Weekly Newsletter – May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020  / 7 Iyar 5780

Shabbat Begins: 8:12 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 9:17 p.m.   
Parsha: Acharei-Kedoshim: Leviticus 16:1-20:27

Yom Hazikaron Assembly 2020

Keren Katz and Ilana Guez performing in our Yom Hazikaron assembly

On Tuesday, we had a meaningful Yom Hazikaron assembly to honour Israeli men and women who have died fighting for their country or as a victim of a terrorist attack. You can watch the full assembly by clicking the video above.

One of our shinshinim, Omer, led the assembly, which started off with a recording of Grade 11 student Ethan Doctor singing "Hatikvah". Omer then lit a candle of remembrance, before introducing Dr. Sherri Wise.

Dr. Sherri Wise and a copy of the New York Times, on which she and 
her friend Ruti were featured

Dr. Wise went to Israel to volunteer to do dental work on underprivileged children. While having lunch at an outdoor cafe with two friends one day, three suicide bombers set off explosions, blowing themselves up. One of the men was barely three feet away. 

Dr. Wise spoke about her depression after the attack, and her struggles to understand why she had been a victim, as well as survivor’s guilt. But she finally realized that it was simply not her fault.

Years after the bombing, Dr. Wise decided to do something great with her experience. She was asked to be involved in CCAT – the Canadian Coalition Against Terrorism – and worked to create and pass a law for victims of terrorism to get medical care and seek justice for their terrorists. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honour for her work helping victims of terrorism.

Dr. Wise is an inspiration to us all, and we are so grateful she was willing to share her experience with us.

The ceremony ended with a beautiful cover of the song "A Million Stars", originally written by Amit Farkash in memory of her brother, helicopter pilot Captain Tom Farkash, after he was died in a helicopter crash in 2006. Grade 11 students Keren Katz and Ilana Guez recorded the song as their own tribute.

Geoffrey Druker speaks to the Grade 12s about Yom Hazikaron

Some of our Grade 12 students had the additional benefit of learning more about the importance of Yom Hazikaron from an expert – Geoffrey Druker, co-chair of the Yom Hazikaron committee at the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.

"In Jewish History we heard from Geoffrey Druker, who spoke to us about the importance of commemorating Yom Hazikaron in our community even though we are not in Israel. Many members of our community and in Jewish communities throughout the world have been affected by acts of terrorism or lost people serving in the IDF. He explained how the ceremony is typically run in Vancouver, and how they focus on incorporating families who have lost loved ones. He also told us how they adapted the ceremony to work with current social distancing restrictions. It was very interesting to hear from Geoffrey and gain a greater understanding of the importance of Yom Hazikaron."

~ Emily and Jessie Miller

"Our Grade 12 Israel Advocacy class was privileged to have Geoffrey Druker speak to us over Zoom. He made us aware of our obligation as Jews in remembering those lost and how to go about remembering them. Geoffrey said that one of the best things we can do is to give those who had lost members of their family on this day a ‘communal hug’."

~ Sagiv Fadida

Yom Ha'atzmaut Morning Assembly

Watch our morning Yom Ha’atzmaut Assembly hosted by Teah Bakonyi and Zevi Kline

Israel’s 72nd Birthday this year was celebrated in a way never before seen in history! In Israel and around the world, we used our creativity and ingenuity to provide the feeling of community and celebration. King David High School was no different! It was amazing to see the enthusiasm of our Grade 12s leading the younger grades in online skits, musical entertainment and activities. We even had the pleasure of a special guest appearance from Class of 2017 alumna, Justine Balin!

We started our celebration with a musical compilation of "Hatikvah" from King David students past and present. Thank you to Johnny Seguin and his friend Stephan for putting this together!

Our school-wide Yom Ha’atzmaut webinar was hosted by Grade 12 students Teah Bakonyi and Zevi Kline. Together they acted out ways in which students could celebrate at home. Thanks for the hilarious skit, Teah and Zevi!

Grade 11 cookie decorating!

After the assembly, students were directed to their grade activities. Each grade had a choice of two activities, led by their Grade 12 leaders. Activities included crafts, such as flag and bracelet making, cookie decorating, Spa Day, IDF boot camp and an Israel trivia contest. 

Above Left: The Bordan family – including Grade 9 student Zach – celebrating 
Yom Ha’atzmaut together!
Above Right: Jordana Corenblum and daughter, Raeya, show off their decorating skills

Grade 8s made their own interpretation of Israeli flags!

After the activities, we were all led in a falafel-making lesson by our very own celebrity chef, Justine Balin. Foods teacher Hilit Nurick and Grade 12 student Ella Pekarsky moderated the show. You can watch the video below and make some mouth-watering falafel for yourself! 

Falafel-Making with Justine Balin

Falafel-making with Justine, Hilit, and Ella

We are so grateful to everyone for approaching this event with positivity and excitement. We were so pleased that, even though we are all at home this year, we created a sense of togetherness and optimism for future celebrations.

To see Justine Balin on Wall of Chefs, click here.
To watch her on Chopped Canada Teen, click here

In ordinary times, first-year kinesiology student Ava Katz, commutes to UBC from Kerrisdale, where her housemates include her 91-year-old grandmother and a mother with a heart condition.

In these extraordinary times, Katz doesn’t want her loved ones risking their health with unnecessary trips to the grocery store. So in March, Katz began making those trips herself. 

As she was transporting groceries home from Save-On Foods, something occurred to her. "It dawned on me that there are people in the community who don’t have family, who don’t have anyone else to go out for them," says Katz.


As part of Student Council’s commitment to keeping our school and broader community connected, Student Council has launched a virtual program called King David Connects, which will feature King David students teaching skills, playing games, or just having conversations with other students, parents, and community members. 

There is currently one upcoming King David Connects event:

Thursday, May 7 at 2:30 p.m.Survivor Recap and Discussion with Emily and Jessie Miller

Shabbat Shalom!

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