After school sports helps new students integrate into the CESJDS community


photo courtesy of Elana Skolnick-Einhorn

Sophomore Elana Skolnick-Einhorn works on her computer during the school day.

Jared Schreiber, Reporter

The coronavirus pandemic has caused students to have fewer interactions with their peers and their community which created an additional challenge for new students that moved to the Greater Washington area from different countries or states.

Sophomore Alec Eschenlauer moved to Olney, Maryland this summer from Germany. Since his father serves in the American military, Eschenlauer has lived in Germany as well as in Korea. In the past, Eschenlauer was able to easily integrate into his new schools because he can make friends easily. Despite the added difficulty posed by beginning the school year in distance learning, Eschenlauer has found ways to meet other students outside of the school day.

“The after school sports have really helped, and just getting back into a normal routine and just meeting people outside of Zoom,” Eschenlauer said.

Sophomore Elana Skolnick-Einhorn also participates in after school sports and believes that it is a nice way to meet people. However, she acknowledges the fact that the transition is strange because her options for interaction with her peers are limited. 

“Online school has definitely made it different to have this transition,” Skolnick-Einhorn said. “Because I’m not really thrown into that school environment and forced to meet everyone, but it’s definitely been really good.” 

Skolnick-Einhorn switched schools because of her parents’ jobs and the fact that they wanted to live in a place where she could attend a Jewish Day School. Last year, Skolnick-Einhorn attended Barrack Hebrew Academy, a pluralistic Jewish Day School in suburban Philadelphia with Junior Zoe Claywell who also came to JDS this year.

Unlike Skolnick-Einhorn, Claywell only transitioned once before coming to JDS and did not attend a Jewish school before joining Barrack in eighth grade. Despite those differences, they both agreed that the in-person extracurriculars offered by JDS have helped them integrate into the school community. 

“I do dance on the Monday and Wednesday thing, and if I wasn’t going to do that, I was going to do a club,” Claywell said. “But that has been really really helpful, and it’s made me realize how much I wish we were in school, and I hope that we do hybrid soon.”