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When people think about the CESJDS community, they think of one large family. This is literally the case for me, as I am the younger brother of two lifers, David Schonfeld (’13) and Brian Schonfeld (‘15). JDS has always been in my life for as long as I can remember, especially when I shared a campus with my brothers.
Throughout my JDS career, the most important part for me has always been my interactions with others. I met friends in elementary school with whom I am graduating, and teachers with whom I have created significant bonds. Some of my best years at school were when both of my brothers were there with me.
A major way that I interacted with my brothers was running cross country with David for three years and with Brian for five years. It was an important sport and I was able to make new friends and run as a family. I was able to create my own path because my goal was to always beat them in the races.
Learning from my brothers was another important part of sharing my JDS experience with them. An example would be when all of us were in the same Zman Kodesh and both of my brothers taught me how to wrap tefillin. It was especially memorable because they both helped me in their own way and in the end I learned quickly.
Another instance was when I joined The Lion’s Tale staff in 2014. Brian was already the sports editor and he not only introduced me to the staff and the system, but also taught me how to be an editor. I was able to take what he taught me and become a successful (at least I thought so) sports editor for a year. I was then able to expand to the larger features section where I have created a new path away from Brian’s.
My goal was not only to interact with my brothers while they were here at JDS, but also to emulate their success, graduate and be satisfied with my choices and actions. I believe that I have done this by upholding a certain standard and by the way I treat other people. Now that I am graduating, I have come full circle and taken their advice all the way through JDS.
When someone asks me what my favorite moment from JDS is, I always think of my interactions with my brothers and the many different pieces of advice they have given me. I am thankful that I was able to go to a school where I was able to create my own identity and learn from my family and friends. I will take the values that I have learned from the people with me as I move on in life.