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Jordan Brenner

Staff Writer

The Milken art show is a highly anticipated and well regarded annual event that shows off some of the bright talent at this school. The show was held from May 18th through May 20th in the Hollinder Gymnasium and featured inspired paintings, architecture models, photography, and much more. Each year, teachers, students and parents are especially inspired by some of the pieces the show has to offer. Three students, Kyle Goldman, 17, Maddie Friedman, 16, and Eli Seltzer, 17 were some of the popular destinations for guests at the show. The combination of uniqueness and beauty in their work attracted attention.
Kyle Goldman, 17:

Kyle Goldman, who pursued art long before his tenure at Milken, rediscovered his love for the activity this year. Goldman’s piece (pictured below) represents his thoughts towards his workload at school, and his main passion, football. Goldman said, “I love football, but I feel like I am in a cage due to academics, hence the wall of books and barbed wire around the jersey and helmet. For this piece, Kyle used colored pencils and blended colors together to enhance the illustration. Goldman hopes to further his passion for art throughout high school.


Maddie Friedman, 16:

Maddie Friedman, 16, was another artist who impressed the audience during the art show. Friedman talked about the fierce, but seemingly sweet vibe the drawing (pictured below) evokes. Friedman said, “I was watching a lot of fantasy TV shows at the time I drew this, so making her an angel came into mind.” Friedman hopes to continue to thrive in art throughout high school, and possibly beyond Milken as well.

Eli Seltzer, 16:

Eli Seltzer, 16, built a model of an airport for architecture. Eli has always been fascinated with aircrafts and airports. Eli said, “Ever since I was little, I have been amazed by aviation and always wanted a career in aeronautical engineering. This piece morphs together my interests in architecture and aviation to make an airport that can accommodate the future of aviation.” Eli started with the architecture program as a freshman, and plans to continue with the program next year, as a senior. Eli’s work was a common destination for art show attendees due to it’s large scale and unique subject.


Micah Chasen

Staff Writer

This season, Milken’s varsity tennis team experienced more success than in any of the previous three years. And with their season and playoff run coming to a close, it is important to note that much of Milken’s success this year can be attributed to the talent and leadership of Samuel Feit ‘16. While being unanimously considered the most talented player on the team, Feit didn’t lose a set all year. Sam not only helped the team finish second in league and make the CIF playoffs for the first time in three years, but he also won the league’s individual tournament for singles and received the title of League MVP.

When asked about the accomplishments of the tennis team this season Sam noted that “[He] definitely saw progress from the team as a whole throughout the season. Everyone got better and wanted to win.”

Sam was also a huge help during practice. His presence alone pushed the team to play better. As Josh Berenbaum ’17 put it, “when Sam was at practice he really pushed us and made us better. We all knew that when we were playing with Sam we had to step up our game.”

And Sam was a huge asset during the actual matches. First of all, he reliable for three wins  per match. This meant that in every single match, Sam was single handedly responsible for a third of the wins needed to at least force a tie. But Sam was also crucial when it came to coaching his teammates. He, along with Head Coach Omar Morgades, helped other players with game planning and strategy before and even during the matches. When asked about his advice during matches Sam said that, “since [he] [have] played so many matches throughout my career, [his] tennis IQ is higher than most on the team. This allows [him] to advise [his] teammates and help them see things that they might not have seen by themselves.” Co-Captain Justin Leff added that “Sam is a lot like a second coach. He is incredibly talented and always has words of encouragement.”

When asked about this year’s success Sam commented that “this year year was great. Everyone worked really hard to make the playoffs and with most of the team returning next season, [he] [doesn’t] see why we can’t have even more success next year.”

While Sam was only a cog in the machine of this year’s varsity tennis team, it is important to note his grand contributions. With his leadership and talent Sam was able to have an effect on every player. Even though he only has one more year of eligibility, expectations are high as the tennis team and Sam look to improve on the success they achieved this spring.


Jennifer Clemens

Staff Writer


What was your favorite year of high school and why?

1635 was a great year for high school. The first public high school, Boston Latin School, opened its doors in what would be the United States. There would be many great years of high school to follow, but one never forgets the first.


What types of activities and extra curricular activities did you partake in?

There are a lot of rumors floating around about what I did with my spare time in high school. I can assure you that at least one of them is true.


What type of student were you?

Well, at the time, I was a high school student.


What type of “crowd” or group of friends were you associated with?

I worked my way through all of them, and then I started work on the neighboring towns’ schools.


What did you do on weekends?

What most teenagers wish they were doing on weekends.


If you could do a year over in high school which would it be and why?

I thought we agreed there would be no questions about temporal manipulations in this interview. Oh, never mind; we had that conversation tomorrow.


What kind of music did you listen to?

It’s hard to describe, but it kind of went like this: verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge (middle eight), verse, chorus.


When thinking about yourself in your teen years what words come to mind?

Obnoxious—ly charming.


If you could give a high school student one piece of advice what would it be?

Sometimes sleeping is the most productive thing you can do.

Samantha Behar

Staff Writer



“Who’s your date for prom?” “I haven’t been asked yet.”

Prom is one of America’s great high school traditions. It is an end of the year dance for high school seniors that is often seen as one of the most notable events in an entire high school career. By the time May approaches, prom is on almost everyone’s radar. Adults look at their prom pictures and reminisce, while high school seniors and their dates start to prepare. There is so much to think about: dresses, suits, hair, and finding a date.

Finding a date is a large part of the prom experience. Promposals have taken over the internet. Social media is flooded with boys asking girls to prom in creative and witty ways.

Milken has taken part in the Promposal trend as well. Over the the past few years Milken Senior boys have been getting increasingly more and more creative when asking their dates to prom using banners, roses, and and an abundance of balloons.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.07.26 AM



Promposals play off of wedding proposals. Wedding proposals in our society are typically done by the man in the relationship, so it is no surprise teenagers find it normal for Promposals to be done by the boys. Promposals add pressure for boys, and leave girls waiting around to be asked.

Sometimes girls ask  boys to prom. Buzzfeed created an article that showcased courageous girls taking the initiative and doing the asking.


The girls’ reason for asking dates ranged from wanting to beat their boyfriends to it, or having a lot of cool ideas they wanted to use. A lot of Milken girls do ask dates, but not in a public manner. It is very common for the girls to ask a friend who goes to a different high school to go with them.

Milken for the most part hosts a very traditional prom with one exception: no prom king or queen. These are awards given to one senior girl and one senior boy, elected in a school-wide election before prom. Milken not partaking in this tradition makes sence; prom King and Queen is a popularity contest, which does not match Milken’s values. While Milken chooses to encourage some Prom traditions such as date asking, they reject other traditions.

Women have made so much progress gaining equal rights, yet high school girls continue to wait to be asked to dances. Throughout a young girl’s education she is told that she is equal to boys in every way. Girls are encouraged to be athletes and scholars, just like boys are. It doesn’t seem fitting that young women everywhere spend their whole high school careers taking control of their future, only to end it waiting and worrying about being asked to a dance.



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Justin Leff

Staff Writer

On Tuesday, May 26, we will have a special Oneg schedule in order to celebrate the release of the yearbook!

At 11a.m. in the amphitheater, everyone will receive their 2015 yearbook! In addition, each student will be given a pack of stickers (the same ones in the video below) to put in their own books (or their friends) in order to upload photos, video or audio messages. This interactivity allows students to digitally autograph books or to simply add their own content from the end of the year.

We’ll have other activities promoting the signing of yearbooks as well, including pens for autographs and special “celebrity” signings.

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Gabi Kamran


There is a college that doesn’t have its own flag on the walls of the College Counseling Office. You won’t find it on seniors’ lists of potential colleges, nor will you see it written across graduation party banners or balloons or cakes. When adults inquire about college prospects, students sometimes hesitate to even mention the school’s name. And yet, this college is one of the more popular choices for seniors: 10-15% of Milken graduates attend each year.

In the Milken community, Santa Monica College has come to bear a mark of shame. The two-year community college is wrongly perceived as a symbol for slacking off in high school, the code word for college-process failure, and the subject of jokes on campus. When my friend gets several questions wrong on a test, her friends tease her by telling her she’s going to SMC. When a classmate is describing his college list to a friend, he jokes that SMC is his “reach school.” A couple years ago, when the senior class wanted to undermine the junior class’ morale during Color Wars, they chanted: “SMC, SMC, SMC.”

Not only is this SMC stigma entirely unmerited and unfounded, but it also goes against our basest community values. Milken is a place where students are given the tools to thrive academically and socially, and inherent in this mission is the necessity of supporting each and every student on their unique journey to success. It’s true that one of the strengths of the Milken community is that it encourages high achievement and academic success, but it’s also true that one of its shortcomings is that it labels SMC as the symbol of failure in those respects.

There are countless reasons why a student might choose SMC, and the vast majority of them have nothing to do with laziness, lack of intelligence, or the other qualities for which the school has been stereotyped. One of the most common factors is that SMC’s affordability makes it an appealing option for families who aren’t inclined to pay for all four years of a university. In addition, spending a year or two at SMC is a beneficial experience for students who don’t feel ready for a traditional college experience or need more time to figure out the path they’d like to take in life. It’s also important to point out that the majority of SMC-bound seniors did actually get into other colleges — oftentimes prestigious ones. But many students decide, for a number of reasons, that they would rather not settle for those schools or get comfortable at a certain college before transferring to their top-choice university after a year.

“USC had been my dream school growing up – specifically the Marshall School of Business,” said a Class of 2012 alum who decided to attend SMC. “When I didn’t get in right out of high school, I weighed several different options for schools and decided that if I wanted to end up at USC, SMC was the best route. In the end I was very happy with my decision because it allowed me to reach my final goal.”

It’s imperative that we set aside our misconceptions of SMC and look at the school for what it is: a two-year college that prepares students for success when they transfer to four-year universities. Period. When all jokes are put aside, SMC is a respectable, quality institution that provides students with resources and tools to thrive in a university environment. Countless seniors who attended SMC are now successful people who embody Milken’s vision of a graduate all the same — likely even more successful than they would have been if they had gone to a university directly after high school.

“For many in our community, SMC is exactly what they need immediately after high school graduation,” Ross Mankuta, Director of College Counseling, said. “The maturation and growth that can take place at community college can be critically important for many of today’s youth.”

All too often we see SMC as the end to an unrewarding college process, when in reality, it’s just the beginning of a student’s journey. Any high school senior can attest to the fact that the entire enterprise of college admissions is certifiably crazy. At the close of the very mystifying admissions process, countless extremely deserving students are denied from institutions with no explanation. The college admissions process puts each student through a unique series of twists and turns, and the ultimate result is the product of much contemplation and effort on the part of the student and their family. It comes down to a single idea: We can’t judge what we don’t know. It is impossible to understand the many nuanced factors that went into each senior’s decision, and the role of the Milken community is to encourage and support, not evaluate.

One way that we can move forward and erase the SMC stigma in the Milken community is by further incorporating SMC into college counseling conversation. Currently, the perception at Milken is that each student will go to a four-year university after high school. In the college counseling program, SMC exists tacitly as a viable option for certain students, and when it is mentioned, it’s usually in the context of “Well, if nothing else works out then there’s always SMC.” This aura of college expectation is what causes SMC to seem like a symbol of failure, but really it is a college choice like any other. The college counseling department is already aware of the need for more conversation about SMC and has some ideas about how to address the school.

“Milken can encourage or sponsor visit programs to SMC and other local community colleges so that students and families appreciate that our school does not devalue the ​experiences and opportunities that these institutions can provide,” Mankuta suggested.

Perhaps a member of the Class of 2015 put it best when they said the following:

“ After reflecting on my decision to attend SMC, I realized that I am not a failure. Everything that I have learned at Milken and all my success is not determined by where I got accepted to or where I choose to go. Who I am and my accomplishments are not defined by the college admissions process.”

As a community, we must abide by the message of this student’s words. We must consciously avoid devaluing or shaming students for their college choice, because at the end of the day, the choice to attend SMC – or any college – has little to do with the student’s character or abilities. SMC is simply one of many stepping-stones on the path to success, no less valuable than any other step.

Maybe once we understand this, we can start writing SMC on graduation balloons.

Image credit: https://www.killeenisd.org/schools/high/cate/

Samantha Behar and Jennifer Clemens

Staff Writers

Dear Freshman,

Not to scare you, but finals week is quickly approaching. For many of you this is your first time taking finals. Not to worry, they aren’t as bad as they seem! Here are a few tips to make finals week less painful:

Procrastination is your worst enemy. You have mastered the skill of last minute studying over the past year. Finals are not your average test. You have four tests in the span of one week, which means studying the night before is not the best idea, especially because the test covers material from the whole year. It is important to start studying at least two weeks in advance. You will thank yourself when you aren’t pulling an all nighter on Monday night.

Do not focus on only your first test. Your English final may come first, but that doesn’t make it the most important one. Do not make the rookie mistake of forgetting about the other finals. Spread your studying time evenly. Make sure you don’t get through the first day of finals to realize you haven’t started studying for the next day’s tests.

Come to school on lishma day. Lishma day is one of Milken’s best secrets. Sure we all know about it, but not all of us use it. During this day the teachers sit in their offices, and wait to hear your questions. Take advantage of this opportunity! It can really help.

Take advantage of A and B review days. These days basically allow you to study all day during school. Gather genuine questions that you have for your teachers. Your teachers will be available all day, so take advantage of the opportunity.

Do practice finals. Check in with your teachers for practice prompts or questions that you may come across on the finals. Practicing the types of questions that you will be seeing on the real final, will help you a lot. (Even ask your teacher to grade one of them during Lishma day!)

Don’t lose track of end of the year projects. Subjects like History, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew don’t take finals during finals week. Depending on the subject, you will either take an in class final or complete a project. You will be studying for finals, and yes you will be stressed. Make sure you still try your best on these projects, because they still affect your grade!

Calculate your lowest possible final grade. It’s super easy to do. You go online, search final grade calculator, and plug in your year grade for a class. It then calculates what the lowest grade you need on your final to either keep your grade or raise it. Doing this relieves stress, because you know beforehand how drastically your grade can change.

Do not overstress. Even though teachers and your friends stress how important finals are, it is not the biggest deal in the world. It is usually around 12% of your class grade, which does not affect your overall grade too tremendously. You should study a little more than how you would for a normal test, but do not drive yourself crazy with studying, because your final grade usually reflects how you have done all year in the class.

Do not get distracted by the fact that summer starts the second your last final ends! Most importantly, do not waste your final time thinking about the fact that summer is starting momentarily. Even though you will be counting down the minutes and even seconds until summer begins, do not let that distract you from checking over your answers on your finals, and giving them your all.

Now, go study!

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Jordan Brenner

Staff Writer

For years, measles was a deadly and feared disease in society. Thankfully, a vaccine was developed, and measles was essentially eradicated in 1981. However, after rumors about the vaccine possibly leading to diseases such as autism, many people reluctantly stopped getting the vaccine. These rumors were recently disproved, and as a result, measles are once again relevant in today’s society. (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/autism/)

There was a large Measles outbreak at Disneyland on January 31st of this year and now, there is a risk of the disease spreading throughout Los Angeles.

This outbreak has struck fear into  many members of the Milken community.  A study was recently released that shared the percentage of student vaccinations in Jewish elementary schools in Los Angeles. The results were shocking, with as many as 75 percent of students lacking the vaccination in particular schools. Many students who currently attend Milken also attended schools on this list. The list was brought to the public  by the The California Department of Public Health.

Whitney Fisch, Director of Counseling at Milken , explained that Milken complies with the state law that requires all students to be vaccinated, with very few exceptions. Milken does not plan on changing their policy for vaccinations unless otherwise instructed by the California Department of Health and Human Services. As of now, Milken requires vaccinations for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis), Hepatitis B (series of 3), Varicella (chicken pox), and Polio.

Some believe that students who are unvaccinated should not be permitted on campus until given the vaccination. This restriction would be in place to protect the students. However, others believe the vaccination of a student should  only be a requirement for the 2015-2016 school year.

How do you think Milken should handle the Measles situation?