Weekly Newsletter – April 8, 2016

April 8, 2016 / 29 Adar II, 5776
Shabbat Begins: 7:37 p.m.       Parsha: Tazria
   Shabbat Ends: 8:46 p.m.            Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59
Trip Highlights from the Land of Milk and Honey

Last Sunday our five chaperones met our Grade 8 students bright and early at Vancouver International Airport and took off for Israel – and they’ve been busy ever since! As usual, Russ has been updating our families about his travels (and travails!) with our students.

All packed and ready to head to Israel!
Day 1 Highlights:

After a lengthy flight we started the long drive North – which like all long drives was controlled by bathroom breaks and snack stops. So after about 90 minutes we stopped at roadside mall. I thought this was really cruel, since it had an Aroma Coffee – which some of you know I believe to be a shrine (iced coffee with ice cream!). The cruel part was I did not feel well enough to partake and way too many children mocked me and enjoyed a tasty treat.

From there, it was back in the bus for another couple of hours, including road delays, as we made our way to Katzrin, a scenic town in the Golan Heights. I have seen the light show many times and learned something every time – except this time. It stopped working just as we arrived! But we did watch the Imax movie, and some of the kids screamed when the water sprinkled down on them – I always enjoy that.

Day 2 Highlights:

At 8:40 a.m we were rolling to our first stop with one of the partner schools in our Gesher Chai P2G region – HaMaginim Elementary School in Kiryat Shmona. It was a lovely visit as they were having their own Mitzvah Day – and one of their mitzvahs was to make falafel for us (our mitzvah was naturally to eat it!). The Israeli tykes are not shy and language is not a barrier – they just kick a soccer ball at you and the games begin!

After a couple of hours we headed over to meet our Israeli student hosts and by 11:00 a.m. we were all together on the beautiful grounds of Har Vagai school. The 50 or so kids split into three groups with Har Vagai group leaders and did some ice-breaker activities. Then our kids presented a few videos about Vancouver and King David to the entire Grade 8 class of around 150 students. The Israeli teachers told me they could not believe how excited their students were to have us visit; it made us feel very welcome.

Our students get to know their new Har Vagai friends.

There is lots of excitement about "moving in" day tomorrow but I think some of the mystery and anxiety is lessened now that they have all met their hosts. 

Day 3 Highlights:

This morning we headed back to Har Vagai School to meet up with our Israeli hosts, then we headed to the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. Tel Dan is a beautiful place, with trails and streams and 4,000-year-old ruins. From one of the lookouts students looked through binoculars into Lebanon and at the beautiful surrounding hills.

The students learn about Tel Dan from Uri, a Har Vagai teacher.

At the Reserve, the students were divided into groups hiked through this spectacular area with bamboo tunnels and the Dan River crashing all around. They did a number of activities one the hike with older students who were on a Gap Year before going into Military Service (much like our own Shinshiniot at King David). After a few hours the students made their way to a gorgeous (and freezing!) wading pool, where they relaxed and ate lunch.

Finally it was time to return to the school. We gathered them all together around 3:30 p.m for a last minute pep talk and words of encouragement before they left for their first night of home hospitality. Most seemed genuinely thrilled – a few were definitely playing their cards close to their vests. We made sure they had all of our phone numbers and that they knew we were just a phone call and a short drive away. We really are impressed with our students – you should be too! 

Day 4 Highlights: 

So we arrived at Har Vagai this morning just as the buses rolled in, carrying our kids from the various kibbutzim and moashavim that they had stayed at the night before. We were delighted to be greeted by so many smiling faces!

After a debrief from our students on their night with their hosts, Barry, a Har Vagai school counsellor, led our students on a walk of the neighbouring kibbutz, Dafna. Our city children learned that cows, and their by-products, smell. It seems our kids love chocolate milk, they just do not like to be near the original milk factories!

Then it was back to school for English Day, which translated as "Beatles" Day (yes, John, Paul, George and Ringo). There were games in classrooms, a competition, and performances. After the fun of listening to the uplifting finale tune, "Eleanor Rigby", the students had a break for lunch before we walked down in the mid-afternoon sun to the Helicopter Memorial site. It is about a 15 minute walk to reach the memorial site of a horrific helicopter crash that occurred in 1997, which killed 73 Israeli soldiers. This tragedy occurred very close to our sister school, Har Vagai.

After walking back to the school we had an hour break before the lovely parents of our host families brought all of us a potluck dinner. Then we were treated to a discussion and performance by the Galilee Circus, which is a school made up of both Jewish and Arab students whose focus is to bring together Israeli children to build trust and have fun together. Dorin explained it well: our students are the generation that can extend a hand, to reach out and to help make peace and we can do that by knowing and caring for each other. As I read earlier tonight, we are not striving for co-existence, we are striving for existence – there is only one.

More updates to come in next week’s newsletter!

Are You Smarter Than a 12th Grader?

On Tuesday during lunch, our senior Reach for the Top students challenged some of our staff to a battle of wits. Reach for the Top is a trivia game where students across Canada compete against each other to win the Reach Cup. For the first time in King David history, the students handily beat the teachers! Mazel tov to our Reach for the Top students!

Reach for the Top students square off against King David staff.
Hands-On Learning at the Aquarium

Allan, Sappir, and Elle, Grade 11, get a lesson from aquarium staff.

On Monday, the Biology 11 students visited the Vancouver Aquarium. While there, they were able to participate in a wonderful learning experience with incredible marine life. Students had the opportunity to hold sea urchins, touch anemones and dissect a fish. 
MASHUP at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Tia and Giovanna, Grade 9, check out one of the unique exhibits.

Students from Visual Art 9, 10, 11 and 12 visited the Vancouver Art Gallery this week to view MASHUP: The Birth of Modern Culture. Covering the last 100 years of visual culture in one visit was a dizzying tour through some of the most important ideas and works of the 20th century – including originals by Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, whose work and legacy the students have studied this past term.
Sports Highlights

Our Grade 9 Boys Floor Hockey Team:
Top (L-R): Mr. Amram, Nathan, Jonny, Samson, Ro’i, Eric, Adam, Devin, Landon, and Mr. Gorski
Bottom (L-R): Noah and Solly

Kol Hakavod to all our floor hockey teams! The Grade 8, 9 and 10 boys teams have all started the season with winning records. Our senior boys are also off to a good start, earning a tie in their first game. Well done, boys!

Eric and Nathan G., Grade 9, rush to return serves.

Congratulations to the tennis team for their fun match against the West Point Grey Wolves on March 30. Although the Lions lost the match, we did record two set victories in the doubles’ boys competition. Great job!
Tickets On 
Sale Now!

Click here to learn more about Josh Shipp and to purchase tickets online.

Shabbat Shalom!
Community Events

Daniel Pipes Lecture

Monday, May 9
7:00 p.m.

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Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration

Wednesday, May 11
7:30 p.m.

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Chaverim Event

Thursday, May 12
5:00 p.m.

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Consular Services
Jewish Federation of Vancouver

Tuesday, May 17

Click here for more information.
RJDS and Beth Tikvah Golf Day

Monday, May 30

Click here for more information

Camp Shalom

July 4-29
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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Louis Brier would like to hear from you!

Please click here to share your ideas.

Youth Action Hall
JCC Teen Lounge

Sundays at 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Click here for more information. 

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