Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
57° 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

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...

Jewish expression heightens following Oct. 7 attacks

Photo by Ruby Kotok

On Nov. 14, a bustling crowd composed of 290,000 Jews and non-Jews alike showed up at the nation’s capital for a rally in support of Israel following the massacre on Oct. 7. The stage was occupied by a diverse group of politicians, pundits and celebrities all showing their support for Israel. The crowd was bustling with energy and Jewish pride, with “Am Yisrael Chai” being chanted time and time again.

“In my lifetime [the Israel rally] was one of the most incredible Jewish events I’ve ever gone to,” Head of School Rabbi Mitchel Malkus said “There were so many people there and it felt like a positive event— It was not about anything negative that’s happened to us, It was to show that we are Jewish and proud to be Jewish”  

Following Oct. 7, the world saw an outpour of pride among Jews, reports the Jerusalem Post. Events like protests, charity drives and rallies have had massive attendance among Jews, Malkus has witnessed the CESJDS community experiencing an incredibly powerful strengthening of Jewish pride as well. 

On her morning drive to school, Sophomore Ella Arking amongst other students has regularly seen groups of people waving Israeli flags on the side of the road. This takes place almost every morning next to Montrose Road and the visible number of Israel supporters may range from hundreds to around five.

“I think that in times of despair, people turn to their religion more than ever. And if people are pushing against your religion, especially Judaism, you’re going to push back and show that you’re not invisible and that you’re there,” Arking said. “I’ve noticed that a lot of people are very proud of their Judaism and are showing that Hamas can’t scare them”

This belief in a united strengthening of Jewish pride is not across the board, however, as many believe some Jews have felt the need to move away from religion following the war. 

“I see both an increase and a distance in a lot of places — I think there are some people who are scared, seeing an increase in antisemitism,” Malkus said “and I think there are some people who have difficulty with the war in Israel and the tremendous loss of Palestinian civilian life”

Despite this, the CESJDS community has observed an increase in Jewish pride, with faculty and students alike seeing more people regularly wear Israel-related jewelry and kippot as well as students being more willing to attend Zman Kodesh (ZK).

Sophomore Ori Ben Nun is a member of the Sephardi Minyan ZK and says their minyan had an influx of people to their ZK following the tragedy. Leaders in the ZK have changed up their prayer schedule, incorporating regular prayers for the IDF and making alterations to fit the increased number of attendees.

“We pray extra hard and make sure to put on our tallit and tefillin every day,” Ben Nun said “I’ve been making sure to have much more kavannah during prayer and to make sure everyone is involved in prayer”

The JDS administration has also put in effort to strengthen its connection to Judaism. Malkus has been attending pro-Israel gatherings and is making an effort to take pro-Israel stances in his career. Malkus has also gone to Israel to volunteer and help out communities in need.

“The volunteering made me feel like I’m doing something with my hands, it felt more tangible to me. The other piece is, that I have felt more connected to Israel and to thinking about Zionism because of the events of October 7th,” Malkus said “I just feel more of a need to be engaged and involved”

This increase in Jewish pride has been seen among students as well with Arking seeing an increase in pro-Israel posts on her friend’s Instagram stories and an overall increase in Jewish pride and unity as well.

“October 7th has united Jews. Everybody is traumatized by the events on October 7th, everybody has a personal connection to it, so we’re always coming together,” Arking said.

Following the events of October 7th, the collective trauma experienced by the Jewish community has fostered a profound reflection on identity and allegiance, making the Jewish community stronger.

“October 7th made me realize how important it is to be a Jew, how important it is to be Israeli, to love and support Israel,” Ben Nun said.

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