni Binah is living in Israel serving her country in the IDF. Avi Coven married Melody Mostow on 8.11.13 in Pittsburgh. The newlyweds recently made Aliyah! Mazal tov! Richard Kahn attended Yale University, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Math and Philosophy. He has joined Locus Analytics, a New York City based think-tank that develops proprietary classification tools to describe economic systems.

Rachel Binstock graduated from Washington University with a degree in Anthropology. She is currently living in DC where she is working as a community organizer for the nonprofit organization, Groundswell. In the fall, Rachel will begin

Get the latest alumni news on Facebook! ‘Like’ us today at

continued from page 10 work as a campus organizer at the Public Interest Resource Group in Chicago. Rachel Braun graduated from Washington University in St Louis. In the fall, she will begin studying at Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Elli Cohn received a BA in religion and Jewish studies from Muhlenberg College. During her junior year, she studied abroad in the Czech Republic and at the Jewish Theological Seminary. In September, Elli will begin the semikha program (rabbinical school) at JTS. Aaron Weinberg is studying Near Eastern Judaic Studies and Sociology with an emphasis on Israel Education, Informal Jewish Education, Moroccan Jewish History and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict at Brandeis University. After completing his BA degree, Aaron will receive his masters in Jewish Professional Leadership from the Hornstein Program. Nicole Wiznitzer is studying at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She is currently working as an intern Architect at Cannon Design in Boston (their Chicago office designed CJHS!) She has traveled to Guatemala, Morocco and Rome with her classmates to study architecture. Shoshana Coven is a senior at University of Hartford, studying Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. Ari Eisenstadt is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis where he is majoring in Physics. He recently returned home from a six-month study abroad trip to Santiago, Chile. Noa Fleischacker is a junior at Oberlin. Over the summer, Noa interned in Israel for the Association for Civil Rights. Currently, she is working on a project to develop children’s literature for use in Hebrew schools and other educational venues. Hannah Miller is a student at Syracuse University where she serves as Hillel President. She is an active member of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority. Currently, Hannah is interning at Digitas, a digital advertising

agency in Chicago. Rebecca Silverman was chosen to participate in a program called Intel for Change Smart Girls=Smart World. Through this program, she visited Ecuador to learn about the barriers girls face when it comes to getting an education. Currently, Rebecca is creating a girls’ empowerment group at a middle school. Danielle Wolf is a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign studying Human Development and Family studies. Dani spent last semester studying abroad at the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Upon her return from Israel, she worked as a counselor at a therapeutic day camp for children with ADHD. Dani enjoys being on the executive board of her sorority, AEPhi. Jacqueline Zaluda is in the IDF and is an officer in Foreign Affairs.

school at Yale in the fall. Nicolas Levy traveled throughout Europe after graduating from CJHS. He spent time working at his family’s shoe store in Strasbourg, France. Nicolas participated in the gap year program, Habonim Dror Workshop. Nicolas begins college at McGill University in September. Miriam Maltsman studied in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel at Tiferet Center for Advanced Women Studies. This summer, she took credit classes on psychology and public speaking. Currently, she is back at Tiferet for Shana Bet. Jill Merrick researched psychology at Northwestern over the summer. She is currently a sophomore at Macalester where she leads multiple college programs. Additionally, she is on Macalester’s multi-faith council. Josh Perry is a sophomore film student at Northwestern University. He recently interned at a local production house and Eitan Delrahim is a junior at Michigan assisted in a motion picture that will be State University. Over the summer, Eitan released in July 2014. worked at the Northbook JCC while taking Gabriella Shusterman recently returned college courses. from Jerusalem where she was studying Iszy Licht is studying political science and Torah. Currently, she is a sophomore at Spanish at Northwestern University. He is Yeshiva University’s Stern College for the programming vice president of STAND Women. Gabriella is a Regional Adviser for where he served as president last year. NCSY. She will be participating in “So You Zach Spellman participated in the gap year Think Stern Can Dance” show in the fall. program, Kivunim, during the 2011-2012 Lauren Steinberg is studying pre-medicine academic year. He is currently a student at at the University of Wisconsin Madison. the University of Michigan. Currently, Lauren volunteers at a local hospital. She is an assistant membership Vice President on the board of her Sarah Chiren is a sophomore at Lake sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. Forest College studying neuroscience Tyler Weber is a sophomore at Roosevelt and religion. Over the summer, Sarah University. researched Parkinson’s disease, worked at Camp Ramah, taught Jewish history at a Sunday school and also volunteered at Steven Sacks worked as a junior summer Highland Park Hospital. Currently, she is counselor and shira song leader at Camp a teacher’s assistant in general chemistry Ramah. Steven is beginning a gap year on and molecular biology classes. Kivunim and will be a freshmen at Indiana Miriam Coven attended a gap year University in 2014. on Nativ. Currently, she is studying Hospitality Management at the University of Illinois. Benji Fleischacker spent last year teaching cello to children in Costa Rica. He begins

Thanks to those who submitted news for this year’s newsletter! Please continue to share your exciting updates with us.

E-mail with your latest accomplishments.


Chicagoland Jewish High School

1095 Lake Cook Road Deerfield, IL 60015 847.470.6700

September 23, 2013 Sukkah Hop

March 30 & 31, 2014 Wagner Institute

November 3, 2013 Open House for Prospective Students

May 21, 2014 Athletic Recognition Night

November 9, 2013 Homecoming November 30, 2013 Alumni Basketball Game February 23, 2014 Performing Arts Program February 25, 2014 Curriculum and Beyond for Prospective Students

May 22, 2014 Grandparents and Special Friends Day May 25, 2014 Prom

May 28, 2014 Siyyum and Graduation

get interactive scan the code


The CJHS social media pages are your ticket to our virtual community. Get the latest news, videos, photos and updates instantly online and on your phone—join us and say hello!

CJHS is a partner in serving our community, supported by the JUF/Jewish United Fund. CJHS Fall 2013/ 5774


CJHS Newsletter 2013  

CJHS Fall Newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you