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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

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Sports Step Up

As a member of the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy’s girls varsity basketball team stepped up to the free throw line to shoot her foul shot, a CESJDS fan yelled “you suck.” This was not the only display of unsportsmanlike behavior seen during the Berman vs. JDS home game on Jan. 12. JDS and Berman fans also made their voices heard anytime they disagreed with the referee or when an opposing player made an error.

This is the type of fan behavior that Director of Athletics Becky Silberman has been noticing at games over the last few years and is the reason she created the Student Athlete Leadership Committee. Part of the committee’s goal, is to come up with new policies regarding proper behavior at games and to determine how to enforce them, Silberman said. This will include a sports code of conduct, that the committee will help create and communicate to the community.

“I think it’s important [to implement this committee] now for all the fan behavior stuff,” Silberman said.

The committee will also attempt to find ways to promote school spirit and increase fan attendance at games. Students in the program will work in partnership with the Athletics Booster Club to increase excitement around the JDS sports teams and the athletics program. One of Silberman’s hopes for the committee is that it will allow students to be a voice for issues concerning fan behavior rather than the administration speaking on their behalf.

“The hope is that the students take leadership and ownership,” Silberman said. “We will work closely together at the
beginning and then I want them to run most of it … Realistically I think it’s easier for [students] to listen to their peers than it is to
listen to adults.”

Students interested in joining the committee first needed to submit a written application that Silberman and others reviewed. The next step of the process included in-person interviews with Dean of Experiential Leadership and Service Learning Tori Ball, Assistant Athletic Director Matthew Landy (‘18) and Silberman to hear about specific suggestions for improving JDS athletics.

“I’m impressed by people who notice things and are thinking about a lot of perspectives on how athletics work,” Ball said.

Silberman hopes to have one meeting at the end of this year and pick up again next fall. Joining the committee is a serious time commitment as it includes working with other high schools who also plan to implement the committee, such as McLean School. Members will discuss the similar problems they have faced at their schools and solutions that have and haven’t worked with
these high schools.

Landy hopes this committee will not only bring more fans to games but also a better environment that helps athletes perform at their best.

“The hope is to elevate our athletic program [to the point] where it’s inclusive to everyone, and [create] a safe environment that our athletes feel comfortable playing in,” Landy said.

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Jordana Dauber
Jordana Dauber, Reporter

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