Weekly Newsletter – April 3, 2020

April 3, 2020  / 9 Nissan 5780

Shabbat Begins: 7:30 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 8:38 p.m.   
Parsha: Tzav: Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36

Clockwise from top left: Oren Mathews, Emily Miller, Romy Ashkenazy, Mr. Klein, 
Rabbi Berger, and Mr. Monchamp led the assembly today

This afternoon, King David hosted its very first online school assembly. Staff and students gathered together – metaphorically speaking – to wish each other a "Chag Pesach Sameach" before heading off into Passover Break.

Mr. Monchamp opened the assembly, sharing how much he missed seeing everyone in person, and how grateful he is that everyone has embraced online learning so whole-heartedly. He acknowledged that many of us are feeling uncertain right now, but that "when circumstances are exceptional, it requires us to be exceptional." He thanked the faculty and students for embracing the challenges and being so open to taking risks. Mr. Mo enouraged us all to see the Passover Break as a gift, and as an opportunity – to learn something new, to reach out to our loved ones, and to look after each other.  

Some senior Student Council members also wanted to take the opportunity to share a message of positivity and support with their peers. 

Romy Ashkenazy, Grade 12, shared a message of unity, saying, "Even though it feels like we’re alone physically, it’s important to remember we’re all going through the same thing. By the end of this, we’re globally going to be stronger. We need to support each other now more than ever, and reach out to one another in this difficult time." 

Emily Miller, Grade 12, wanted all the students to know that Student Council is working hard to find ways to keep the school community connected, even while we all remain at home. She explained that Student Council has just started something called "KD Connects", student-led Zoom sessions on a variety of subjects. 

She said, "You could lead a discussion about your favourite TV show, teach a musical instrument, lead an arts and crafts session, or anything you want. This will be a really good way for us to stay connected to each other, and we hope you all participate!"

Oren Mathews, Grade 12, runs the Student Council Instagram and private Facebook pages, and she encouraged students to follow them both, and to contact her if they have any issues. She explained that the accounts have tips for online learning and fun community-based activities for after school. 

She also wanted her peers to know that Student Council is there for the school community in any way they need, providing online support and answering any questions or concerns that students may have. 

Rabbi Berger offered a Pesach lesson, telling the story of Charles Plumb, a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War who was held as a POW for six years, and eventually became a motivational speaker. Charles Plumb tells the story of meeting the man who used to pack his parachute and make sure it was functional, and how it struck him that this man was the person who had, without him even realizing, continually saved his life. 

Rabbi Berger asked us all to consider "who packs your parachutes," and take a moment to be grateful and to thank all of the people who, throughout our lives, have made them better in any small way. 

Mr. Klein finished off the assembly by asking everyone to take a moment and close their eyes, and imagine we were in the atrium, together. It was an opportunity to remember how good it feels to be able to be together, and how when this passes, we’ll be grateful for all the things we normally take for granted. 

He closed by also thanking all of the staff and the students for diving into our new learning platform with passion and patience, and by wishing everyone good health over the break.

Eldad Haber presenting with his daughter Noa, Grade 12

"On Monday our Grade 12 Israel Advocacy class was privileged to have King David parent, Eldad Haber, speak to us over Zoom about the current political situation in Israel. He highlighted tips that make a good leader of a country and helped us understand why it is so important for young adults to educate ourselves on the overwhelming and controversial issues that politics entails. We were so impacted by the discussion with Eldad and asked a variety of questions that sparked new conversation during the class."

~ Sagiv Fadida, Grade 12

Clockwise from top left: Isabella Leipsic, Estie Kallner, Rachel Seguin, and Adin Tischler 
with Foods teacher, Hilit Nurick

"During first block today, I joined Hilit Nurick’s Grade 10 Foods class and I am so pleased I did! Not only was it delightful to hear about the dishes each student was in the process of preparing for their family’s Shabbat dinner, it was so meaningful to listen to each student share their favourite memory of Shabbat.

Two special memories:

Maddie Stern shared with us that her family usually spends Shabbat with cousins. She has watched her younger cousins grow and is amazed that they are now able to recite the blessing for the challah!

Olivia Levsky surprised Hilit when she told her that some of her favourite Shabbat memories were celebrated with her grandparents when living in Israel until she was 9. Her family had connected with her grandparents this morning already, as they were celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary in Israel where it was already Shabbat.

They may not have all been in the same room, but there was a warm feeling of connection throughout the 45 minute class."

~ Debbie Appelbaum


Some of our Grade 9 boys worked together and flexed their creative muscles on TikTok. Who knew a toilet paper roll could be a connector? 

Click on the image above to see the video.

It feels like my job description is changing almost daily and, truth be told, I’m scrambling. My curriculum was not crafted to be online or a distance learning experience. I have not been trained in teaching online through virtual tools. In a matter of days we have had to take curriculum, resources, assessments, and lessons and make them work in a remote learning experience. But rather than being overwhelmed, I’m invigorated. Like MacGyver, I’m finding myself motivated to find and improvise solutions in less-than-ideal circumstances, and I’ll soon explain why.

While trying to get up-to-speed with online learning, I have come across some great stories and learning. One of the nicer "side effects" of social distancing is that I have been learning, reading, and watching more new material than in any time I can remember. One idea for Passover that Rabbi Jonathan Sacks broadcasted out to all educators through Prizmah (an organization geared to empower Jewish educators across North America) left a lasting impact upon me.

Click here for the full message.


Rabbi Berger will be hosting his rescheduled discussion on the Jewish holidays. Please note that this will replace the original topic of "What is the Theme of Passover? (And Don’t Say Freedom!)"

If you would like to participate, please RSVP with your name and email address below and the link for the discussion will be emailed to you. Please ensure that your first and last name is visible or you will not be able to enter the meeting.

Rescheduled to Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Sign Up to Join
RSVP by 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 5

We will see how the holidays are not celebrations of the past, but are actually ongoing expressions of our history. We will understand the holidays through the drama of our history. Many Jews may feel that Judaism and Jewish life are a foreign and foreboding domain. After this session, you will feel at ease, like an insider, with all of the holidays, and you will be challenged to think, and think again: not only about the holidays, but about life itself.

King David is building community spirit in the best way we know how – through food!

Thank you so much to everyone who shared their favourite Pesach recipes with us.

To download our community Pesach cookbook, please click here.

Photos from our virtual staff meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Chag Pesach Sameach!


Beth Israel Youth Zoom Nights

Wednesdays and Thursdays

Click on image for more information

 Like us on Facebook  View on Instagram

Comments are closed.