Weekly Newsletter – June 8, 2018

June 8, 2018  / 25 Sivan 5778

    Shabbat Begins: 8:58 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 10:22 p.m. 
Parsha: Shelach: Numbers 13:1-15:41

Last night, parents, grandparents, siblings, community members, King David staff, and students filled Beth Israel as we all came together to celebrate the King David High School Class of 2018. Our 45 graduates have spent the last five years working hard and forming strong relationships, and together we took the time to honour both their work and the wonderful influence they have had on our school and community.

Our Deputy Head of School, Alex Monchamp, was our Master of Ceremonies, and he kicked off the evening with some warm and humorous words of welcome. Then we heard a beautiful D’Var Torah from Ya’el Rai-Kastiel, where she explained this week’s Torah portion, Shelach, and the story it tells of the 12 spies sent to Paran by Moshe. 

"Our Red Sea will be splitting into 45 different directions, leading us to different destinations around the globe. Thankfully, King David guided us lovingly over the past years, preparing us for our own directions," she said. She thanked the King David community "for showing us how a small but mighty Jewish community can be so impactful." Ya’el ended the D’Var Torah with these inspiring words: "May we all be like the 12 tribes in our journeys, succeeding with the personality traits we have developed from our time in King David, and prospering in our future endeavours."

Next, we had the opportunity to hear encouraging words from our Co-Presidents of the Board of Directors, Natalie Rosengarten and Jackie Cristall Morris, and then Rabbi Berger addressed our graduating class, offering them some final words of wisdom.

Our Head of School, Russ Klein, gave a fond farewell address to our Class of 2018 and their families, providing some advice to guide them on their continual pursuit of happiness, which can occasionally cause stress and anxiety for us all.

"I think we need to intentionally teach from a very young age, that it is okay to be unhappy. It is okay to be bored. It is okay to be alone, to be different," he said. "We need to teach resilience. We need to model how to overcome adversity and disappointment. We need to seek out situations that will challenge our children. We need to share our struggles so they see us handle them. We must not ‘fix’ problems for them – all kids learn is that problems are fixed by others, and that we do not believe them capable of doing so on their own. I have been working with kids for so long and observed so many overcome so much. Kids can be resilient and are capable of handling being unhappy."

He encouraged the audience, particularly the graduates, to challenge themselves to overcome adversity. "Believe in yourself. Ask others to believe in you. If you feel unhappy, embrace it – there are times when one is going to be unhappy. Reframe your problems into challenges. Take action. Go for meaning. Help others. If something is too big for you to handle, get help, ask others – I want you to know that should you need me, I am always available to you."

Each Grade 12 student received their Graduation Ceremony certificate, and King David staff and other community members handed out individual student awards and scholarships.

To cap off the ceremony (pun intended) before a fun evening of dinner and dancing, the graduates chose Maytar Fadida to give the student address. Maytar mused about the power of change, and the possibilities for the future.

She said, "There are so many changes happening around us, but one thing I know will never change are the connections we have made here at King David. We have grown up together, we have all witnessed each other mature, and we have all played a role in each other’s experience. In a community like ours, the success of one really is a success for all."

Our Parent Action Committee (PAC), gave each graduating student a very special gift: a handcrafted mezuzah. When our graduates use their mezuzah, they will know that a small piece of their King David home will always be with them. Our gratitude to alumni parent, Limor Sabi, for her generous contribution to the mezuzot.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to the wonderful team of parent volunteers who assisted in planning such a wonderful event, as well as decorating Beth Israel so beautifully. Thanks 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 spent so much time coordinating all the details relating to the ceremony. Thanks as well to the Beth Israel Synagogue for their support of our Graduation evening.


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