Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
82° Rockville, MD
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

Lt. Col. Avi Levi presents on the Israel Air Defense System.
JDS hosts speakers from Israeli Embassy
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • May 22, 2024

Following Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, CESJDS invited three speakers from the Israeli embassy to further inform students about Israel and...

Joe Vogel speaking out to the community. Photo from
It takes a village
Adam Salomon, Reporter • May 22, 2024

While, door-to-door campaigning, Junior Rafi Seigel knocks on the door of a family household in Maryland’s sixth district, asking them to vote...

Sophomore Oliver Silver teaches his grandparents what hes been learning in math this year.
Dor L' Dor Day
Gila Safra, Reporter • May 22, 2024

Summer vs. winter
Summer vs. winter
Eliana Abrams and Maya GreenblumMay 20, 2024

Lions hold up banner after defeating Sandy Spring in the championship.
Varsity softball wins championship two years in a row
Tyler Portnoy, Reporter • May 19, 2024

Crack. The bat hits the ball and sophomore Carrine Shemesh sprints towards first base as sophomore Eliana Wolf crosses the plate, scoring the...

The baseball team has two managers who can be found at the majority of the baseball teams games, Jordan Levy (‘24) and junior Josh Berl.
All bases covered: managers support the baseball team
Vivi Ducker, Features Editor • May 17, 2024

When in attendance at any of the CESJDS varsity baseball team’s games this year, next to the players on the bench, the baseball team managers....

CESJDS has too many clubs

Ari Kittrie
CESJDS has 42 different student-led clubs that range from Current Events Club to Yiddish Club.

Student-led clubs are a necessary part of any school atmosphere. They encourage self-advocacy, leadership and allow for an easier outlet for students to get out of their comfort zones. But at CESJDS, it’s become too much.

As I walked around the gym during the annual club fair, I remembered the overwhelming feeling of indecisiveness when I was an unsuspecting freshman. There seemed to be so many options to choose from, with any imaginable topic covered by passionate upperclassmen who devoted time and energy to keep the excitement for the club high. 

Now that I’m a senior, I’ve realized that clubs aren’t what they seem to be in their description. Through my own experiences at some clubs and hearing from friends and peers who run and participate in them, many of the clubs are not as engaging as they advertise themselves to be at the fair.

As of now, there are 42 student-led clubs that meet either during lunch, CT or both. This gives students 55 minutes to eat, participate in club meetings, catch up on work or meet with their teachers.

With approximately 350 students in the high school, it is impossible to keep all clubs up and running with an active community of students considering all of the obligations that students have during an average day. 

With those two metrics in mind, each student would have to actively participate in at least three or four clubs in order to create a more active club community. Although this may seem reasonable, students are far too busy with academics and their social lives for them to be fully engaged in their respective clubs.

I am currently an active member of one club, along with The Lion’s Tale, yet I am as busy as I have ever been throughout high school. I like to spend the little time that I do have for eating lunch, being with my friends and just as a break in the school day. For the most part, clubs take away that experience for me. 

From what I understand and hear from my peers and JDS alumni, most new clubs without an existing foundation are only created to bolster the founders’ college applications. They start up with minimal participation from member students, and once the creators of the club graduate, they die out and disappear.

In some cases, I support the pseudo-entrepreneurship of starting up a new club based on a topic of interest to explore it more with peers. But that just isn’t the reality at this school. 

I know that I’m not alone in thinking that some clubs at JDS are silly or frivolous, but there isn’t anything that we can do to prevent them from starting up. So instead I will offer a piece of advice to anyone considering joining a club or creating one themselves.

I’ve come to realize throughout high school that the only extracurriculars that I stick with are the ones that I genuinely enjoy participating in, whether that’s with my friends or with people with whom I share a common interest or passion. I may not know what I want to study in college or beyond now, but clubs and extracurriculars help me hone in on the hobbies and interests that I care about. 

At the end of the day, the number of clubs you participate in or the fact that you helped to start up one isn’t going to make or break your college application. It’s consistency and commitment that matters, so focus on the few things that you are interested in. Quality over quantity, to put it simply. 

High school is all about the fragile balancing act between a number of factors that compete for your limited time and attention. Don’t let clubs at JDS take away more than it can provide. 


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About the Contributors
Jonah Beinart
Jonah Beinart, Features Editor
Breaking news: there’s a new features editor in town, and he’s ready to continue his work on The Lion’s Tale. Jonah is a section editor on the Bohr Franklin Science Journal and writes for his neighborhood newspaper, the Lakelands Leader. He is also an avid runner and participates in cross-country and track throughout the year. He hopes that he can round out high school with a great year on the publication. His favorite poem is the Jabberwocky  
Ari Kittrie
Ari Kittrie, Managing Editor, Web
Being a Reporter and Opinion Editor during the last few years, Ari is ready to take on the position of Managing Editor. His experience includes being an Election Judge for the Montgomery County Board of Elections and volunteering for various politicians from all levels of government. Additionally, Ari enjoys in his free time wrestling, volleyball, and sometimes cooking.  

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