Let all who are in need come and celebrate

I had the privilege of learning with the students in grade 6/7 last week, and we were discussing the beginning of the Ha Lachma Anya (This is the bread of our affliction), one of the more well-known passages in the Haggadah, in which we are instructed to: “Kol dichfin yeitei v’yeichul. Kol ditzrich yeitei v’yifsach” – “Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let
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Heavy of mouth

Heavy of Mouth But Moses said to the LORD, “Please, O Lord, I have never been a man of words, either in times past or now that You have spoken to Your servant; I am heavy of mouth (chvad peh) and heavy of tongue (chvad lashon).” Exodus 4:10 Moses spoke before Hashem, saying, “Behold, the Children of Israel have not listened to me, so
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This is Torah

Dear families and friends, When teaching Judaic Studies to upper grade students, it’s important to select texts that are captivating, yet complicated enough that students at that developmental stage can wrestle with the content, and be impacted by a number of the big ideas embedded in the text.  This is especially the case if they can find personal meaning in it.  My litmus test
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Atonement

I was invited to do tashlich with grade 3 this week at Garry Point Park.  It was cold, it was windy, it was a perfectly sombre setting to symbolically “cast off” our sins of the previous year in the flowing waters of the South Arm of the Fraser River.  I tried to do tashlich for myself as well, but I couldn’t fit all of
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Getting ready: a message from the Principal

Dear families and friends, Back-to-school shopping and preparations are such big moments for parents and kids. As the years go by, we never truly forget those new uniforms, the daring haircuts, the new sneakers, the oh-so-cool lunch bags, the funky chatchkes to decorate lockers, and even the great pens or pencils.  The truth is that while families are gearing up to return to school, teachers go
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Play is the thing

Three incredible events took place this week in the school, and all are related in a fundamental way. On Monday, the school had the Richmond Jewish Day School & Beth Tikvah Congregation Charity Golf Tournament.  It was a great success, and we owe serious thanks to the work of our amazing parent volunteers, led by our Fundraising Chair, Marshall Stern.  Many, many hours went
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Live by them

It’s beautiful and sunny outside today, with a high of 21 degrees.  Grade 5-7 is having a wonderful time right now at the PNE / Playland, and our students at school are enjoying the beginning of what feels like summer.  And one province over, in Fort McMurray, Alberta, we have this: The wildfire, which has gown to 101,000 hectares in size, is truly devastating,
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Two pockets

Thirty-one years ago this Shabbos, my older brother Mordechai had his Bar Mitzvah, on Shabbos parshat Tazria Metzora.  He was the trailblazer, the first one of us to have a Bar Mitzvah, and I remember listening to him practice his parsha in the weeks and months leading up to the big day at the Young Israel of Montreal. As much as I remember him practicing to
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Purim’s Wonder Woman

This is too much of a coincidence. Purim is today, and tonight, after the Chabad of Richmond / Richmond Jewish Day School Purim Carnival (@ 5:30 PM) is the first showing of the epic movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  The mystical kabbalist / fanboy in me sees a parallel, one that binds pop culture and yiddishkeit together. Purim, with its mega-heroes Mordechai
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The flying rebbetzin

Over the course of your student life, you take a lot of tests, and schools have all sorts of ways of assessing the full range of student ability – social, emotional, and academic achievement.  In other words, schools tackle the essential task of knowing what students know.  I’m writing this blog post as our first ever student-led conferences are underway, where students run the conferences,
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