Weekly Newsletter – June 9, 2017

June 9, 2017  /  15 Sivan 5777
Shabbat Begins: 8:59 p.m.       Parsha: Behaalotecha
Shabbat Ends: 10:24 p.m.         Numbers 8:1-12:16
Mazal Tov to Our Graduating Class of 2017!

Last night, Beth Israel was filled with parents, grandparents, siblings, community members, King David staff, and students as we celebrated the King David High School Class of 2017. Our 48 graduates have worked very hard over the last five years, and together we honoured their collective and individual work, and the wonderful influence they have had on our school and community.

Shmuel Rosenblatt
After a warm welcome from our Master of Ceremonies, Deputy Head of School Alex Monchamp, we heard a beautiful welcoming D’var Torah from Shmuel Rosenblatt. He encourged his peers to give, "Every one of you has the power to give to someone else, no matter who you are or what you do. And no act of giving is too small. I am a big believer in the butterfly effect. The butterfly effect states that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado several weeks later; an analogy that describes how even the smallest actions can have pivotal impacts."  

Next, greetings were offered by Board of Directors Co-Presidents Natalie Rosengarten and Jackie Cristall Morris, and then Rabbi Berger delivered his final lesson to the graduates. 

In his farewell address to the graduates and their families, Russ Klein, Head of School, noted, "I am blessed to work where I do and with the families that I do. You care enough to send your children to a Jewish High School, and we all know you had to pay, to make sacrifices. I hope that you know and believe, and that we have demonstrated through our actions, that we love your children – these graduates – as much as you do. To all of our parents I say thank you – through your valuing of a Jewish education you have demonstrated your leadership in making it a priority that there be another generation of home-grown Jewish life in Vancouver."

Russ Klein shares some last words with a group before the ceremony

He told the graduates, "Before you leave tonight, find the time to talk to those who have supported you – your families, friends, teachers – give them the kudos, the hugs, the thanks that they deserve for always being there for you and always wanting the best for you, even when they did not make it easy for you – that is how you know they really cared."

Each of the graduating students received their diplomas and individual student awards and scholarships were given out.

Sappir Gini receives her graduation certificate        Ben Munt delivers his address

The last word was from the students, who had selected Ben Munt to speak on their behalf. Ben delivered a humorous yet heartfelt address. He stated, "Success is not something foreign to us as a people." 

He then asked, "What makes us different, what makes us successful? Luckily, my time at King David has made me relatively good at asking and answering questions, as is the point of school. One study came to mind that I felt was extremely relevant to the question. It is a paper called the ‘Headwinds/Tailwinds Asymmetry’. It discusses how we react to obstacles in our way, referred to as headwinds, and the advantages we enjoy, known as tailwinds. As King David Graduates, we share a set of common tailwinds.

The first tailwind we share is our families, particularly our parents. Each parent deserves individual praise. The mere fact that we are here today illustrates how important an investment in our education is to our families.

The second is the wonderful community that surrounds us at King David. Without the Jewish community, King David would not exist – and I mean that literally. The school is built on the backs of the members of the community who dedicate their time and resources to making it exist and thrive, the administrative staff who continue to create new opportunities, and the teachers who act not only as leaders in the classroom, but also as mentors and friends outside of it.

The last 48 tailwinds are each individual member of our graduating class."

In closing, Ben said, "As we go forward into trying to make our dreams a reality, to become successful, I ask that, whatever your dream, whenever you reach an obstacle, you stop and remember the tailwinds that got you to that point. These tailwinds will carry you through it. And if you can’t find that tailwind within yourself, go find one of the 47 other doors adorned with the King David 2017 mezuzah, and you will find it there. Because after all, that is what family is for."

We also want to note a special gift from our Parent Action Committee (PAC), who gave a handcrafted mezuzah to each graduate. When our graduates use their mezuzah, they will know that a small piece of their King David home will always be with them. 

Thank you to the wonderful team of parent volunteers who assisted in decorating Beth Israel and also to the many staff members who made the evening such a success. A special thanks goes to our Graduation teacher sponsor, Julie Lane, who so capably coordinated all the details relating to the graduation ceremony. Thank you too, to the Beth Israel Synagogue for their support of our Graduation evening.

As our graduates prepare to leave and move on to new challenges, we shared one more special Jewish moment with families on Saturday, June 3, where we celebrated and expressed our gratitude to the students and their families. Together we ushered out Shabbat with the traditional light "third meal – Shalosh Seudos" followed by a Havdalah ceremony led by the Class of 2017.

As we waited for Shabbat to end, the students so eloquently shared their reflections of their time spent at King David. The overriding sentiment was the close connections they have created as a grade and with their teachers, and how confident they are as young Jews to move on to the next phase of life wherever it may take them. 

"The many students who chose to speak did so with such poise and confidence, and the sentiments and appreciation expressed were overwhelmingly clear; thank you for sending us to King David, thank you to our parents and the staff of King David, and thank you for keeping the door open to our growth in what it means to be Jewish."
~ Russ Klein, Head of School
Shabbat Shalom!

Community Events

JCC Orr Auditions

Tuesday, June 13
Grade 6-8 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Grade 9-12 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

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RJDS presents 
Poker & Pastrami

Thursday, June 15
7:00 p.m.

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