Weekly Newsletter – April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021 / 4 Iyar 5781

Shabbat Begins: 7:49 p.m.  Shabbat Ends: 9:00 p.m.  
Parsha: Tazria-Metzorai: Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33
Our Yom Hazikaron ceremony, prepared by Ms. Talmaciu’s Grade 10 Hebrew class, was so meaningful. Students and teachers alike commented on how touching the ceremony was.

The Zoom assembly began with an explanation of the significance of Israel’s Memorial Day. We all stood for a moment of silence and reflection while video of the siren in Israel played. Our Grade 10 students read poetry, played songs written for fallen soldiers, showed animated stories and lit Yartzheit candles for those who were killed or went missing while fighting for Israel. We concluded the ceremony with a prayer for the safety of Israel and a heartwarming performance of “Hatikvah” by our King David choir.
Wow, what a week! Sandwiched between Yom Hazikaron and our RAC Week Kick-off, our school looked like an explosion of happiness for Yom Ha’atzmaut on Thursday! Flowers, flags and rainbow balloons everywhere!

Our day began with an outstanding presenter brought to us by PAC all the way from Israel. Viva Press (top left in the image above) impressed us with her vast knowledge of what makes Israel an innovation leader in the global market. The secret? The answer, which some might find surprising, is failure. That’s right – the willingness to fail, get back up, and apply what you’ve learned helps set Israel apart from all other countries. That mindset, combined with creativity, the belief that the impossible is possible, and a can-do attitude, is the recipe for success.

Viva demonstrated Israeli innovation by giving us examples of all the amazing products that are embedded into our everyday lives that were developed in Israel. Would you believe the NBA uses Israeli-created tech?

After our presentation, each grade had a special celebration time in their Hebrew/Judaic Studies classes. They played Gaga outside, got Israeli flag temporary tattoos, played Israel trivia games, went fishing in the Kineret, and much more! 

A special shout-out goes to our Grade 10 students for leading us throughout the day with their amazing leadership abilities. They did a fantastic job of volunteering their talents with students both younger and older than themselves. And what weather! We couldn’t have asked for a better day for our school event.
On Friday, we kicked off our Random Acts of Chesed (RAC) Week! It was an awesome day, and all the hard work of our Grade 12 RAC Committee, led by Maya Cantor, Keren Katz, Mattea Lewis, and Ella Michaeli, paid off!

Inspired by our beloved Gabrielle Isserow z’l, each year, RAC Week is an incredible event dedicated to giving back to our community.

Though things looked a little different this year – just as they have for all our events! – it was no less fun! After a day of shortened classes, we had a brief Zoom assembly led by Grade 12 students Casey Krombein and Neve Haber, who introduced this year’s RAC theme: “Your Mind is a Garden”. Students and staff then saw a video from Marcos Mogyoros, Class of 2008, who spoke about Gabi and what an incredible friend and person she was.

Then we heard from guest speaker Jordan Bowman, who spoke to our students about his past struggles with drug addiction and how he developed healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with his mental health. Students had the opportunity to ask Jordan questions about his experience and how he continues to manage his mental wellness. We are so grateful to Jordan for sharing his story with us.

The assembly ended with a great RAC TikTok video by Grade 12 students Kyla Charach, Juliette Sandler, and Jordana Stern!
For the rest of the afternoon, students were given time at a variety of fun activity stations, including Mad Libs, mask decorating, a RAC-themed photo booth, writing notes of kindness, gardening, packing hygiene donations for Tikvah Housing Society, and more!

We sent our students home with a cooling popsicle and are now getting ready for a new week full of Service Learning and continued acts of chesed. Each day of the week, a different grade will take part in activities both in and out of the school.

A huge thank you to our Grade 12 students for helping to run today’s activities, and to Ellia Belson, Director of Jewish Life and Events, for organizing such a wonderful day for our staff and students!

Stay tuned for more RAC Week fun in next week’s newsletter!
Shabbat Shalom!
Youth Power Hour
at the JCC

Tuesdays and Thursdays
April 6 – June 17

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Moving Beyond Covid-19
A Year of Upheaval

Sunday, April 25
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

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Moving Beyond Covid-19
Growth After Trauma

Monday, April 26
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

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