Weekly Newsletter – April 30, 2021

April 30, 2021 / 18 Iyar 5781

Shabbat Begins: 8:10 p.m.  Shabbat Ends: 9:24 p.m.  
Parsha: Emor: Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23
AM YISRAEL CHAI
Rabbi Berger speaks to via Zoom to the entire school community this morning about the tragedy at Mt. Hermon

Today is the 33rd day of the Omer. Typically, this day is a time of celebration after 32 days of mourning the loss of Jewish lives in a plague 2000 years ago. But this year, our 33rd day has been filled with tragedy due to the disaster at Mount Meron Thursday night. What was supposed to be a liberating day for Israel – free from the constraints of COVID-19 – to celebrate the life of Shimon Bar Yochai and his legacy has unfortunately turned to days of mourning.
 
Every Jew has a sacred obligation to comfort mourners, whether he is related to them or not, whether he was a close friend or a passing acquaintance. In Judaism, exercising compassion by paying a condolence call is learned when God visited Isaac after the death of Abraham (Genesis 25:11). As we are made in God’s image, if God comforts the bereaved, so must man.
 
At no other time is a human being more in need of such help and companionship. Amidst the pain and sorrow, what has been refreshing to see is the coming together of different parts of Israeli society. Local Arab villages near Meron set up stations to offer free food and drink for the many thousands of Jewish worshipers still trying to make their way out of Meron. At least one of the Arab villages offered the town’s emergency services to provide any help necessary to the rescue crews. Arab leaders in Israel and abroad expressed sorrow over the tragedy and were encouraged to see Jews and Arabs working together to respond to the disaster, calling it “a small ray of light in the great tragedy.”
 
Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, hundreds of secular Israelis lined up and waited hours in the hot sun to donate blood at Magen David Adom mobile units in the iconic Rabin Square, after the organization sent out a call for anyone to come to assist following the deadly stampede. Tel Aviv additionally plans to light up the municipality building with the Star of David on Saturday night, in solidarity with the victims and their families.
 
Many King David students, feeling pain and sorrow, penned letters to the grieving families to let them know that we are thinking of them in a place called Vancouver. These letters will be sent to the Yeshiva that suffered the greatest loss of numbers.
 
If anything, this is what the Almighty wants from us in such terrible and tragic moments; to come together and unite, doing what we can in our way when there is loss in our community. Let’s hope we can continue this and start coming together to unite in times of celebration and everyday life.

We offer our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones in this disaster, and wish a full and swift recovery to all those injured.

~ Rabbi Stephen Berger
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Our Grade 10 Foods students have been hard at work! This week the students had their run-through of their Lion’s Den menu in the Foods room, but the project is ongoing. They will pick up their ingredients next week and will take the week to prep and cook for their families in their own home kitchens! Stay tuned for the results!
FUN WITH FUNCTIONS
Grade 12 Calculus students created works of art (pictured above) by using 15 different relations and their derivatives, including polynomials (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th degrees, etc), absolute value, radical (square root, cubic root, etc), logarithmic, exponential, trig, etc. 

Who knew that calculus could be so creative?
MEET AND GREET WITH ANNE!
On Wednesday evening, King David parents had the opportunity to meet Anne Bonnycastle, our new Assistant Head of School: Director of Teaching and Learning. Anne shared a little about her family, past educational experiences, and her philosophy about education. It was an informal conversation and it was a wonderful opportunity for parents to get to hear from Anne firsthand.
MAZAL TOV, TEAM PURPLE!
As you might expect, sports at King David have looked a little bit different this year… but that hasn’t stopped our Lions! We have had King David-only sports all year, and have even run tournaments! Most recently, we had our Junior Intramural Floor Hockey championships.

Congratulations to Aaron Guralnick, Isaac Henry, Jonah Lazar, and Judah Moskovitz, members of Team Purple, for their win! Not only did they show great poise, tenacity and competitiveness, but they also embodied school PRIDE and excellent sportsmanship.

Thank you to our coaches, Mr. Amram and Mr. Seguin!

Kol Hakavod!
GENOCIDE PREVENTION STUDIES
On Wednesday, Carmel Tanaka, the founder of Genocide Prevention BC and community engagement director of Elimin8hate, spoke to the Holocaust Studies students about her fascinating family heritage and the awful effects of intergenerational trauma. Carmel’s story is especially interesting as she has both Jewish and Japanese heritage and has felt the impact of both the Holocaust and the Japanese internment camps in Canada. Her past has inspired her to speak to students across Canada and educate them about genocide prevention. We are so grateful to Carmel for taking the time to speak with our class!

~ Tomer Berko-Gabay, Grade 12
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Shabbat Shalom!
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