Danielle Lewis

Staff Writer

Spring is all about rebirth, and what’s fresher than some new beats? As the season changes, with flowers blooming and temperatures rising, we all need a change in tune. This season of new beginnings prompts us to update our playlists in preparation for  our spring break adventures. The following playlist is one to ensure a gratifying shift from the cold winds of El Niño to the refreshing spring breezes.


“Bloom” – The Paper Kites

This Australian band has countless songs just like this one: the kind of song that warms your heart with its gentle vocals contrasting with its quick rhythm. Just like its name, “Bloom” itself matches the sounds of spring with its acoustic and indie blend. Hearing this song live, I truly got to appreciate their soft, yet upbeat, harp-like strums. Sam Bentley’s angelic voice sings lyrics that tell a story of overwhelming love.


“The Suburbs” – Arcade Fire

“The Suburbs” is one of Arcade Fire’s most famous songs, recalling the band’s experience growing up in a suburb of Houston, Texas. Through its soothing melody and wise lyrics, the song tells a story of growing up and moving on. We hear much contrast in the song between low and high voices, appealing to various tastes. This eccentric band does not cease to amaze their fans with new music and has recently had a documentary made about their newest album, Reflektor.


“Lovers’ Carvings” – Bibio

Every time I hear this song, I fall in love with it more. Its prelude might be long, but it sets the tone for a climactic vocal appearance. The lyrics that follow are hard to understand, but if you catch them, you will here Stephen Wilkinson’s haunting voice preaching the immortality of love. For Wilkinson, lovers’ carvings on wood represent the lasting memories and values of his past relationships. Although quite nostalgic, this song still manages to capture the light and beautiful side of long gone lovers with its positive beat and sweet lyrics.


“We’re From Barcelona” – I’m From Barcelona

This 29 member Swedish pop group has the ability to create a such a euphonic fusion of voices. They have created the perfect combination: 29 light voices and various instruments in harmony. This song’s cheerful chorus makes it into the bright and almost playful tune that it is.


“The Underdog” – Spoon

I have listened to this song hundreds of times since hearing it in the credits of 17 Again, and have yet to get tired of it. Spoon makes a social commentary on the music industry, warning that their desire for money blinds them of seeing the truly talented underdogs. The song’s quick strums and upbeat rhythm joined with Britt Daniel’s raw voice creates an organic and light sound.

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Michael Schulman

Staff Writer

Though Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) were not in this tank, Milken’s annual Shark Tank event was a great success. The two winners, Marcus Bernstein ‘18 and the Melmed siblings (Elle ‘16 and William ‘19), split the $4000 prize after giving their exceptional presentations to the Sharks and answering questions on the spot.

The Sharks were friends of the Milken community who devoted their time and expertise to help the student entrepreneurs craft persuasive business plans. This year’s panelists were Brent Bushnell, Mark Hamade, Jonathan Kagan, Geoffrey Margolis, and Rob Rappaport.



Marcus Bernstein presenting his customizable body boards.


Marcus Bernstein, a producer of high-end, customizable bodyboards, came in first place with his revolutionary bodyboarding company,  “Bud’s Bodyboards.” Unlike the standard styrofoam bodyboard, Bernstein has created a revolutionary, eco-friendly board made from a cork mixture. “I am really excited that all of my hard work paid off. I can’t wait to move forward with my company,” Bernstein said.

William and Elle Melmed answering questions about their company.


The Melmed siblings came in second place with their improved 3-D printers. Their simpler yet highly effective printer is $200, while their more advanced printer costs $1000. The Melmed siblings envision their printers being sold to schools, so that students like them can make their ideas come to life.“We were so fortunate to have this learning experience,” explained Elle Melmed. “We are so grateful to have this opportunity to learn from such amazing people.”

The Sharks were very impressed with the entrepreneurial abilities of the Milken students.

One of the Sharks, Geoffrey Margolis, was extremely amazed by “their ability to answer our questions.” Margolis went on to explain that all of the businesses, “with some improvements and adjustments can be very viable businesses” Margolis told us.

The program was run by Head of Curriculum Dr. Beachy, Middle School Math Teacher Marc Rudajev, and Student Ambassador to the program Oliver Pourbaba ‘16. Mr. Rudajev told us that the presentations have taken a “significant leap forward” since last year.

Congratulations to all the contestants: Marcus Bernstein ‘18, Elle Melmed ‘16, William Melmed ‘19, Elya Makabeh ‘19, Michael Nourafshan ‘16, and Asaf Zairi ‘18.



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Jennifer Clemens

Co-Spotlight Editor


Milken senior, Richard Shafer ‘16, is a competitive paintballer. He is a member of the Los Angeles Wrecking Crew, a well known paintball team in Los Angeles. Shafer formed his paintball team when he was 16 years old and now, according to Shafer, “the team competes regionally, nationally, and even internationally in the highly competitive Division 2.” Even though he is the youngest member of the team by five years, he is also the team captain. His paintball career started off as a one time birthday party activity, but soon evolved into a weekly occurrence.

Shafer explained that what he enjoys most about paintballing is, “the satisfaction of leading a group of men to achieve the common goal of winning one match at a time.” Shafer also described how his position as the captain of his team has allowed him to appreciate the responsibility of “having 18 eyes looking at [him] for instruction.” He also discussed how being team captain comes with a lot of responsibility. He explains that the “biggest responsibility is knowing how to be an effective leader, without becoming too power hungry, while balancing my friendship with team camaraderie as I maintain team morale.” Shafer’s responsibilities as team captain include: preparing a budget for each season, selecting events of the year, registering the team for these events, arranging sponsorships, planning practices and scrimmages, and leading the team through the event.

The Los Angeles Wrecking Crew has traveled all over the world to compete competitively. “Paintball has allowed me the opportunity to explore different corners of the country, giving me a chance to experience small-town, rural America,” Shafer explained. Recently, his team had the opportunity to travel to London to compete in the European Millennium Paintball Series, and next month they will be traveling to Singapore to compete. Not only has Shafer enjoyed traveling to new places, but he also “met and made a deep connection with people who are so different from [himself].”

Shafer is grateful for the opportunities that paintball has given him. He said that it has “opened [his] eyes to more important issues of racial diversity.” Ultimately, Shafer enjoys being with people who he never would have gotten the chance to meet otherwise, and being able to bond over their mutual love for competitive paint balling. 

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Courtesy of LAMOTH

Mira Berenbaum

Staff Writer

Both sides of my family have very unique backgrounds. My dad’s side of the family loves history. My dad is a world-renowned Holocaust professor, and makes it his goal to teach the tragedies of the Shoah to ensure that nothing like it ever happens again. My mom’s side of the family loves to cook. My maternal grandmother ran a catering company and loved to cook for friends and family during the Jewish holidays. This passion for cooking has been passed down from my great-grandmother to me. The Holocaust and the art of cooking are two different interests that I thought would never cross paths, until fairly recently.

Last year while at the club fair I saw Lauren Deutsch ‘17 and Daniella Haghighi ‘17 standing at a table for a club called L’Dough L’Dough. The name caught my eye and I decided to check it out. I learned that L’Dough L’Dough is a club where students bake challah with Holocaust survivors. In essence, this club combined two different aspects of my life. Not only that, but this club is an opportunity that will only exist for a few more years. By the time I have kids, there will be few, if any survivors alive. It is our responsibility to pass down knowledge of these horrors to our children, but we must be educated in order for that to happen.

Courtesy of LAMOTH
Courtesy of LAMOTH

I wrote my name down on a list, not knowing what to expect. I went to the first meeting and loved it. I sat down at a table with some of my friends and a survivor. We helped the survivor braid her challah and listened closely to her story. She told us the story of how she went on a kindertransport and stayed in a convent throughout the war. This experience was incredible, and I knew I was going to come to every single meeting.

This year L’Dough L’Dough also participated in a two part seder plate project, in addition to the usual challah braiding. There we took the story of one survivor, and turned the story’s theme into a seder plate. The survivor I spoke to, Eva, taught me that love and education are the keys to success. She told me, “You, you are a winner, always give love. I love you.” My group and I decided to make the various pinch pots on the seder plate into hearts. We then wrote on each of the pinch pot one word to describe the moral of her story. My pinch pot had the word “learn” written on it, because Eva emphasized the importance of education so clearly. We then painted each of the pinch pots in a different color of the rainbow.

Courtesy of LAMOTH
Courtesy of LAMOTH

It is magnificent to think that this seder plate that we made together with Eva will be used at the child survivor seder through Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Eva’s moving story will sit on a table with many other interesting and captivating accounts. 

L’Dough L’Dough is an program that has taught me so much. We are the last generation who will hear the first hand recollection of the tragedies of the Holocaust, and we must take advantage of that experience. L’Dough L’Dough is that opportunity, don’t pass it up.

Courtesy of LAMOTH
Courtesy of LAMOTH

Courtesy of forbes.com

Sophia Ghadoushi

Staff Writer

Around this time of year, people often feel in desperate need of spring break. For those of you who just want to relax for the next two weeks, here are some binge-worthy shows that you can watch. And the best part: you don’t even have to leave your bed!

If you like shows based on solving a crime:

1. The People v. OJ Simpson American Crime Story

(Available on Amazon Instant Video, and FX)

Courtesy of heavy.com

2. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

(Available on Netflix and Hulu)

Courtesy of CarterMatt.com

3. How to Get Away with Murder

(Available on Netflix and Hulu)

Courtesy of hitfix.com

4. Quantico

(Available on Netflix and Hulu)

Courtesy of watchepisodes1.tv

If you like shows based on friendship and community:

5. Gilmore Girls

(Available on Netflix)

Courtesy of New York Times

6. How I Met Your Mother

(Available on Netflix)

Courtesy of mashable.com

If you are in the mood to have a good laugh:

7. Jane the Virgin

(Available on Netflix and Hulu)

Courtesy of cwtv.com

8. Modern Family

(Available on Hulu)

Courtesy of usanetwork.com

If you want to watch a drama:

9. Scandal

(Available on Netflix and Hulu)

Courtesy of zap2it.com

10. Revenge

(Available on Netflix and Hulu) 

Courtesy of christianexaminer.com

Bonus: The Milken Connection

If you liked That 70s Show, check out The Ranch: a Netflix original series with Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliott, and Debra Winger. Justin Leff’s dad is a writer on the show, so be sure to check it out.

Courtesy of netflixlife.com

Enjoy your spring break!


The full dance squad from left to right: Kaley Weil ‘16, Lexie Kamran ‘19, Nikki Tour ‘19, Niki Kashfian ‘16, Lila Hanish ‘17, Sophie Bina ‘18, Kaile Applebaum ‘16, Isabel Bina ‘17, Natalie Pashaie ‘16, Tiffany Moalemzadeh ‘16, Kayla Pournazarian ‘16, Adi Arbiv ‘19, Gaby Dromy ‘16, Talia Shakib ‘18.

Britt Jacobson

Voices Editor

Last Thursday the Milken Dance Team showcased a full season’s worth of learning and perfecting choreography. After attending the 7 pm performance, I compiled a comprehensive list of the highlights of the show. This was goodbye for the 7 seniors- including the captain and co-captains.

Class of 2016, you will be missed.


Senior Spotlights:

Kayla Pournazarian ‘16 started off the solos in a golden glimmering dress. The dress was embellished with long gold fringes, reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties- the decade of flappers. With many twists and turns, it was impossible to keep your eyes off of her.

After watching a few of the senior spotlight videos, the theme of beauty emerged in full force. Each and every girl spoke about what beauty means to them. With a show dubbed Vanity, it was definitely a relevant and important topic to touch on. Responses included “being unique,” “having a personality,” and there was consensus across the board that beauty on the outside means very little without equal or greater inner beauty.

The next senior solo was Kaile Applebaum’s ‘16. She exuded confidence, gliding across the stage, glimmering in a mint asymmetrical-hem dress. Her smile beamed with every blink of her eyes and flick of her hair as she shifted easily from the floor to leaping in the air.

In Team Captain, (and our very own Editor-in-Chief) Natalie Pashaie’s video, she had the added element of offering advice to next year’s captain. She encouraged them to “give it their all” and take a “bad day at school” and use dance to turn around their mood. In her solo, she wore a two-piece grey outfit that had red fabric billowing in the back, like a cape. She started and ended the song in the vulnerable position of having her head held to her knees.

As Andrew Rincon, the coach, said, “their personalities exploded all over the stage.” He expressed sadness as four years of coaching the seniors were coming to an end and articulated it best through his own dance tribute to the girls. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t a dry eye on or off the stage.

In addition to solos, there were a myriad of group dances. Captain Natalie Pashaie ‘16, Co-Captains Kaile Applebaum ‘16 and Kayla Pournazarian all performed together in nude dresses whose slits exposed burgundy bodysuits.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.13.06 PM
Here are the 2016 Captains.

It wasn’t all about the seniors though! Lila Hanish ‘17 danced a solo in a very 80’s costume to a very 80’s song – “Into the Groove” by Madonna. She was bubbly and full of energy, skipping around the stage, twisting and turning in her black and pink ensemble – every bit as sassy as Madonna herself.

Isabel Bina ‘17 also performed a solo that left me with two words- polished and delicate. There was a genuine air of vulnerability meshed with a conviction expressed in every motion. She also danced with younger sister Sophie Bina ‘18 in matching shiny taupe dresses. It was so special to see them mirror each other’s movements, while building off each other. Again, very few dried eyes were left in the house.

Nothing came close to the finale though. The costumes, props on stage, and raw emotion were unmatched. All the girls wore matching green dresses straight from Mount Olympus. These goddesses manipulated orange fabric that was cascading from the ceiling, concluding the show on an incredible note- by far the peak. Thanks to the creative mind of Andrew, the technical abilities of Brian Byrne and pure excitement, the show was an utter triumph. Congratulations to the 2016 squad on an incredible year!

The final dance.
The final dance.

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Lauren Pakravan

Staff Writer

From March 20th to March 22nd, eighteen Milken students had the opportunity to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC. Students gathered at the Convention Center and participated in sessions to learn more about ISIS, The Middle East, and conflicts going on in Israel. The sessions featured amazing speakers both in large auditoriums filled with hundreds of people, and in smaller more intimate venues. At the Convention Center, there were many people, food stands, and booths with different activities.

On Sunday night, 18,000 supporters gathered at the Verizon Center to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak about Israel. Many people were not satisfied with what they heard, and decided to walk out. Monday morning, Hillary Clinton spoke strongly about what she hopes to accomplish if elected. In the afternoon, all three Republican candidates spoke. John Kasich, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz all grabbed the audience’s attention with their goals for the relationship between the US and Israel. Each candidate sent waves of excitement throughout the crowd.

This was an opportunity for Milken students to become better advocates for Israel.“I’ve never experienced anything like AIPAC,” explains Britt Jacobson ‘17. “There is no universal Israel advocate, you’re exposed to so many opinions on so many topics.”

Milken will continue to send students every year to become more educated and stronger advocates. Being able to participate in AIPAC allows students to become informed on important issues and hear valuable speakers.

Natalie Pashaie


Senior Kayla Pournazarian has been on Milken’s dance team since her freshman year. She started out on JV and worked her way toward becoming the Varsity co-captain as a senior. As the team closes another year of performances, entertainment, and enchantment, we sit down with Pournazarian to discuss her leadership position and what the team has been like this past year.

When did you start dancing?

“I began dancing at Dance for Kids in Brentwood when I was about five years old. I started with a couple ballet and tap classes and I immediately knew this is the sport I wanted to pursue in the future”

What inspired you to audition for the dance team?

“My sister was captain of Milken’s dance team, and after seeing the amazing relationships my sister had with her teammates, I knew I wanted to be a part of that as well. I really enjoyed dancing and I think being part of a school team is an excellent way to not only grow as a dancer but to establish friendships and exercise teamwork rather than individualism.”

What is some advice you would give to girls considering joining Milken’s dance team?

“As cliche as this may sound, my advice would be to have fun, because although school can at times be a very stressful environment, remember this activity is not meant to add to the stress. This team is for creating relationships, growing as a dancer and team member. Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. For those who feel they shouldn’t join the team because they think their skills aren’t up to par, don’t worry about that, because if you truly want to be a part of this team and your mentality is in the right place, then your skills will get there and you will leave a beautiful everlasting mark on this team.”

What is your favorite part of being on the team?

“My favorite part is being with all the teammates because no matter what grade anybody is in were all a family and genuinely have an amazing time together. Also, the moment right before ewe perform is such a powerful moment because all the nerves add up and you truly feel one with the team, the mindset, and were all ready – thats incredible.”

Are there any times you get frustrated or have trouble balancing dance and schoolwork?

“Balancing extracurriculars and schoolwork is inevitably challenging. However, being able to balance several commitments makes us stronger and more reliable people as adults. Although it gets challenging at times, especially as a senior, it’s all about planning ahead, and not procrastinating, as tempting as it may be.”

What have you looked forward to most this year on Dance Team?

“I was excited to go to competition with our team- it is always so fun to go and compete in Newport Beach against other schools. It’s a little retreat and we get to show how much we’ve progressed. We also get to perform in front of people we don’t know, which makes it all the more interesting. I’m also looking forward to doing a solo because it will be my first one for Milken Dance Team and I’m really excited to have four years of culminating technique into one dance showing my progression and growth.”

Why should students, friends, and faculty come to the dance showcase tonight?

“I think they should come because the dance team performance is a production of a year’s work. How we’ve all grown shows through this show- it’s also very personal and entertaining for the audience. We hope the audience has as much fun as we do… Everyone buy tickets!”

Be sure to buy tickets for Vanity: A Milken Dance Team Showcase either through the Milken website or at the door of the theatre for their annual performance, which takes place tonight at 4:00 and at 7:00. 

Picture from my tour at Syracuse University

Jamie Weisenberg

Staff Writer

To get a good feel of any college or university you are applying to, you should definitely visit prior to attending. Personally, I have visited many colleges: some on my college list, and others not. This led me to understand exactly what I wanted from my college experience. When scheduling a visit, you should make sure to get a tour, whether it be with alumni or through the university. Here are some things to keep in mind during your visit:

College tour advice:

  1. When on a college tour, make sure to ask questions! On most tours, barely any questions are asked, and people leave with unanswered concerns. If you are going to take the time out of your schedule to visit a school, make sure you get all the answers.
  2. Ask questions such as: What do you do on your spare time? Do you find yourself overwhelmed in your studies? What is the Jewish life like on campus? Whatever you find to be the most important, make sure you ask!
  3. If you are not comfortable asking questions in front of the tour group, ask the tour guide after. I have found that they love to answer your questions and will spend time with you after the tour.

When to go:

  1. The best time to visit a college is during the school year. If you can, you should try to go during the week so that you can see what the campus life is like while classes are being taught. Personally, seeing the people walking around the campus allows me to better understand the vibe of the school.
  2. If it is a school that has different climates than Los Angeles, then try to go during a time that… For example, if you are thinking about going somewhere with harsh winters, try to visit then to experience that type of weather.
  3. Try to go when you can spend a whole day there, or maybe even two.

What to do while you are there:

  1. Try to connect with alumni! I have had much success when reaching out to alumni or friends that are current students. Seeing past Milken students allows you to understand what it is like coming from Milken.
  2. Go to a school event. Whether you are looking into a big “ra-ra” school or a small liberal arts school, there is always something going on as a part of the campus life. Try going to a sports game or another campus event.
  3. Check out the surrounding town/city. Go to the places where you would go if you were a student there. Try to really get the feel of what your life would be like if you attended.
  4. Check out the dining halls, dorms and other facilities to make sure they are suitable for your needs.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does the school have the major I want? Is it a popular major? Is there a specific advantage in going to this specific school for this major?
  2. Do I care whether the political opinions of the students are vastly liberal or conservative? Does a lack of political involvement bug me?
  3. If Jewish life is something that is important to you or if you keep specific traditions, is it convenient or possible to keep them at the school? For example, do they have kosher food?
  4. In general, do the people look happy?
  5. Is there a lot of school pride? Does the school have a big alumni connection?
  6. Can I picture myself attending this school?