Weekly Newsletter – December 11, 2020

December 11, 2020  / 25 Kislev 5781

Shabbat Begins: 3:56 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 5:09 p.m.   
Parsha: Vayeshev: Genesis 37:1 – 40:23

On Thursday and Friday, we gathered – virtually – to have a student-led candle lighting and brachot reading in celebration of Hanukkah, followed by a performance by Music students, led by Music teacher, Johnny Seguin. Each candle lighting ceremony next week will feature students from different grades. Students were also given individually wrapped sufganiot at lunch time on Friday.
Thank you to Marat Dreyshner, parent of Ethan and Simoana in Grade 10, for the generous donation of Hanukkah Gelt chocolates. 

A Hanukkah Message from Rabbi Berger

The truth about COVID-19 is that most human beings are not in serious danger. For many people, even if infected, G-d forbid, it feels like a bad flu. So why not let our kids go out and play? Why should we make our teens uncomfortable by making them wear masks or forcing social distancing? Why should you bother to test your child when he or she is not feeling well?
As Jews, we often teach and profess the high principles that every life is holy and we have a responsibility to everybody else. These normally remain in the realm of platitudes, and we rarely have the opportunity to put these high ideals in effect. But today, and every day for several months now, we have had a chance to live these high ideals daily. We have a responsibility to act for all of those people who are vulnerable. We have a responsibility to act for all those who are immuno-compromised. All of these measures that are being taken are not for our own sake, but for the sake of others. We have the opportunity every day to enact and live the mitzvah of “he who saves a life, saves a universe.” We should show a sense of responsibility, because we care about the rest of humanity. We care about everybody else.
Click here for the full message.

This year, more than ever, it is crucial to incorporate spirit (“Ruach” in Hebrew) into our lives. As part of the effort to bring spirit into our school lives, the Senior and Junior Student Councils organized Spirit Week. Students were encouraged to dress up each day according to the corresponding theme, which were: Monochrome Monday, Tourist Tuesday, On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, Jersey Thursday, and Pajama Friday. Activities during lunch were held throughout the week, including music, an interactive map where students were able to pin thumbtacks on countries they had visited, watching the movie Mean Girls, and playing sports outside. The overlapping of Hanukkah aided in the feeling of warmth and joy that flooded the halls this week. Even in a pandemic, we were able to come together and find a way to celebrate as we approach Winter Break.

~Keren Katz, Grade 12

On Wednesday evening, fifty participants logged in to Zoom for an informative presentation organized by PAC. We were extremely fortunate to have three local parents, all highly regarded experts in their fields, address our school community. 

Dr. Natasha Press, Infectious Diseases Specialist at St Paul’s Hospital, Dr. Marc Romney, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC, and Dr. Erik Swartz, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UBC, made up the panel. The panel provided current insights on the COVID-19 pandemic, how it relates to school-aged children, and answered many questions. One question that was asked resonated with many, and we have included Dr. Press’ response to the question: Are Schools Safe?

Some interesting facts:
  1. In masks that require a filter, dry baby wipes can be used.
  2. Which part of our hands do we overlook when washing or sanitizing them? Watch how Dr. Press washes her hands in the video below to find out!

Hand Washing 101


The Science 8 Accelerated and Science 9 classes presented their chemistry experiments this week. Some students chose to create rock candy, which is formed by creating a supersaturated solution using heated water and sugar. Other students used a vinegar and baking soda mixture to make a fire extinguisher that blows out candles with carbon dioxide. Others made elephant toothpaste using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and yeast. The yeast produces an enzyme that catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. As the oxygen bubbles out, it forms bubbles with the detergent. Add in food colouring, and voila – elephant toothpaste.

Shabbat Shalom!


Virtual Israel Events
with the JFGV

Through December

JNF Virtual Tour in the Western Wall Tunnels

Sunday, December 13  
11:00 a.m.

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