Weekly Newsletter – March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019  / 1 Adar II 5779

Shabbat Begins: 5:49 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 6:55 p.m.   
Parsha: Pekudei: Exodus 38:21-40:38

Last week, many of our Grade 10 students embarked on a fantastic trip to Los Angeles. Alex Monchamp, our Deputy Head of School, kept us up-to-date and entertained with his daily journals.

Days 3 and 4

Friday was a transition day where we left the dorms and  headed out with all our belongings, knowing by the end of the day we were going to be spending Shabbat with our homestay families. 
The plan was for a full day at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance (MOT). Designed to explore racism and prejudice around the world, the museum has a main exhibit on the history of the Holocaust, which is where our students started the day. The exhibit takes you chronologically through the events of the Holocaust, with an interactive emphasis on the perspectives of individuals and how people at the time felt. At the beginning, students are given a card with the name of a real child from various areas in Europe and at the end, learn what happens to them at the end of the war. Parts of the exhibit create a first-person experience, including a room that simulates what it’s like to walk through the gates of a concentration camp.
Taking time to reflect and record their thoughts on the exhibit

The rest of the day included presentations from different speakers. The students had a great Q & A session on the Holocaust with a researcher from the MOT, Aaron Breitbart, whose name you might remember from when he was at VTT. He actually remembered teaching some of our kid’s parents. The students also had a few minutes with Rabbi Cooper, the Associate Dean of the MOT, who wanted to meet with the students to welcome them and give them a brief introduction to an exhibit that documents the events leading up to the foundation of Israel in 1948.

The students ask questions of MOT researcher, Aaron Breitbart

The next session was led by one of the MOT researchers who monitors the internet for hate speech, anti-Semitism, and racist posts. Through her presentation, our students explored the different ways social media can be used to spread hate and misinformation, and what they can do when they encounter it online. 

The final presenter of the day really grabbed the attention of our students. Tim Zaal is a former white supremacist who shared his story including how, in his late teens, he and some friends swarmed a gay teenager and almost beat him to death. In a video that preceded his talk, the kids learn that 20 years later, in an unbelievable and unplanned series of events, he comes to know the man he nearly killed. Needless to say, as Tim recounted these events and how different his life is today, you could hear a pin drop.
At the end of the afternoon, the students were divided up into their homestay groups and pairs and headed off with their hosts for Shabbat. After a dinner at their homes, everyone gathered for Kabbalat Shabbat.

One of the primary purposes of our LA trip is to give our kids a Shabbat experience perhaps different to one they are used to. Shabbat ended with a rousing Havdalah, which you may have heard all the way up in Vancouver.
The last day was a full day at Universal Studios; a great way to reward our kids for being such great travelling companions. They have been helpful, funny, patient, involved and I think have taken a lot away from this trip. Through our museum visits, our students have learned more about the Holocaust and likely think differently about some things and events. They are going to further explore this and more in their Judaics classes when they return.

Our Grade 11 and 12 students had the exciting and unique opportunity to meet with Dr. Barry Craig, the President of Huron University. Dr. Craig spoke to a gathering of 15 students about the value of a Liberal Arts education in a STEM-focused world. He spoke with our students openly and honestly about the direction of the current skills economy, the importance of leading from a place of integrity, as well as the development of character and empathy as an integral part of higher education. This is his second visit to King David High School in two years, because he says that he recognizes our school as an institution that values character development and a sense of social responsibility in our students. 

"As February was Black History Month, the EQ Club decided to focus on black representation in the media. We put up a mural featuring movies with great representation of people of colour, and also films that include the use of blackface and other negative stereotypes, in the hopes of opening up a conversation about why it’s important to have good representation in the media. The way people are portrayed on screen has an impact on how society thinks of them. It’s important to have representation, especially with a type of media that is as visual as film. Having movies with great black representation such as "Black Panther" allows people of colour to see themselves on screen as their authentic selves. In the past, movies did not feature black people, but rather white actors painted in blackface. These types of movies displayed a caricature-like stereotype of black people in the media. They would be portrayed as violent, lazy, and unintelligent due to the racist ideas that a post-slavery America had. Over the years, especially after the Civil Rights Movement, black people have begun to tell their own stories and be represented in the media in an accurate way, rather that one that was riddled with racism. Representation in the media is important, as it allows people to see themselves on screen for who they really are, not society’s stereotypical ideas."
~ Yael Toyber, Grade 12

Some of our senior students went on an amazing trip to Montreal where they participated in Model UN with students from across North America.

Our PE 10 Girls had a great time playing table tennis!

Grade 8 students Cece Kliner, Kira Slykhuis, Aneeve Biton, Sidney Tolensky, and Jordana Pipke worked together on a poster for the Vancouver Jewish Day Schools Purim Project!

Click here to purchase tickets.



Shabbat Shalom!


JCC Purim Costume Party

Sunday, March 10
10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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Babysitting Course
Schara Tzedeck

Sunday, March 10

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Stand With Us
Campus Crash Course

Sunday, March 10
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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Vancouver Jewish Day Schools Purim Project

Ordering closes March 15

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The Earl Parker Award for Jewish Film

Application Deadline April 8, 2019

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Click here for the application

JNF Negev Gala

Sunday, April 14

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Temple Sholom Dreamers and Builders Event
Honouring Susan Mendelson and Jack Lutsky

Sunday, May 5
6:00 p.m.

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Hebrew Free Loan Association

Special Loans for Special Needs

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King David High School, 5718 Willow Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4S9 Canada

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