Point of View
It is with enthusiasm and satisfaction that we publish this forth issue of the Avenues Online literary journal, The Network.
Each issue of this journal focuses on a question related to current events. When we examined
current events—the lawsuits in California, Louisiana, Virginia, and other states claiming that
banning religious gatherings because of COVID-19 is a violation of First Amendment rights,
religious leaders warning that vaccines are morally compromised, the Supreme Court hearing the
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, and the Taliban’s takeover of
Afghanistan—we realized that that all these issues were linked by religion. Religious groups
wanted to practice their religions in the ways they traditionally had without making changes
because of the pandemic. Also, people’s views about vaccinations were often influenced by their
religious beliefs. And an individual’s views about abortion rights are often framed by her
religion and considered within the context of her faith. Finally, the Afghanistan government fell
to the Taliban, an Islamic extremist organization, in five days.
Therefore, these events led us to ask the question, “Should We Have Faith in Religion?” which is
the theme of the Fall 2021 issue.
To explore this question, Sohum Tripathi (’24) researches and reflects on the important role of
religion and faith in human history. Lucienne Bacon (’22) considers the effect that the takeover
in Afghanistan by one extremist religious group, the Taliban, had on women and girls living in
that country. Like Bacon, Sohum Tripathi (’24) reflects on how an Islamic extremist group,
Boko Haram in Nigeria, influences the country and its people. Paige Farber (’22) reviews the
anti-abortion laws passed in Texas and considers the role religion played in the passing of these
laws and how these laws can impose one person’s religious views on another. Emma Brashear
(’23) writes about how the pandemic impacted religious practice. Yehuda Zilberstein (’23) asks
why the subject of religion is so hard to discuss with others given how important it is in our lives.
The language page examines Sanskrit, including its origins and its history. This language was
selected because of its relevance to the issue theme. Sanskrit is one of oldest languages still used
and spoken in the world today and is the language of Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion,
which is estimated to have been practiced for nearly 4,000 years. Hinduism has more than 1.2
billion followers, which makes it the third-largest religion in the world today.
Yehuda Zilberstein (’23) interviews Ms. Beskowiney, AON Faculty member, who discusses
growing up in the town of Swift Current in Saskatchewan, her love of travel and exploring new
cultures, and the beauty and unifying force she sees in all faiths of loving others like oneself.
Julia Hristov (’24), Millie Oke (’24), and YYY interpret this theme through art. Julia Hristov
(’24) uses two different methods—pencil on paper and XXX—to create two unique works.
Millie Oke (’24) creates a mixed media work with a pen-and-ink drawing and a relevant,
political quote. Malia Radcliffe (’25) provides a collage of images that she drew of people
practicing their faiths.
Finally, be sure to enjoy our new section, Watch, which is dedicated to discussing the issue’s
theme in a video format. Watch Yehuda Zilberstein (’24) and Camilla Lynch (’24) as they
discuss religion and the faiths in which they were raised.
We hope that this issue will inspire more students to participate. This journal is a student
publication, and its success is predicated on student participation. As the student editors, we hope
that it will grow and that additional sections will be added as other students’ interests are
We would like to give a special thank you to our Faculty Advisors, Ms. Amy Rosenberg and Mr.
Wong, for their unfaltering belief in this publication and untiring support of our efforts. We
would also like to thank Mr. Austin Volz, AON Director of Program Design, for his polyglot
expertise. In addition, we want to thank Mr. Jeff Lipman, Head of School, for his support of this
publication, Finally, we want to thank all the students who contributed to this edition and their
parents for believing in Avenues Online.
Please enjoy this issue. We hope it engages you, enlightens you, and informs you.
Yehuda Zilberstein (’23) and Fiona Poth (’24)