Weekly Newsletter – May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018  / 26 Iyar 5778

    Shabbat Begins: 8:26 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 9:43 p.m. 
Parsha: Behar-Bechukotai: Leviticus 25:1-27:34

This week, our Grade 11 and 12 students set off with 14 staff members for three days
of fun at King David’s first senior retreat at Keats Camp. Our Deputy Head of School,
Alex Monchamp, kept us all up-to-date with the excitement and activity at the camp!

Day 1 Highlights

When we met this morning at Coal Harbour in the damp, sprinkling, grey skies, we were all bracing for, at the very least, a cool cloudy day with a strong chance of rain and at least one change of clothes or addition of layers. To our disbelief, the further away the boat sailed from Vancouver, the warmer it became. The clouds parted, and by the time we pulled up to the Keats dock, we were in the midst of a sunny, warm day. A perfect day, it turns out, to be outside participating in various camp-like activities. The lesson: always travel with a rabbi. 

Once squared away in cabins and after some brief information and requests, they were off in groups kayaking, climbing, high roping, and hiking in the quiet of the wilderness. As I wandered from activity to activity, I took a quick poll and it turns out that all attendees preferred today’s activities outside in the sunshine to spending a day at school!

After a wonderful burrito dinner, (Stacey takes such good care of us!) we all gathered for a campfire in the woods just on the edge of the Keats grounds. With the fire warming us, and the backdrop of the water in the distance, the kids sang songs, told stories, and of course ate S’mores. 

We then hiked back to the main Keats building to have our first ever senior retreat talent show. Quite a few students mustered up some courage to present a performance for their peers and teachers, which included some great singing, spoken word poetry, and interpretive dance. 

Day 2 Highlights

Our day had a lot in store for our campers today. A rotation of four activities: two 90-minute sessions in the morning and two more in the afternoon. With each session the camp buzzed with the clamour of nearly 80 adolescents dangling on the high ropes and climbing wall, playing games, shooting arrows, or swinging 30 feet in the air on the giant swing. They even found a way to add choruses of shrieks and laughter to the otherwise quiet pastime of kayaking. In short, good times were had by all.  It’s nice to see them having fun outside of school. They really do enjoy spending time with each other and they have a lot of fun, especially because they quickly seem to forget we’re even here with them. Our teachers have also been taking part in the fun, challenging themselves on the high-ropes, canoeing and kayaking, and even having a go in the giant swing.

Like yesterday, I’m writing a little before dinner. I can hear the well-oiled hum of Stacey’s kitchen routine just behind me. She has a full complement of helpers (students and teachers) perfectly organized and chipping in to the creation of tonight’s dinner – burgers! The rabbi and some student helpers are manning the grill!

Before I leave you, I want to thank everyone on our team who contributed to the success of our retreat this week. Thank you to Debbie, Tina, and Breanne for all their organization and assistance in pulling everything together before we left. Thanks to Russ for keeping things running at school – not something easily done solo. A big thank you to Stacey Kettleman and her sister Renee for keeping us fed at all hours and with such wonderful meals.
Finally, I want to thank our teachers who have worked tirelessly to ensure our trip has been awesome. They were fully committed to ensuring our students had a great time and were well looked after. In short, they put the treat in our retreat! Thank you Miss Lane, Mr. Gorski, Ms. Goodwin, Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Margulius, Ms. Miller-Bouchard, Diana Feldman (Shinshin extraordinaire), Mr. Metcalfe, Ms. Uzan, Mr. Levy, Mr. Talmaciu and Rabbi Berger. And a special thanks to our Outdoor Education coordinator Mr. Dichter for his extraordinary leadership and organization of our retreat.
The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam means "world repair." While in high school and after they leave, King David students make an impact and make us proud!


On Sunday, Ilana Guez, Grade 9, together with her father, Alain, completed the 8 km BMO marathon to raise funds for King David alumnus Aaron Friedland’s incredible organization The Walking School Bus. Ilana raised $500! 


This note Russ Klein received says it all!

"I am a chiropractor in Yaletown. I also run yoga retreats internationally. This past weekend, May 4-6, I ran a Mommy and Me retreat for over 60 women and children. I had the distinct pleasure of having seven volunteers from your high school. 

Dina Ferera, Lauren Shore, Emma Cooper, Megan Isserow, Rebecca Laskin, Rachel Cantor, and Shira Charach came up early on Friday to help us get ready, and continued to be the most helpful young women right up until our big clean up on Sunday afternoon. And while they were incredibly responsible, organizing activities for both women and children, innovative, professional, and beyond helpful, what prompted me to write you is the love and compassion that radiates from these girls. 

I have two daughters myself, and I can only hope and wish that my daughters are as generous of time and spirit, that they exude a calm and relaxed presence and connect with every person with eye contact and kindness. I congratulate you, their principal, their teachers, and of course their families in contributing to how amazing these kids are."


From her family’s kitchen in Vancouver to Chopped Canada Teen in Toronto to Ronald McDonald House in Halifax, 18-year-old Justine Balin has taken her culinary talents from coast to coast.

"Everyone loves food and everyone has to eat," says Justine. "Cooking really does bring people together." And that’s exactly what Justine has been doing at Ronald McDonald House. She came to Halifax in September for her first semester at Dalhousie University and started volunteering at the House a month later. She had also volunteered at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver.

Now, every Wednesday you can find her in our kitchen preparing a meal for families.

~ Ronald McDonald House Charities


On Tuesday, the Grade 10 PE classes had an amazing biking trip from the foot of Stanley Park to Science World, all the way to Granville Island and back.

On Thursday, the Grade 9 PE classes went for a gorgeous bike ride along the Seawall.

This past March, fourteen of our Grade 10 students traveled to Guatemala to volunteer their time at Project Somos, a project dedicated to providing women and children with a safe place to live, practical skills, and support in their community. 

To raise funds for Project Somos, the students are selling bags of Ethical Bean Coffee, which is organically grown and fair trade.

For a description of the coffees being offered, please click here.

To download the order form, please click here.

To purchase coffee online, please click here.

Shabbat Shalom!


JCC Art Hive

Thursdays, May 3 – June 21
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Click on image for more information
JCC Yoga

Sundays, May 6 – June 17

Click on image for more information

BBYO & JCCVG Present:
Festival Ha’Rikud Closing Party

Sunday, May 13
7:00 – 9:45 p.m.

Click on image for more information

Festival Ha’Rikud
Dance Shows and Israeli Street Fair

Sunday, May 13

Click on image for more information

 Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
King David High School, 5718 Willow Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4S9 Canada

Comments are closed.