Page 1

What’s your

A+ worth? See Page 06

The Lion's Tale


Volume 31 Issue 1


august 27, 2013




service trips


Adventures Students find creative ways to fulfill community service hours abroad through Rustic Pathways by urischwartz

photo provided by Bronya Lechtman


photo provided by Miranda Escobar

Top: Sophomore Bronya Lechtman plays with Ghanaian children. Center: Junior Tessa Silverman poses with children in Costa Rica. Bottom: Sophomore Eliana Katz blows bubbles in the Dominican Republic.

photo provided by Eliana Katz

Students help the homeless and the disabled, volunteer at schools and synagogues, raise money and file paperwork in order to complete community service hours. There are many opportunities to fulfill the requirement of the 80 hours necessary to graduate from CESJDS. While many students devote themselves to working in their own community, there are some who decide to reach out across the globe and help people from different communities and cultures. Rustic Pathways is a popular travel company in the CESJDS community. According to its webpage, its mission is to “benefit the parts of the world we serve, and build cultural bridges that lead to greater global understanding and cooperation.” Sophomore Eliana Katz took a week-long Rustic Pathways trip to the Dominican Republic, on which she helped build an aqueduct in La Pita, a village located in the La Vega province. “[We partici-

pated in] manual labor, [such as] pickaxing and shoveling trenches so we could lay pipes down,” Katz said. “[Also], on the Friday that we were there we ran a camp for kids in the village.” Similarly, junior Tessa Silverman assisted in running a camp for underprivileged children in Costa Rica. Silverman considers this an experience she “won’t soon forget” and has many memories to share. One of the moments that really stuck with her was when her group was supposed to meet with some children who were to attend the camp that Rustic Pathways organized, but because of a lapse in communication the children were not there. “There was an orphanage up the street though, so we spent the afternoon playing with the kids there, who were adorable, in addition to being inspirational,” Silverman said. “They were so happy just to get a lollipop and play with a big kid, and they were so trusting even though we were strangers.” Sophomore Bronya Lechtman went on a Rustic Pathways trip to Ghana, where she worked at a local school. Before the trip, Lechtman was concerned about how Ghanaians would react to foreigners being in their

country. However, Lechtman was pleasantly surprised. “The children were fascinated by us because we were foreign and exciting to them,” Lechtman said. “The people who worked at the places we did service definitely seemed grateful [and] various people we talked to there on the streets appreciated the fact that we took interest in their country, and of course those who worked in the markets loved when we came because they knew we were an opportunity for good business.” Katz shared initial anxiety over her trip. Katz said that the work was very hard and was initially daunting, but she now feels accomplished and proud of the work she completed. “People always say how life-changing these trips are and you are always skeptical as to whether it is true or not,” Katz said. “It is completely true. It really was lifechanging.” Silverman agreed. “I learned to really appreciate how fortunate I am, but the Costa Ricans also taught me how little correlation there is between material wealth and happiness or richness of life,” She said.

head of school


Man on a mission ph



New Head of School Rabbi Mitchel Malkus comes to Washington with his wife, two children and a burden: to lead a school that lacks both a high school and middle school principal, and to carry it into the future.




aH im e lho


by yonatangreenberg reporter

New Head of School Rabbi Mitchel Malkus traded the bright sun and palm trees of California for the monuments and changing seasons of the DC area when he took the job as CESJDS headmaster. Malkus has had a long and rich history with Jewish education. Before coming to CESJDS, Malkus was the Head of School at the Jacob Pressman Academy, a Jewish day school in Los Angeles affiliated with the Conservative movement. He had also taught Judaic Studies at the Solomon Schechter High School of New York and worked with Camp Ramah for a number of years. “I’m spending the first six months that I’m here meeting with a lot of people,” Malkus said. “I want to know the entire community, so I understand the culture of the school and the history of the school before I come with any specific things that I want to do.” Malkus is, however, considering several ideas for how to change the face of JDS. Specifically, the possibility of moving the sixth grade into the Upper School. “In public schools in this area middle school starts in sixth grade and here the Low-

er School is [kindergarten] to sixth and our middle school starts in seventh grade,” Malkus said. “So I’m interested in exploring if our model continues to make sense or if … the sixth grade should be located on the Upper School campus.” The move could be of great benefit to sixth-graders, who according to Malkus, might do better in the Upper School’s environment. “I think sixth grade students are often ready for a more rigorous academic program and all the athletics and arts which don’t exist to the same extent on the Lower School campus,” Malkus said. Malkus will also work to get JDS accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS). Accreditation from such a prestigious organization could mean many things for JDS. For example, more families would be attracted to JDS, helping enrollment. In addition, school faculty would have the opportunity to attend dozens of workshops and conferences each year, giving them more to contribute to the school and its students. Local member schools include Sidwell Friends, Georgetown Prep and the Barrie School. To be accredited, JDS will

both have to conduct internal studies and be studied by the Accreditation Visiting Team, which very likely will provide invaluable insights for the school. “That process will force us to look at all the incredible things that are going on and also the areas that we need to grow in or get better at,” Malkus said. The final step on the path to accreditation will be composing a long term plan for the school, using what it learned while observing and being observed. “We won’t be done with [the accreditation] at the end of the year but we will be done with our report and study of the school and we will have a draft of the strategic plan and if we do that that will be incredibly successful,” Malkus said. One thing the strategic plan will likely address is enrollment, which has been declining since the mid 2000s, when approximately 1,500 students attended JDS. This year’s approximate enrollment is 1,044 students. Although Malkus is concerned about this, he does not see enrollment as a means to an end. “I want to ask ‘what’s the right enrollment for the school’ because I was speak-

ing to someone the other day who told me that at the peak enrollment there were about 1,500 students and that was really too many ... we were squeezed into the building.” Malkus said. “So I think that it is also negative if you have too many students.” The most pressing issue Malkus faces is finding replacements for former Upper School principal Michael Kay, who left last year, and Middle School Director Joan Vander Walde, who will leave after this year. “The challenge is that I’m new and starting to learn about the school, our curriculum and our community and at the same time I have to lead a process of hiring a new high school principal and also a middle school principal,” Malkus said. He plans to have a new Upper School and Middle School principal by the end of the year. It will be led in the interim by Dean of Upper School Roz Landy and Director of Studies Robert Snee. Some students are worried that having two people in charge instead of one will make things more difficult. “I am not sure [whether] things will be done as efficiently and the school year might be a lot tougher now because I don’t know who’s

in charge and who’s making the decisions,” junior Harry Wandersman said. Senior Ayal Subar is not as concerned. When his older brothers attended the Upper School the principal’s chair was empty for some time. According to Subar, it was fine. Since Reuven Greenvald’s departure after the 2002 school year, JDS has not had a principal that stayed for more than three years. After Greenvald, Landy served as interim principal for a number of years, after which Beverley Buncher was principal for one year. The year after Buncher left, Landy, Kay, Vander Walde and Director of Arts Education David Solomon joined forces to fill the principal’s role for one year, followed by Kay’s three year tenure. Malkus is confident that he will be able to find the next leaders of the Upper School. “I have hired principals in the past at previous schools and I have a lot of experience in how you look for a principal and what are the qualities that make a really good principal and those qualities are applicable whether you are at a school in Los Angeles or you are at CESJDS,” Malkus said.


opinion the

lion’s tale print editors editors-in-chief

ari charnoff, dore feith managing

stu krantz


aaron boxerman, dina rabinovitz


jeremy etelson, jonathan reem news

malka himelhoch, nina simpkins chadashot

matthew foldi, shira ungar


alison kraner, yael krifcher entertainment

eitan snyder, hannah wexler in depth

maddie dworkin, haley lerner


brian schonfeld, jesse zweben


r’ay fodor


david kulp

social media

yosi vogel


alec schrager, allie wiener

web editors web editors-in-chief

alexander flum, jeremy kaplan

web copy

cole aronson, jonathan orbach web section editors

evan kravitz, matt litman & adina pollak

senior reporters kobi fodor, matthew halpern, gefen kabik & danny waksman

reporters mijal altmann, robbie belson, michael berkowitz, harris block, cole cooper, naomi cohen-shields, isaac dubrawsky, emma enig, yonatan greenberg, emma hofman, sj hyman, yonah hyman, hannah nechin, megan orbach, josh paretzky, gaby pilarski, mark reichel, jeremy schooler, uri schwartz, jonah shrock, carol silber, samantha subin, gabi swagel, alysse weinberg, allie wolf, margalit zimand

staff adviser claire burke

adviser emerita susan zuckerman

Staff editorial

When the news is criminalized On Wednesday, August 21, freelance journalist James Kirchick was supposed to discuss the trial and sentencing of convicted Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning on RT, an English-language news channel based in Russia and funded by the Russian government. When asked a Manning-related question by the host, Kirchick, who is gay, pulled on rainbow suspenders and said, “Being here on a Kremlin-funded propaganda network, I’m going to wear gay pride suspenders and speak out against the horrific, anti-gay legislation that Vladimir Putin has signed into law.” When the host attempted to cut Kirchick off and pressure him into discussing Manning after he spoke for about two and a half minutes, Kirchick said, “You have 24 hours a day to lie about America and what’s going on in Russia. I am going to tell the truth with my two minutes.” For his “crime” of speaking out, Kirchick was taken off air and immediately flew to Estonia from Stockholm, Sweden, where he had been broadcasting. Although obviously a reproachful way to treat a dissenter (imagine the lunacy of two people disagreeing on CNN and, as a consequence, being exiled to the wilderness), Kirchick is lucky that he did not meet the same fate that so many journalists and challengers of authority in Russia have: imprisonment or death. According to the Committee

Signed columns reflect the opinion of the writer; staff editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of The Lion’s Tale editorial board. The Lion’s Tale staff welcomes letters to the editor and guest columns, all of which must be signed. The staff reserves the right to refuse any material and may edit letters or columns for length, clarity, libel, obscenity and/or disruptiveness. Submissions may be emailed to, mailed to The Lion’s Tale, or brought to room 328. The Lion’s Tale is funded by The Simon Hirshman Endowment for the Upper School Newspaper and The Kuttner-Levenson Endowment for the Upper School Cultural Arts and Student Publications, and community advertisement. The Lion’s Tale reserves the right to refuse advertisement for any reason. The staff will adhere to the ethics policies of The Society of Professional Journalists and the National Scholastic Press Association. The adviser will be held to the Journalism Education Association’s Adviser Code of Ethics.



Statistics courtesy Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the National Press Club.

journalists imprisoned

uters. (It is worth noting that media faced a similar environment under Morsi and the Brotherhood. The CPJ has documented countless anti-press attacks by Brotherhood members, the vast majority of which went unpunished.) Repression of the media journalists and protesters remains a imprisoned notable part of Bashar al-Asin Dec. 2012 sad’s regime in Syria and the Iranian ayatollahs’ rule. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration is of an authoritarian nature as this editorial. well, which Vladimir Putin, led to peaceRussia’s president and ful protests a former high-rankin May and ing KGB thug, has June challed and is leading a lenging wide-ranging crackErdogan’s down on those who try oppressive to expose the corrupjournalists rule that tion in his autocratic killed in were rule. Joining him in the broken August 2013 assault on journalists up viois Egypt’s military, lently. led by General Abdel Turkey Fattah al-Sisi. imprisoned 49 journalists in Numerous journalists 2012 alone. have been killed in Egypt As journalists, we feel since early July, when an obligation to call attenIslamist President Mohamed tion to mistreatment of those Morsi was ousted and the who seek to speak truth to military began a crackdown power around the world. on pro-Morsi protesters, With Russia hosting the including Mick Deane of Winter Olympics in February Sky News. Egyptian security 2014, we hope the journalists forces gunned down Tamer who are free to do so will Abdel Raouf, a bureau chief chronicle Russia’s institufor the Al-Ahram news tional repression of media, agency, for being out past as well as that of other leadthe military-imposed curfew, ers who do not allow basic from which journalists are freedom of expression to exempted, according to Re-



The Lion’s Tale Editorial and Ethics Policy As the student newspaper of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, The Lion’s Tale is a forum for student opinion and expression. All content is determined by students. Its purpose is to inform the CESJDS community and to express the views of its staff and readers. The staff has made every effort to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of its news.

to Protect Journalists, 36 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 1992 (53 percent of whom were covering corruption and 33 percent of whom were covering politics). According to Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit that defends journalists, 178 are currently imprisoned. The CPJ concluded in a 2009 report that Russia has been and continues to be one of the most dangerous countries for journalists, especially considering the high number of unsolved murders, the list of which is too long to run in



For more tales from the lion’s den, visit:

their citizens. Students can and should play a role in this goal as well. We must advocate for exposure of the oppressive nature of governments — most notably Russia’s — who are global players but put down their own people. Putin was elected to a third term as president in 2012 and many expect him to be Russia’s leader until 2024. How can we tolerate the injustices Putin himself orchestrates to continue unabated for another 11 years? We demand that the countries of the free world work to tell the Russian people to stand up for their basic rights and, as Kirchick stated on RT, to not just inform them of their situation but to truly be allies of the journalists and pro-democracy advocates in their struggle. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are privileged to live in a free country and we must champion the basic rights to which we are privy but to which everyone is entitled. How lucky we are to study in an environment governed by the Landys, Snees and Malkuses of the world rather than the Putins, and Erdogans. With some work, we will see many millions of James Kirchicks create lasting change in Russia and throughout the world.

-The Lion’s Tale

turmoil on the nile


Egypt fights for freedom While Egyptian rebels take to the streets, Americans debate foreign aid and military action by matthewfoldi chadashot editor


or some, summer is a time of relaxation. Others get summer jobs in their community, acting as lifeguards, counselors and everything in between. Yet for others still, summer is the time for an improbable revolution. Egyptians are faced with a time for choosing, and the ramifications stretch far beyond the flowing banks of the Nile. Within America’s borders, there are always a few loud voices clamoring for a cessation of all foreign aid, yet America too is faced with a choice on whether to continue supplying aid. All recent indications point to at least a temporary elimination of aid, despite the way in which this ignores the consequences of this decision on the region. Within CESJDS, students are divided on the issue of aid to Egypt. Senior Ben Shemony opposes the current trend, saying that there should be “no cutting off aid, because the military has always been the most stable and the best for Israel.” Senior Josh Bloch takes the opposite approach, believing that a more measured approach should be taken. “Cutting aid would be an extremely effective tool, but we need to make sure that in doing so we don’t further destabilize an already unstable region,” Bloch said. Kerry Brodie (‘08), a JDS alum working at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., said that Israel is “concerned about what this means for the peace process.” In expressing his beliefs, Shemony highlighted the recent history of the facts on the ground in Egypt, noting that “a few months ago, Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood

government was in power, bringing with it all the repression of minorities correctly associated with its past, in addition to a promise to reexamine its peace treaty with Israel.” The other question that arises is that of Egyptian democracy, given that the current military overthrew the democratic, albeit repressive, one. “While it is true that the military does not represent a ‘democratic’ movement, all one needs to remember is that the Egyptians did in fact elect the Muslim Brotherhood, which attempted to enact a massively repressive constitution, and one election will not necessarily set Egypt on the right course,” Shemony said. Bloch places a greater emphasis, saying that “it’s better to have the democratically elected government, though Egyptian democracy has a ways to go.” As for the future of the region, Shemony believes that “the military represents the best possible option for Israel, whose generals have, with virtual unanimity, expressed support for the military.” In recent weeks the military has crushed Islamic Jihad, and has undertaken the greatest purge of the Muslim Brotherhood in history. They have in fact already arrested Morsi, and have turned around the chaos of his last few days in power. The Muslim Brotherhood was characterized by, among many other brutalities, a complete suppression of Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, a trend that is already ending under the military.

photo provided by Ian Murphy

A is for


in depth

Average by dorefeith editor-in-chief


Examining variation in “A+”s given by each department

merican radio show host and humorist Garrison Keillor used to tell of his fictional hometown, Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” According to data obtained by The Lion’s Tale, CESJDS students may, too, all be above average. Last year, students earned 468 “A+”s in the Upper School, excluding non-academic courses. The Jewish Texts, Thoughts, and Practice department had the highest percentage of “A+”s, at 27.1 percent out of all the grades handed out by the department. The second highest yield was the Arabic department, with 23.5 percent of grades being “A+”s (note: 34 students enrolled in Arabic courses last year). The English Department had an A+ rate of 2.1 percent; Jewish History, 3.2 percent; History, 4.7 percent; Hebrew, 6.9 percent; Math, 7.0 percent; Science, 7.2 percent; and Romance Languages, 11.3 percent. The school tries to prepare its students for college by teaching fundamental skills and by finding ways to help kids pull their grades up and make themselves strong applicants. However, it is well-known that it is hard to compare grades between schools. There are different grading standards, systems (letter vs. number grades; just A, B, C vs. A+, A-, B+, etc.), and curricula.

Standardized tests are supposed to solve this problem for colleges on the national level. But also complicating the matter is grading inconsistencies among the various departments within a school. JTTP Chair Etan Weiss placed JTTP’s grading into historical context, explaining that the high grades given out now have been, to some degree, a recoil from the department’s grade deflation of years past. “We’ve become now a department known — perhaps erroneously — as having easy courses, but I think that if you went back five or six or seven years you’d find the exact opposite,” he said. “We were known as the department that had the most difficult courses to achieve success or at least feel like you were succeeding. “JTTP was known for giving out more ‘C’s, ‘D’s, and ‘F’s than every other department. That was just three or four years ago. I remember many of those meetings because we were trying to figure out why this discrepancy was happening.” Dean of the Upper School Roz Landy said that autonomy for teachers outweighs whatever grading inconsistencies result from separate grading policies. “It depends more on the department,” Landy said. “I don’t think it is a conscious approach to grading, It’s not like setting up a bell curve. It’s more a [case of varying] levels of expectation in departments.”

in depth





hebrew Math Science JTTP

I want to be more consistent and clear on what an A+ is within our department. If students can achieve that, then they deserve an A+. And if that’s 250 or 400 or three, those are the numbers.” - JTTP Chair Etan Weiss

Each department has its own approach to supporting students and to affording them the opportunity to pull their grades up, if necessary. In many colleges, grades are based solely on essays and exams. Here, teachers give homework and classwork for which students can receive completion points. “We don’t say English should have fewer ‘A’s or [JTTP] should have more ‘A’s,” Landy said. But, on grade distribution and on “norming” among departments, “I think we could do more.” Landy explained that “A”s are so common not just because of teachers and curriculum, but because of the quality of students. “By the time you are in high school at JDS, the majority of students are mostly ‘A’ [and] ‘B’ students,”



“A+”s represented less than 5 percent of the grades given out by each of the English, History and Jewish History departments.


What percentage of each department's total grades were "A+"S?

Landy said. High academic performance does not necessarily mean that there is grade inflation, she said. A study published by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles demonstrated that rising GPAs around the country come as a result of pressure on teachers, rather than on students. “The best interpretation we can make is that grade inflation has been increasing because of all the pressure on teachers from students and parents to help them become more competitive for college,” Alexander Astin, the lead researcher, said in a 2009 interview with CBS News. Clearly, teachers need to strike the balance between providing a proper education but allowing students to look good for college.

“Colleges know what our students are able to achieve because we have an unbelievable track record,” Landy said. “They perform extraordinarily well when they get to school. The colleges know that a student doing A-, B+ work is working hard and is going to be a good bet for college.” Science teacher Kimberly Agzigian adapts her curriculum to feedback she gets from professionals. “I call people at universities and NIH and ask what skill sets they’re looking for,” Agzigian said. “When my students go for internships and for college, they’ll be prepared.” The ACT defines grade inflation as “an increase in students’ grades without an accompanying increase in their academic achievement.” Landy argued that it is more complicated than that. “If I were to give you a history test where you had a review sheet with 10 dates and 10 names to memorize, you can achieve an A+ easily,” she said. “But we are not about just names and dates. We are more interested in critical thinking, analysis and creativity. We pride ourselves on challenging

kids and stretching kids.” Weiss thinks that any student should earn an A+ so long as he earns the required percentage. “I want to be more consistent and clear on what an A+ is within our department,” Weiss said. “If students can achieve that, then they deserve an A+. And if that’s 250 or 400 or three, those are the numbers.” Weiss maintained that departments must be lucid in defining both to teachers and students how specific grades are earned. “This has been a school priority recently: being consistently clear about expectations for students that they understand when they sign up for a course that this is what the course is about, that this is the academic rigor of this level,” Weiss said. “There’s benefit in creating that uniformity but there’s also benefit in allowing departments to recognize that their specific content might need to be taught or assessed differently. As a school what we’re interested in is preserving clarity for all stakeholders in exactly what it means to be successful in any given course.”


fresh faces

New Faculty lineup compiled by emmahofman reporter reporte

Name and department

former occupation

Kath Brandwood, English

Admissions officer at the American University in Cairo

Name and department

Why cesJDS?

Favorite dish

Mac and Cheese

celebrity look-alike

Name and department

Nadav Charuvi, JTTP and Hebrew

The opportunity to teach Tanakh to high school students

Brad Pitt

Chris Appouh, Help Desk

Name and department

Former occupations

celebrity look-alike

celebrity look-alike

Avery Downing, English

Worked in a record store, carpenter, landscaper


Keyshawn Johnson

summer highlights

Favorite artist

Name and department

Favorite Artist

Charles Feinson, ESOL

Billy Joel

Traveled to New Zealand and visited family

Name and department

summer Highlight

best high school memory

Cathy Hendrix, Science

Spent time with her 16-month-old daughter

Returning to play lacrosse after a collarbone break

why cesjds?

summer highlights

Name and department

Stephanie Hoffman, JTTP

The sense of community she got from students and teachers

Went skydiving and visited her sister

Hani Abo Awad, Arabic

Name and department

former occupations

favorite dish

former occupation

Gilat Jaffe, JTTP

Taught at JDS Lower School, worked at orphanages in Vietnam

Name and department

most excited to...

Liz Savopoulos, Library

Meet the students and work with Ms. [Mirele] Davis

Name and department


Indian food

High school teacher in Bedouin village where he grew up

favorite dish

favorite artist


Aum Kalthoum (renowned Arabic singer) photos by Emma Hofman

better luck next time


12 things you didn't do this summer You had the best of intentions, but somehow all of your big summer goals got lost in a whirlwind of Netflix and naps. Here’s a list celebrating your ambitious summer plans that never panned out — but don’t worry, there’s always next summer.


Learn how to do that thing you think is really cool and promised you would have time for in the summer. Here’s hoping you can learn to code, finish a masechet, and complete your still-life paintings over the weekends.


Catch up on that show that everyone’s been talking about. Four seasons of Arrested Development in one summer might have been a little ambitious anyway. This next one didn’t help...


Get in halfway decent shape. And eat healthfully. And start a normal sleeping pattern. And...ah, what’s the use.


Choose books over Netflix. And if you couldn’t bring yourself to do that, you definitely didn’t do...


Clean your room. You can’t make the schoolwork excuse anymore, but we guess you found a new one.


Summer reading. Oops.


Get a head start on community service hours. If not, get ready to become best friends with your guidance counselor.


Actually record your driving hours. Don’t make your parents do it for you. You don’t want to be that guy.


Hand-write a single letter home from camp to your parents. They’ll never stop begging, and you’ll never stop claiming it got lost in the mail.


Start SAT prep or drafting your college essays. Your instinctive need to not allow schoolwork to interfere with your summer won out on this one.


Get your butt off of Facebook. On the flip side, there’s nothing like CESJDS’ blocked websites to help you kick those bad procrastination habits!


Keep a journal. Enjoy your record of the first five days of summer. Those memories will last forever.

Editor’s note. The above list was compiled based on input from sophomores, juniors and seniors.


five more months

Turning senior year all the way up by eitansnyder entertainment editor

An transformation occurs on the last day of school. Juniors meet on the tennis court early in the morning and put on their senior jerseys. With one wardrobe change, the class of 2014 transforms from stressed juniors to celebratory seniors. In addition to getting jerseys on the last day of school, the seniors bring speakers and dance in between classes. Class of 2014 Rina Bardin thinks that the dancing is a fun tradition that makes the day special. “It’s always something you look forward to when you get to party with your grade and just have fun and dance,” Bardin said. Especially after a stressful junior year, Bardin thinks that it is a nice change for the whole grade to be relaxed and having fun. While it may seem that the rest of the school community is left out of the celebration, senior Hannah Halpern believes that the music adds to the celebratory atmosphere of the school.

photo provided by Claire Mendelson

“Even though it’s only the seniors playing it, all the grades benefit from it because everyone can hear it,” Halpern said. Part of what makes senior year at JDS exciting is that it is only a semester long and that the Israel trip comes right afterwards. As senior Samantha Gruhin said, while seniors at other schools have to continue taking classes after the first semester, JDS seniors get to go to Israel and have a great experience with their grade. “It’s just really exciting in comparison to other schools that have a full year of senior year,” Gruhin said. At the end of the seniors’ last day of school, they all prepare in the cafeteria to run through the hallways to celebrate the end of senior year. The run is an iconic tradition

that marks the end of the first semester, and Gruhin is really excited for it. “I am so looking forward to the run,” Gruhin said. “I’ve seen my brothers do it and I’ve seen the grade before me and I’m really excited to do


Most seniors agree that these traditions are a unique and fun way for the seniors to mark the end of high school and makes senior year an exciting time for every JDS student.

“It’s definitely something I look forward to on the last day to be able to just have a good time,” Bardin said.



Athletics Department updates equipment, hires new coaches by evankravitz web editor

The Athletics Department made changes to prepare for the student athletes to return in the fall. Athletic Director Michael Riley hired several new coaches, including teachers Aaron Bregman, Andrew Goldman and Kelly Grosskurth, after four coaches from last year departed. “[Grosskurth] is an excellent runner and she will be a great addition to the cross country coaching staff,” Steven Forestieri, chair of the exercise science department, said. Riley is also confident in

the success of the newly hired coaches. “[I believe] we will have the same level of success with our new coaches,” Riley said. The school also purchased updated equipment and team uniforms to revamp the program. “We have to purchase some new equipment for the school year, replacing mainly balls for teams and some pieces of equipment requested by our


coaches and athletic trainers,” Riley said. “Several teams will be getting new uniforms this season, including girls and boys varsity and JV soccer, and the wrestling team. We

about the change. “It is a good thing for us, Westerman said. “It allows everyone to have the sharpest, nicest looking uniforms and hopefully that can relate to ... the success that they are going to have.” Junior Jordan Block agrees. “Our athletic abilities can be upgraded by utilizing better coaching and equipment,” Block wrote in an email.

Our athletic abilities can be upgraded by utilizing better coaching and equipment.” - junior Jordan Block replace all of our uniforms on a three-year cycle.” PE teacher and coach Brian Westerman is excited

Senior Jon Prigal believes that the upgraded equipment will encourage more students to try out for teams. “[With the better equipment], more kids are going to want to try out, which means the teams are going to be better,” Prigal wrote in an email. Junior Jack Goldberg is pleased by how the school is taking athletics seriously. “I support JDS buying new equipment and hiring new coaches because I think athletics help provide a school identity and does wonders for the self esteem of the students,” Goldberg wrote.

Mr. Smolin's Workout Tips Upcoming Events

How to use specific diet to gain muscle and lose weight Hour before: Eat a meal high in carbohydrates to give you energy for the gym. Half hour before: Eat protein. Thin people should eat protein with carbohydrates while well built people should just eat protein. Half hour after: Have a protein shake. Hour after: Eat a heavy meal, high in carbohydrates, fat and protein to help muscles repair.

Sept. 3

-GVS at Covenant Life, 4:00 p.m. -BVS vs. SSFS, 4:30 p.m. -GVV at McLean, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 10

-GVT at Washington International, 4:00 p.m. -GVS vs. Grace Brethren, 4:30 p.m. -GVV vs. Covenant Life, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 11

-CC at SSFS, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 12

-BMSS at Wasington International, 4:00 p.m. -GMSV at Covenant Life, 4:00 p.m. -GMSS vs. Wasington International, 4:15 p.m. -GVT vs. Oakcrest, 4:15 p.m. -BVS vs. Washington Christian, 4:30 p.m.

summer athletics


CESJDS at the JCC Maccabi Games ball for the JCC of Greater Washington (JCCGW) said. “Once we got to a week before the games, For five days in August, Jewish we had practice every night that youth from around the world was mandatory.” unite to compete at the Maccabi Sophomore Jeremy Schooler, Games. This year’s games, held in who competed in the Boys U16 both Orange County, Calif., and Baseball for JCCGW, not only Austin, Texas, featured sports practiced with his own team, but ranging from swimming to ice scrimmaged other teams as well. hockey. Nineteen student-athletes “We had practices starting the from CESJDS spent some of their Sunday before we left, and every summer days preparing for comday except Saturday until we left,” petition. Schooler said. “We also scrim“We had practice once a week maged the Baltimore team and the for about two month[s] leading Walter Johnson summer team to up to the actual games that was prepare.” optional,” junior Talia Gasko, who Once the athletes arrived competed in the Girls U16 Basketin Orange County on Aug. 4, the games were ready to begin. “We got there Sunday at about noon, had opening ceremonies that night, [and] then the games started Monday,” Schooler said. “We played doubleheaders Monday and Tuesday, and then the tournament got photo provided by Reuben Winston reseedWinner of six total medals, freshman Reuben Winston (far right) ed for by robbiebelson reporter

poses here with a coach and teammate. Winston won gold in distance medley relays; silver in the 800-meter, 1600 and 3200, and the 200-meter hurdles; bronze in 4x400-meter relay.

Wednesday. We were 1-3 going into Wednesday.” Schooler’s team finished sixth out of 11 teams. “On Wednesday, we were the higher seed but got upset by a team from New Jersey. We were eliminated then, but if we had won, we’d play another game Wednesday, and if we won that we’d go to the medal round Thursday.... because we got out we didn’t play at all Thursday,” Schooler said. Students often return to the games year after year—not only to compete, but to enjoy the games’ unique atmosphere. Freshman Reuben Winston competed in track for JCCGW as well. Looking back, he said that Maccabi not only offered a time to have fun, but also an opportunity to socialize with the other athletes. “I like Maccabi for the fun and social part of it,” Winston said. “[Maccabi] is not so competitive to the point where [the games are] all one thinks about. … In my free time, I like going to the pool and just chilling with my friends.” Gasko agrees. “Maccabi is a great way for me to improve my basketball skills and bond with other Jews in my area and around the world,” Gasko said. “Teams from Mexico, Canada, Israel and Great Britain were at the games this year.” In her second year competing for JCCGW, Gasko realized that the fun comes both on and off the court. “Some of the best times I had at Maccabi came from the night activities,” Gasko said. “The times away from the sports themselves gave us time as a team to get to know each other and bond.”

photo provided by Emma Hofman

The girls U16 basketball team was almost entirely made up of CESJDS students. Clockwise from top left, juniors Emma Hofman, Sophie Kader, Lauren Spiegelman, freshman Danielle Katz and junior Talia Gasko participated in the games. The girls lost in the quarterfinals.

Medal Recipients Multiple Medals Reuben Winston Gold in distance medley relay, silver in the 800-meter, 1600 and 3200, and 200-meter hurdles; bronze in 4x400meter relay Gold Ilan Blask Doubles Tennis Bronze Cameron Yolles and Adin Adler Hockey

Track coach Belinke places 37th for Team USA by jessezweben sports editor

Over the summer, CESJDS Cross Country and Track and Field coach Jason Belinkie did some competing of his own. As part of Team USA, Belinkie traveled to Israel to participated in the World Maccabiah Games from July 18 to July 30. Belinkie ran the half marathon with 1,700 other male runners. Because of the extreme heat, the race itself did not

begin until 9:30 p.m. Belinkie persevered, finishing 37th. “Competing in the Mac-

cabiah Games was the most challenging and rewarding sporting experience I’ve ever

had,” Belinkie said. “I’ve never attempted a half marathon in such hot conditions and it was a true test of everything I had, both mentally and physically, to finish the race.” Participating in the

third-largest sporting event in the world, Belinkie was one of 10,000 athletes from 75 different countries. “More important than the race - competing for Team USA was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet other Jewish athletes from all Cross country and track coach Jason over the world,” Belinkie Belinke (second from left) poses said. “I consider it a trewith his teammates after running the mendous honor that I had half marathon for Team USA at the Maccabi Games. Belinke placed 37th. the opportunity to represent my country and my faith and I will never forget photo provided by Jason Belinkie this experience.”

The Lion's Tale Volume 31 Issue 1  

Volume 31 Issue 1 of The Lion's Tale