Weekly Newsletter – June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021 / 24 Sivan 5781

Shabbat Begins: 8:55 p.m.  Shabbat Ends: 10:19 p.m.  
Parsha: Shelach: Numbers 13:1 – 15:41
With the news from Kamloops – the discovery of 215 children, students from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, buried in unmarked graves – people in Canada and beyond have joined together in shock and grief. We have shared the motto “Every Child Matters” from Orange Shirt Day, and it is a message that resonates now. The truths of Residential Schools have too often been denied or minimized, so much so that the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation had to fund the investigation of this tragedy on their own to show that their children are important.

At King David, we have been commemorating this tragedy in a number of ways: with a heartfelt prayer at the start of our day on Monday, via Zoom, with the support of Mr. Klein, Rabbi Berger, Ms. Bonnycastle, and Lu; with the lowering of our flag to half mast to show grief and mourning; with the poster at the front of the school that we are filling with our wishes of hope, healing, and compassion, which we will be sending to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc; with the orange ribbons we have provided, worn over our hearts in recognition of this loss and pain; and with the fundraiser we have been gathering for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, who have been offering 24-hour support to all Indigenous people feeling grief and needing someone to connect to and to listen to them.

On Thursday, we gathered via Zoom for a special ceremony, with support and compelling words from Rabbi Berger and Grade 11 student Erica Forman, who recited a powerful poem, and with a special appearance by Senaqwila Wyss, from the sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation, who taught us about her own traditions and about how her own people have been feeling through these difficult days. She spoke of the importance of language and place, and shared a song in memory of the children. This ceremony and the other ways we have chosen to respond to and acknowledge this tragedy have allowed us to reflect on how these children, and many others, were treated as if they weren’t of value, and have called on us to work for a future in which every child matters.

Today, we joined the virtual community memorial service. The event was organized by the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver and our community rabbis, with remarks from the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, MP for Vancouver-Granville. She commented on how impressed she was that our children are students of history, because it is through young people that we can change the laws of the country, as we must. She reflected on the sense of community she felt at the gathering and how comforted she felt as a First Nations person hearing the words “justice, love, and inclusion”. She ended by thanking the Jewish community for standing with the First Nations peoples and hosting this important event.

This is a time of grief and of hard lessons and conversations – lessons and conversations we hope continue at home. It is also a time in which we can all share the grief and come together to create a better future.

~ Amanda Cameron, Social Studies and Social Justice Teacher
Artwork created by students Gal Gadassi and Yoshua Welch for their podcast, “Musical Healing”
At the end of Term 2, Mr. Dichter’s Social Studies 11 class was given a big idea to explore: “Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism.”

During this unit, the students learned about our local First Nations peoples. They discussed topics like unceded land, making land acknowledgments, and the colonial language used in present-day news media. Students also looked at the Musqueam and Squamish communities and the issues they have faced.

After this study, the students were tasked with researching the history of colonization in other areas, and the ways that marginalized peoples have come to reclaim their wellbeing despite this. They then created podcasts on a number of topics that interested them, including early Indigenous representation in the NHL, stereotypes in Disney movies, an interview of Myrna MacCallum, host of the Trauma-Informed Lawyer Podcast, and more. Along with the details of their topics, students learned about research, planning, and audio recording and editing in the process of the project.

Please click here to listen to these professionally-created and styled podcasts.
Mr. Mymko’s Science 8, Science 9, and Life Sciences 11 classes have spent the last few weeks practicing their dissection skills!

Science 8 students finished the optics unit with a sheep eye dissection, where they investigated the structure of the inner eye. The Grade 8 Accelerated and Grade 9 students worked to understand the biology of reproduction by conducting testes and ovaries dissection. Meanwhile, the Grade 11 students dissected starfish to understand the body plan of these animal invertebrates.
Mr. Mymko’s Anatomy and Physiology 12 class did a variety of final projects for the course, based on topics in which they were most interested. Students built model lungs in a bottle to learn about the respiratory system, and tested their reaction time and cognition with a series of mini games as part of a presentation on the nervous system. Other projects included a heart model to explain the circulatory system, a presentation on the digestive system, and a disease diagnosis activity to learn about the urinary system.
This week in Ms. Neuman’s Social Studies class, students worked on their final project of the year. In groups, they collaborated on a shared presentation on the development of innovations and their influences during the Industrial Revolution. It’s a great opportunity for students to work together to create their own projects. Next week, the groups will present their research to the class, and their peers will be tasked with answering guided questions about each topic.
I had the pleasure of watching some of our Grade 12 students present their Capstone projects over the last couple of weeks and I noticed that many of them related this passion project to mental health, including the pamphlets above, created by Prielle Laniado. Six presentations spoke directly about personal journeys or challenges and at least half of the class incorporated mental health elements of some kind. This shows us that talking about mental health is important and useful in the lives of our students. Wellness has been prioritized at King David over many years, and it was so encouraging to see our students implement strategies and tools that they have learned here and found elsewhere to better care for themselves.

~ Lu Winters, Wellness Counsellor
Shabbat Shalom!
Schara Tzedeck Speaker Series
Ft. Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Sunday, June 6
10:00 a.m.

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Israeli Dance Classes
A Taste of Orr Chadash

Sundays 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
June 6 – July 25

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Israel, Social Media, and the Battle for Truth
with Noa Tishby

Wednesday, June 9
4:30 p.m. PDT

Summer Youth Power Hour
at the JCC

Tuesdays and Thursdays
starting July 6

Registration opens May 31

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Ben-Gurion University
Virtual Gala for Brain Research

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

Maccabiah Games
Looking for Jewish athletes

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VTT Has Spots Available!

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