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...

Opinion: Israel should still participate in Eurovision

Dewayne Barkley
Israel’s most recent Eurovision win was in 2018, when Netta performed “Toy.” Photo used with permission.

Just ten days ago, I stood in a crowd of over 3,000 Jewish teens watching Noa Kirel perform her hit Eurovision song, “Unicorn.” Although each individual did not necessarily know every word to her music, many were captivated by her performance, the Hebrew lyrics and by having an Israeli pop-star perform before their eyes. While the song itself might not have been representative of Israeli culture, the Eurovision song performance gave thousands of American Jews a new appreciation for Israeli pop culture. 

This past week, the European Broadcasting Union released a statement announcing that they would be re-assessing the Israeli submission for the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest. The submission, entitled “October Rain,” is a powerful ballad that alludes to the Israel-Hamas war. However, the Eurovision rules clearly state that they will not accept songs with political messages in hopes to maintain a neutral position. Israel responded, stating that if the song was not accepted, they would withdraw from the competition. 

Although the rejection of the song would be extremely disappointing, Israel has the responsibility to participate in Eurovision this year to ensure they can continue to promote their cause on a world stage and maintain their connections with international Jewish youth. 

Approximately 180 million people view the Eurovision competition every year. Each individual, even if Israel didn’t compete with a political song, would have the opportunity to witness Israel’s strength and desire to continue building peaceful relationships with the other European countries. 

Many say that the Eurovision Board’s decision would be hypocritical, especially considering that Ukraine’s song was accepted when it suggested political opinions about the Russia-Ukraine war. The song, entitled “Stefania,” was originally written before the war broke out, and is about someone’s memories of their mother. However, after the beginning of the war, the musicians said that many people began to understand the song as speaking about “Mother Ukraine” and considered it the “anthem of the war.” 

Israel’s government should be aware of the conflicting opinions that often surround the conflict in the Middle East. As always, they should continue to take the high road, and hopefully continue to earn themselves a positive reputation from other countries and viewers. 

Within the last ten years, Israel produced hit Eurovision songs such as “Toy” by Netta, “Golden Boy” by Nadav Guedj and “Set me Free” by Eden Alene. Though these songs are not only wildly popular in Israel, they can be found playing for Israeli dances at Jewish summer camps across the United States. For example, the official “Golden Boy” video on Youtube has over 12 million views, and the artist Netta has over 758,000 global monthly listeners– their reach extends far beyond the borders of Israel. 

While other aspects of Israeli culture such as food, language and religious connection are difficult to recreate in the diaspora, pop culture can easily be incorporated into our lives. These songs provide a look into Israeli culture that so much of the American-Jewish population would not otherwise have, and it is extremely important for Israel to continue producing these hits.

I understand that Israel and many others are pushing to withdraw from the competition as a whole because they want to make a strong statement to the outside world. However, this would only lead to another opportunity for people to criticize Israel and villainize the country. 

While I empathize with the Israeli upset surrounding the Eurovision rejection, I urge everyone to consider the ramifications of withdrawing from the competition and the positive consequences of their participation. Israel can truly only reap benefits from their participation – they can gain a connection with the Diaspora population and continue to prove their resilience to the rest of the world.

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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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