Israel or athletics? The Milken dilemma

Student-athletes who have a commitment to their winter and spring sports teams often find themselves in a pressing dilemma their sophomore years: commit to your team, or embark on an eye-opening experience with fellow classmates in the land of our forefathers, Israel, with the possibility of jeopardizing the possibility of a future leadership position on your team? Based on its increasing numbers, the Tiferet program has slowly but surely sealed its position as a central part of the Milken community.

Tiferet Group
The Tiferet group from last year.

Loyalty is obviously a characteristic of a leader. And although the sports department strongly encourages participation on Tiferet, some student-athletes feel that staying back ensures captainship down the road.

Erica Tobin ’12, girls’ soccer varsity captain, opted to stay back and was able to reap the benefits of showing commitment to her team.

“I do not regret staying back at all,” Tobin said. “I got the chance to continue playing with our high school varsity team, which went on to win the league title in February, something the girls’ soccer team hasn’t done in almost 10 years, which was really exciting. Overall, I’m really happy with my decision to stay back from going on Tiferet, and I think I improved a lot in the few months while Tiferet was away.”

Basketball Team
Milken's basketball team.

Sports are as integral to the Milken community as Tiferet, but this year especially, students are choosing homeland over home-court. Carly Ghodsian ’13 was a freshman when she first made the varsity basketball squad. But, she has decided to put aside one commitment for another.

“I knew that Tiferet was a once in a lifetime experience. I understand that my future leadership possibilities could be in jeopardy on the basketball team, but I could not pass on an opportunity like this. I will definitely get right back to training for basketball as soon as I return from Israel,” Ghodsian said.

Yet, no matter what thoughts run through a student-athlete’s mind, at the end of the day, the sports department is very understanding in regards to the topic.

“The athletic department fully supports the mission of the school and the student athletes who go on Tiferet,” Coach Jason Kelly, sports director for grades K-12, assured.