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Britt Jacobson & Justin Leff
Editors-in-Chief

American Jewish University
Joshua Kleynberg

American University
Brian Pearlman

American University of Paris
Jake Nourafshan

Berklee College of Music
Lewis Stephen Gordon

Boston University
Dariush Aframian
Jordan Ardebilchi
Alexandra Bekhrad
Megan Shoushani

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Samuel Bina

Chapman University
Saba Amid
Justin Binder
Alexandra Freund
Brandon Ptasnik
Alexis Ribakoff
Hailey Rosen

Claremont McKenna College
Eliezer Zucker

Columbia College Chicago
Jacob Gardenhour

Drexel University
Lila Hanish

Duke University
Adam Krekorian

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Izabel Banafsheha

Flagler College
JessieRose Gattegno

George Washington University
Daniel Woznica
Michael Schulman
Liat Schreiber

Indiana University
Cameron Hess

Kivunim Israel Experience
Kayla Cohen (matriculating to University of Berkeley California)
Ari Swerdlow (matriculating to Indiana University)

Loyola Marymount University
Daniel Dorsky
David Sackler
Yaron Yasmeh

Machon Maayan Seminary in Israel
Daniella Haghighi

Nativ College Leadership Program
Arielle Umansky (matriculating to Colorado College)

New York University
Shayna Tova Farahnik
Jeremy Weinstein

Northwestern University
Sawyer Kroll

Princeton University
Ziv Batscha
Noah Daniel

Purdue University
Jeremy Horwich

Rhode Island School of Design
Jonah Cohen

Rochester Institute of Technology
Gavriel Yanai

San Diego State University
Jennifer Clemens
Laurel Raphael
Shiloh Wallack

San Francisco State University
Danielle Orloff
Johnny Stanman

Santa Monica College
Adam Aframian
Kayla Ahdoot
Alexandra Ashoori
Alexander Barlava
Riley Banton
Michael Bolour
Simoneta Benisty
Natallia Chaim
Daniella Cohensedgh
Lior Eghbal
Ethan Eliafan
Sophia Ghadoushi
Joseph Harel
Lauren Hebroni
Niv Henn
Noor Kohanim
Kaylin Malekmehr
Mark Moghaddam
Matthew Nabati
Lauren Pakravan
Daniel Solomon
Brandon Soufer
Kayla Suleminian
Lauren Yashouafar
Kian Zar

Southern Methodist University
Chloe Sabbah

Stony Brook University
Niv Florentin
Tal Florentin

Tufts University
Josh Stone

Tulane University
Eliana Klein

Undecided
Tevel Shoham

Union College
Kyle Goldman

University of Arizona
Sophia Bazyler

University of British Columbia
Shira Wilf

University of California Berkeley
Celene Afari
Samantha Behar
Lauren Cohen
Talia Patt
Gabby Rahimian
Michael Rahimian
Shaked Salem
Elliott Sina
Jonathan Shirian

University of California Santa Barbara
Giselle Etessami

University of California Santa Cruz
Emma Lipovetsky
Joshua Miller

University of Chicago
Maetal Gerson
Ayelet Goldman
Tirtzah Harris

University of Colorado – Boulder
Natalie Ahdoot
Dylan Damavandi

University of Kansas
Evan Satlin

University of California Los Angeles
Isabel Bina
Kayla Danesh
Eli Esagoff
Jack Isen
Sara Rashti
Rachel Sarrafzadeh
Lauren Solouki

University of Miami
Ben Avidor
Ryan Ghodsian
Lauren Mokhtarzadeh
Jake Rosenfeld
Tiana Torkan

University of Michigan
Josh Berenbaum
Lauren Deutsch
Amanda Hartstein
Samson Isaacson
Aaron Lawrence
Justin Leff

University of Oregon
Jordan Brenner
Danielle Lewis
Navid Rodd
Noah Weisel
Abigail Zuckerman

University of Southern California
Alexandra Farahnik
Kobi Hekmat-Niaz
Britt Jacobson
Evital Kohan
Kevin Larian
Gilda Levy
Autria Mashian
Shaun Torkan
Daniela Tour
Ashley Yeshoua
Idan Yohanan

University of Texas – Austin
Kyler Shohed

University of Washington – Seattle
Kayla Sharf

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jordie Anstey
Kaitlin Banafsheha
Hannah Newman

Wesleyan University
Tammy Shina

Where There Be Dragons – China: South of the Clouds
Laureen Akram (matriculating to University of Chicago)

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Sara Stolzenberg-Myers

Staff Writer

On May 17, nearly a third of Milken’s students came together to showcase the creative pieces that have been produced throughout the year. The annual Art Show’s opening night took place on a breezy, sunny evening and was accompanied by Milken’s very own award-winning jazz band. The perfect tone was set for an evening of exploration beyond Milken’s academic atmosphere. While there are many opportunities for friends and family of Milken students to discover the intellectual side of the school, there are only so many occasions in which visitors are able to discover the artistic interests of Milken.

A significant amount of variety was seen at the art show; pieces ranged from decorative hats, to detailed paintings, to mini model houses constructed by the architecture students spread out across the room. In fact, a new dimension of variety was brought to the art show this year. Student creativity was not only expressed through physical objects, but actually extended further into the realm of videography. Found in one of the corners of the gym was a closed off quarter in which movies were on display brought forth from the videography classes. All those involved with the Art Show were proud to be capable of incorporating modern mediums of art into the exhibits.

Teachers, family members, peers, and students sprinkled about the room could be seen with wide grins on their faces as they admired everyone’s work. Not only did the show capture the unity of all the arts coming together to create something spectacular, but it also shined a light on the individuality of each Milken student. When asked what her favorite project of the year was, Juliana Spitz 18’, a member of the intro to photography class, shared her pride in her free project. It was one in which she was able to utilize all the tools she had previously learned in class and create something of her own. Spitz took a unique spin on a black and white portrait, inspired by a unit her class had gone over during the course of the year.

The 2017 Milken Art Show represented both the beauty of individuality and of innovation. Each student was able to contribute to the show by finding a way to express themselves to the maximum in every piece the shared. While the Art Show never fails to disappoint, this year raised the bar. As Mr. Lindsay described it, “the Art Show is a nearly overwhelming display of our students’ awesomeness, and every year I get lost wandering the space in awe. It’s really a beautiful testament to what is possible when talented students work with amazing teachers.”

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Ben Melamed '20 shows off with his fidget spinner

Noah Cohen

Community Editor

Every once in awhile, there is a new viral sensation that captures the world’s attention. The most recent one is not some high-tech, virtual reality system, a time consuming phone application, or a flammable, personal transportation device. The newest gadget is a cheap, plastic toy that has taken over the world with its addicting characteristics– the fidget spinner. The spinner itself is quite simple: it has three “arms” (each around two inches long) that can be flicked and spun around with ease. Many companies have taken advantage of this trendy product with numerous brands selling them. In fact, Milken’s own student store, the Milken Mart, is currently selling the spinners for $8; however, with the prevalence of this craze, they can go for as little as 99 cents online.

A Classic Fidget Spinner

Many of the people who manufacturer fidget spinners claim that they can help kids focus and can even be a stress and anxiety reliever. The actual science behind this has mostly had inconclusive results. In an article from Business Insider, a trained psychologist laughs at the idea that a children’s toy could replace treatment for mental health issues. In contrast, in a CNN article explaining the fidget spinner fad, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, the co-founder of a group that specializes in ADHD support resources for children and parents, claims that stimulative toys are a common and fairly successful treatment in helping people with ADHD. While it does not replace medication and certainly is not a permanent fix, a fidget spinner can, Taylor-Klaus claims, be a temporary and fun treatment option for children. Whether or not a fidget spinner is a medical breakthrough or just another cheap toy is irrelevant to its massive popularity throughout the world.

Here at Milken, fidget spinners have been seen throughout the hallways and in numerous classrooms. Students balance them on their nose, elbow, arm, knee, and basically spin them wherever they can. Some students are even using the 3D printers in the Guerin Family Institute for Advanced Sciences to print their own fidget spinners. A leader of this group of students is Jared Hasen-Klein ‘18, who says, “The classic fidget spinner design was created for 3D printing. The design was actually stolen and then mass produced, and now you can find them anywhere. I figured that if that is the origin of the spinner, I should be able to find other designs online, customize them, and print them for free in the Guerin.” Hasen-Klein and his team regularly have a steady stream of students coming into the Guerin to learn how to make their own fidget spinners. In addition, students are learning how to make their own types of fidget toys that aren’t even available to buy. Perhaps one of their new inventions may be the next big viral sensation.

What do you think about fidget spinners? Do they help you focus or are they just another pointless trend? Let us know in the comments!

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Emily Vanek

Staff Writer

As ninth graders, the advisory curriculum set out to help us achieve success during our first year of high school. Although their intentions were valuable and may have worked for many students, my feelings about it as the year ends are mixed for a variety of reasons.

In advisory this year, we’ve had many speakers give us presentations on study skills and time management. When I first heard about this program, I was pretty open-minded and intrigued to know more about how to be successful in my first year of high school. While I was a solid student who performed well in my classes, I knew that I could definitely improve some of my work habits. As many speakers and mentors came in, I noticed a consistent pattern with the advice that they gave us. There was essentially a formula for success which included tips from how to plan ahead for a test, all the way to a day-by-day study plan.

Although planning ahead to prepare for a test is great, it is often easier said than done. Everyone comes across obstacles in their life that can make it unreachable to follow this formula of studying. Most students at Milken have extracurricular activities that allow them to get their mind off of school for at least a few hours. After those few hours are up, students usually end up cramming all of their work in late at night. This is exactly what I experience after I come back from dance practice late in the afternoon every Monday and Wednesday. I come home famished and exhausted with a huge workload left to finish and the prospect of an impending exam the next day on my mind. Although I usually study more than one day before an exam, it is still hard for me to keep up with the recommended study schedule. Mentors recommend that a student should use all of the free time they have, like lunch time and free periods, to get as much work done as possible, but I feel that this is unrealistic. Everyday in school, students sit in long and rigorous classes, and I believe that it is necessary for everyone to have some down time to rest and socialize.

As cliché as it sounds, I think it is very important to recognize that nobody is perfect. Although a plan for studying is great, it can be extremely difficult to achieve success by following a step-by-step plan. People come across many obstacles in their lives and one method of studying may not always be the right one for another.

After failing to master this formula of studying during my first semester at Milken, I decided to use the study steps from advisory as guidelines to help me organize my time. Everytime I revised the plan to fit my needs, I learned something from the process. This somehow became a self-reflection that improved my ability to set realistic goals and manage my time, which is an important skill in itself that will serve me well throughout my personal and professional life. Even though I personalized the study steps to make them more relevant to my lifestyle, I took away a lot of knowledge and advice from these mentors that has helped me maintain my strong grades throughout the school year. Just because this formula did not exactly fit with my style of learning, does not mean that it is not valid. Everyone has different learning patterns, and that’s ok. Now that I have concluded my ninth grade year, I have learned how to plan ahead and manage my time. I also took away valuable note-taking skills that have helped me in numerous classes throughout the year. While certain standards of studying should definitely be upheld, I love the fact that Milken is an environment that allows students to take control of their own learning, giving them the tools and support they need to be successful in academia, and in life. However,ut I also feel that we should feel empowered to take more control over our study habits and skills.

 

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Credit: Monterey Bay Forum

Mira Berenbaum

Social Media Director

Today I woke up. Today I ate breakfast. Today I chose what to wear. Today I went to school. Today I did homework. Today I am free.

They didn’t know if they were going to wake up the next morning. They didn’t know if they were going to eat breakfast. They didn’t choose what to wear. They didn’t go to school. They did physical work. They were not free.

This is what I learned from talking to Ruth Birndorf: Ruth was in hiding during the Holocaust. Ruth never knew her next move, where she was going, what she was eating, and who she was going to be with. Although Ruth was not in the camps, she was still not free. Ruth now appreciates her freedom each and everyday, and so should we.

This is what I learned from talking to Eva Nathanson: Eva, too, was in hiding, but with Eva it resonated a little bit more. When I asked Eva where she wanted to sit, she told me she had to face the door because she needed to know there was a way to exit the room. Eva is now free, but still struggles to grasp the complexity of her freedom.

We come from a nation that has struggled. The Jewish people have overcome slavery, hate, mass murder– all of which have taken away our freedom as a nation. As Jews, we are obligated to remember this loss of freedom.

But I think it goes further. We remember the loss of freedom, but we never take the time to remind ourselves of our freedom. We all complain when we have three hours of homework. We all complain that we don’t have enough free time. But our education and our time are two of many luxuries that make us free.

We recently celebrated and commemorated the holidays of Pesach, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, all of which are holidays that stress the move from avdut (slavery) to cheirut (freedom). It is especially important now, during this season, to be grateful for our freedom, our ability to wake up, choose what to wear, what to eat, and what to do.

But we shouldn’t just focus on that concept at this time of year. Each and every day we must be grateful for our freedom because there are some people who were never free and still remain prisoners whether physically or mentally.

We say “never again” when we speak about the Holocaust, but there’s still genocide taking place today. As Jews, we have the responsibility to stand up for what we believe in. To help others before we help ourselves. Because we have that ability, the ability to be free. So take a moment today, and every day, to be grateful for the gift of freedom.

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"Nobody Likes Me" is a piece of stencil artwork by anonymous graffiti street artist iHeart, 2014.

Lauren Cohen

Voices Editor

I recently spent a week with a deactivated Facebook account, as well as deleted Snapchat and Instagram pages, in a sort of self administered social experiment. During this week, I learned an incredible amount about the role social media plays in my life and the ways in which it ends up distracting me from myself.

I realized how much I rely on social media to distract and make me feel relevant and connected to my peers during very specific (and characteristically trivial) moments. For example:

  • Walking to Park and Ride
  • Anytime I had to wait for something (standing in line, sitting at a red light, etc.)
  • Grocery shopping, laundry, and other boring chores
  • Sitting on the toilet

Basically, any moment when I was alone in a quiet, relatively bland environment, I would instinctively reach for my phone only to see that there were no friends sending or awaiting photos from me on the other side of my screen. It was in those moments, of sitting on the doctor’s office couch, or sitting alone with a snack at my dinner table, that I realized how deeply ingrained the habit of opening up my Snapchat or Instagram had been. It almost felt like a compulsion.

I suddenly realized the absurdity laden in my once casual habits; nonetheless, relinquishing them proved difficult, if not painful. I was forced to do something society had never taught me how to: be with myself and myself only. I was forced to simply sit or stand or walk alone, in silence, and be comfortable without using Snapchat to update my friends on my location and feelings and life every few seconds.

And once I did these mundane, quiet tasks alone, it became clear to me why I (and so many others) am nearly addicted to social media. I felt alone – eerily alone. I was sad that I couldn’t share a video of myself, for example, making myself a delicious meal while wearing a honey face mask with my friends. Red lights (oops) were no longer opportunities to open up pictures of videos of my friends also doing banal tasks. If I was eating poke alone in my room, but sending a Snapchat of the food and myself eating it to my friends, was I really eating poke alone in my room? The answer is no. And it is in this answer that all of the power of social media lies.

After a few days of discomfort, though, I realized how important it is to be able to truly be with yourself –  and yourself only. Without my social media constantly at my fingertips, I began enjoying my moments alone. I found 10 new music artists, paid close attention to any food I ate, appreciated the views and sounds and smells around me, had the space to reflect on my day, and learned to appreciate the delicate nature of a moment alone without manipulating or “sharing” it to evoke the illusion of connection.

We have been taught to trade in connection to ourselves for a diluted, pseudo-connection to peers facilitated by fabricated images and idealized sound-bytes of people’s lives. It is extremely disappointing that our society neither encourages nor teaches us how to foster a relationship with ourselves, as we are with ourselves for 100% of our lives, and not much is more important than being comfortable with yourself (which includes being alone with yourself, of course).

My week without social media opened up my eyes to how it had prevented me from having a comfortable, strong relationship with myself. I’d highly suggest deleting your Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook apps (not your accounts, don’t worry) from your phone for maybe a few hours or even days to step out of the cultural hypnosis, realize how strongly these applications control your behavior, and learn how to counteract their influence.

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Today, we had an early start. We began our day with breakfast at the famous Café Du Monde. Their beignets were delicious. Next, we toured Tulane University. We briefly talked with the Head of Admissions and went on a tour of the beautiful campus. We then went to a park with a large tree, known as the “tree of life”. There, our whole group (free of phones), sat down in a circle and reflected on our trip and overall experiences. We exchanged bracelets as a reminder of this trip as well. We then left the park and went to eat dinner at a Kosher market and deli. Lastly, we went to the airport and said our last goodbyes to our great Rustic Pathways chaperones. This trip to NOLA was unforgettable and we will all hold these memories with us forever!

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On our fourth day in NOLA, we visited the French Quarter. We spent time walking around the French Market, buying souvenirs, knick knacks, and food. Then we got a special tour around the Quarter from Ashton, a friendly tour guide originally from Alabama. Ashton taught us about the history behind the architecture of the area, like the reason iron was used in designs and the difference between balconies and galleries. He also taught us interesting facts about NOLA culture, like the meanings and difference between Creole and Cajun.

 After lunch in Jackson Square, we headed over to TK’s house for our SBP work. We had a warm up with Tanya, where we introduced ourselves and said a TV show or movie we would like to be a character in. Then it was time for work! Our work was super diligent and detail-oriented. Using flashlights we searched each wall for any holes or lines that needed filling or sanding. This was the final skimming that the walls would go through before priming, so everything had to be as perfect as possible! Thanks to Milken students, work that could have taken over a week only took a couple days. Since this was our last day working at the house, we had a nice conclusion with Tanya and Kristie, where we learned more about SBP and the greatness of the work we did.

For dinner, we went to Parkway Bakery, a local restaurant with a lot of history and connection to the town, for Po Boys. The restaurant owner even came over to our tables to tell us her story through Katrina until today. Things got emotional as she shared the devastation Katrina had on her life, but she preached to us that no matter what, we have to be thankful for what we have and know that tough times will pass.

After dinner, we got a super special opportunity to get an airboat tour through Louisiana swamps. We prepared with bug spray and life jackets, and then we were off! The views were incredible as we watched the sun set over the swampy water. We got to watch our tour guides feed some large alligators and even got to hold a baby alligator ourselves! Overall, this was a very special part of the trip for everyone because we got to truly experience an entirely new way of life. The tour was peaceful, eye-opening, and very fun.

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Today we started off our day by going to the WWII Museum. When we were there we watched Beyond all Boundaries- The Tom Hanks 4D Experience. The movie made use of WWII replicas and a lot of special effects. After, we toured the museum and observed the exhibits of different battles that featured, weapons, full-scale tanks, and planes. 

Then, we continued to work on the house. We worked on the finishing touches on the dry walls, and we hope to start priming for the paint tomorrow. 

Next, we ate Kosher Chinese food at Casablanca and then went bowling at Rock N Bowl. Overall, it was a very great day!

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Today was our first full day in New Orleans, and it was a jam packed. It began with an orientation session at SBP (Saint Bernard Project), the company we would be building houses with. We learned about how they have helped rebuild New Orleans, and how they are one of the last organizations still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina. We then split into two groups to go to various activities. One group began with construction at the house we would be working on, mudding and sanding the walls. The labor, especially in the heat and humidity of New Orleans, made us truly appreciate how much time and effort went into building homes, and realize how hard the rebuilding process from the category 5 hurricane actually would be. After work, we headed over to the famous Armstrong Park for a picnic lunch. After lunch, we headed over to the lower 9th ward, the area most heavily affected by the storm. I must not have truly taken in New Orleans the night before, but while driving to the 9th ward and around it, I really recognized how much the area was hurt. Even 12 years after the storm, dilapidated buildings were everywhere, many lots were empty from houses just floating away, and more. We got to see a few of the different kinds of levees that are supposed to control water flow in New Orleans. We also saw the wetlands right outside the ninth ward, a man-made swamp that is attributed for much of the damage and flooding that occurred in the 9th ward. After heading home to shower, we went over to the Casablanca restaurant for a delicious kosher Mediterranean meal. We then headed over to the French Quarter to wait in line at Preservation Hall for a jazz performance, which was beyond incredible. We then ran in the rain to our separate vehicles and headed home.