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The 12 Tribes of Emery


The 2023-2024 school year marked the Emery/Weiner School’s newest addition to their unique student life brand as they introduced a 12-tribe system that connects grade levels like never seen before here on campus.

The idea of a tribe system at Emery first began many years ago in the mind of the Head of School, Stuart Dow, who felt inspired to create a connective bond between the school’s youngest and oldest students. But only since last year has his vision truly become a tangible reality as he and administrators concocted the blueprint for what is now the 12 Tribes of Emery. The tribes are as follows: Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Gad, Issachar, Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulon. 

Evidently, they are modeled after the Torah’s 12 Tribes of Israel, sharing multiple names and symbols that portray the tribe’s characteristics. Additionally, the tribes each have their own unique color scheme, song, and chant to go along with its symbol. Arguably, the most important aspect, though, is the cross-grade connection made by the range of 6th-12th graders in each tribe, as they each have eight students representing their grade. Additionally, students are placed in the same tribe as any sibling they have on campus, allowing for the familial ritual aspect and for their future kids to end up in the same tribe, linking the ritual across generations. These aspects allow for new and one-of-a-kind experiences that were impossible to do beforehand, such as tribal activities, inter and cross-grade bonding, and cemented Maccabia teams that are more meaningful to the students.

Senior Brandon Wolf resonated with bonding across grade levels and thinks “It’s an awesome way for students, who otherwise would not know each other, to connect, especially across grades since we never really do activities together outside of our own grade. Plus, it is an amazing opportunity for seniors like us to act as role models for the younger students and create a beneficial culture that will last beyond our time in the tribes.”

As Wolf mentioned, the tribal system will begin an era of unique interconnectedness across all grades and, by doing so, further cultivate the “Emery Difference” that makes our school so extraordinary. 

By introducing the new tribe system, Emery bolsters the togetherness of its community, inviting a deeper impact for its students since they will identify as more than just alumni of Emery but also their tribe. 

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About the Contributor
Asher Deutsch
Asher Deutsch, Reporter
Asher Deutsch is a senior at the Emery/Weiner School and this is his second year writing for The 9825 and his second year as a reporter. Asher is actively involved in the Emery/Weiner sports program, playing for the lacrosse team for the past three years, and is a member of Emery’s MUN (Model United Nations) club. In addition, Asher enjoys playing basketball outside of Emery and spending time with his four dogs.

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