Weekly Newsletter – June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020  / 13 Sivan 5780

Shabbat Begins: 8:56 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 10:20 p.m.   
Parsha: Naso: Numbers 4:21-7:89

Grade 12 students during this week’s "Ask the Rabbi"

Every Friday, Rabbi Berger’s classes are given the opportunity to "Ask the Rabbi", which works exactly how it sounds – students ask the Rabbi any questions they have about their Jewish learning or something that has been on their mind that they’d like the Jewish perspective on.

This week, Rabbi Berger – joined by Mr. Klein, Mr. Mo, and other staff throughout the day – discussed with students the protests currently taking place in the United States and around the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. He wanted to give the students the chance to discuss what it means, how they feel about it, and what our duty is to stand up for other people who are being oppressed. 

Students shared their perspectives and the ways in which they feel that, as Jews, they can empathize with the feeling of persecution, while also recognizing the differences between what they face and what people of colour face every day.

Students then discussed the text of Pirkei Avot 1:17, which could generate a great discussion for families at the Shabbat table:

"Shimon, his son, used to say: All my days I grew up among the sages, and I have found nothing better for a body than silence. Exposition (learning) is not the most important thing, but actions; whoever indulges in too many words brings about wrongdoing."

Students discussed what the text meant to them, and the idea that while learning is important, to learn properly, we must be quiet. And if we do not then turn that learning into action, it is useless.
Just yesterday, Mr. Klein sent a message home wondering what our role is, as a Jewish school, in speaking out publicly against the injustices we see happening every day. He considered our obligation – as educators, as parents, as people – to have these difficult discussions with our youth. How can we not take up the responsibility to act and to call on everyone to unite in the pursuit of justice and respect, regardless of race, creed, or colour?

Click here for Mr. Klein’s full message, which also includes a link to resources.

On Monday morning, we were thrilled to be able to welcome students back into the building! The building looked different and each morning began with the students  gathering in the atrium to hear from Mr. Mo and Mr. Klein about the new safety measures set up in the building, including direction signs, hand-washing reminders, social distancing requirements, and more.

Throughout the week, students from each grade were given a specific day to come to school and receive in-person learning and help from their teachers for the first time in two and a half months. It also provided our faculty with the opportunity to become familiar with the technology they are using for the hybrid teaching model with some students on Zoom and others at school. 

It was an absolute pleasure to once again have the sounds of students’ laughter in our halls and classrooms, and to be face to face with members of our King David Family!

Some of the new signage and social distancing set ups in the building

What a wonderful conversation about how our memories can be triggered by food! Thank you to King David staff members Dorin Eilon-Heiber and Shula Talmaciu who hosted the conversation on Tuesday evening with contributions from parents and community members Deborah Youngson, Debra Miller, Eleanor Braude, Ellia Belson (who is also staff!), Pam Wolfman, Revital Lapid, Ronit Reda Yona, and Ruth Buckwold. 

In our sources, we learn about food right from the beginning. We all know the story of Adam and Eve, and of Abraham welcoming his angel guests with food. Food is so connected to our Chagim, our traditions, that it is part of who we are.

Most of us have a memory of a food that takes us back to childhood. It can be as simple as a candy bar that we used to get as a treat during our youth, or more involved like your grandmother’s Challah or soup. No matter the importance, memories involving food are vivid and they sometimes feel more real and alive than other types of memories.

Dorin shared the joy she feels when her children visit and say, "Oh, it smells like home!" What does the smell of home mean? For her, it’s the smell of her great-grandmother baking in her small kitchen in the Meah Shearim in Jerusalem. It represents a happy childhood, Shabbat, and YomTov, and Dorin loves that it’s the smell of her kitchen that her children identify as the smell of home.

Ronit Reda Yona shared her memories of her mother and grandmother preparing Injera, an Ethiopian flat bread, for Shabbat, and her efforts to make it in Vancouver. Ken Miller joined the conversation and shared how much he loves Ethiopian food and his attempts to cook Ethiopian foods! Sharing the memory created a connection, and they have a plan to get together to make it as soon as it is possible again!

What memories do traditions and rituals trigger for you? What smells remind you of home?

Our World Club’s guest this week was Damien Stonick, who completed a Masters thesis titled "Materials of Resilience". In her thesis, she discusses the idea that resilience comes from seeing the possible in the impossible, and seeing complete objects as a series of systems, rather than just single-use items. This allows us the chance to take things apart and remake them to suit our needs. For instance, if you are finished with an old sweater, but could use a blanket, you can take the sweater apart to use the material to create a blanket. Damien talked a lot about focusing on the process over the product, and explained that resilience doesn’t always require a plan. Instead, it is about learning as you go along and empowering yourself with the constant awareness that you can initiate change. She noted that part of this process is setting yourself up with tasks, challenges and lessons daily. Quarantine is a good place to start, by simply looking around your space to find what is available and working with it. For instance, what is in your recycling? Could you turn it into anything useful?

Please join Rabbi Berger, either as individuals or families, for a special Friday discussion. Rabbi Berger will present, through case studies, a thought-provoking collection of dilemmas that will be make for a lively Shabbat conversation. Here is a chance to share values, discuss ethics, and take a look into the Talmud and the wisdom of the Jewish legal process. These cases will let you be the judge and turn your family room into a Beit Din: "House of Law".

With the world under quarantine, we all had to give up some amenities we’ve grown used to. But with BC carefully opening up more businesses, Mr. Klein knew what he needed most – a haircut! 

Have you got any "before and after" quarantine photos to share? We want to see them!

Shabbat Shalom!


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Tutoring with Jacob and Landon 
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BBQ Busters
Barbecue cleaning services from Aaron Casseres and Jack Tritt

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