December 27, 2016

Be All that You Can Be – And Maybe a Little Bit More!

Dr. Lynne B. Harrison

As I write this, just yesterday I watched a video that went viral.
A high school girl was lined up with her soccer team, ready to sing the Star Spangled Banner and begin the game. Something went wrong with the recording of the national anthem. From the stands, the girl’s mom called to her to lead the singing – HaShem blessed her with a beautiful voice. Sometimes mother does know best!
The girl held back, but her teammates joined in urging her and she sang. It was a memorable moment. In an interview, she said that she is shy and that she had come there to play soccer, but gave in to the encouragement. Her beautiful voice helped provide an awesome start to the game.
You each have an attribute. I know that all of you work hard to do the work that GOA gives you: your secular studies, your Jewish studies and perhaps your club work, too. I encourage you, though, to think about adding another dimension to your life and to who you are.
As an example, imagine you see a traffic accident. For sure, calling 9-1-1 and getting the first responders there is urgent. What’s traffic like? How soon will the EMT squad get there? No one would ever fault you if you stood by passively, but you could have equipped yourself to help save a life. Maybe take the time from texting and instead learn how to do CPR and how to apply pressure points or a makeshift tourniquet to stop bleeding.
Do you love the water and watersports? Have you taught yourself how to tie all the knots used in ships? Who knows when a “sheepshank” knot might make a huge difference? Right now, as you are reading this, take a moment and stare off into space. What could you learn, in the next month, that would perhaps someday make an important difference?
What far-out interests do you have? With what can you equip yourself to do your part in “saving the world?” Some day, in some way, you may have the privilege of being heroic.

Be all that you can be – and maybe a little bit more!


Small Act, Big Impact

Ms. Jacobs

There are many advantages of attending a school in a diverse and busy city, including the ability to observe microcosms of human interaction. While attending Baruch College, I would frequently spend my breaks between classes walking through Madison Square Park and people-watching.
More often than not, individuals would drift through the park wrapped up in whatever was coursing through their minds, out of touch with their surroundings, focused on getting to wherever they need to be. However, every so often, I would witness a brief interaction of pure humanity.
One spring day, after a psychology class, I found myself sitting in the Park. While I enjoyed the beautiful day, a mother and her young son sat next to me.
The young boy, who appeared to be about four years old, had a balloon in one hand and ice cream in the other. He sat there happily licking away, trying to stop the drips of the melting treat from reaching his hand. All the while, his mother enjoyed her David Sedaris novel.
A short while later, an older man with coiffed gray hair sat down on the bench next to the young boy. The boy looked up at him and stuck out his tongue, which still had remnants of his melted ice cream on it.
The old man returned his gaze and promptly retaliated with his own tongue. The boy found great joy in this and followed up with crossing his eyes as best he could. The old man chuckled and an exchange of goofy faces between the two proceeded.
After a couple minutes of this, the boy handed his balloon to the old man. The old man took it and as he gazed into the boy’s eyes, he started to cry.
The young mother, having looked up from her book to see this old man crying with her son’s balloon in his hand, immediately assumed that her son had upset him. She began to reprimand him before the old man quickly stopped her.
He expressed that he had a son who looked very much like her own and that he was a loving boy with a wonderful sense of humor.
The conversation soon took on a more somber tone as the old man explained that his son had passed a year prior and that his interaction with her son had brought up fond memories. Memories of a time when he had taken his own son to the park every Sunday and bought him ice cream. The mother’s eye began to well up with tears.
The old man stood up, shook the little boy’s hand, thanked him for the balloon and thanked his mother for having such a beautiful and loving son. He then walked off with the balloon in hand and the cool breeze in his hair.
The mother looked down at her son, put her book back in her bag and picked him up into her arms. She embraced him so tightly that he dropped his ice cream. He looked down at it and they both began to laugh.

Rebecca Jacobs is the Coordinator of Experiential Education here at Golda Och Academy. Mrs. Jacobs is passionate about working with youth and their families and coordinating educational and volunteer programming.


Under (Prom) Pressure

Shifra Zuckerman ‘18

Prom is often the most festive and crucial night in a high school student’s life. Such an exhilarating night comes with many stresses for both parts of the date. The dress, the tuxedo, the corsage, nevermind the promposals – oh, the promposals! – all seem to direct every teenager into panic mode.
“Prom is such a big deal because it’s a milestone that we’ve heard about and have looked forward to ever since we were little,” junior Rachel Bonder said. “You take cool pictures, get all dressed up and have fun with friends. It sounds like a great night.”
Although prom is in February, all of the girls’ chaos begins much earlier than expected.
“I’ve been thinking about my prom dress for as long as I can remember,” junior Sammi Glennon said. “However, I started really looking for it in September this year.”
A girl’s preparation for prom is evidently more time consuming in comparison to boys, especially while trying to find the perfect dress. However, boys do have some thinking to do in order to impress their date.
“I will start thinking about my promposal around February 13th,” junior Elijah Taitel said. “Just kidding. I will start thinking about it around the beginning of December.”
One of the best parts of getting in prom mode is watching a promposal happen. There are many paths the proposal can go. It could be sentimental, Instagram worthy, or even cute and simple.
In past years at GOA, the bar has definitely been set high; although, not many are feeling the heat of the competition this year.
“I think there is a little bit of promposal competition, but it’s healthy competition,” junior Andy Antiles said. “It’s like capitalism: it makes everyone’s even better.”
Through the variety of stresses, the most common stress shared between both sides is obtaining a date.
“It is completely stressful not knowing who is going to ask you,” junior Rebecca Landau said. “I think almost everyone is anxious about that.”  
If you’re feeling the prom-fever, don’t worry too much. Once everyone finds their date, the perfect promposal and the outfit, the prom stresses will all be over.

Enjoy your special night this year juniors and seniors!


A Community Affair

Nina Robins ‘19

Several students at Golda Och Academy struggle to find excitement in its niche, normative Judaic studies curriculum. Hebrew appeals to some in a linguistic sense, but even in Judaic studies electives that are catered toward student interests, some fail to understand the relevance of seemingly distant biblical and rabbinic messages to their modern lives. However, sophomore Sophie Goldman is among Judaic studies’ unsung heroes.
“With Jewish studies, there's always something more to learn,” she said. “I think that's one of the things I really like about it.”
Goldman’s classmates have noticed her rare enthusiasm. In this year’s exclusive Honors Talmud class, she excels at using her perspicaciousness to analyze difficult rabbinical texts.
“Sophie is always interested in the smaller details, like the grammar of the text, or other things that many people overlook,” sophomore Theo Deitz-Green said. “She is always the first person I go to when I am having trouble translating a text.”
Although Goldman is skilled individually, she thrives especially in group settings: something Jewish culture provides through chevruta - a hyper-evolved group work phenomenon. Sophomore David Wingens noted that Goldman enjoys using her critical thinking skills to find answers with a group, or hevruta, around her.
Rabbi Waldman, Goldman’s teacher for a third year and one of her role models, is a vocal advocate for chevruta as she encourages enthusiasm, responsiveness and associations in her classroom. She believes that chevruta allows for more in-depth analyses and growth than lectures.
“Frontal teaching sucks,” she said.
This past summer, Goldman attended an all-girls Judaic studies program called Drisha, which emphasized chevruta - perpetrating Rabbi Waldman’s mantra. Drisha preferred an enthusiastic discourse to an accurate one.
“One time, we thought the text was saying one thing and it made no sense, but the fact that we were translating incorrectly was funny,” Goldman said. “We were making mistakes, just trying to figure out what it was saying on our own.
“That made me remember it a lot more. It was more engaging.”
Although Goldman said she enjoyed chevruta, she did not find text study itself or the exchange of ideas to be wholly transformative. Rather, she found the most meaning in the community that chevruta and Drisha itself provided.
Goldman said she loved the learning-enhanced community that allowed her to discuss her own ideas without social repercussion. She discovered further appreciation for her Drisha community upon realizing her pride for Judaism.
Surrounded by girls from diverse Jewish backgrounds and experiences, Goldman and her peers developed a unique bond over their love of Judaism and Jewish text study that none of them had experienced anywhere else before.
Goldman recalled the third evening of the program, when her group was walking across midtown Manhattan. Suddenly, the girls bursted, unabashed and wholeheartedly, into raucous traditional Hebrew song.

“In that moment, my connection to Judaism was so surreal,” she said. “I felt in touch with my community, my religion and myself.”


Alarms Blare and Firefighters Scramble As Israel Burns

Aryeh Lande ‘18

Between November 20 and November 27, Israeli Authorities have been struggling to contain over 1,500 fires spreading across the country.
According to the Department of Fire and Rescue Services, 250 of these blazes have been considered major fires. While wildfires are to be expected in an arid climate such as Israel’s, the number of instances during this time span is twice the number recorded last year.
Authorities blamed the staggering statistics on simple cases of negligence along with deliberate cases of arson. Israel is undergoing a dry spell at the moment and scorching conditions along with strong winds have propelled the fires across the country. The fires began just outside of Jerusalem, supported by strong winds and then spread into the north. Additionally, Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, had multiple cases of uncontrollable fires in residential areas.
The inferno forced tens of thousands of residents to flee and left a wake of hundreds of scorched homes. Thanks to vigilant efforts by authorities, however, there were no deaths and only a small number of smoke-inhalation related injuries.
The fires also had devastating effects on infrastructure. In Haifa, especially, large housing developments have been diminished to rubble causing millions of dollars in damages.
What made these fires most frightening was the lack of water Israel had at its disposal to combat the blazes. Luckily, the Israeli firefighters were helped by some unlikely allies.
Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Russia all sent help in some form, recognizing the humanitarian crisis at hand if they did not act. Additionally, the Palestinian Authority, in a rare effort to help Israel, sent firefighters to help combat the blaze. Images have circulated around social media showing Palestinian and Israeli firefighters battling the fires together.
In response to the outbreak, the government has found concrete evidence that 17 fires were deliberate acts of arson. In connection with the fires, 35 Palestinian terrorists have been arrested and more investigations are to follow. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that he is going to fast track the rebuilding process for those affected and give reparations to the victims. He also called President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to thank him for the aid in a tender moment of coexistence.
With most of the fires under control, the nation is shifting from a frenzied panic to a mentality of rebuilding and restoration. Over 32,000 acres were destroyed and the government has pledged to do whatever it takes to restore the areas hardest hit as soon as possible. Unfortunately, these fires have highlighted just how vulnerable Israel is to environmental terrorism. The incidents have instilled fear into the general public.
As Oshrat Morag, a rabbi and Haifa resident said, “It is shocking to see my city burning. Buildings in flames, the Carmel Mountain blackened and the sky grey from smoke.”
We pray all those affected will achieve a speedy recovery.

Outrageous Celebrity Baby Names

Maddie Herman ‘19

The names of the children of celebrities have become increasingly strange and it makes one wonder: what’s the point?
In an age of increased scrutiny of celebrities and their families, where every single move they make is documented for the world to see, one would expect that celebrities would at least give their children normal names to try to give them some semblance of an ordinary life. Yet, increasingly, celebrities have been giving their children outrageous and absurd names.
One very popular example of this is Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's daughter, North West. Although initially dismissed as as a joke, the couple actually named their child after a direction.
Another unique celebrity baby name is Blue Ivy, daughter of Beyonce and Jay Z. While this name may not be humorous, it is definitely out of the ordinary.  
However, Blue Ivy’s name has a deeper meaning. The couple revealed that “Blue” represents their fondness of the color blue and is in honor of the release of three “Blueprint” albums. Additionally, “Ivy” stands for the Roman numeral IV, which represents both celebrities’ birthdays and their anniversary.
Although, not as popular as the aforementioned names, Blac Chyna and Tyga's choice of naming their son King Cairo was a bold one. Due to the strange names of both parents, it is no surprise that they would name their child something so original.
While these names may bring attention to the celebrities, it is questionable how they will impact the futures of the children who have them.
A person’s name is an important part of their identity. It helps to identify who they are and distinguish them from the rest of the world. Depriving someone of an ordinary name could be subjecting them to a life of jokes and taunting.
Typically, a person’s name connects them to their religion, an ancestor or a family member. While people generally follow these guidelines in giving their children conventional names, these celebrities are people who do not find importance in a spiritual or familial connection with the name.

Today’s celebrities have taken it upon themselves to up the naming game in order to differentiate their children from the ordinary child. Perhaps these obscure and unique names simply allow their children to be recognized in the chaotic the world of fame.  


Entertainment's Reaction to Trump

Sam Lurie ‘19

The gruelling race for the presidency has finally come to a close, but with a surprise victory by Donald Trump. Many staples of the entertainment industry such as “Hamilton,” “Star Wars,” and “Saturday Night Live” are taking sides and GOA students are wondering if those in Hollywood or on Broadway should be sharing their political opinions.
Throughout the election, many popular fixtures in the entertainment industry have clearly backed one candidate or the other. However, these have mostly been television shows, such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” or “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” that engage in political humor clearly geared towards liberals, or shows directly related to a candidate, such as the cast of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
However, now that many Americans are undeniably in shock about the election results, three very popular groups from today’s entertainment industry have taken strong stands.  
“Saturday Night Live” is known for its political humor and it has generally been balanced this election cycle, joking about Trump’s comments on Mexicans and relationships with women, while also poking fun at Clinton’s emails and untrustworthiness.
In the show right before the election, Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, the comedians who portray Clinton and Trump, respectively, broke character and told America, “None of this will have mattered if you don’t vote. And we can’t tell you who to vote for, but on Tuesday, we all get a chance to choose what kind of country we want to live in.”
However, the show after the election featured a somber cold open with McKinnon, as Clinton, playing “Hallelujah” on the piano, partially in memory of the recently deceased Leonard Cohen, but also clearly in light of the election. She finished the song by announcing, “I’m not giving up and neither should you.”
In the post-election, Chris Weitz, a writer of the upcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” tweeted, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization” and his fellow writer, Gary Whitta, tweeted, “Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women.”
These tweets have since been deleted, but Weitz kept another tweet of his featuring the logo for the Rebel Alliance with a safety pin, a symbol of safe spaces and opposition to Trump’s election. This included the caption, “Star Wars against hate. Spread it.”
The other major property in the entertainment industry to speak out was the wildly popular Broadway musical, “Hamilton.” Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance on November 18 and afterward, the cast stood on stage and addressed him saying, “Vice President Elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at “Hamilton: An American Musical.” … [We] are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights…”
In response to these incidents, sophomore Eitan Szteinbaum said that it is unfair for them to make these comments.
“This didn’t happen when Obama became president,” he said. “Unless they can tell the future, they can’t know if Trump’s administration symbolizes hatred and bigotry.”
Junior Moshe Karlin disagreed.
“[The entertainment industry’s reaction] was showing [Trump] what he was acting like,” Karlin said, referring to Trump’s rhetoric and mudslinging during the campaign. “Obama was elected fairly with an honest campaign. Trump bullied himself into the office.”
Junior Dina Doctoroff said she believed this is all being blown out of proportion.
“[The cast of Hamilton] didn’t attack Mike Pence, they were trying to say something in a respectful and calm way,” she added.

Whatever the answer to this moral question, there can be no denying that this election and its aftermath have been extremely hurtful and divisive. Let’s hope that in the next election, the president can be elected in a peaceful and respectful manner.


Chinese Influence in Hollywood

David Wingens ‘19

China’s role in the American film industry has been slowly growing to a point where it is now impossible to make a blockbuster without taking it into consideration. This has led many movies to pander to the Chinese government and people.
China’s box office is huge and is growing rapidly. In fact, it is projected to soon overtake the American box office and become the world’s largest film market.
One indicator of China’s love of movies is its 29,000 movie theaters, a number expected to grow to 50,000 in a matter of years. America, by comparison, only has 40,000 theaters and is certainly robust, but is not growing at a rate anywhere close to that of China.
All of this means that if a movie is capable of reaching Chinese theaters, it is likely to make considerably more money for the production company. That said, the amount of movies the Chinese government allows into their country is limited, as their government is extremely controlling.
China is known for censoring the internet and blocking any media that they do not agree with. For that reason, along with disdain for western culture, they do not allow many American movies into their country. Recently, however, some movies that have made it through have become huge hits such as “Furious 7,” which made nearly two and a half billion dollars in China, or “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which made a similarly large haul in Chinese box offices.
The Chinese film industry only allows a quota of Hollywood films in the Chinese market, making it hyper-competitive for American companies wishing to get their film into China.
One way around this is taking the approach that Marvel took with “Iron Man 3.” They added an additional scene just for Chinese viewers that featured a Chinese actor and was shot in China. They could then say that the film was partly produced in China with a Chinese company. Therefore, “Iron Man 3” was not included in the quota.
The other issue here is that blockbuster films need to be screened by the Chinese government before they are allowed to be one of the accepted foreign films. This means that today’s movies are far less likely to have a Chinese villain or insult the Chinese government and far more likely to subtly complement the Chinese or make quick note about how something Chinese is remarkable.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” had the most obvious attempts at targeting Chinese audiences. At several points in the film, there was product placement for Chinese companies and advertisements.
This also came to prominence this November with the release of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”  The movie is based on a comic book character of the same name, which prominently features a Tibetan man called The Ancient One who is Doctor Strange’s mentor and teacher.
There is currently great tension between China and Tibet, as Tibet wishes to become a free nation, but China will not recognize it. During production of “Doctor Strange,” it was decided that it was not possible to include a Tibetan as one of the film’s heroes without offending the Chinese and jeopardizing the film’s box office success. As a result, Tilda Swinton, a white English woman, was cast in the role, albeit with some controversy, but the film’s success was preserved.

The Chinese film industry shows no sign of slowing, so whether anyone likes it or not, Chinese influence on American movies is here to stay.


Inside GOA Fantasy Football

Jordan Mayor ‘18
Over the years, watching football has transformed itself from a mild pastime to an almost cult-like obsession. The National Football League has gained a tremendous amount of popularity, but this may not be totally due to the sport itself.
Many sports often have outside components to make them more interesting to watch. For example, many baseball aficionados fill out the box score and betting on horse races has brought attention to the equestrian sport. For football, fantasy football seems to be the counterpart.
For those unfamiliar with it, fantasy football is a game in which participants select real football players for their imaginary teams. Their teams then receive points based on how their selected players perform in real games.
Although it might seem silly to some, there are numerous reasons why millions of people engage in the side-game.
“[It] helps me become more invested in the [football] games,” junior Rebecca Landau said. “Even if it is not the team I like I still have somebody to root for.”
This point was echoed by sophomore David Wingens.
“It gives each game personal significance,” Wingens said.
While junior Aryeh Lande shared Wingen’s and Landau’s sentiment, he noted the added advantage of connectivity.
“[Fantasy football] creates a social bridge between sports and friends,” he said. Lande felt this was the aspect that most allowed for the fantasy sport to improve the enjoyment of the real sport.
Outside of contributing to one’s enjoyment of watching the sport, many Golda Och Academy students felt fantasy football still offered plenty of benefits to its participants.
Junior Aaron Pearlstein, his league’s reigning champion, felt that it teaches its participants how to manage something and that it gives people a responsibility.
Yonatan Arieh, also a junior, shared in Pearlstein’s point of view, but felt the game specifically taught risk management skills.
For Lande, the main benefit was stress relief. Pearlstein strongly disagreed though and responded, “Are you kidding? It adds to stress.”
The final major component of the game students talked about was money. A monetary element is not mandatory for the game to be played, but is often an added source of motivation.
Junior Matthew Friedman explained many of the reasons he enjoys fantasy football, but was sure to end with, “Plus there is money involved which create an extra drive.”
Arieh mirrored this thinking and when doing so jokingly said, “[Assuming I lose,] my strategy is to make my money back in pizza and soda given out on draft day.”
Even though he reflected much of what was already shared, sophomore Aaron Lavitsky noted yet another draw of fantasy sports.
“It allows me to show off my knowledge of football,” he said.
Despite the many different reasons for enjoying the game, one thing is clear: fantasy football is a positive experience that almost everyone involved enjoys.

Shooting For Success: GOA Boys Varsity Basketball Is Ready For a New Season

Aaron Lavitsky ‘19

On any given day of the year, the Sandy Pyonin court would be empty during the first half of the lunch period, waiting for the second half when the balls come out and the sneakers hit the court.
However, these days the courts are already flooded with players at the start of the period. A different kind of drive is in the minds of the players on the court during this time of year – the drive to impress their coach.
As the winter approaches, so does the basketball season. Golda Och Academy’s basketball is always highly anticipated and this year is no different.
With a large group of experienced juniors and sophomores, along with the veteran presence of senior Ari Esrig, this season has the potential to be a special season for the Road Runners.
Coming off a year where the majority of the roster consisted of seniors, the team has come back with a strong core group of prospects eager to fill the shoes left behind.
The 2016-17 boys varsity basketball team is built on skilled guard play. The junior guards lead the squad with Elijah Taitel, Alex Moskowitz, Aaron Pearlstein and Yonatan Arieh all bringing solid play and leadership to the team.
Complementing this strong group of guards is a consistent assortment of forwards. Junior Matt Friedman along with sophomores Jamie Gutterman and Aaron Lavitsky provide this reliable play at the forward position and add solid defense as reserves.
Additionally, some promising players have joined the ranks from the freshman class, looking to bolster an already developing young team.
This group of great players is looking to build off last year’s average team, which finished with a record of 9-10.
Because last year’s team was led by senior play, the current junior class did not get much of a chance to make an impact. Now, with only one senior on the team, the juniors are looking to take over and make a statement.
Dominated by contributions from the guard positions, the juniors thrive on speed and playmaking, while also being able to stretch the floor and play from the perimeter.
“The basketball team this year is very different from last years,” Taitel said. “Last year we played with our size, but this year we have to play to our speed and quickness.”
Building off Taitel’s point, Coach Sandy Pyonin said, “this year will be exciting because we have a great group of young, fast guys who love to compete.”
To add to existing pressure, the team has moved up a division and faces a plethora of new opponents. This means the team will have to fight extra hard not only to win games, but to earn respect as well. Pyonin, along with others on the team, is excited for this change.
“With the new season comes new opportunities,” he said. “Having moved up a division, the competition is going to be much tougher and more exciting.”
There will be plenty of other changes for the team as well, such as new uniforms that the players will be able to show off at the Whiteout Game which will be played against Kushner Academy on December 17. The Road Runners will also be participating in the Tri-Schecter Tournament this year in Westchester, New York.  
These new and exciting developments should make this year a great one for Road Runner basketball.

GOAls and more GOAls for GOA’s Girls

Aryeh Lande ‘18

The fate of the Golda Och Academy girl’s varsity soccer team’s season hung in the balance.
Senior and co-captain Adi Brickman stepped up to deliver the free kick. With 15 minutes left in the first half, the score read 3-1. GOA was losing to Montclair Kimberly Academy in what had the potential to be their final game of the season. Junior Maya Robbins had just scored a goal five minutes earlier and a chance like this could swing the momentum in GOA’s favor going into the second half.
The fans around the stadium fidgeted nervously as the referee moved the wall back 10 yards knowing the importance of the play. Brickman surveyed the goal, strode up and coolly placed the ball just out of the reach of the keeper – 3-2.
Sensing the buzz of the fans, the players fought on, pressuring the opposition into making careless mistakes. GOA’s momentum abruptly ended, however, as the referee made a controversial hand ball decision in the box on the last play of the first half. MKA was given a penalty kick and the chance to cushion their lead, which they took without hesitation. At halftime the score was 4-2.
With only one substitute and no momentum, the Road Runners fell 8-2, knocking them out of the tournament and effectively ending their season. Despite their early exit from the NJSIAA Prep B Tournament, their season was a success. With a 12-4 record, the team finished second in the SEC-Colonial division.
Plagued by injuries, the team overcame exhaustion and slim odds with the help of several key players such as senior captains Brickman, Emily Blum and Emily Binstein. The trio set the pace during the games, making a difference at both ends of the field.
Brickman led the team in goals and assists with 22 and 15 respectively. She only failed to score in one game all season. The 22 goals and 15 assists brought her to 75 of them combined in her high school career.
Meanwhile, Blum played impressively at sweeper, taking control of the back and helping develop the younger defenders. She and her defense played a vital role in GOA’s 11 shutouts.
Positioned in front of Blum at stopper, Binstein contributed defensively as well as offensively with four goals and three assists. She is known for her hard style of play. According to injured goalkeeper, junior Abby Faynshteyn, she “destroyed everyone who got in her way,” branding GOA soccer with physical yet effective play.
Though these three will graduate this year, GOA girl’s soccer looks bright.
Freshman Ally Landau contributed 17 goals and 14 assists in just her first season with the team. If that play continues, she may be on pace to break records later in her career.
Additionally, there is incredible depth at the goalkeeper position with three juniors, Rebecca Landau, Anna Shpilsky and Faynshteyn, capable of playing goalie along with other positions. The trio combined for 117 saves of which Landau had 105.
This versatility is what made this year such a success.
When asked about the team’s performance, Athletic Director Mrs. Janet Herman beamed.
“This season has been very exciting,” she said. “The girls have done well against formidable opponents and it has been amazing to watch. It is one of the best seasons of my tenure and it was Coach [Robert] Cohen’s best season.”
Certainly, Mr. Cohen has played a major role in the success of the team, bringing a winning mentality to a battered squad. It has been a collective effort from start to finish.

Hopefully, the success will continue into next season as well.


Boys Legs Matter

Matan Kogen ‘18

With winter quickly approaching, the last thing most people are thinking about is whether they may wear shorts to school. This holds true for most people, but not for GOA’s boys.
For years, the GOA boys have been working to earn permission to wear shorts to school, arguing that girls are allowed to wear skirts, which are often shorter than shorts.
The response to this has long been that all people are allowed to wear shorts; not just girls, but boys, not wanting to sacrifice any of their manhood, have refrained from doing so.
Until now.
Enter: #BoysLegsMatter Day, a peaceful protest in which numerous GOA boys wear skirts, in the hopes that other students will take note and will join the lobby to have the dress-code changed.
“#BoysLegsMatter was to show that if girls can wear skirts that are down to their knees, then guys should be able to wear shorts of similar fanciness that are also down to their knees,” protest organizer and junior Etai Barash said.
Unfortunately, the first #BoysLegsMatter Day, held on October 28, was not advertised well.
Senior Dan Cohen, who didn’t participate and only learned the reason for the protest days later, explained, “if you guys are going to protest something, make sure people actually know what you’re protesting.”
Nevertheless, the protest did have an impact on the student body.
“I think it’s made a lot more people aware of how hypocritical the rules are,” protest participant and junior Alex Beigelman said,
“I’m not sure if we’ll see an immediate change in the rule, but I think it’s spread some awareness as to how these rules really are not effective,” he added.
Junior Sam Russo, a participant, echoed Beigelman’s thoughts and noticed an odd circumstance.
“I think something particularly interesting was that… I wore shorts under my skirt, and my shorts, which I’m not allowed to wear, were significantly longer than my skirt, which I am allowed to wear,” he said.
By wearing shorts, Russo technically broke the dress-code. That being said, a skirt was worn over them. This means that any GOA student who wants to wear shorts to school may do so, provided the shorts are covered by a skirt.
Senior Mattan Poller, who came from SSDS Bergen, a school that allows shorts during the fall and spring, has been a proud proponent of shorts.
“I’ve been an advocate for wearing shorts at GOA since my freshman year,” he said. “I think that this movement is a great thing to do to protest against the ban on shorts.”
With regard to the protest’s effectiveness, Poller added, “I think that in the long run it could work, but for now we’ll just have to get as many people involved as possible.”
Junior Avital Kessler-Godin agreed with Poller’s mentality.
“You’ve gotta start somewhere with everything, because if you say ‘it’ll never happen,’ then nothing will happen,” she said. “If everyone supports the boys, eventually we can make a change.”
Kessler-Godin’s attitude is exactly what the boys hoped to inspire through their protest - not a feeling of entertainment, but a sense of pride and hopefulness.
Regardless, the student’s must advertise the protest more prominently in the future if they are to get anything accomplished.
Mr. Herskowitz said that he had no knowledge that the skirts were worn in protest of anything before having been interviewed. Even if the protest is aimed towards gathering the support of students, the administration must know about it for it to be as effective as possible.

But one thing’s for sure: there will be more skirts.


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