Founder, Booster, Figurehead
The founder of the PBI, Blank did not start playing high school football until his late 30s, when he became a high school teacher and competed against his students. Although the cruel hands of time have relegated him to pace the sidelines and flirt with JDS mothers, Blank will be remembered as a player who was good enough not to be picked last. The true example of a team player, Blank was always willing to play offensive line or serve as permanent sub, and had a knack for being involved in many of the most bizarre plays in PBI history. Blank grew up in West Orange, NJ, where amongst locals he is best remembered for making the invite list to the bar-mitzvah of Ian Ziering, best remembered for playing Steve Sanders on the mega hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. After graduating from West Orange High School in 1979, where he was voted most likely to become a Judaic Studies teacher, Blank landed a gig at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, where for the last twenty years he has taught Rabbinics. Recently several former students described him on ratemyteacher.com as “hilarius and you ace the class if your funny,” and “great guy – he moves out of the way when you wanna make a right turn if you honk.” Besides teaching, Paul is an avid outdoorsman, having hiked the entire 184 miles of the C&O Canal Towpath, climbed Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked in Nepal to the base camp of Mount Everest, and walked the Marine Corps Marathon six times. In his spare time, Paul enjoys performing and is a so-so piano player and singer, having once appeared on VH1’s performers unplugged to poor reviews.
Corey’s involvement with the PBI dates back to when Paul wanted an “intern” (read: personal servant) who would follow him around, laugh at his jokes, and be the subject of blame from old board members for forgetting to straighten goal posts or bring the bleachers closer to the field. Corey stepped onto the football field in 2013 as a newly minted Columbia (/JTS) man. That day was one for the books as Henry “speedster” Baron got a total of three yards (what a champ) and Robbie “Shore” won some sort of award for running the same route every play. At that moment, Corey knew they had to be on the future Board of Directors. Then came 2014, where Corey actually did something on the defensive line and won the “Hogs” award (I think this is some sort of Redskins reference). There he watched “Bryan” Shorr blow some critical calls as he was watching the Macy’s Day Parade on the sideline and knew that he had another member for the Board. 2015 and 2016 blew by and Corey started realizing he was winning too many awards as a D-lineman and O-lineman not to help the PBI in some way. After finding his fourth and final board member Jeremy Schooler in 2017 (look, I owed Aaron something for dealing with my constant kvetching over the years), Corey found his opportunity to revitalize the PBI after all the old board members realized that their bones were weak, they had families who actually cared about them, and that waking up at 9am was just too much for their busy work lives. Corey and the Board are here to piece together a fantastic, young, exciting, fully staffed PBI 2019.* So, hold onto your tzittzit and get ready for a roaring Thanksgiving Day.
co-chairman, Grandmaster of Kavanah
Statistician, Data ANALYST, and team OPHTHALMOLOGIST
Known for his sports goggles and odd receptions, Robbie’s involvement with the PBI dates back to his days as a referee. The treatment he received from the players was so poor that he decided he wanted to continue that tradition and participate as a player himself one day. Robbie’s involvement in the football aspects of the day have increased with each year, as last year he even touched the ball! This is perhaps not surprising, as Robbie’s sole participation in JDS varsity athletics was as the student manager and statistician on the Lions’ Varsity Baseball team. Though, it is worth mentioning, Robbie was twice elected to the PVAC all-star game as statistician, mainly because all the other team statisticians had better things to do with their Sundays as seventeen-year-olds. Though he didn’t earn a D1 scholarship for his prowess, Robbie had a great time at Washington University in St. Louis, where he became the only person ever to pair a degree in chemistry with a degree in Jewish studies. Robbie loved JDS so much (read: was so desperate) that he came back to work there, teaching middle school math and coaching softball. Everyone asks him if it’s hard to call his former teachers by their first name, but we all know he’s been calling Paul by his first name since day one of 8th grade.
Team Chaplin and Spiritual Advisor
Though not nearly as good looking as his older brother Robbie, Brian has decided to not disregard and throw away his father’s $500,000 payment to JDS and is now doing something useful with his life as he is currently a Junior at New York University pursuing a degree in Economics and Business. Like his brother, Brian’s PBI involvement also began with reffing games as both a junior and senior in high school - this was done solely to garner some extra credit from Paul after Brian got caught reusing an As a Driven Leaf essay from 2007. However, unlike his brother, Brian actually played sports and was the captain of both the JV and Varsity boys basketball team. Upon graduating high school and beginning college, Brian took a gap year of religious study and learned in Yeshiva in Israel. As a result, according to many of his close peers and classmates, he is no longer the same Brian who got suspended for asking a teacher about her reproductive system. All in all, this is Brian’s 5th year with the PBI, two as a ref and three as a player. To Brian, the PBI represents more than a backyard football game. Instead, it's an opportunity to return to the very same field in which he would hang out with his 7th grade sweetheart after 2:18 dismissal on short Fridays.
The "Old" Board Representative
Jeremy Schooler’s athletic career began in BCC Baseball coach pitch while attending MCPS elementary school, and continued with a new and far less athletic team comprised of multiple Jacobs and Joshes once he switched to JDS in 3rd grade. It continued with 10 years of competitive hockey, including three on the JDS varsity team (yes, JDS had a hockey team) and as a member of the JDS baseball team from 7th grade through high school. Although he attended the PBI for many years to watch his two older brothers play, Jeremy didn't truly understand the widespread, um, "affection" for Paul until he was fortunate enough to take Paul's Jewish Theology and Jewish Life Cycles classes in 9th and 10th grade with fellow future PBI board member Brian Shorr. Whether it was when Paul would pass out assignments that had the current semester scribbled over some date in the late '90s, or when he would remember exactly zero students names after three months of class, Jeremy finally understood why Paul J. Blank was such a legend. Even when Paul caught Jeremy, Brian and a few other friends ordering late night 3 a.m. pizza to their hotel room on the 10th grade Shabbaton at the Baltimore Harbor, causing them to get multiple Sunday morning detentions, or when he found out they had skipped his class to watch afternoon NCAA Tournament games, the love for JDS's most quirky teacher never faded. Once Jeremy graduated, and spent the greatest three months of his life on the JDS Israel trip, he decided to go right back to Israel for a gap year program. After returning from the Holy Land, he enrolled at Penn State University, where he is currently a junior studying broadcast journalism and business (while taking a few Jewish Studies Gen Ed courses, where his $250,000 JDS education is only able to earn an A-). For Jeremy, the PBI is special not just because it is the only competitive athletic event he plays each year, but it provides an opportunity to go back to a place each year where so many amazing childhood memories were created, and so many good times were had with best friends he remains close with to this day.
ASSOCIATE GEEK SQUAD WANNABE
Aaron Schooler's illustrious sports career began in the cradle when he flung his bottle over the crossbar for his first field goal. By kindergarten, he was playing travel t-ball and MSI soccer. It was the following winter when he attempted to jump into the C&O Canal only to whack his head on the frozen surface that he discovered his true passion - hockey - and continued to play competitively for 10 years. Although he wanted to play football in a local league, his mommy wouldn't let him for fear of getting injured. He began playing in the PBI in 2006, as soon as his college football eligibility expired and was an immediate star, to the surprise of himself and everyone around him. All the years of skating backwards finally came in handy as he instantly became a defensive star on the gridiron, in spite of being paired with Michael Feldman ('06) to form a shutdown corner duo. Aaron has displayed some streakiness over the years, and though he has had some high profile flag-pulling gaffes, has always responded well to criticism and pulled it together at the end of games. Perhaps his most outstanding moment was a game-winning, eyes-closed TD catch in the closing moments of the 2012 invitational, winning the MVP (because they always remember the very last thing you did). Aaron is an avid fan of the Capitals and the Nationals and a devotee of ESPN's Colin Cowherd. He partied it up at Syracuse University, where he held several elected positions at AEPi as well as a number that no one else wanted, before moving to NYC and earning a Master's at NYU. Today, Aaron works at an Israeli-owned private equity firm in NYC which he describes as "just like being at JDS, only they pay you."
From an early age, Michael Feldman has had a tumultuous, David and Batsheva-like relationship with football. Raised playing 1 on 1 street football with fellow JDS-er (and now Rabbi) Jon Leener (JDS class of 2006), Michael was well prepared for the hard knocks of Paul Blank (and his invitational). Michael’s incredibly mediocre track record in the PBI started in 2005, where he served as a referee. Even then, scholars and the lone fan observed that he seemed to “run like a duck”. This waddle would only become more evident throughout his PBI career, and many would even revive his middle school nickname of “Ducky”. Since those early days, he has been consistently underwhelming (with the exception of one MVP performance in 2009, where he recorded a TD catch, an interception, and showed agility inconsistent with the PVAC). His leadership of the younger team’s defense in recent years, though effective, has been described as “overbearing” and “who are you asking me about?”. Despite his short-statured shortcomings, he continues to be “finishing up medical school” for the fourth year in a row. He plans on becoming a pediatric brain surgeon, in a likely futile attempt to get Jewish mothers to give him their daughters’ digits. He also has attempted to follow in the liturgical strides of past PBI-leader Dr. Noah “The Ark” Zimmerman, with similarly ludicrously titled works of non-fiction, such as “Effects of intravenous adenosine infusion on cerebral hemodynamics”. Michael likes short non-strenuous walks on the beach and listening to recordings of old JDS middle school musicals.
Under Secretary of Corporate Partnerships & Public Affairs
Rumor has it that a person once called Jonathan Sachs the most interesting man in the world. This has never been confirmed, and in all likelihood never happened. A lifer at CESJDS, Sachs began in the orange halls of the old building at the age of five and stayed for a bar-mitzvah-length (and equally awkward) 13 years. Known then as "JJ", he was perhaps best known for his lead role in the Off-Broadway production of the JDS Hebrew-language middle-school musical Salach Shabbati. He is also widely acclaimed as one of the founders (if the term can carry such insignificance) of the JDS ultimate Frisbee team. He also has always been fond of politics, and was caught rigging JDS class council election ballets one year, just out of passion. A “lifer” at the PBI, JJ started as a ref in 2005, and was pretty much unrecognized until 2010. That year, Sachs scored one of the most controversial touchdowns in Paul J. Blank history, running the ball in after members of the other team heard an alleged “whistle”. Asked after the game, Sachs gloated at the opposition’s misfortune and remarked "Still counts". JJ now works for a local hospital system doing something that no one understands or frankly would bother to read about. He also is a lifelong fan of that football team with as he says “that offensive name”.