CESJDS Seniors Honored at Dinner of Champions

Written by Laurie Ehrlich on . Posted in Features

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) seniors Alex Arking and Natalie Granader recently ended their high school sports careers at with a bang as recipients of the Hyman M. and Phillip D. Perlo High School Athlete Award. The award honors outstanding 12th grade scholar-athletes who attend school in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. It was presented to them at the Bender JCC’s Dinner of Champions, which supports Camp JCC’s nationally recognized inclusion program for children, teens, and young adults with special needs. Arking was honored for track and field, and Granader for swimming.

Arking, a CESJDS student since first grade, won first place in the triple jump at both the PVAC and Montgomery County Championships and currently holds CESJDS’s record in the event. Arking also broke the previous school record and placed second in the 1600 meter, and placed third in the 3200 meter during the 2017 track season. He earned multiple All-PVAC honors for top finishes in both cross country and track & field, and this fall he helped the cross country team win the PVAC championship for the fourth consecutive year.

In addition to running for CESJDS, Arking also ran the 2017 Miami Half Marathon through Friendship Circle, did an Olympic-length triathlon, and participated in the Maccabi Games. He was flattered to have received the Perlo Award, and said he is looking forward to culminating his academic career at CESJDS and heading to Israel and Eastern Europe on the Irene and Daniel Simpkins Senior Capstone Israel Trip in February.

“I have a few months left to figure out how I’m going to run while doing all of our scheduled activities,” said Arking. He hopes to attend the University of Maryland next fall, where he will join the running or triathlon club.

Granader transferred to CESJDS from another local private school at the beginning of high school. Throughout her three and a half years CESJDS, she said she gained a genuine appreciation for the welcoming and warm community, especially the teachers who have always looked out for her best interests. Granader began swimming when she was 8 years old through All-Star Aquatics and has been swimming with the club ever since. She loves swimming because “it is my time to be alone in the water, focus on the finish line, and get a ton of energy out!” she said.

Granader will head to Tulane University next fall, and is both excited and nervous for the next step in her life. She was so happy to receive the Perlo Award, and was thrilled to be a part of such a special evening that raises money for an incredible cause.

At the Dinner of Champions, CESJDS Alumni Parent Dr. Amy Subar was inducted into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as a triathlete. Her three children attended CESJDS: Zach ‘04, Micah ‘07, and Ayal ‘14.

By Laurie Ehrlich

 Laurie Ehrlich is the communications director at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS).