Juniors take the trophy at the first ever JDS Hanukkah Hullabaloo


Photo by Abby Chessman, Dimensions

Juniors and sophomores take on the seniors and freshmen in a cross-grade tug-of-war competition. After a minute of tugging, the juniors and sophomores pulled out the victory.

Gigi Gordon, Reporter

Energy was in the air today as the first ever CESJDS Hanukkah Hullabaloo took place. The Hullabaloo consisted of a magic show, a trivia competition and a final set of games in the gym to celebrate Hanukkah. High school students were excited, as they represented their grades in the great competition of which grade reigned supreme.

The Hanukkah Hullabaloo was planned by Dean of Experiential, Leadership, and Service Learning Tori Ball, at the request of high school principal Lisa Vardi. Vardi wanted to add more excitement to the first semester. This event was originally planned to happen during Sukkot, however scheduling was too complicated with the high holidays. 

“We realized that it’s really nice since this year, Hanukkah leads us into winter break. It would give us a really spirited and fun way to lead into break,” Ball said.

Ball planned each event for the Hullabaloo very carefully, wanting to make sure there would be enough activities for every student to participate in. She believes it is important for students to be engaged or else the activity is somewhat pointless.

“Sometimes we do fun activities in school and people [naturally] get really into them like Zim, and sometimes we try to do fun activities in school and it’s a little too forced,” Ball said.

The first activity of the day was a magic show performed by Michael the Magician. After their first class, students headed to the theater to watch the magical performance. Most tricks involved student volunteers, which kept students engaged.

“I loved how interactive it was and how he was able to create chemistry on the stage. The magician was very charismatic and made the performance fun but also very impressive,” sophomore Josie Silverberg said.

The next two activities were cross-grade competitions. The first was a game of trivia in which the seniors narrowly defeated the juniors while the sophomores and freshmen were struggling to keep up with the upperclassmen. . The second set of activities were more physical, including games of musical chairs, tug-of-war and a relay race. 

In the end, the juniors took home the inaugural Hanukkah Hullabaloo trophy. According to Silverberg, these games brought out a feeling of friendly competition among many students, whether they won or lost. 

“I think it’s really fun and a great way to bond the school and also a great way to bring [students from different] grades together. I think everyone will also feel a lot more school spirit after this,” Silverberg said.

High school Jewish Life Chair Robert Shorr agrees that the Hullabaloo has been and will continue to be important for the school. He feels as though it can make many contributions to both the community and individuals.

“We have been focused on making everything meaningful. It’s good that we have D’var Torah’s and it’s good that we have [Hanukkah] heroes and it’s good that we have amazing programs and do field trips that are educational. But, it’s also good for mental health to just be goofy,” Shorr said.

The Hanukkah Hullabaloo is a new program in the highschool that brought competition, fun and excitement to the students. It was deemed a success by many and will certainly become a JDS tradition moving forward.

“Anytime we plan something for the first time, Ms. Ball and I don’t know what to expect, especially being the day before break, but I have actually been very impressed,” Shorr said.