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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.
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Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • April 21, 2024

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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
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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
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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
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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...

High school student steps in as “Olaf” in middle school production

Junior+Skye+Feinstein+leans+into+her+unexpected+role+as+Olaf+in+Frozen+Jr.
Brielle Bassin
Junior Skye Feinstein leans into her unexpected role as “Olaf” in “Frozen Jr.”

As Director of Arts Education David Solomon circled the cafeteria, he scanned the array of students to try to find someone willing to help him out with a last-minute hiccup in the middle school’s production of “Frozen Jr.” Upon entering the lunch line, Solomon found his saving grace: junior Skye Feinstein. 

On March 14, the same day as “Frozen Jr.’s” opening night, the production’s Olaf, seventh-grader Gilah Evans-Dredze, fell ill with COVID-19. In the 26 musicals Solomon has directed in his career, this was the first time that one of his actors has ever felt too sick to perform. 

“I was really sad because I was very excited to perform and I didn’t want to just leave all [of a] sudden because if I left, who would be Olaf?” Evans-Dredze said. 

Evans-Dredze’s sudden absence did not leave Feinstein a lot of time to prepare, so she started learning lines, blocking, choreography and her solo song right away. Luckily, Feinstein had been playing piano in the pit for the musical, so the material was not completely new to her. 

“I literally just was walking [and] pacing around the stage, trying to try to learn my lines as quickly as possible,” Feinstein said. “So I learned them in 30 minutes, And then [music teacher Samuel Grob] shows up and … I have legitimately 10 minutes of a music rehearsal to learn the song. We run it once with people on stage, and then the next thing I know, I’m walking on stage to [perform].”

Many other students jumped in to help with the abrupt change in plans. To fill Feinstein’s missing spot in the pit, sophomore Hadriel Dayanim volunteered to play piano for the show, and junior Alana Udell and freshman Ash Cohen helped Feinstein learn her lines by quizzing her on her dialogue and various cues. 

According to Feinstein and Solomon, neither of them were nervous about this last-minute switch. Solomon, who had worked with Feinstein on the high school’s production of “Into the Woods,” had complete confidence that Feinstein would do well. Feinstein, on the other hand, attributed her lack of nerves to the fact that the quick turnaround period didn’t give her enough time to fully process the situation. 

“It was the craziest experience of my life,” Feinstein said. “I felt like I was dreaming the whole time … I was so not nervous because it was just happening so fast that I didn’t realize that it was happening.” 

Evans-Dredze was able to recover and performed, masked, at the second and last show on March 17. Solomon and Evans-Dredze were upset that she was unable to perform after she worked so hard to prepare, so being able to close the show was a relief to both of them. However, the two of them were incredibly grateful for Feinstein’s generosity and cooperation. 

“I’m so proud of the kids,” Solomon said. “I’m still on a high.”

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About the Contributor
Lily Rulnick
Lily Rulnick, Editor-in-Chief
Lily Rulnick is thrilled to serve as Editor-in-Chief on the Lion’s Tale after being on the paper since freshman year. Lily has so much faith in the incredible staff and cannot wait to work with them to make the Lion’s Tale shine. Apart from the Lion’s Tale, Lily is president of the Ceramics Club, the student representative on the Health and Wellness Taskforce, captain of the Girls Varsity Tennis Team, and a Student Admissions Representative. For fun, Lily loves to play piano, read fashion magazines, ski, and spend time with her friends, family, and two dogs. Lily cannot wait to continue to put all she has into the Lion’s Tale and make it the best it can be. 

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