Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
79° 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

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Vivi Ducker, Features Editor • May 17, 2024

When in attendance at any of the CESJDS varsity baseball team’s games this year, next to the players on the bench, the baseball team managers....

Students experience solar eclipse

Photo by Maya Greenblum
A couple of minutes before the solar eclipse occurred, students look to the sky in anticipation.

Upper School students stared at the solar eclipse at 3:17 p.m. on April 8, watching the anticipated moment across the United States together. Upper School STEM Director Alexandra Brown, along with her students and colleagues, stared in excitement at the rare occurrence of the solar eclipse. 

At the peak of the solar eclipse in Maryland, the moon was covering 87% of the sun, according to NBC Washington; the moon, when orbiting, covered the sun for about four minutes. There will not be another eclipse visible from the United States until 2044, and even then, it will be barely visible from Maryland, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The eclipse was viewed by everyone at school through eclipse glasses that were handed out to every student. Popsicles were offered at the back of the building in the spirit of the eclipse. Brown wanted to help organize the event in order to give everyone an experience they wouldn’t forget. Brown, who was at JDS in 2017, recalled that at the time of that eclipse, only faculty were on campus. She appreciated that the whole school got to observe the eclipse together this time.

“There were some kids joking around about the eclipse before, and then when we got out there, they were like ‘Okay, this is pretty cool,’” Brown said. “It was nice to see people being genuine about something that’s pretty cool.” 

Some students and faculty traveled out of state to see the eclipse in the path of totality, where the moon was covering 100% of the sun. Sophomore Ami Epstein traveled seven hours with his entire family on a coach bus to Columbus, Ohio to witness the full eclipse. Epstein witnessed the eclipse in the path of totality in 2017 as well at a farm in Nashville, Tennessee, and they decided to go and see it again because it was a very fun experience. He thought it was fun to see such a rare moment with all his cousins and family that he doesn’t get to see so often.

“It’s very cool to have this opportunity to go visit and see it in person,” Epstein said. “It’s really cool to see the moon in real-time slowly move over and then cover and block the sun.”

Even though Maryland was not in the path of totality, students viewing the eclipse from school were glad to be a part of the experience. Junior Benji Kushner didn’t remember the 2017 eclipse, since he was only heading into fifth grade at the time.

“It feels like a special moment, it doesn’t happen too often, and JDS as a community has come together to see this special moment,” Kushner said. “… It’s about appreciating God’s creations and God’s existence in the world.”

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