Weekly Newsletter – May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021 / 17 Sivan 5781

Shabbat Begins: 8:49 p.m.  Shabbat Ends: 10:10 p.m.  
Parsha: Behaalotecha: Numbers 8:1 – 12:16
With the escalation in violence and anti-Semitism worldwide, we have been speaking with our students to help them manage the challenges they face through their various social media platforms. We started with a whole school virtual assembly on Thursday, May 13, and since then, have had regular in-class discussions. Every Friday, each grade has a session of Ask the Rabbi with Rabbi Berger and Judaic Studies teachers. This Friday, in response to ongoing conversations with and questions from students based on current circumstances, the focus was on the rising incidence of anti-Semitism in Canada.

Students began today’s sessions by watching a report that first aired on Global News on May 17. The video clip covered the conflict in Israel, protests in cities across Canada, and the increase in violence against Jewish businesses and citizens. Students were asked to write down any questions provoked by the video as well as any other questions they may have. Questions were placed in a box, read aloud then discussed. The sessions ended with a presentation that shared tips and strategies to equip students with the knowledge needed to deal with prejudice, both online and in person.

Students in Grade 11 were particularly articulate: 

Maya Miller commented that “because the conversation was student-led, asking the questions during the session allowed us to voice our concerns.” 

Ethan Bernal noted how easily information can be affected by bias, even when reporters try to be neutral. He also shared: “My grandmother has told us that biases are taught!”

Adeena Rosenblatt reflected that often, “as hard as one tries to stay unbiased, it comes out leaning towards one side.” She went on to say that the session was very informative.

Barak Lapid said that he had noticed that “the ratio of violence towards Jews is not balanced – there is way more towards Jews now not just Israelis – and I respond to everyone online.”

Erica Forman shared, “This is a prominent issue on social media that we are facing all the time now. We see anti-Semitic Tik Tok videos, biased tweets and posts on Instagram, sometimes posted or retweeted by people we know. It is good that we discussed this and have some tips and strategies to help us deal with it .”
In recent weeks, Canada has witnessed a shockingly sharp spike in anti-Semitism. Jewish Canadians have been subjected to verbal harassment, vicious threats, and even physical violence. This must stop. We cannot allow antisemitism to deepen its roots in Canada!

We must take action. Together.

King David is pushing back and we encourage you to join us! We are sharing information from CIJA on how we can all step up, communicate with our elected officials and use our social media platforms to promote caring dialogue and to stop the hate.

We encourage everyone to get active on social media! We will be happy to share CIJA resources for social media – just email our Head of School, Russ Klein!
L-R: King David High School, Amedeo Ottolenghi, and Liceo Galvani School, Bologna, Italy.
Capstone Projects

International student Amedeo Ottolenghi shared with us his perspective on his Italian and Canadian high school experiences – here’s a summary of his presentation in his own words: 

Italy and Canada, Comparison of the Two Teaching Methods 

I am an Italian student who is currently completing his High School studies at King David in Vancouver. Education plays an important role in shaping the lives of students, it is therefore with pleasure that I compare the two school contexts.

The differences are many, and both teaching methods have their positive and negative sides. If I had to give a concise statement, I would say that the main distinction lies within the balance between private life and school life. As for the Italian school, students have less time to pursue their interests, I have often met people who stopped practicing certain sports or activities to focus greater attention on school. On the other hand, at King David, the school environment is lighter but also more stimulating. I believe that almost every student in my grade has passions that they proceed to cultivate every day. Having more free time myself, I succeeded in beginning a process of self-growth that I would hardly have had if I remained in Italy.

Moving more attention to the technical differences, in Italy, High School lasts five years (until grade 13) and before your first year, you get to decide a “path” which you should try to stick to until the end of the fifth year. The choices are the following: Artistic, Humanistic, Linguistic, Music and dance, and Scientific (or Human sciences). Based on your decision you will study with more focus a certain group of subjects that will remain the same until the end of your last year. In my case, I decided to pursue the humanistic path. Indeed more attention was brought up to subjects such as Ancient Greek, Latin, or Philosophy without neglecting scientific subjects such as Physics, Mathematics, or Science.

There are also differences regarding your classmates, in Italy at the beginning of High School you are assigned to a specific room based on the path you select (and consequently to a group of classmates) that will remain the same until the end of your studies, whereas in Canada for each course, there are different rooms and classmates.

Another difference that often creates a great deal of stir is that in Italy the school week goes from Monday to Saturday with lessons starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. (sometimes also ending at 1 p.m. depending on the path) all this without any lunch breaks or spare blocks; in Italy, there are only two 10 minutes breaks per day. Having a single day of rest certainly involves greater intellectual effort, however, I am convinced that it creates a good foundation for a constant and productive study method. 

A final difference that I consider worthy of mention is that in my old school, students, in addition to having tests and quizzes, are also subjected to oral tests that can occur every day, therefore a diligent student should be prepared to be tested daily on almost every subject. 

People often ask me what kind of education system I prefer. It is difficult for me to give a precise answer, however, what I know for sure is that I would do this experience at King David again, without any doubt!
This week in our Bread Unit, Foods 9 students made challot to take home for Shabbat – I am not sure all made it home though! Next on our agenda is Sour Dough.
The Bantam Floor Hockey Season came to a triumphant finish, as Grade 8s battled out the finals on the hardtop on Wednesday. According to Purple Team player Levi Arazi: “Even though this was a small group, I really enjoyed it. It was fun to have something to do after school with my friends.” 

Thanks to coaches David “Double Loop Run” Amram and Johnny “The Puck Stops Here” Seguin for a great season of slapshots, assists, and power-plays. 

(Photos: Goalies Johnny Seguin and Jessica Osten – can you tell which one is which?)
You have probably heard about a missing member of our community. Please take a moment to review the most recent information in the poster.

To join a search party, please click here to join the WhatsApp group. This works best on a phone.

Please help by sharing and circulating all over social media
Shabbat Shalom!
Brunch with Bakan
CHW Vancouver Book Club Event

Sunday, May 30
11:00 a.m. PT

Click on image for more information
Celebration of Kindness Gala
Honouring Dr. Bonnie Henry

Sunday, May 30
5:15 p.m.

Click on image for more information

Summer Youth Power Hour
at the JCC

Tuesdays and Thursdays
starting July 6

Registration opens May 31

Click on image for more information
Ben-Gurion University
Virtual Gala for Brain Research

Wednesday, July 7
2:45 p.m. PDT


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