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October 15, 2009 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-10-15

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freshman year from different perspectives.

youngest of three

oldest of three

by Rachel Gorosh

by Carly Sternberg

nlike most incoming freshman, I did not have
alking into the doors of Bloomfield
footsteps to follow at Andover. I would be es-
Hills Andover High School, I was
tablishing a name and a perception for my fam-
overwhelmed with emotions. High
ily and my younger brothers.
school is a big change for everyone, I thought
At school, I decided to pursue student leadership,
to myself. But I was one of the few kids coming
History Club, French Club, Students Helping Others
from Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills, a
Choose Knowledgably (S.H.O.C.K) and to participate
small Jewish private school, to Andover, a large
in Thoroughly Modern Millie, the school musical. Outside
and diverse public school. But change is good.
of school, I am active in BBYO [B'nai B'rith Youth Or-
I had always known I would end up at Ando-
ganization] and ATID.
ver because my two older sisters, Hilary and Ja-
Being a well-rounded student is essential. Your endeav-
mie, had graduated from Andover. But I could
ors should be stoked by a passion. Following through
not believe it was happening now. On the first
one club is better than doing 10 with occasional at-
day, I felt like I was at home. I had been to An-
tendance. Be committed and you will be respected.
dover numerous times over the years for plays,
I want my family to know Judaism is something that
basketball games, cross-country meets, choir
still plays a monumental part in my life. My friends
concerts and more.
Hillel Day School and my values are never too far
In many of the classrooms, the teachers rec-
I conduct myself like a mensch in the hallways of
ognized my last name because of my older sis- Bloomfield Hills Andover High School freshmen Carly Sternberg
ters. It made me feel more comfortable know- and Rachel Gorosh are making the transition.
The other day I was presenting my culture project in
ing my sisters had paved the path for me. But
World History when I realized subconsciously I was one
having footsteps to follow in isn't always the
all Jews. The way my gentile peers perceived Judaism
easiest thing. Having my sisters come before me also means I have to live
up to their standards, which may not always be easy to do. I hope I will be from my exposition potentially might be the way they understand it forever. It was
at that moment I met the criteria for an ideal Hillel graduate. I had made a differ-
just as successful as they were.
I am glad I got a Jewish education at Hillel, but I'm also happy I get to ence that day by depicting a respectable picture of the Jewish culture in the minds
experience public high school like so many others. Keeping up my Jew- of my inquisitive classmates.
Another aspect of high school is spirit! I have acquired a tremendous amount of
ish values and going to Hebrew school (I attend the Conservative ATID
spirit that has motivated me in my academics and extracurriculars. Surpris-
program), participating in BBYO and attending Tamarack Camps (the last
seven summers) will always be a big part of my life. When my sisters were ingly, people don't taunt me for doing History Club because they know doing what
in high school, keeping their Jewish culture close to them was a top priority, you love and being open about it is the new style.
Rachel is fortunate to have outgoing, wonderful, proficient sisters to look up to.
including travels to Israel on Federation's Teen Mission, and to Poland and
and Jamie have become role models of my own. But I am trying to establish
Israel on the March of the Living. I plan on following in their footsteps that
my own empire where my very own brothers can take the imperial throne once
way, too.

By going to a public school, I am combining my Jewish world and my
secular world, but I know that no matter where I attend high school, I am
and always will be Jewish. I feel very lucky I have two siblings who have
walked this path before me, but now it is my turn.

— Rachel Gorosh, 1.4, is a freshman at Bloomfield Hills Andover High School.

my era has passed.
I want my brothers to one day say, "Hey, she's not all that bad; maybe we
should take some advice from her." For myself, I am beyond ecstatic to begin my
high school journey — no pressure!

— Carly Sternberg, 14, is a freshman at Bloomfield Hills Andover High School.

dvar Torah: creating new connections

by Dan Hacker

his week marks the beginning of a new year
of Torah, as Parashat Bereshit will be read
in synagogues across the world. After a year
of reading about the patriarchs' journeys from Ca-
naan to Egypt to Israel, we finally returned to the
Perhaps the story of creation is more relevant
now than ever, as we as a people are often caught
up in the new age of high-tech gadgetry; perhaps
the story is telling us to return to our roots.
In today's society, it is not hard to find some-
one on Facebook or holding onto their cell phones
for dear life. This way of living is exactly the op-

posite of what we should be doing. Rather than text
messaging our friends until we suffer from carpel
tunnel, we should meet them at the library. Rather
than stalking our friends on social network Web
sites, we should make an effort to spend more time
with them.
After all, God created more than one person for
a reason. We are lacking the intimate aspects of
friendship: talking until midnight, doing homework
together in person and genuine companionship.
These are the true connections that God created
our fellow humans on Earth for.
This week's Torah portion is just a simple re-

minder that we should not take things for granted,
especially human interaction.
So next time you pick up your cell phone to text
message until your hands cramp in protest, consider
calling the person instead. Make plans with friends
that you have not seen in a while. I can guarantee
you that you will be glad that you did.

Dan Hacker, 17, is a senior at the

Frankel Jewish Academy in

West Bloomfield.

teen2teen October 15 • 2009


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