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

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Neighborhood creates intricate carpool system to adapt to long commute

JDS+students+from+Shepherd+Park+travel+about+7+miles+to+and+from+school+each+day.+
Maya Greenblum
JDS students from Shepherd Park travel about 7 miles to and from school each day.

Although a lot of the CESJDS community resides in nearby Montgomery County, over 20 of its families commute daily from a neighborhood located in Washington, D.C.’s northwest quadrant: Shepherd Park. With a large number of JDS families that live in the Shepherd Park community, a need for a carpool network to transport these students to and from school has swelled. 

This D.C. community utilizes a self-sufficient carpool network to shuttle their JDS students to the Rockville campus due to its inconvenient distance from their homes. The system arranges at least five carpools across both the middle and high schools, and is driven by a mix of students and parents.

Marshall Einhorn (‘94), father of Elana Einhorn (‘23) and sophomore Ari Einhorn, fulfills his carpooling duties by commuting one to two mornings a week with three other nearby families, and relies on an elaborate Google Sheet made by the community’s parents for setting the weekly rotation. Einhorn communicates frequently through WhatsApp with the parents in his family’s carpool to ensure coverage, and is in regular contact with all of the parents to verify that all families, new and returning, are accounted for. 

“There is definitely a shared sense of responsibility, whether it’s the formal morning carpool that I described … or the afternoon carpools, for the community,” Einhorn said. “It takes a village.”

Senior Simon Reich has accepted an active role in the carpool system as a student driver, and recognizes the collective benefit that the network offers. According to Reich, the ride to school can take up to half an hour, and when returning home, at least 10 minutes is added to the commute to drop each passenger off at their homes. Reich believes that the robust network is practical for a number of reasons. 

“The size of the network [is convenient],” Reich said. “It cuts backs on how many cars have to drive, and how many people have to take time out of their day. Especially parents because it’s really useful when a student can drive a number of younger students to and from school … it saves them a lot of trouble.” 

Although the morning carpool is meticulously planned, the afternoon carpools are constantly in flux due to after-school activities. Freshman Jordana Dauber, a new member of her carpool since moving to JDS from the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School this year, plays on the girls varsity basketball team along with nine other girls from Shepherd Park. Dauber usually doesn’t know who will bring her home each day until practice ends. Sometimes, the players even resort to Uber to get home. For this reason, Dauber enjoys the consistency of the morning carpool.

“It’s nice in the mornings to be with the same four people,” Dauber said. “You get to form a closer relationship with them, even if it’s just by hearing them talk about what clubs they’re doing, and what tests they have that day.”

Every member of the JDS Shepherd Park community is committed to one another through this network, and each shares a unified obligation to this function of their community. 

“If you’re in a real community when something comes up, other people can help pick up the slack,” Einhorn said. “And they’ll do the same for you; [I am] very grateful for the carpool.”

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Maya Greenblum, News Editor
Maya is thrilled to serve as one of The Lion’s Tale’s News Editor for the upcoming term. She is ready to inform and educate our readers on current affairs and events, and uncover any obscured news updates lying within our broader community. Apart from the newspaper, Maya is one of the presidents of the biomedical club, is a member of the CESJDS choir groups Shir Madness and Chorale, and plays on the girls varsity tennis team. Maya is excited for another amazing year on staff with new and former staff members, and for many more issues to come.  

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