Weekly Newsletter – February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020  / 19 Shevat 5780

Shabbat Begins: 5:12 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 6:20 p.m.   
Parsha: Yitro: Exodus 18:1 – 20:23

Early morning at the airport

Early Wednesday morning, 30 Grade 10 students and four brave staff members headed off to sunny Los Angeles! For the first time, our Outdoor Education teacher, Matt Dichter, is in charge of keeping us all updated. 

Day 1

As far as teenagers travelling goes, the flight down was splendid. Everyone meshed together well and we maintained the sanity on the plane for those around us.

As all good King David trips start, we went to the beach first. Well, almost to the beach. The group spent some time on the Santa Monica boardwalk enjoying our provided bagged lunches. After, students worked off their lunch by cruising the boardwalk.

Rabbi Berger always keeps everyone entertained!

The Griffith Park Observatory was our next stop. Rabbi Berger quoted some lines from movies before we checked out the exhibits. The museum has many space exhibits and great views of LA, and is home to the planetarium. The long day helped the group to build up an appetite, so we were off to the Pico-Robertson neighborhood,one of the largest concentrations of kosher restaurants and Jewish people in all of North America. 

Chloe Shacham-Dupont, Maya Mizrachi, Sophie Chelin, Jette Halevi, and Estie Kallner check out a space exhibit 

A very focussed group! Tal Pretli, Josh Isakov, Eitan Sasky, Sean Sandler, 
and Barak Lapid

After dinner and some dessert of ice cream and candies, we all descended on the Marriot Residence Inn. The students and staff were all pleased to do a little reflection together before preparing for bed and calling it a night.

Day 2

At the Science Center – always time for a group photo!

First up was Exposition Park. This is home to the California Science Center and the Los Angeles Coliseum. Among the draws of the Center is the space shuttle Endeavour. Everyone was blown away by the spacecraft’s enormity and found it fascinating. Students also really had fun in the aquarium portion of the center. Highlights were a giant fish and a touch tank that included sea urchins and star fish.

After an excellent lunch, our next stop was the Holocaust Museum. In preparation for our trip, the students did a considerable amount of studying about the Holocaust. One of the main missions of our trip is to extend the students’ learning beyond the classroom by seeing artifacts from the Holocaust. This museum was the perfect location for that experience.

An emotional visit to the Holocaust Museum

At the museum, the students were led through the many rooms by docents who explained the books, suitcases, pictures, and many family heirlooms in each room. There were also letters from Einstein and a model of the Sobibor Concentration Camp. We concluded our visit with a talk from a survivor who experienced Kristallnacht firsthand. His family’s general store was ruined on that night and it was a turning point in his life, as his family was able to get him out of Germany to Sweden for boarding school. His story was incredible, and provided for an emotional and deeply moving experience for the students. After the museum, we took some downtime to reflect before moving on.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Grove Shopping Mall. Then we made our way to Hollywood Boulevard to see the stars. The students were really pleased to see this landmark that they have seen countless times on TV and in movies.

Stay tuned for more in next week’s newsletter!

On Monday morning, we celebrated Tu B’Shevat, a day of remembering our connection to the earth. 

Grade 11 students gave a presentation on the meaning and importance of Tu B’Shevat.
Tu B’Shevat is an opportunity to raise awareness about and to care for the environment through the teaching of Jewish sources celebrating nature. It is also a day to focus on the environmental sensitivity of the Jewish tradition by planting trees wherever Jews may live. The student presentation explored the similarities between the meaning of the Jewish holiday and the relationships that indigenous communities have with the land on which we live. The presentation was accompanied by a meaningful drum circle.

Afterwards, the whole school was treated to a variety of delicious cholents, prepared by the senior Foods classes, inspired by Jewish communities around the world as well as traditional indigenous ingredients. 

Jamie Michaels (left) reads from Christie Pits, with help from his brother and friends

Our Grade 10, 11, and 12 students were given the rare opportunity to have a graphic novel read aloud by its author and a few volunteers.

As part of the JCC Book Festival, author Jamie Michaels came in to give a reading from his graphic novel, Christie Pits. The novel explores the true story of the Christie Pits race-riots, when young Jewish and Italian immigrants squared off against Nazi-inspired thugs in the streets of Toronto in 1933, six months after Hitler’s rise to power. Each chapter in the graphic novel is told from the point of view of a different character, offering various perspectives. We were so lucky to have Jamie come in and expose our students to some Jewish-Canadian history in such a unique way.

For more information on the graphic novel Christie Pits, please click here

Shabbat Shalom!


Host Families Needed
Hockey Academy of Israel
JCC Program

Using Our Voices
Interactive Choir Experience featuring Choir! Choir! Choir!

Sunday, February 23
7:00 p.m.

Click on image for more information

Community Longing and Belonging
Opening Reception

Tuesday, February 25
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Click on image for more information

Optimism and Hope
Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Homelessness

Wednesday, February 26

Click on image for more information

Limmud Vancouver 2020
Festival of Jewish Learning

February 29 – March 1

Click here for the schedule

Click on image for more information

Beth Israel Casino Night

Thursday, March 5
5:30 p.m.

Click on image for more information

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