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The Lion’s Tale | Volume 37 Issue 2 | October 4, 2019 | CESJDS | 11710 Hunters Lane, Rockville, MD 20852

Graduation Requirement Encourages Students to Serve Community pg. 6-7

Increased Enrollment pg. 02

First International Student pg. 09

Taylor Swift Album Review pg. 12

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News Briefs Oct. 8-9 Yom Kippur The Upper School dismisses at 12:18 p.m. on Oct. 8 and will be closed on Oct. 9 to observe the Day of Atonement. There will be a delayed opening at 10 a.m. on Oct. 10. Oct. 14-15 Sukkot School will be closed for Sukkot, the Jewish festival of the harvest. Oct. 21-22 Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah School will be closed for Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the Jewish holidays commemorating the end of Sukkot and the annual completion of the reading of the Torah, respectively. Oct. 24 Irene Hasenberg Butter Presentation Holocaust survivor Irene Hasenberg Butter will share her personal survivor experience with the Upper School. Oct. 29 Daniel Pearl World Music Day Upper School students will have an assembly in honor of Pearl, a Jewish journalist with a passion for music, who was murdered in Pakistan in 2002. compiled by matthew rabinowitz

Check out The Lion’s Tale’s website for exclusive content:

R sing up

Enrollement increases after dwindling for over a decade

matthew rabinowitz news editor

For the first time in 15 years, the CESJDS student body grew, with a total enrollment of 920 students in both the Lower and Upper Schools. “We’ve been working really, really hard, and what’s amazing … is [that] it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the quality of the teaching, the quality of the program [and] the excitement among students and parents to get the word out,” Director of Enrollment and Tuition Assistance Orna Siegel said. A total of 167 new students enrolled at the beginning of this school year. This is a notable increase from last year, in which 132 new students enrolled, and the year before, in which 141 new students enrolled. One hundred and two new students are in the Lower School, 37 are in middle school and 28 are in high school. photo by matthew rabinowitz JDS’ average attrition--the annual number of non-graduating Junior Jacob Rulnick shows his admissions buddy, junior Alex Frame, a post on social media. Frame's previous school, the students who leave--has stayed at American Hebrew Academy, shut down over the summer, forcing him to quickly apply to a new school. Admissions buddies nine percent over the past five years, help ease the transition for new students by helping them with schedules, navigation and integration into their grade. aligning with independent schools around the nation. Without students extensively analyzing the reasons building a closer relationship with JDS’ enrollment decreased by whose parents work at the Israeli families choose to leave or come to the Israeli Embassy because the 200 students. According to Ball, Embassy in Washington, D.C., many JDS in order to make modifications school values the diversity and the decline in enrollment led to a of whom return to Israel after only to the school that increase family connection to Israel that Israeli decrease in morale among faculty a few years, JDS’ average attrition satisfaction and enrollment. Student students provide. Last year, there members because many were is only seven percent. Attrition, and parent ambassador programs were 42 students from the Embassy, concerned about the school’s combined with graduating students, have also expanded over recent years and there are 52 this year. economic state. had outweighed JDS’ new student in order to foster school growth. Another source of students Ball appreciates the increased intake for 15 years, until now. "The interest in the middle came when the American Hebrew enrollment not only for the economic “Usually, the main reasons school has really increased strongly Academy (AHA) shut down at the security that it brings, but also for that students leave the school are beginning of the summer due to the new students in her classes. what we call either financial reasons. AHA was the “I think new students bring a lot financial or value only pluralistic Jewish boarding of energy and different ideas,” Ball [reasons],” Siegel said. school in the United States, and said. “Something that has always “A positive enrollment means that “[Financial], meaning, its closing left almost 100 high made me really happy is that, on the the fiscal health [of JDS] is strong, it’s really hard for school students looking for whole, most new students really like families to afford such that I don’t have to think about new schools, three of whom it here.” the school and they chose JDS. Even if not all new students it all. This means that I can focus on leave even though For teachers, JDS’ positive at JDS were originally planning enjoying my teaching." we give them tuition enrollment is both encouraging on enrolling, such as those from assistance. Or, what and instills confidence of JDS’ AHA, Ball is glad that enrollment is -math teacher victoria ball we call value, where economic standing. flourishing due to its impact on the they feel like the “A positive enrollment surrounding area. product that they’re means that the fiscal health [of “I think most people who work getting isn’t worth the and essentially took a big jump up JDS] is strong, such that I don’t have here are really proud about what cost they’re paying even with tuition with the new sixth graders this to think about it all. This means that we do here. Even if enrollment is assistance, or they might be a full- year,” Siegel said. “This is the first I can focus on enjoying my teaching,” perhaps primarily a function of pay family.” time we’ve strongly increased the high school math teacher Victoria economic conditions, more than Siegel’s position was created number.” Ball said. anything else, it feels really good to two years before JDS’ sixth grade was In addition to appealing to Ball’s first year teaching at know that this product we take such moved to the Upper School campus new middle school families, JDS’ JDS was when the Great Recession pride in is a desirable commodity to and revamped in 2016. Since then, admissions department has been hit in 2009. From 2009 to 2011, the community,” Ball said. the admissions department has been

K osher conscious rochelle berman and ivan endelman reporters

photo by rochelle berman In addition to cerityfing restaurants, DC Kosher also certifies food products. DC Kosher's symbol is on top of these Ohev Shalom - The National Synagogue-packaged honey bottles.

Newly certified restaurants in the Greater Washington area Evolve Restaurant

Indian Delight

Khepra's Raw Food Juice Bar Pow Pow E Life Everlasting Life Nothing Bundt Cakes

Chef Joe Catering

Shouk Bubbie's Burgers Taim Sweet and Natural PLNT Burger

Pastries by Randolph

compiled by matthew rabinowitz

A new hechsher in the Greater Washington area called DC Kosher has been used to certify over 15 restaurants, thanks to Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld and Maharat Friedman. It has consistently been a challenge for Jews in the greater Washington area to keep kosher when going out because of the lack of kosher restaurants around. Before Herzfeld and Friedman of Ohev Sholom - The National Synagogue created a new hechsher, there was only one kosher-certified restaurant in all of Washington, D.C., CharBar, despite that over 57,000 Jews live there, according to the World Population Review. This new hechsher has certified restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia as kosher. Although there has been some controversy about whether this hechsher is valid for everyone who keeps kosher outside of the house, there are still Jews from every denomination who feel comfortable eating at these newly certified restaurants. Herzfeld began this project because his congregants had voiced that the area was lacking kosher

Straight to the office

restaurants, so he took the initiative to solve the issue. He believes that it is the role of the local rabbis to ensure their congregants are able to find kosher food, not the role of the restaurant owners themselves. Herzfeld and Friedman do not charge restaurants for their certification since they are doing this for the community and did not begin this project to make a profit; the entire model of this endeavor is community-based. People from the community volunteer their time to serve as a mashgiach, a person who makes sure actions taken in the kitchen follow kosher laws. Herzfeld’s original intention was to change the way in which people think about kosher restaurants. “[We’re] on the cusp of really making an impact on the kosher industry as a whole,” Herzfeld said. “...When a restaurant becomes kosher, it’s a blessing for the entire community.” Middle school math teacher Robert Shorr lives in Washington, D.C. and will only eat at hechshered restaurants including those certified by DC Kosher. Shorr is delighted by the new hechsher certification service and pointed out that CharBar “is a real sitdown place” and is very expensive. In contrast, the new kosher


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DC restaurants hechshered with new certification restaurants are much more relaxed and thus create a more informal dining space. These new kosher restaurants are also more familyfriendly and provide more diversity for kosher-keeping families. “...A lot of these new restaurants are all vegan [or vegetarian,] so that probably helps it be healthier [and] more casual. You can get [meals] to go, so it’s good to have a different type of dining experience within kosher restaurants,” Shorr said. Not only does it help Jews in the community, but there are also better options for people who observe kashrut to take their colleagues who observe kashrut out for a work meeting in the area. In the past, CharBar would have been the only option for something like this. “I think it makes both the people who are keeping kosher and the people who are being invited feel more comfortable interacting with each other over a meal,” Shorr said.

Cell phone policy enforcement spikes as administration considers changes ivan endelman reporter

The phone policy for high school students is being more regularly enforced in the hallways and will be revised by the end of the first quarter to further limit cell phone usage during the school day. While the phone policy has stayed relatively the same since the addition of shoe bags for phones in classrooms in the fall of 2018, this year, teachers took 26 phones within the first month of school. Comparatively, only 10 phones were taken during the same month last year, according to High School Principal and Associate Head of School Dr. Marc Lindner. Lindner is heading the process of looking into future plans after hearing input from parents, faculty, and students. On Sept. 24, he sent out a survey about cell phone use

in school for students and faculty to fill out, which posed statements regarding when phones should be used, and allowed students to respond. While the phone policy seems to complete its objective for teachers in the classroom, the administration is still looking to minimize the use of phones during all school hours due to studies that indicate it has a negative impact on attention spans and brain activity. “Most of the research indicates [phones are] interfering with your ability to think and concentrate and increases anxiety. . . . so for a period of time eight hours a day, I think that it would be helpful for students to take a break away from their phones,” Dean of Academics Roslyn Landy said. As of now, phones are not allowed to be used anywhere during class time without teacher

permission, but they are allowed during passing periods, community time and lunch. Administrators have also reiterated that if a student's phone is taken more than two times, parents will be called to pick it up. Although some students would prefer more access to their phones throughout the day for various reasons, sophomore Naomi Gould understands the policy’s benfits. “I know the phone policy comes from a good place, it has good intentions, and its goal is to protect the students and ensure that they’re properly applying themselves to their academics,” Gould said. English teacher Melissa Tomanelli believes that the phone policy has been working well in her classroom since its implementation. “I think that the policy is working quite well because I haven’t seen any interruptions within my classroom or in the hallways, and

my students are able to focus on the material,” Tomanelli said. While the administration could move towards a stricter policy, students like Gould feel that the student body is old enough to make these decisions by themselves and should be granted that privilege by the Per day, administration. “I think that while iPhone constant phone usage owners may not be great, I unlock their think that it should be up to the high school phones student to be able to decide because we’re old enough and capable enough to make decisions by times. ourselves,” Gould said.


On average, people touch their phones

2,617 times per day.

Information courtesy of King University Online

compiled by maya preuss



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editors-in-chief sabrina bramson, alex landy managing editor , copy oren minsk in-depth and design editor daphne kaplan news editor matthew rabinowitz, asst. maya preuss opinion editor izzy may, asst. jessica gallo features editors sally rogal, josie stein sports editor sophia miller, asst. mischa trainor style editor irit skulnik editorial cartoonist molly zatman reporters aaron adams, lincoln aftergood, tal arber, sam schwartz, jonathan morris, ivan endelman, eva bard, hannah davis, rochelle berman, sophie kaplan, corinne zlotnitsky staff adviser jessica nassau adviser emerita susan zuckerman Editorial and Ethics Policy As the student newspaper of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, The Lion’s Tale is a public 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. 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 jdslionstale@gmail.com, mailed to The Lion’s Tale or brought to room 320.

Editorial: Trump declares disloyalty in Jewish Democrats In a press conference in the Oval Office this past August, President Trump stated that American Jews who vote for Democrats in elections show a “lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” To any rational person, not only is this statement grossly inaccurate, but it also actively grants violent, antisemitic aggressors the right to further their hateful agenda against the American Jewish population. The President of the United States essentially gave live ammunition to some of the Jewish people’s fiercest enemies both at home and abroad. The President’s comments come at an intensely difficult period for Jews in America, which he has since greatly exacerbated. In 2017 alone, the Anti-Defamation League discovered 1,986 antisemitic incidents in the United States, a recorded increase of nearly 60 percent from the year prior. The President is correct when he points out that most Jews vote Democratic: 71 percent of Jews voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election, according to Jewish Virtual Library. However, when the President makes accusations of Jews being disloyal to America for their favoritism of Democrats, he enables the extremist voices to come out of the shadows and into the light, armed with their disgraceful views.

cover design and photos by daphne kaplan cartoon courtesy of sophie hare

to exist. Of course, the President is not the only one to blame for the increasing violence and hate in America; plenty of politicians on both sides bear responsibility, too. But President Trump’s words have gone far beyond the boundaries of the political climate in Washington; in July, he tweeted, “Why don’t they go back and help the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” He was referring to four minority Democratic Congresswomen who have partaken in hostile encounters with the President on political topics. Several more examples of the President’s unbecoming behavior could be referenced, but one thing is certainly clear: President Trump’s words questioning the

-The Lion’s Tale

A New Wave of Education: Senior takes online oceaonography

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 advertisements. 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.

The President not only indirectly incites violence through his bully pulpit on Twitter and hateful rhetoric on the campaign trail, but also has been unwilling to accept any culpability in the aftermath of tragic events. Take the recent anti-immigrant-motivated mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and the antisemitic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Both are examples of extremism rooted in deep hatred for two groups of people simply because of their unique backgrounds that differ from the nativist culture of those the President encourages. In both instances, the President denied that his rhetoric played any role at all in motivating such events or producing an environment for hate

intelligence and loyalty of Jewish Democrats in America have no place in our society. They further the antisemitism that has already plagued our nation in recent years, from the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. in 2017 to the shooting at the Chabad of Poway outside of San Diego, Ca. What is also clear is that our President does not understand the power of his words nor the influence of the office he holds to sway public opinion, and potentially lead to tragic events the likes of which we have witnessed recently. President Trump’s bigotted words should motivate us to rise above these wrong accusations and treat them as they are: wholly antisemitic and baseless claims rooted in ageold, malicious associations of the Jewish people. Furthermore, Trump’s comments and his corresponding hate and fear-mongering-filled behavior should encourage every American Jew to express their views through the electoral process, regardless of their individual affiliations. So next year, let’s go vote for our favored candidates, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, and be undeterred by the President’s shameful behavior.

ryan bauman guest writer The recent addition of Virtual High School (VHS) courses to the CESJDS curriculum has become extremely popular. The VHS courses are classes that students can register to take online during school hours. Last year, these online classes were fully booked, with some kids even trying to switch in from their original classes. In sum, the online classes were a huge hit. When the time came to register for classes, I was told I couldn’t have two free periods. People suggested

I take an art, but then I found out about the new course options for online classes for the 2019-2020 school year. I was looking for something more on the fun side and did not want to take Creative Writing or Constitutional Law. That’s when I noticed Oceanography. I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome to be the first JDS student to take online Oceanography? At first, it was difficult. Getting used to the VHS website, requirements and expectations were very different from a typical class. In my opinion, the one aspect of the class that is the hardest––and one that I am still getting used to–– is not having face-to-face time with your teacher. At JDS, we are extremely fortunate to have wonderful teachers who take the time to meet with us whenever we need; however, communication with my

online teacher is quite complicated. If I have any questions, I need to write her a private message on a discussion board and wait about 24 hours for a response. Additionally, the teacher only responds during the week (Monday through Friday) so if I do any work over the weekend and have questions, I need to wait until Monday for a response. Nevertheless, I’ve already seen a benefit in taking an online class. Being able to do the work on my own time allows me the ability to prioritize my workload. If I come home from school and have a test and a quiz the next day as well as math homework and an English reading, I can push off doing one of the online class lessons for the next day when I know I’ll have less homework to do. On top of that, getting an entire period in my schedule for the class gives me the ability to get the work done quickly, allowing me to use

the period as a study hall until the next week’s lessons are published. Basically, the online class is an easy way for me to learn and to manage my workload. Another reason that my online class is beneficial is that senior year is tough. Between school, extracurriculars and college applications, I barely have time to sit down and relax. Having the privilege of taking a fun, interesting and undemanding online class allows me to have some downtime in my day. Luckily for me, taking Oceanography allows me to learn about our world through a different lense than most JDS students. I like my class so far, and I hope many other students will see how taking an online class can be beneficial to their high school experience.


the lion’s tale 05 facing needed to be spotlighted. As the date of the strike approached, my peers constantly questioned me: “But what will you “The objective of going to the strike actually do?” At first, I was dumbfounded by the march was to this question and allowed their lack create a greater of understanding to make me feel as though my actions were worthless. awareness of the However, as I thought about it more, I realized that while we may not issue and force the change the world, showing up for the eva bard world to wake up environment shows the people in reporter power that this issue matters to us. to the sad reality of What my peers didn’t our planet.“ understand was that the goal he arctic is predicted to of the march was not to change experience its first ice-free summer - Eva Bard President Trump’s opinion about by 2040. By 2050, there will be more the environment or to force him plastic in the sea than fish. Now, the to implement a policy that would lives of animals and humans are support our cause. While that would endangered every day. This is why I The years , be ideal, we knew that was not and over four million people around realistic. The objective of the march and are the world and I skipped class and was to create a greater awareness of work on Sept. 20 to attend the Global the warmest years the issue and force the world to wake Climate Strike. up to the sad reality of our planet. ever recorded. After the first period bell rang, Over four million people all five peers and I traveled by metro, around the world united on Friday signs in hand, to the meetup spot in to advocate for the earth, according Earth’s average John Marshall Park in Washington, to 350.org, and I was one of them. If D.C. None of us knew what to temperature has risen everyone had the mindset that they expect, or if anyone else was even about over the alone could not make an impact, then going to show up but as soon as four million people would not have past years. we arrived, we were reassured by shown up in worldwide rallies. the large crowd of people. I looked The number of people that around and was comforted by the did show up is a testament to the kids, workers and grandparents all fact that the world is beginning to standing by my side. realize the threat of climate change While I was stressed about Information courtesy and understand that action, not missing a day of classes, I knew ignorance or negligence, is the right of The American that I needed to attend the strike. path to solving the devastating The failure of our government to Museum of Natural climate crisis that our generation acknowledge and make efforts to History faces today. solve the climate crisis our world is

Stand For What You Stand




1998 2007

1.8F 100

The ocean is acidifying; about 30% of the carbon dioxide released by human activities over the past 200 years has been absorbed into the ocean.

40 percent of Earth’s land surface has been converted to human use. Six JDS high school students attended the Global Climate Strike. They marched with signs in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. photos courtesy of eva bard and vanessa marks


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Do Good Dipl daphne kaplan and sabrina bramson in-depth and design editor and editor-in-chief


n accordance with CESJDS’ core values as well as Maryland graduation requirements, high school students are required to fulfill 80 hours of community service over the course of their four years. This value has been taught and stressed to students since it was first applied to the Class of 1990, according to Dean of Students Roslyn Landy. “One of the school’s core values is Tikkun Olam, ‘the desire and commitment to repair the world and make it more compassionate, just, and peaceful.’ To that end, we ask our students to reach out to those underserved populations in the community who need our help,” Landy said. According to Landy, in addition to reinforcing one of JDS’ core values, the community service requirement aims to teach students how to serve those around them and the benefits of doing so. Many school districts around the country require community service; however, Maryland is the only state that requires its students to do so. The requirement in Maryland is 75 hours; in Washington, D.C. schools, it is 100. Students fulfill the requirement through a diverse range of activities, including volunteering at animal shelters, through helping teens with disabilities play sports, being a counselor for Israeli Scouts or visiting homeless shelters weekly to help kids with homework and art. Likewise, given students’ wide range of service projects, students fulfill the requirement in various increments. Some students, including senior Emma Ash, volunteer on a weekly basis for two hours at a time, while junior Hailey Block attended a month-long program through an organization called Putney in the Dominican Republic, where she earned all 80 direct community service hours at once. Although administration enforces and reiterates the 80 hour requirement from the beginning of freshman year, students often find themselves pushing off their service until their senior year. “I think students who procrastinate and begin their community service requirement at the beginning of senior year will have difficulty fulfilling their requirement in time to apply to college,” Landy said. “The 80 hour requirement is not difficult; it is only 20 hours a year. That can be done in few weekends. If you do a full day, you can do 20 hours in three weekends. Our requirement is in lie with most other independent and Jewish day schools.”

photo courtesy of shevi lerner

photo courtesy of dimensions yearbook

Sophomore Shevi Lerner: Rescuing Animals

Junior Robby Lefkowitz: Miracle League

Some students at JDS, such as sophomore Shevi Lerner, volunteer with animals to fulfill the school community service requirement. Lerner volunteers at Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, a foster-based rescue system based in the Washington, D.C. area. “Over the summer, I worked in their office where I worked on the computer, helped them sort donations and made phone-calls, and I go to all the adoption events and rescue missions all over,” Lerner said. The rescue organization holds adoption events every Sunday so prospective families can meet the dogs. Typically, there are more adoption events during times of crisis, such as hurricanes, because there are more dogs in need of rescue. In addition to volunteering, Lerner has adopted two dogs and fostered four. Lerner even traveled to Puerto Rico and South Carolina to give her time to this cause following the devastating hurricanes. “It feels amazing [to volunteer for Lucky Dog], it’s pretty cool, especially after the missions to watch the dog go from a stage from where they are in a shelter where they are going to be killed in the next three days, [to] on leash, and then [to] an amazing home right in our area,” Lerner said. Other animal shelters in the area include the Humane Society, DC Paws Rescue, City Dog Rescue, the Washington Animal Rescue League and K9 Life Savers.

Junior Robby Lefkowitz found a way to bring his passion for baseball to his volunteer efforts. Lefkowitz volunteers as a one-on-one buddy at Miracle League, an organization that helps children with disabilities play baseball. They meet every Sunday over the course of eight weeks in the fall and in the spring. Lefkowitz helps one child per session with their batting, throwing and fielding skills. “I stuck with it because I saw the happiness that it gives the children being able to play the sport I love,” Lefkowitz said. Lefkowitz continues to participate in Miracle League because he not only learns how to help kids with disabilities through their struggles, but he also gets to witness how sports can bring joy to those around him. “I’ve really gotten a lot out of it because not only have I learned important things with helping [people with disabilities], but also how sports can truly make people happy,” Lefkowitz said. There are many organizations in the area that also connect community service and sports such as Leveling the Playing Field, which is a nonprofit dedicated to providing underprivileged children with sports equipment, and KEEN, a nonprofit which provides free fitness to all children, regardless of ability.

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HOURS OF Service to Graduate


State Requires community service for graducation: Maryland compiled by sabrina bramson

photo courtesy of emma ashe

photo by daphne kaplan

photo courtesy of yair ben-dor

Senior Emma Ash: Ballet with Kids with Disabilities

Junior Shelby Schlactus: Kids@Hart

Junior Yair Ben-Dor: Israeli Tzofim

There are many opportunities to volunteer with adults and children with special needs in the area, such as Friendship Circle, the JCC summer camp, Dreams for Kids DC and more. Senior Emma Ash found an opportunity to work with young dancers with special needs at her dance studio. On Saturday mornings in between her own dance classes, Ash volunteers at Maryland Youth Ballet and helps the students in the classes throughout their dance lessons. The classes range in size from 15 to 20 participants, and the students range in age from four to 20 years old. “The connections that I made with the girls it made me feel very important that I made a connection and that I had made an impact on their life, it was really special,” Ash said. Towards the beginning of her volunteering, Ash would work from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., but now that she has completed most of her hours, she works from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Despite having to give up her Saturday mornings, Ash thoroughly enjoyed her volunteer experience. “I am glad I chose it for my community service; I would not have had any other way,” Ash said.

Every Wednesday, junior and club leader Shelby Schlactus commutes to Stepping Stone Homeless Shelter in Silver Spring to help underprivileged kids with an array of activities as part of Kids@Hart. From helping kids with homework, to coloring once a week with the children, Schlactus has formed friendships with the children at the shelter. Schlactus initially joined Kids@Hart after former club leader, Jessie Lehman (‘19) encouraged her to try and go to a shelter. Lehman’s older sister, Dahlia (‘17), founded the club while in high school, which subsequently led Jessie to join in high school as well. After attending Kids@Hart alongside Lehman for a year, Schlactus became a co-club leader with sophomore Mimi Lemar during the 2019-2020 school year. “My favorite part is just seeing the kids because they are so appreciative and fun to hang out with, and they really love that you go there and hang out with them. It’s really fun to see them,” Schlactus said. Since the purpose of the club is to help less fortunate individuals in an engaging and creative way, some students do not log the hours spent with Kids@Hart for their community service fulfillment. Others, however, enjoy the multi-purpose joy: helping children while fulfilling the community service requirement. The Kids@Hart club at JDS currently has 20 students enrolled, and each student can volunteer with the organization based on their schedule and flexibility.

Like many other Israeli students, junior Yair Ben-Dor participates in Tzofim, the Israeli Scouts. Ben-Dor has been a part of the organization for the past eight years. Ben-Dor currently gets community service hours as a youth group counselor, which is his favorite part of the program. When he moved to America from Israel, Ben-Dor decided to join the Scouts because it made him feel like “part of [him] was still in Israel.” “It kept me connected, and I just wanted to do the same thing for the new kids coming from Israel,” Ben-Dor said. As a counselor, Ben-Dor goes twice a week to the JCC of Greater Washington, but regular participants only go once a week. The members of the program are all people who have any sort of connection to Israel, whether that be through their religion or their citizenship, but they are not required to speak Hebrew. “ … I feel like I am helping people, and if they ever have a problem with something they come to me because they feel comfortable,” Ben-Dor said. Another way to volunteer for the Israeli community is through the student-oriented Eitanim program run by the Israeli-American Council (IAC) or by attending the annual American Israel Public Affairs (AIPAC) Committee conference held in Washington, D.C. annually.

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Yiddish club brings the ‘chutzpah’ oren minsk contributing editor For many people, artifacts spark interest in historical events, but for Jewish history teacher Dr. Daniel Rosenthal, they sparked an interest in the Yiddish language. While Rosenthal had heard of the language, he did not know it and was intrigued by the Hebrew letters “that meant nothing” to him. Years later, when writing his senior thesis at Johns Hopkins University, Rosenthal (‘00) realized that since he knew Hebrew from his time at CESJDS and since he was currently taking German, he could incorporate a bit of Yiddish into his thesis by putting the two languages together. Even though Rosenthal taught himself a bit of Yiddish while an undergraduate, he did not take his studies seriously until graduate school at

the University of Toronto. In graduate school, Rosenthal taught himself Yiddish and did a Yiddish summer immersion program at the YIVO Institute in New York. Additionally, Rosenthal studied early 20th century Yiddish newspapers to bolster his skills. While Yiddish is now significant to Rosenthal’s Jewish identity, it wasn’t at first. “It’s only since I have learned Yiddish that I realized the role that it played [in] my family,” Rosenthal said. Rosenthal’s great grandparents were native Yiddish speakers, and his great grandmother was a subscriber to The Jewish Daily Forward, the oldest Yiddish daily newspaper in the world. It was through his studies of Yiddish that Rosenthal realized that for a long

time, it was the language of the Jews. According to Rosenthal, before the Holocaust took place and the State of Israel was established, Jewish communities all around the world spoke Yiddish. Rosenthal decided to start the Yiddush club two years ago because of the universality of Yiddish to the global Jewish community decades ago. Though the club was inactive last year, it is continuing to meet this year. “Yiddish is the Jewish language … and when Dr. Rosenthal offered to start a club [about it,] we were thrilled,” Dean of Students Roslyn Landy said. “We are always excited about offering our students the opportunity to be exposed to another language which is an important learning experience.” JDS had a Yiddish class for a few years in the early 2000s until the supervising teacher left, according to Landy. The class is no longer offered

because there are very few Yiddish teachers, but students can still learn some Yiddish at club meetings. “It opens up Jewish cultures that go back one-thousand years. It unlocks that culture that you cannot unlock with any other language,” Rosenthal said. “It’s super close to home, but on the other hand it seems extremely foreign to us.” According to club member and senior Ray Ash, Rosenthal teaches Yiddish words and then members practice using these words in sentences with words that they already know. While Ash thinks learning Yiddish is important for expanding his knowledge of Jewish history, joining the club was less about the Yiddish itself and more about learning from Rosenthal. “Dr. Rosenthal is one of my favorite teachers, and I really wanted to learn from him because he is really excited about what he teaches,” Ash said.

While Rosenthal enjoys teaching silly Yiddish words and the construction of Yiddish insults, he also thinks learning Yiddish can have a real impact on people’s lives. “I think that Yiddish is really important for finding ways into Jewish identity that most people today don’t consider,” Rosenthal said. “In Eastern Europe, Yiddish itself was a form of Jewish identity. Having a Jewish language that was not necessarily a religious language provided a culture that let people be Jews without being religious…. I think for a lot of Jews today who are looking for that type of identity, Yiddish is often a way into that world.”

Dr. Rosenthal’s top 5 Yiddish phrases... 1. Hak mir nisht keyn tshaynik - “Don’t bang on my tea kettle” (“Stop bothering me!”) 2. ‘Kh-bin meed - “I’m tired” 3. Man trakht un got lakht - “People plan and God laughs” 4. Tantsn af tsvey khasenes - “Dancing at two weddings” (Overtaxed In two places at once) 5. A zis nay yor - “Happy new year”

compiled by josie stein


the lion’s tale


From Ecuador to Maryland:

Junior moves 2,700 miles to attend CESJDS

photo by daphne kaplan Junior Alex Ruf talks with one of her new friends during lunch.

daphne kaplan contributing editor As the alarm sounds at 6 a.m., junior Alex Ruf reluctantly wakes up. After getting out of bed, Ruf brushes her teeth and heads out the door. And at the end of a long and demanding day at school, Ruf takes the bus to her grandparents where she eats a snack, completes her homework and waits for her aunt to pick her up and take her to their home. Since Aug. 18, this routine has been a daily reality for Ruf since moving to the United States.

Ruf emigrated alone from Quito, Ecuador to join the CESJDS community, enhance her education and receive more Jewish opportunities in the United States. Ruf asked her family in early March to leave Quito; despite initial hesitation, her family agreed. “They obviously could not have come with me because of my [four] sisters, but we were thinking of options about how we could do it. I told them I wanted to go alone; it took some convincing since they wanted to be with me,” Ruf said. “They wanted what was best for me.” Ruf said she attended a good school in Ecuador, played the cello and was on her school’s basketball team, but after sixteen years, she yearned for a change; a change that would allow her to strengthen her Jewish identity and to spend time with her family in Maryland. Ruf’s aunt and uncle live in the greater Washington area, which influenced Ruf’s move here. Although her parents initially considered boarding school, they decided that she should have family in the area, so she moved in with her aunt and uncle. Ruf heard about JDS after her

aunt and grandmother attended an Bisker answered many of Ruf’s student, the administration is open house last year and expressed questions, enabling her to ease into currently working on expanding interest in the school for her. the transition and feel comfortable the international student program. “Having her be closer to [us] at a new school. This is done through approaching and explore that Jewish identity Ruf applied to JDS because she individual foreign families who in a way that was not possible in was interested in its dual curriculum have demonstrated an interest in Ecuador, attending JDS and having that combines Judaics with a secular attending the school and through a deeper connection to Judaism education. applying for student visas, something that is available here, I think that “I am excited to learn more since for which the school is responsible. is something that is really going to I was not in a Jewish school before, “I think that we as a be a part of her life going forward,” but I am excited to learn more about school community will benefit Victoria Ruf, Ruf’s aunt, said. my Jewish history or about Judaism tremendously from having them Although Ruf sought here, as it will offer diversity, to establish a new life in refresh new perspectives, America, she nevertheless help all of us to see and learn “It was definitely hard, but I struggled with the cultural about people from all across changes that life in America the world, what they believe wanted to start fresh, so I like introduced. and how they live,” Lindner that it’s totally different because “It was definitely hard, said. that is what I needed.” especially leaving family. It Although Ruf’s first was so hard dealing with year at JDS has only recently - junior alex ruf all the changes: it’s a new begun, Ruf has envisioned her country, … new cultures, new future academic plans are: languages and new school. It She hopes to study Zoology in was definitely hard, but I wanted to in general,” Ruf said. Europe. start fresh, so I like that it’s totally High School Principal and “I have always planned on different because that is what I Associate Head of School Dr. Marc studying in Europe,” Ruf said. “I needed,” Ruf said. Lindner believes Ruf’s presence want to study Zoology .… I think I’ll Despite the initial rush of increases the school’s diversity probably still go to Europe, but one adrenaline and intimidation on the and fosters an accepting learning thing I've learned this last year is first day, Ruf was given academic and environment. that nothing is set in stone and that social support upon arriving. Fellow Although Ruf is JDS’ first we change and things change.” junior and admissions buddy Miriam and only enrolled international

Breaking barriers: jessica gallo contributing editor

Student to Student (STS) is a program where Jewish high schoolers around the greater Washington area come together and present all about Judaism to nonJewish groups of people. STS operates within the JCRC, the Jewish Community Relations Council, an organization that focuses on Jewish community outreach through social justice missions and interfaith works. Three years ago, JCRC Associate Director Guila Franklin Siegel, mother to senior Josh Siegel and seventh grader Rafi Siegel, brought on board Program Director Sara Winkleman to introduce the Student to Student Initiative. “I thought it would be a great opportunity for Jewish teens

throughout the area, especially for Josh and other JDS students, so I came to him and asked him to participate with a friend or two,” Franklin Siegel said. For senior Hailey Weiss, participating in STS is her way of trying to dismantle common misconceptions about Judaism. According to Weiss, who did not have the most positive experience in public school, being able to participate in the program and talk about something she is passionate about is very meaningful. “I did not have the best public school experience, especially surrounding my Judaism, and I really wanted to educate people on how that should be changed,” Weiss said. For the past two years, Josh has participated in the program and is excited to take on his second year as a group leader. He is also

Student to Student program promotes conversation between Jews and non-Jews

pleased to see how the program has expanded in such a short time, especially to other teens of different Jewish denominations around the greater Washington area, which he says is crucial to the success of each presentation. “We try to get a big diverse group of Jewish backgrounds. There are people from JDS, there are people from Berman, but we have mostly public school kids,” Josh said. “In every presentation, we try to have a Reform person, a Conservative person and an Orthodox person to talk about how we all observe Judaism in our own way.” Winkleman feels that the way the teens share their own stories with others is what makes the program so powerful. She says that although the typical presentation covers the day to day things in the life of a Jewish teen, the curriculum

covers the basic concepts of Judaism that are sometimes known by name, but not by what they actually mean to Jews. “Teens don't need to be experts, they just have to talk about what Judaism means to them,” Winkleman said. “It is done through a basic outline covering topics such as life cycles, Shabbat, Kashrut, Israel, Holocaust, antisemitism and the holidays.” Franklin Siegel feels that STS has had a greater impact on the outside community as well. After the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh last year, a Sikh temple reached out to JCRC that led to presentations from both religions. “We ended up giving presentations to each other about our own religions. I think it was a really powerful experience for everyone, and as a parent, I talked

to a bunch of the Sikh moms that attended and, we all thought the way everything was coordinated and presented was just amazing, educational and powerful, especially since it all came from the teens,” Franklin Siegel said. For Winkleman, it is the message and experiences that each teen gets out of it and the overall goal of the program that means the most. “This program is an opportunity for all of us to do something proactive and positive to help decrease bias and bigotry. And unfortunately, this world seems to need this program more than ever,” Winkleman said. "We have teens who speak passionately about the antisemitism they have experienced in their public high schools and the power and support they receive from the teens they share with is amazing.”


Strengthening the dance program

10 the lion’s tale

Fall Season Sports Schedule Oct. 7 - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Edmund Burke Oct. 7 - Girls Tennis @ Field School Oct. 7 - Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Sandy Spring Friends School Oct. 10 - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. St. Anselms Oct. 10 - Girls Varsity Volleyball @ Oakrest Oct. 10 - Girls Tennis vs. Mclean Oct. 10 - Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Oakrest Oct. 10 - Boys Middle School Soccer @ Spencerville ADventist Academy Oct. 10 - Girls Middle School Soccer @ Spencerville Adventist Academy Oct. 10 - Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Oakrest Oct. 16 - Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Field Oct. 16 - Girls Varsity Soccer @ Sandy Spring Friend School Oct. 16 - Girls Tennis vs. Georgetown Day School Oct. 16 - Cross Country Meet @ St. Anselms Oct. 16 - Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Mclean compiled by sophia miller

Five. Six. Seven. Eight. sophie kaplan reporter

Look in the cafeteria during an after-school dance clinic, and you’ll find a scene reminiscent of “High School Musical:” 20 students leaping and plieing between rows of tables as they hone their dance skills. In the past few weeks, the athletics and arts departments have planned several after-school dance clinics throughout the fall in efforts to expand their dance program. These clinics are open to all upper school students regardless of dance experience, age or gender. During the various clinics, dance instructor Melanie Barber helps participants explore a range of dance styles such as jazz and hiphop. The dancers get exercise and some prepare for the dance team, a winter sport. “[Dance] is a way of expressing yourself. It is a great way to stay in shape,” Barber said. “Sometimes you can’t sing or maybe you are not a great actor, but you need to move around, and it is a great way to stay active.” Students come from every grade level and have differing levels of skill ranging from novices to years

The Big

adam drexler reporter

photo by sophie kaplan Junior Eilah Goldberg performs a glide accross the floor during a dance clinic

of dance experience, but despite this, a significant number of students enjoyed the workshops.


After freshman Noam Cohen scored his first goal of the season, his teammates wildly cheered from the sideline, chanting his name in celebration. The boys junior varsity team started the game slow, but with this goal, CESJDS tied up the game, and eventually went on to win. The high school soccer program has split from only fielding one team, the varsity team, to two separate teams: junior varsity and varsity. The team divided due to the number of players at tryouts this year. Varsity soccer coach and physical education department chair

Steven Forestieri was surprised at the high turnout of 32, an increase of about 10 to 12 athletes from the prior year. Unlike other sports, where the varsity and junior varsity teams are managed separately, the new program is designed so that the two teams are more connected. The teams practice together, and some players play in both varsity and junior varsity games. Generally, the players seem to be happy with this change. New players who have just entered high school now have the opportunity to play against easier competition, boosting their confidence and allowing them to have more playing time. Cohen is excited to be on junior

“One thing I really liked about the dance clinic was that we had an opportunity to improve upon [our]

skills and learn new tips on the skills that we already know,” eighth-grader Catalina Werbin-Gradel said. JDS is currently working to build their dance program, according to Director of Athletics Becky Silberman. Last year they added a middle school dance elective, and now they have created the afterschool clinics. “One of our goals this year was to grow our dance program, and we had a request from a few of the girls who participate in the dance team [to expand the program],” Silberman said. In addition to teaching the dance clinics, Barber is also choreographing the high school musical, a job previously done by students and former history and Jewish history teacher Elizabeth Savopoulos, and Barber coach the dance team. Sophomore Naomi Stillman has been dancing for six years and joined the dance team last year. Stillman is experienced in jazz, ballet, hip-hop, tap and modern dance. “I think that it is very important [for JDS to expand its dance program],” Stillman said. “It has been really overlooked and not given much attention.”

Boys varsity soccer Gets enough people to form junior varsity team varsity for his first high school soccer season. “Junior varsity gives players an opportunity to work on their skills and actually put them to use in real game situations,” Cohen said. “I think that the best way to practice and improve as a player is through these game situations.” Players who have been on varsity in the past still have the opportunity to play in a more competitive environment, and players who have seen little playing time on varsity in the past have the chance to play on both teams, which gives them additional playing time and experience playing against different levels of competition. Forestieri believes that splitting

into two teams will ultimately benefit the program. “This has a positive impact on the success of the team because we have a lot of seniors who will be graduating this year and we have a lot of ninth-grade student-athletes that will be the majority of the varsity team next year,” Forestieri said. “Having a lot of depth in multiple positions on the team is always a good problem to have for any sports program.” Last year, the varsity team went 3-8, while this year the team currently has a record of 2-3 and is already showing significant improvement from last season.

sports the lion’s tale


MID-SEASON CHECK IN Girls Varsity Soccer

Boys Varsity Soccer “We definitely have work to do, but it’s been a great upgrade since last year. Everyone is committed and we’re all working very hard to win and play our best every single game. As a team we need to improve on playing at one-hundred percent every second of the game. We have some flukes where we give up silly goals, but we can’t let it get to our heads and have to keep playing our game.” - Senior Yoni Preuss The boys varsity soccer team celebrates after senior and captain Matthew Lawrenz scored a goal during a home game on Sept. 17.

“Overall, the season is going really well. Even though it just started, every game we are improving, passing better, communicating more and becoming more unified. It has been a fun season so far and, I’m really excited for us to grow as a team and hopefully do really well. Everyone is committed to the team and seems to be enjoying games and practices which is awesome and makes for a really great team dynamic.” - Senior Ally Knapp

Varsity Cross Country “The cross country team is doing really well this year. We have a great top seven on the boys side, and we have been training and working really hard. This year’s motto is ‘if you want it, go get it’ because running is a sport where you have to consistently train and work hard, so we felt that this quote accurately characterizes running.” - Junior Adam Alter Sophomore Coco Becker serves during a match at girls tennis practice.

Girls Varsity Tennis

“I think the tennis team is doing really well this year, and we have played a lot of matches against schools that we normally don’t play and who challenge us. We are a really close team and, hopefully, we all improve in our game and make it to championships.” - Junior Maya Arie compiled by sophia miller photos courtesy of dimensions yearbook

Senior and captain Olivia Plotnek takes a shot during the Lions’ 9-3 win over the Mclean School.

Girls Varsity Volleyball “We are doing pretty well. We have all new coaches and pretty much a new team, so it’s an adjustment but a lot of fun. I definitely think we need to improve on our conditioning, which our coach has emphasized a lot .... I think our overall goals are just to have fun, work together as a team, bond and do well.” - Senior Mattie Watson

Members of the varsity volleyball team prepare to return a serve at home against Model Secondary School.

style 12

the lion’s tale

Not in love with “Lover”

Taylor Swift’s newest album is repetitive, lacks creativity mischa trainor contributing editor

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her new album “Lover” on Aug. 23. Leading up to the album, she released one of the tracks titled “ME!” on April 26. “Lover” features many fun songs, but many of them sound the same. Swift’s previous albums have shown a significant amount of change in terms of music genres, shifting primarily between pop and country, but “Lover” sticks to the pop style of “1989,” one of her previous albums. However, all her albums feature a substantial number of songs talking about her breakups and her possible love interests, and “Lover” is no exception. The album begins with the song “I Forgot That You Existed” which features catchy lyrics and a fun beat in the background. This song got me excited for the rest of the album, but once I got to the second song, “Cruel Summer,” I was disappointed. The song sounded like it came right out of “1989,” and the lyrics were not very interesting. By the time I finished listening to the album, I felt like I had listened to the same song 18 times. None of the songs were particularly new in

their meaning and they all sounded pretty similar. There were two songs in the album that stood out to me: “Lover” and “The Man.” “Lover” features more of the acoustic vibes that can be found in her old country music. She talks about her happiness in her relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. Additionally, the song was the third track on the album just like how “Love Story” was the third track on “Fearless,” one of Swift’s earlier albums. “The Man” stood out from the other songs on the album because it offered both fresh music and a more political focus than the other songs on the album, as it examines the double standards between women and men. The song talks about Swift’s frustration that she could be further in her career if she was a man. The album spreads a positive message about standing up to sexism. She also writes about current issues like sexism and homophobia in “You Need To Calm Down.” The album ends with Swift saying, “I wanna be defined by the things that I love, Not the things I hate, Not the things I’m afraid of, I’m afraid of, Or the things that haunt me in the middle of the night, I, I just think that, You are what you love.” While talking about the people she

loved may have been the theme of the album, Swift stuck to this theme too much and only talked about her romantic interests at the expense of political issues, friendships and other aspects of her life which were only highlighted briefly. Overall, the album had some good songs that are worth a listen, but it was repetitive and at times even boring. It followed the same upbeat, pop style of “1989,” and all the songs had the same meaning, making the album indistinguishable from other Swift albums.

Lover by the numbers: 679,000 sales in the first week of release 295 days until the first U.S. festival, which 18

takes place July 25, 2020 in Los Angeles tracks on the album, all made the Billboard Hot 100 chart

7th album Swift has released

Information courtesy of USA Today and Billboard Hot 100

compiled by irit skulnik and mischa trainor

Taylor Swift releases extras with the deluxe editions of her albums. The deluxe edition of the album “1989” included Polaroids while “Lover” included diary entries. photo by jonatahan morris

Salad Wars: Chop’t vs. Sweetgreen



Yes! 60

ingredients Prefers Chop’t: “Chop’t is better because it tastes better and there are more options for the salads.” — Sophomore Amanda Azia compiled by irit skulnik

Prefers Sweetgreen: “Sweetgreen provides a variety of good salads... and it has fresh ingredients.” — Jewish history department chair Aaron Bregman

+ 18



Larger sizes

Yes! 49


+ 13



Smaller Sizes

Information courtesy of Forbes, Chop’t and Sweetgreen

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Lion's Tale Volume 37, Issue 2  

Lion's Tale Volume 37, Issue 2  

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