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

CESJDS must implement diversity programming otherwise it will cause a gap between JDS students and the greater world.
CESJDS needs to implement more education on diversity
Sadaf Zadeh, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Private school students worldwide face the same issue after graduation: being sheltered. After years of growing up around the same general group...

JDS students from Shepherd Park travel about 7 miles to and from school each day.
Neighborhood creates intricate carpool system to adapt to long commute
Maya Greenblum, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Although a lot of the CESJDS community resides in nearby Montgomery County, over 20 of its families commute daily from a neighborhood located...

The American public responds with their opinions on celebrities voicing opinions on politics
Celebrities need to educate themselves before making statements on political issues
Sophie Schwartz, Reporter • November 28, 2023

Celebrities have a tremendous influence on society. From the shoes they wear to who they should vote for, celebrities have the ability to sway...

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, 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, Opinion Editor
As Opinion Editor, Ari is more than excited to put his best foot forward when writing, editing and designing spreads. Other than the Lion’s Tale, Ari is on the Wrestling Team, and is very active in politics including having worked as an Election Judge this past November. Additionally, he has worked for many political candidates from all different political parties.   

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