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Courtesy of HollywoodReporter.com

Sophia Ghadoushi

Social Media Director

This week is Thanksgiving, and unlike previous years, we are blessed with more than just pumpkin pie and school break. This year we are all thankful for the return of Gilmore Girls. In honor of the iconic show returning to Netflix after ten long years, here is a list of everything the two lovely ladies of Stars Hollow, Rory and Lorelai Gilmore, have taught their Milken fans.

  1. Family is always there for you.
Courtesy of Buzzfeed.com

Rory and Lorelai are practically Jews. Remember Friday night dinner with Emily and Richard? Shabbat dinner = major key.

2. Live in the moment; life never turns out the way we planned.

Courtesy of Tumblr.com

See above. Enough said.  

3. Sometimes, you just need a good cry.

Courtesy of MTV.com

Life hack: there are always tissues in college counseling.

4. Coffee. Is. Everything.

Courtesy of Tumblr.com

Coffee is not just a drink; it’s a lifestyle (especially when you have to write a paper for AP Literature). #byefelicia

5. Everything happens for a reason…even if you don’t understand it in that moment.

Courtesy of Tenor.com

The ultimate mantra for the college process.

6. Struggling in school is absolutely normal. You don’t have to have your whole life figured out before college.

Courtesy of Giphy.com

Don’t worry about getting into your dream school; you can always be SMC bound.

7. Some of your best friendships will be the ones you least expect.

Courtesy of Odyssey.com

Always be nice to everyone; that shy guy in your Hebrew class may become your best friend one day.

8. Food solves more problems than you can imagine.

Courtesy of Playbuzz.com

Two words: Vickie’s fries. Another word: curly.

9. Hanging out with your mom is the best. She will always be your biggest fan – be thankful for her.

Courtesy of Odyssey.com

Don’t worry, your mom’s constant questions are a sign of her unconditional love.

10. Take risks and have fun because life will pass by in the blink of an eye.

Courtesy of GilmoreNews.com
Courtesy of MovieFone.com

Enjoy every moment before graduating high school. It will be the ultimate end of an era!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Milken Varsity Basketball team with Head Coach of the University of Memphis Tigers, Tubby Smith.

Michael Schulman

Staff Writer

For the very first time, the Milken Varsity Basketball team made the trip to Memphis, Tennessee to enter in the Cooper Invitational Basketball Tournament. The three-day tournament was comprised of the top 16 Jewish day school basketball teams in the country and they competed in a single elimination tournament. The Wildcats were clearly underestimated, going into the tournament as the seventh seed, but finishing in third place. In the game for third place, the Wildcats came back from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter against the home team, the Cooper Yeshiva Maccabees. Although Milken did not win the tournament, the coaches believe the entire trip had a positive impact on the team.

“We are so far ahead of where we were last year. Chemistry-wise, this trip solidified the bond these guys have for one another” said Coach Whiting.

The trip was about much more than playing basketball. Jewish basketball teams from across the country shared Shabbat together, prayed together, and learned about each other’s Jewish traditions. Aaron Harouni ‘18 had the opportunity to give a D’var Torah and share a lesson from the parsha.

He explained that it was a great Jewish experience “spending Shabbat at one of the Cooper player’s homes and it was interesting to see how different families celebrate the holiday.”

One of the many highlights of this trip included a visit to the University of Memphis, where the Wildcats met the Memphis Tigers. The Wildcats were greeted by legendary college basketball coach and head coach of the Tigers, Tubby Smith. Coach Smith actually worked with Coach Whiting and welcomed the Wildcats into one of his practices. Since Smith and Whiting used to work together, Milken was able to “see a lot of the stuff we run in practice being performed at an elite level” said Brian Pearlman ‘17.

Head of Athletics, Mr. Proctor, told The Roar that the “administration is very aware of the successful trip and will make a decision on whether the team will attend the tournament next year, this spring.” The Milken Varsity Basketball team had a meaningful trip and will now enter the 2016-2017 season as a stronger, more experienced team.

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Emily Vanek

Staff Writer

Shane Brunswick ‘20 is one of the countless people who have an obsession with Pokemon Go, but his passion greatly exceeds that of the average fan.

Pokemon Go is a free to play, location based game that has made a huge impact worldwide. Brunswick has created a version of this game that leans towards people living in the suburbs, since the game is not catered towards those areas. Shane’s version has also become very well-known.

“As my game has since been picked up by a lot of news outlets, including ones based in Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Peru, France, and Vietnam, I think that the game has truly resonated with the community,” Brunswick explains.

After noticing that the game does not work as well in the suburbs, Brunswick took matters into his own hands to spread Pokemon to less populated areas. He noticed that the Pokemons he wanted to catch were not available to him in his neighborhood, so he aimed to make them more accessible to everyone. He also sees his creation as a way to send a message to Niantic, the company that created Pokemon Go, notifying them of popular concerns about their game.

Brunswick liked the sound of the title “Suburban Version” and immediately registered the unique domain name for his website. He knew how he wanted his game to look and operate, but just needed to learn Javascript, the language used for building dynamic websites. Over the summer, he spent a long week obsessing constantly over Javascript, viewing every online tutorial that he could find until he felt confident enough to begin developing his game. To create the game in Javascript, he had to write his code, test the game, find flaws, retest, recode and repeat multiple times until he was happy with the final product.

Brunswick is just another Pokemon player like the rest of us and continues to play it regularly. He added enthusiastically: “I do really enjoy Go. I’ve been playing since day one; I’m currently level 22, and I’m just 10 away from catching ’em all.” When asked about any more ideas in the works, Brunswick proclaimed: “I know that I want to continue developing my coding skills and hope to create more games in the future.”

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A collage of Kaitlin’s work.  

Lauren Cohen

Voices Editor

Described by friends as humble, down-to-earth and “the most determined person I know,” Kaitlin Banafsheha ‘17 is an extremely personable and admired member of the senior class. Not just friendly, she also enhances the Milken community as a varsity athlete and an avid artist. Kaitlin has been Milken’s varsity basketball point guard since freshman year and in love with art since her experience in art therapy at the age of six.

We sat down with Kaitlin for further insight into her unique mind.

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

The penguin asks me if he wants me to braid my hair. Wait, what? If he wants to braid my hair. Okay. He makes it really pretty with the Mexican beads and then asks if I want to go back to Mexico with him, and yeah.

What is your craziest memory at Milken?

I have too many, but one of them is probably getting a 58% on Dr. Scoville’s biology test.

If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?

Oh my God, so many things. First, I would tell them to never feel discouraged when they can’t do something because everyone has their capacities. Life is literally all about happiness, and if something is not making you happy, you don’t have to do it.

Which Milken teacher is your spirit animal?

Oh. OOOH. I think that Scott Voltz is my spirit animal. Even though he’s in Texas.

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you play and why?

Oh! I would for sure play Jonah Hill, like a hundred million times Jonah Hill. I want to be in that body and like I want to just like talk like him.

Which kitchen utensil would you be?

I would be a knife, so I can protect people, but I can also hurt people when I want to. And I can also cut up some of my favorite veggies when I want some.

What are you known for? What kind of Milken student are you?

I think I’m known to be relatively quiet at times, but like with the things I love to do, like art. People know I’m more expressive in those ways.

Celebrity crush?

Obviously Channing Tatum is one of the hottest men alive. I also think that, um what’s her name? Emily Ratajkowski is like the hottest woman on this planet.

What’s your next concert?

Two Door Cinema Club

Describe your happy place.

My happy place is when I have a million things on my mind, but I don’t feel it because I’m behind my easel and I’ve been there for at least 6 hours.

If you could do any job in the world, regardless of money, what would you want to do?

I would probably just own my own studio and have a little loft on top of my studio that would be like my house. I could just walk down to it, and people would come and buy paintings. That would be my only worry in life and nothing else would matter.

If you could live forever, how would you spend eternity?

I would be God. I want to be known as God. I want to see how the world is. I don’t know, it would be awesome.

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Pictured above is my older sister, Leigh Jacobson.

Britt Jacobson


This piece is fictitious, though absolutely true of my experience going through the college process.

No one acknowledged her in her Paul Frank t-shirt and light-up Tinker Bell bag. Stephen S. Wise is over there… where are they taking me? The bus stopped; everyone got up and shuffled off, leaving the girl behind to drown in their Peet’s and Starbucks and Coffee Bean cups. The driver stared at her in the rearview mirror until she understood- she was supposed to shuffle off too. So she followed the tall zombie horde and arrived at a classroom- with lots of tall chairs and tall zombies and tall teachers. But there weren’t any crayons, or colored papers or teddies. Everyone had big-kid computers, like her mom’s. And there was one for her too. C-o-l-l-e-g-e. All the zombies were clicking and clacking. The teacher stared over her shoulder and she understood- she was supposed to type too. So she did. And she was the first five-year-old to get into college. Graduated magna cum laude and all.

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Noah Cohen

Community Editor

Mel Gibson has been a staple name in the Hollywood film industry for over thirty years. He is often associated with hit movies such as The Passion of the Christ and Braveheart. The name “Mel Gibson” is also synonymous with misogyny, anti-semitism, homophobia, and racism. Many thought that Gibson’s career was over, as his life began to publicly spiral along the path to the land of washed up celebrities. But recently, Gibson has resurfaced from his self-induced hiatus by directing his new movie, Hacksaw Ridge. Many critics are calling for the redemption of Mel Gibson. But does Mel deserve forgiveness for the things that he has said and done? Should we go and see a new Mel Gibson movie if it means giving money to this man? And with the spirit of forgiveness still lingering after this year’s Yom Kippur, can we, as Jews particularly, forgive the anti-semitic comments made by Gibson?

To answer these questions, we must first look specifically at what Mel Gibson has done in the past to be shunned by the Hollywood community. The misogynistic side of Gibson was shown when he was recorded making disgusting comments about his girlfriend’s appearance, and went on to tell her how she deserved to be sexually assaulted. During a DUI Arrest in 2006, Mel Gibson was reported to have said to an officer, “F*****g Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world… Are you a Jew?” In addition, Gibson was reported to have said homophobic remarks to a Spanish newspaper. To make a more well-informed opinion, view the full list of terrible statements that Mel Gibson has said in this compilation published by the website Gawker: “http://gawker.com/5582644/all-the-terrible-things-mel-gibson-has-said-on-the-record.”

So, looking through a Jewish lens, particularly pertaining to Yom Kippur, a time when grudges and sins are meant to be dissolved and forgiven, can we forgive Mel Gibson? Or, are his actions too heinous to be excused? As a reminder, not only has Gibson insulted and demeaned the Jewish people, he has also disrespected minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, and women. Ironically, Gibson’s new movie, Hacksaw Ridge, is about World War II. Will Gibson attempt to make up for his past misdeeds with a World War II movie? Will he mention the Holocaust, an event that Gibson’s own father has denied of its occurrence? Only time will tell if Mel Gibson will climb his way out of the very large hole he has dug himself.

To read Mel Gibson’s full apology for his anti-semitic remarks, visit: “http://www.adl.org/anti-semitism/united-states/c/mel-gibsons-apology-to-the-jewish-community.html#.WA-YMjKZM6g.”

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Jordan Brenner and Hannah Newman

Community Editor and Wildlife Editor

Daniela Siman ’20 and Collina Binafard ’20 get ready for performing at halftime.

On Wednesday, October 26th, Milken’s Homecoming day kicked off with a rowdy pep rally during a special Kehillah period. Students flocked into Hollander Gymnasium to witness a video of the football team’s best plays, a mascot contest, a performance by the Milken Dance Squad, and a bottle flipping competition.

The bottle flipping contest was a student favorite. The first round featured two epic battles. Johnny Stanman ‘17 lost to Mr. Adam Steele, while Mr. Billy Kaplan breezed to the championship round by defeating Mr. Harrison Gallaway. Mr. Kaplan crushed Mr. Steele in the championship, making him Milken’s reigning king of bottle flipping. Stanman described the experience as being, “very unique and fun to be a part of.” He also appreciated how Student Government embraced a “weird cultural phenomenon.”

At Birmingham High School, Homecoming began with a carnival that included a dunk tank, a whipped cream “pie” toss, a bounce house, and classic carnival games. Mr. Nick Holton, Mr. Adam Steele, and Ms. Wendy Hawkins all suffered their fair share of dunks throughout the evening. The carnival was a lively warm up to the game and many teachers and administrators brought their families to enjoy the experience. Seeing the faculty outside of a classroom setting was “refreshing and enjoyable,” according to Talia Patt ‘17.

Kol Echad performs at Milken’s annual Homecoming game.

Kol Echad opened up the game with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and the Birmingham High School Marching Band provided music for the rest of the night. At halftime, students enjoyed a performance from both the Milken Dance Squad and the Israeli Dance Team, as well as a field goal kicking contest, which was unfortunately cut short due to a lack of time. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the Dance Squad performing to the popular song, “Juju on that Beat.” Aaron Lawrence ’17 called the performance, “absolutely electrifying.”

Johnny Stanman ’17 has fun with face paint and towel giveaways.



Overall, Homecoming was a welcomed shift from a usually nonchalant Wildcat fan base.

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Jennifer Clemens and Lauren Pakravan

Creative Editor and Staff Writer

Milken students frequently have the misconception that the only “viable” schools out there are the popular ones. As the Milken college process begins during junior year, the college counselors make lists for each of their students. Many times, the list contains schools with unfamiliar names. This allows students to branch out and learn about schools outside of the Milken norm. However, some students take this opportunity for granted and only stick to the schools they are familiar with.

Social media plays a huge role in the college process. When students see that they know college students at a particular university, it attracts them and makes them feel more comfortable applying there. Many students are only interested in schools with vibrant Jewish communities. Although college is about branching out and learning more about oneself, many students like having the comfort of only applying to the schools that are deemed popular.

Mr. Ross Mankuta gives his input on the importance of applying to colleges outside of the Milken norm: “With something like 4000 colleges and universities, [students] should be looking outside the bubble because there are so many wonderful options that exist that they’re missing out on. Not only will greater exploration of options lead to possibly finding a diamond among the Milken rough, but if students apply to the same schools as many of their peers, inherently the Milken competition will play a role.”

The college counselors at Milken strongly encourage students to research as many colleges as possible so they are aware of the many options out there. There is a college research assignment and an annual college tour during the junior and senior year, which allow students to explore the popular and not-so-popular college options. Not only do they want students to be informed about the large variety of schools out there, but colleges obviously cannot admit every applicant who shows interest. So know this: when the majority of the senior class applies to the same college, it makes the process that much more difficult for everyone.

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Britt Jacobson, Mira Berenbaum and Hannah Newman

Editor-in-Chief, Social Media Director and Wildlife Editor

You may think you are looking at twins. You may think you are looking at one person. You may think you are seeing double. You’re not. You are looking at Milken’s doppelgängers. Use the slider to compare in awe.

Max Hall ’20 and Jared Hassen-Klein ’18


Jared Applebaum ’18 and Joshua Berenbaum ’17


Jesse Youdai ’20 and Michael Bolour ’17


Sarah Pretsky ’20 and Laurel Raphael ’17


Eliana Hallegua ’20 and Laureen Akram ’17


Shane Brunswick ’20 and Jacob Simon ’18


Alexander Barlava ’17 and Brandon Soufer ’17


Aidan Shev ’18 and Daniel Cohen ’18


Daniella Bick ’18 and Ms. Amy Frangipane


Daniel Woznica ’17 and Mr. Harrison Gallway


Sawyer Kroll ’17 and Mr. Billy Kaplan


Natalie Stone ’20 and Mrs. Kate Price


Brian Pearlman ’17 and Mr. David Kates


Ms. Mira Zarfati and Coach Barbara Iversen

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Jennifer Clemens and Evan Satlin

Creative Editor and Staff Writer

IMG_0271Tiyulim Week takes place the week of May 21st, and is a week in which classes are canceled so that freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can participate in experiential, off campus, learning opportunities. The freshmen will be spending their week on a class wilderness trip to Santa Cruz Island, while sophomores and juniors ave a variety of tiyul options that sophomores and juniors can choose from.

Tiyulim Week is an old Milken tradition that was brought back in the 2015-2016 school year, under the leadership of Mrs. Miller. “The feel of this week is largely the same as it was last year, except there may be even more exciting options this year,” Miller explained.

This year, there are 14 tiyul options to choose from. Students can choose to stay local, or travel domestically or international. There are many new options this year, as well as some fan favorites from last year that the school wants to continue. One international trip that Milken is continuing is  the Panama Exchange tiyul. On this trip, students stay with Panamanian families who are affiliated with a Jewish day school in Panama City. One recurring local opportunity is Righteous Conversations. In this tiyul, students engage and connect with the last generation of Holocaust survivors by listening to their stories and enjoying meals together. The Students and survivors also make music together, take photographs, and create video projects together.

Last year there were a number of free tiyulim options — this year that is not the case.  A few families were surprised and slightly taken aback by this. However, Miller assures that this is for a good reason. She proceeded to explain that there is a value in having tiyulim opportunities like this, and that families and the school should share the expenses. “Last year, there were several free options, and it cost the school money for transportation and food. We decided this year that we feel like there is a value in having people pay for a program. We feel that we should be sharing the cost with students and their families because the programs are meaningful and worth the cost.”  

Miller also brought to our attention that paying for a Tiyulim opportunity should not be a burden or a punishment in any way. Tiyulim week is something that both Milken, and Mrs. Miller, are very proud of.  “It is amazing that we can offer such hands-on learning opportunities, and we value it so much that we are willing to cancel classes for a week to provide this experience,” she explained.

For a full list, and more information about this year’s tiyuls, go to the Experiential Learning page on the myMilken recourse board!

What are your favorite tiyuls? Tell us below in the comments!