“Audemus jura nostra defendere”
Jewish Community High School of the Bay 2017-18 | ISSUE III
Ms. Noel: Scientist and Dinosaur Lover
By MAX BAMBERGER (‘21) Today, Ms. Noel is known throughout JCHS as a teacher who makes science tutorials in song, is optimistic even in the worst of times, and sees the best in everyone. But how did Ms. Noel come to be the science teacher we all know and love? Ms. Noel grew up in Austin, Texas and her parents made sure she, in her words, “played outside a lot and read a lot of books”, which first kindled her love for science. When she grew up, she became a lab scientist, but she always knew that she really only wanted to spread her passion towards science to the next generation. She was able to do this a bit as a mentor in her lab, but she finally decided to become a full-time teacher after one specifically scarring experience involving a lab rat. In order to use the rats as scientific specimens in their research, her lab didn’t drug the animals at all and used what she describes as “basically, what looks like a French-revolution-style guillotine” to decapitate the rodents. One horrible day, one of the rats seemed to realize what was going on and pushed back against the blade was coming down. Ms. Noel describes the following events as such: “Instead of chopping his head off and killing him right away, [the blade] chopped his face off, and the rat was trying to look around, and he didn’t have a face, and it was just horrible, and there was blood, and the person working with me passed out, and so, I had to step up and try to kill the rat again … and it worked that time, but it was just a horrible, bloody, disgusting experience and I realized that was not what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.” She asked herself what would be
more fun, and decided the answer was “Teaching students about dinosaurs. And, like, everything else.” And thus began her teaching career. Ms. Noel says she has thoroughly enjoyed teaching at JCHS, particularly because of the Jewish community. “The Jewish community,” Ms. Noel says, “has this innate questioning piece. Someone told me, ‘Oh, it’s because they study the Talmud.’ Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that whenever I present some evidence, everyone’s like, ‘Are you sure? Really?’ and they want to know more about it. Or if we do a lab, and they see something strange, they’re like, ‘I want to know more about this.’ And that’s like the scientific piece that I always look for in students, is that curious mind that wants to know more. And I love it so much.” Ms. Noel found this Jewish aspect so compelling that she has chosen to teach at another Jewish school next year, when she, very unfortunately, has to move out of the Bay Area. Ms. Noel says she will very much miss each of her individual students. She hopes that one day she will be able to “come back sometime, when, you know, I’ll sell a book! Yeah, done. I’ll write a book, I’ll make a million, and I’ll come back and work here.” Ms. Noel won’t forget JCHS, but she hopes JCHS doesn’t forget her either. Her lasting message, she hopes, is to “never give up on yourself as a science student. The biggest thing I’ve brought [to JCHS] is giving people confidence in knowing they can do science. And so, that’s kind of my goal as a teacher, is
Sophomores Ilana Borisson and Moriah Rosenthal after a swim meet
Ms. Noel by Sophie Fudim
making sure everybody knows that there is some part of science that you’ll be really good at, and, yeah, never give up. That’s kinda the big thing.”
Swim Team By ALEX GARROW (‘20)
After a season filled with races, relays, splashes, and flops, the JCHS swim season has come to an end. The most remarkable part about the JCHS swim team is the effort each member put in, and each swimmer’s personal improvements throughout the season. Skill levels of each participant on the first day of practice ranged from having swam on an organized swim team their entire lives, to learning the strokes from scratch. No matter which category swimmers fell into, day one of practice was brutal, as we adjusted to the refreshingly cold pool water and tight swim caps. At least twice a week we would walk over to SF Fitness around the corner from JCHS and swim countless laps with the expert guidance of Mr. Eilath, our coach, and Ms. Sturgill, our assistant coach. This season the swim team competed in six swim meets against several other high schools including Urban, University, Marin Academy, Athenian, Drew, International, Lick, and Stuart Hall. Although in most of the meets JCHS came in last place, our team put up a strong fight as we filled as many events as we could, at times forcing swimmers to stretch beyond their comfort zones. This year’s star athletes included the freshmen Noa Sharabi, who broke the school record for the 200 meter individual medley, and Sera Benjamin, who broke the school record swimming the 50-meter freestyle. Additionally, Mira Kittner, Maya Gross, Sera Benjamin, and Noa Sharabi crushed JCHS’s previous record for the 200-meter freestyle relay finishing with a time of 2:07.94. Senior Steven Lazarevsky finished third and beat his personal bests swimming the 200-meter and 100-meter freestyle in a meet against Lick-Wilmerding and Urban. Other honorary mentions go out to all of the first-year swimmers, for their improvement throughout the season and effort put into the team. Ilana Borison, a sophomore who swam for her second year on the team, also deserves a shout out as she designed and ordered swim team sweatpants for the team.
Table of Contents
SAM ARNESON (‘19) Executive Editor NAOMI BENNETT (‘20) Graphic Design Coordinator MAX SWAN (‘18) Fundraising Coordinator SOPHIE FUDIM (‘20) Photography Coordinator DANELLE TUCHMAN (‘20) Copy Editor / Staff Writer ZOE MOSKOWITZ (‘20) Outreach Coordinator / Staff Writer ALEX GARROW (‘20) Assistant Editor + Staff Writer SERA BENJAMIN (‘21) Assistant to Photography Coordinator SARRAH WILKES (‘21) Social Media Coordinator + Staff Writer MAX BAMBERGER (‘21) Assistant Outreach Coordinator + Staff Writer
Note From the Executive Editor Hey, Wolves! Thanks for checking out the third issue of The Observer. The Observer was originally pioneered in 2012 by Arno Rosenfeld and Elijah Jatovsky to give students a voice at JCHS and a mode by which to hone and perfect their writing, which I believe has helped to foster a strong and confident student body. In regards to this issue, I’d like to thank my incredible editorial board for their passion and dedication to the paper—they are the glue that holds The Observer together. Additionally, I’d like to thank Dr. Ayres—our faculty advisor—for proofreading and editing our articles. Two more thank-yous go out to Ms. Hasson & Ms. Hunt, for being early supporters and champions of The Observer. As for all students reading this, feel free to contact me via my school email if you’re interested in joining—we’ve always got space for more writers, thinkers, and designers! I hope you enjoy our third issue, and we at The Observer wish each of you an incredible summer!
2017-18 | ISSUE III
The Zuckerberg trial
Girls Soccer Makes a Comeback!
Bullet Journaling and its Benefits
Fashion with Compassion
Arts Evening 2018
Almost, Maine: Spring Play!
Tips and Tricks for Finals
Boxes from the Sculpture class
Art from the Material and Methods class
2017-18 | ISSUE III
Our Data on Facebook: Who does it belong to?
By JESSE LIEBERMAN (‘18)
Our Data on Facebook: Who does it belong to? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the stereotypical millennial. He lives in the tech capital of the world. He has a big fluffy white dog. He works for a major tech company . While many (older) CEOs of other major companies flash their glamorous tailor-made suits, Zuckerberg prefers the comfortable t-shirt and blue jeans, with the occasional sweatshirt if it’s chilly. So it was a major surprise when Mr. Zuckerberg appeared before both the United States Congress and United States Senate, wearing a suit and tie, while testifying on behalf of his company this past month. Zuckerberg began by acknowledging his wrongdoings, taking personal responsibility and admitting that, “it’s clear now that [Facebook] didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm.” Zuckerberg finished by vowing to fix Facebook’s current issues and stated that he was “committed to getting it right.” Zuckerberg then faced grueling question after question from disgruntled U.S. legislators, frustrated by Facebook’s over reaching influence on the technology industry. Facebook has been involved in a multitude of scandals in the past year and a half, involving in a range of topics, including fake news, foreign entities interfering in U.S election, and user data privacy breaches. Zuckerberg’s appearance shocked many pundits as he usually sends a representative to answer questions, but it signalled the gravity of this situation. One specific scandal that
Zuckerberg was asked about involved a British data consulting company, Cambridge Analytica, which describes itself as using data to “change audience behavior.” The reason this company is significant in the stark criticism against Facebook is for its role in what many deem a privacy breach. A professor at Cambridge, Aleksandr Kogan, had
notes that Kogan’s software was much more efficient, as the company only need “to touch a couple hundred thousand people” in order to reach millions of people. Cambridge Analytica, which has deep ties to American politics, including major political donor Robert Mercer and former Trump Advisor Steve Bannon, have been accused to influencing American target voter groups in hopes of swinging the recent presidential election. In his testimony Zuckerberg confessed that Facebook did a poor of “identifying” Russian false Facebook accounts charged with meddling in the 2016 U.S Presidential election. Zuckerberg was adamant that he Mark Zuckerberg Trial - Click Orlando would provide developed software that was able to the manpower to combat election obtain user data through a personal- tampering in the future. Zuckerberg ity test. What made this test unique was optimistic that upcoming elecwas that the data collected wasn’t tions would see less foreign interferjust the user who completed the ence via Facebook, citing new A.I. test, the software gathered the user’s technology used to discover fake friend’s data as well, predominantly accounts. without the friend of the user con Zuckerberg repeatedly exsenting let alone knowing that their presses that users have a choice in data had been used this way. In an how much data if any is accessible interview Christopher Wylie, a for- by Facebook and other third party mer employee at Cambridge Ana- companies, all in the user agreement. lytica, now whistleblower, Wylie However, this agreement is incred-
ibly lengthy and most users do not take a look at it, let alone read it. As Senator John Kennedy said bluntly, “your (Facebook’s) user agreement sucks”. Senator Kennedy went on to say the user agreement isn’t aimed at informing users, rather it’s only there to “cover Facebook’s rear end.” The reports on scandals and questions asked by U.S legislators I have listed previously are not intended to slam Facebook and other technology companies. Facebook provides a myriad of benefits, connecting people across the world through a variety of forums. Facebook has created a place that allows for a free flow ideas, allows users to engage and interact with other users they otherwise wouldn’t. But that isn’t to say that Facebook has overstepped its boundaries. Some of the criticism are valid, user privacy and data has been violated and exploited. But, as Mr. Zuckerberg stated in his testimony, Facebook makes money off of advertisements and when a company places an advertisement on a certain forum, whether that be radio, television, billboards, or Facebook, they want to be sure the majority of their audience will be somewhat intrigued in the advertised product. Thus, the conundrum of internet companies and user privacy. When we sign up for Facebook, to be able to enjoy the benefits it has to offer, we are agreeing to a compromise. We are able to use Facebook and apps connected to it for free, however, in return, these apps and Facebook can use our data.
Girls Soccer Makes a Comeback!
By ZOE MOSKOWITZ(‘20) Last year, when the spring season came around, and basketball seasons wrapped up, it felt as though something was missing from our athletic department; that something was the women’s soccer team. The long-running sport at JCHS did not have a team last year, due to lack of interest, yet this year — spearheaded by senior Liora Ami — the girls’ soccer program united as a force once again. Joined by freshmen and sophomores new to the program, the team rebuilt girls soccer at JCHS, working hard to make
their season a success. they lost, and constantly encouraged This year’s team was made their teammates to succeed. This special by their closeness, defying positive mindset towards the game was also different; because they were a new team, and often struggled against difficult competitors who were more experienced and had more practice time, their main goal was not to win, but to try to use every second to get better. The girls’ goal at improving was encouraged by their coach, Mr. Mirelman, who preached an important mentality to help achieve their mission. He believed that they had to win every 10 minutes. Upon asking Coach Mirelman about this Rachel Freeman (‘21) mentality, he explained, “when we age dif- realized we were going up against ferences and developing respect hard teams, and if you thought of and friendships with one another, it 80-minute games, it was hard to helped them form a tight-knit group. find the small victories. But once we They lifted one another up each time timed every ten minutes, we could
really see the success that was being made.” This idea was introduced by Coach Pollock, the recipient of the Golden Bagel award this year as the head coach of the boys’ soccer team, who taught Coach Mirelman the idea while he served as the assistant coach in the fall. In addition to different strategies, the players were still learning how to work together. This year, the team navigated what it looked like to have a team with very different skill sets while trying to build trust and communication. Players filled roles they had never done before, like playing a different position or handling the ball more. For next year, improvement areas include fitness, working less on fundamentals in order to make room for developing more set skills, and strategies. Stay tuned for spring!
2017-18 | ISSUE III
Bullet Journaling and Its Benefits By SHOSHANAH ALESSI(‘21) Bullet journaling is a planning system and a lovely tool for a student’s life. At its roots, the bullet journal is an endless to-do list. However, many use it as a way to de-stress, organize, and express themselves. The bullet journal can be essential for a high schooler. Bullet journaling can be thought of as “figuring out how life works in a journal” says Laura Jones (‘21). The bullet journal is a system that enforces organization and productivity skills. According to the official bullet journal website, the major features include “topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets”. Topics are usually daily lists, compiling tasks, notes, events, and appointments. These are organized by using page numbers and bullets. The page numbers comprise the index, which is the table of contents for all topics. The bullets are the symbols used to signify the different categories of items, like your events and tasks, and they also help to display the status of a task, such as “completed” or “in progress”. Often bullet journalists make keys to tell what each symbol means. Additionally, there are monthly calendars. These features are not required, and many bullet journalists create their own systems to fit their needs. While bullet journaling can seem intimidating, it is actually quite easy. By writing down all tasks, it is easy to get into the habit of list-making and time management. The bullet journal is a great utility in prioritizing. As a frequent bullet journalist, I have found it becomes a reflex to manage time in a balanced and concise manner. A bullet journal makes life less overwhelming by allowing a visual depiction of the tasks at hand. This can provide a beautiful sense of control within productive chaos. By SOPHIE FUDIM (‘20) Fashion with Compassion — a global organization based in Israel — helps students worldwide put on a fashion show fundraiser. This year, they chose to donate the money raised to Save a Child’s Heart, which provides life-saving heart surgeries to children in developing countries. Created by students, for students, Fashion With Compassion empowers its members to believe in themselves and to take responsibility for serving as agents of change. Last year — FWC’s first year running at JCHS — a senior put on for her Keystone project. This is the second year we have hosted the show, and Eliza Aiken ‘20 took it over for her sister. Even though many people participated in planning, Lucy Moore ‘20 and Eliza ‘20 took the reins; they emailed, scheduled, ordered, and put the show together. “It was super fun to plan because we got to watch the behind the scenes of this entire show coming together! It was super successful, as we sold out seats and people were even standing around to watch as the show went on. Planning was overall something that required a lot of time management
Bullet journaling can benefit mental health by minimizing and managing stress, providing a sense of manageability. It also can serve as an outlet. While Sam Arneson (‘19) utilizes his bullet journal primarily as a planner, it also provides sketchbook and diary features. I write a few lines at the end of each day to record, reflect, and reminisce. I also use a “gratefulness tracker” to lighten my mood. Many bullet journalists, including Sam, use quote pages. These pages and spreads are encouraging and can be embellished or minimal. There are many ways to plan and motivate, and the bullet journal leaves so much room for interpretation. Bullet journaling has no one style, nor one “correct” way. Laura uses a color code, dedicating certain colors to aspects of her life, like theatre and finals. She describes her style as “organized”. Sam creates a monthly theme, with corresponding art and lettering. I make a trichromatic color scheme to organize my months, filled with quotes, trackers, pasted-in images, lettering, stickers, and washi tape. Bullet journaling is a unique and personal process and can be interpreted in so many different ways. Style can be inspired or naturally occurring. A successful bullet journal is one that is useful and fun. It is not just another task, but a real experience, a way to feel calm and centered. The only materials necessary are a pen and notebook. Bullet journaling is what you make of it, but it is often a recursive and enjoyable system. I encourage you to explore the bullet journaling world. Check out online communities (the official website is a great starting point) and test some pens and journals if you can (my recommendations are the Gridded Essentials Journal in A5 and the Zebra Sarasa Clip in black with a 0.4-millimeter tip)! Have fun and stay true to yourself! Good luck!
Fashion with Compassion but was really fun and interesting because we got to see the management side of an event of this scale” says Lucy. They even managed to get brands like Margaret O’Leary, Vilebrequin, Superga, CycleBar, and Kendra Scott to set up boutiques at the show. The shops were incredibly successful and ended up selling lots of items. On Wednesday, May 2nd it went off without a hitch. While it was hectic, it was also lots of fun. Everyone who participated in planning, modeling or the general excitement of the buzz around the school would agree that it was stressful — but definitely worth it. However, if you didn’t attend the event you may be wondering what actually happened. The setup was frenzied and busy; everyone who helped out from outside the school came all at once and arrived in a flood. Superga came first — I was their JCHS representative so I met them in the parking lot and helped them lay out their shoes. In general, however, all the pop-ups were very prepared for the show. Then at 4:30 the hair and makeup people arrived. They appeared in a rush and asked for our first models to get sent up
to the EverLab immediately. They shop at the boutiques. Everyone worked speedily and efficiently, received a goodie bag which conmaking sure everyone was runway sisted of socks, toothpaste, couready before the guests began to pons to Tommy Hilfiger, stickers appear. from Brandy Melville and VineThe event started when the room yard vines, among some other cool was filled; first Lucy 20’ and Eliza stuff. 20’ gave a speech about what the Overall the event fundraised alnext few hours would entail, Dr. most $5,000 to donate to Save a Lessy spoke Child’s Heart. about what If you would it was like to like to particiwork on this pate next year, project, and Lucy and Eliza then the repwill be making resentatives committees to from Save a relieve some of Child’s Heart the stress off of spoke about everyone who the organizawas involved tion where the and make money would it more of a be going.The group effort. modeling porIf you did not tion of the go to the event fashion show but would like went well — Sophomores Eliza Aiken and Lucy Moore to donate to everyone was the organizacaptivated by the models and the tion you can go to their website awesome clothes they were wear- and donate directly (https://www. ing. When the event ended, peo- saveachildsheart.com). Here’s to ple had a chance to buy some of next year’s fashion show! the clothes that were modeled and
2017-18 | ISSUE III
Arts Evening 2018 By NAOMI BENNETT(‘20) The path to Arts Evening is not easy; it’s full of long, dedicated hours and hard work. Whether the art is visual, musical, or performing, the participating students are passionate and creative. After a school year in the making, the artists’ work finally pays off when their art is admired and praised by the JCHS community. Arts Evening is a great way for students to explore different sides of themselves and to work creatively, as most don’t always get the opportunity to break from their often exhausting schedule of academic classes. JCHS’ diverse art department provides many classes for students to experiment with their inner artist; there are visual arts classes, like Sculpture and Materials and Methods, as well as performing arts classes such as Acting and Filmmaking. One of the newer classes being offered at school is Mr. Kuchar’s Music Writing & Production class, where students experiment with writing and producing their own songs. One of Mr. Kuchar’s students, Eli Moldavsky ‘19 had to write a song about something “super” so
he chose to incorporate a fairytale and romantic theme. With only three weeks before Arts Evening, Eli and the rest of Mr. Kuchar’s musical production students had to create a song they would truly love and be proud of. However, nothing ever really goes according to plan; Eli was so concerned with making his song perfect, he missed his deadline and finished it on the day of the show! To Eli’s disappointment, he got infected with Eli Moldavsky (‘19) and Evelyn Inker (‘18) performing Eli’s original song duting Arts Evening pink eye the day before Arts Evening and was not to show people this thing you are pare. If you have the chance, stop feeling so well. Facing a number so proud of”. Although Eli had to by next year and check out more of challenges, Eli was hesitant to overcome many problems before of the amazing art from JCHS’ talperform in front of his family and presenting his work, this was all ented students! friends; but with the help of Eve- part of the journey. lyn Inker ‘18 on the piano, Eli fiEli’s story is similar to other nally sang the song he had worked JCHS art students, a ride full of so hard to create. When I spoke to highs and lows before finally arrivEli he explained to me that “this ing at the destination they all work made me realize why I love music so hard to get to. Arts Evening is and performing… you get so in- an exciting event that garners buzz vested in a piece and then you get the whole year while students pre-
Almost, Maine: JCHS’ Spring Play
By: SARRAH WILKES(‘21)
Our spring show, Almost, Maine, is a romantic comedy that takes place in a small town and each scene portrays a separate and independent love story between two people from the town, (either ending or beginning). Every scene has its own unique storyline, which makes it very intriguing for both the actors and audience. One thing we hope you take away from this show is that it’s not just a “cheesy romcom” we hope you “appreciate its heartfelt and genuine moments” in the words of Junior, Ben Robinow. Laura Jones ‘21, said that she “loves how this show presents challenges to all the actors as well as complementing the different styles and personalities of us all”. While the amazing Drama Company has been somewhat chaotic as of late (the company switched halfway through rehearsals), we have stuck through and have been working incredibly hard to make sure we have a successful spring play — one
that we hope you all enjoy! As Senior Sophia Salesky stated “due to a series of unfortunate events, we had to switch the production halfway through the rehearsal process. This brought a lot of hardships to our cast. In the end, it all worked out for
the best!” While this play might seem simple and easy to perform onstage, behind the scenes in rehearsal, it’s much more difficult than you would think — in Ms. Russell’s words, “this play is one of the hardest we have ever done” Laura adds that “it’s amazing how this all went from just saying lines on a stage with some props to an actual production. If you watched the show before tech and after, all you would recognize
would be the lines. It’s so much more powerful with sound and light and set” We’ve had to learn how to be open and honest with the people we are working on scenes with, all the while exploring our characters backstories, and practicing sharing our character’s emotions on stage — and overall, trying our hardest to really put ourselves in our character’s shoes. Ben couldn’t have put it in better words when he said that “This show has some incredibly dramatic and emotional moments that can be pretty intense and vulnerable, but they are also some of the most powerful moments of the story. It can be hard to fully embrace the intensity, but it is really worth it.” I and many others find this play to be heartfelt, funny, and overall charmingly romantic. There is a lot of truth in the writing and it really translates well on stage, which makes for a very touching show. To set the scene for you, picture the
beautiful snowy town of Almost, Maine. It’s a small community surrounded by snow-capped trees. The tech crew has been working incredibly hard to make the stage look as winterized as possible. If you think drama is all about acting and being on stage, you are wrong. The technical crew backstage plays an equally important role in the production and requires a tremendous amount of skill and commitment. A play wouldn’t be a play without lighting, music, and sound. You know the saying “Lights, Camera, Action”? Take a second look at this quote and see that tech plays an immense role in it! Thisis my first show at JCHS, and it has been wonderful. From putting my love to the arts on stage, making new friends, and managing my time, it has truly has been a learning experience that takes commitment. This show would not have happened without Ms. Russell and Mr. McDonald, I speak for the whole company when we say thank you. We hope you enjoyed the show if you came, and be sure to look out for auditions for the fall musical, Mamma Mia!
2017-18 | ISSUE III
Tips and Tricks for Finals By DANELLE TUCHMAN (‘20)
While the prospect of summer is around the corner, the intensity of finals still looms overhead. I have found that people always break into a cold sweat when the word “finals” is brought up in conversation. This is such a common reaction because at first glance finals can be really stressful and intimidating. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help you survive finals and to make them easier to handle! Study Tips: •Compile all of your notes into study guides •Make flashcards for words or terms you need to study •Color code your study guides •Write out a plan for what you will study and when depending on when each final is •Swap notes with friends •When finished with a final, don’t over analyze it, just move on to studying for the next one Survival Tips: •Don’t be too hard on yourself •Make time to do things you enjoy, even if it is only as a study break •Sleep is sometimes more important than review •Hygiene is still important! Teeth still need to be brushed •Turn off or limit your time spent on social media Regardless of whether or not you follow these brilliant and life changing tips, I hope that your finals go well! So keep your head up and remember that you can get through this, and that summer is right around the corner.
2017-18 | ISSUE III
Spring 2018 Wolves Crossword Puzzle By NAOMI BENNETT (‘20)
Across Down 2. Last name of last year’s NBA MVP 1. Jewish rapper 5. Superhero film, released this year, that featured the Aveng- 3. Fried dessert the seniors ate in New Orleans ers and other superheroes 4. Member of One Direction who first left 6. Popular Netflix show set in the ‘80s 7. City where the 2020 Summer Olympics will be held 9. We don’t ever see this in California during the winter 8. Beat our rival school at this athletic tournament 13. Animated science fiction show on Adult Swim/Cartoon 10. New language being offered next year Network 11. Movie that is being turned into a Broadway show, the 14. 2nd most spoken language at school soundtrack was released this month 15. Last day of finals 12. The oldest Kardashian sister 16. Program we use during finals 17. Last name of the latest pregnant teacher 18. New fan-favorite lunch, similar to a food served at a nearby chain restaurant
JOIN THE OBSERVER! We’re always looking for new members!
Minimal time commitment, no in-person meetings, and three issues throughout the year!