Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Nathan celebrates after breaking the school record for the 3,200 meter race. Used with permission from Nathan Szubin.
Student breaks school record in track race
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 21, 2024

When junior Nathan Szubin stepped up to the line of the 3,200 meter race in the Johns Hopkins Invitational Meet on April 19, he had a different...

Arditi Zarouk (second from left) celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Perach with her team at the residence of Israeli President Herzog. Used with permission from Arditi Zarouk.
Former students and staff readjust to Israel in the wake of war
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 19, 2024

The Israeli embassy and military send over emissaries every year, and many of these families choose to send their kids to CESJDS. When they go...

A day of matzo meals
A day of matzo meals
Sophie Schwartz, Opinion Editor • April 18, 2024

Many people dread Pesach time, when their beloved chametz (leaven) is replaced with dry, brittle matzo. However, if presented well, matzo does...

Junior Evan Klepper gets ready for his WIS opponent to serve
Lions tennis fall short to WIS
Isaiah Segal-Geetter, Reporter • April 18, 2024

“Twenty four on 3, Mashiach on 6,” junior and tennis captain Evan Klepper said to the varsity boys tennis team before their match against...

Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Eighth grade visits Capitol Hill
Jonah Mitre, Reporter • April 17, 2024

To put their learning from government class into perspective, eighth grade students visited Capitol Hill on April 10 for a field trip. Throughout...

At the college fair on April 7, Pitzer College representatives boasted about their Students Justice for Palestine (SJP) club to a Jewish student.
Opinion: Colleges need to support Zionist students
Stella Muzin, Editor-in-Chief • April 16, 2024

On April 7, I attended the Washington Area Independent Schools College Fair, which was co-sponsored by CESJDS along with other schools from the...

Netflix original “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” is worth the watch

The+cover+poster+for+the+movie+shows+a+collage%2C+looking+like+it+could+be+from+a+teenage+girls+room%2C+highlighting+the+movies+key+moments.+Photo+from+Netflix.+
The cover poster for the movie shows a collage, looking like it could be from a teenage girl’s room, highlighting the movie’s key moments. Photo from Netflix.

As Netflix’s most recently released movie dominated the media, viewers rushed to stream Adam Sandler’s newest project – “You’re So Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah.” This film tells the story of a teenage girl and her friendships leading up to the most anticipated night of her life – her Bat Mitzvah. 

With Sandler’s strong reputation in the world of comedy, especially as a Jewish comedian, expectations were high to produce something of his caliber. While the movie hit from a comedic standpoint, the more meaningful Jewish experiences could have been re-framed. 

The movie, starring Sandler’s daughter Sunny and featuring the entire Sandler family, was a take on B’nai Mitzvah, a meaningful Jewish ritual. It was mainly centered around a conflict between friends over a boy and how it ruined their special days.

While some did not agree on Adam Sandler’s choice to cast his children, Sunny gave a raw and convincing performance. She had strong comedic timing, enviable acting range, and properly explored the main theme of the movie – maintaining strong friendships.  

As any Adam Sandler movie would be, the film was littered with comedic moments and strong writing. The story was appropriate for teenagers and was well paced. However, it was also a misrepresentation of the Jewish community as a whole. 

As a religion and culture, Jews do not have frequent and focused on-screen representation, so the Jewish representation in this movie holds extra weight. While I’m not offended by any of the Jewish stereotypes portrayed in the movie, I feel as though the script could have been used as a more effective teaching device for non-Jewish viewers about Jewish culture. 

Whenever the character Rabbi Rebecca entered the room, she would greet her students by saying baruch Hashem, or thank God. But in reality, very few Jews would ever greet someone by saying this. Although I understand that education was not the purpose of the movie, the comedic quality of this line would be lost on Sandler’s non-Jewish viewership because they would assume that this is a common Jewish greeting. 

While they did not make an effort to portray Judaism realistically, the company was extremely vigilant about casting many Jewish actors. Sandler’s team even held an open casting call through BBYO, and succeeded in casting the character Aaron, who was the love interest’s best friend, through the Jewish youth group. 

Additionally, the movie tackled important themes for young teens to understand like friendship and loyalty. The story explores how Stacy and her best friend Lydia navigate having a crush on the same boy.

The writers wrote a strong female friendship that faced conflict over a shared crush, promoting loyalty and friendship over all other commitments. As a viewer, it was heartwarming to see a realistic “tween” conflict on screen, while also seeing the strong resolution come to fruition.

While I understand the complexity of creating a movie to comedically represent a culture, the effort was appreciated. Although the misrepresentation left a damper on the overall message, “You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” was worth a watch. 

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About the Contributor
Aliza Bellas
Aliza Bellas, Managing Editor, Copy
Aliza is ecstatic to continue her work on The Lion’s Tale as Managing Editor, Copy in the upcoming year. In her past year as Opinion Editor, Aliza found passion in writing timely articles, editing interesting stories, and designing spreads. Outside of the Pub Hub, Aliza dedicates her time to her role as Junior Class President, the Regional Vice President of Membership in BBYO’s D.C. Council, and her role as Editor-in-Chief of The Melting Pot. Aliza is eager to get started on developing the paper’s writing and ensuring that every web and print article is as polished as can be.  

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