The power of a smile

A friend of my father (z”l) recently posted the following on Facebook, about a teaching he remembered from my father: “Sholom taught that we don’t say a bracha before giving tzedakah because you might miss the opportunity and it’s more important to just give the money. Sholom: ‘But when you give the money look the person in the eye and smile. That’s also tzedakah.
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Seeing the good

Mazal tov on arriving at the last Friday, the last erev Shabbat of the 2016-17 school year!  It was a wonderful school year filled with so many amazing memories, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all at our end-of-year assembly on Wednesday morning.  As my message in today’s last blog of the school year, I want to share with you something that I
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The easiest thing is also the hardest thing

Today was the grade 1 siddur ceremony at RJDS, and I mean it with all sincerity when I say each and every year that it is the highlight of my year.  The ceremony, lovingly prepared by our Morah Bat Sheva Michaeli, is really such a beautiful moment in the yearly life of any Jewish Day School, and is filled with meaning and hope and
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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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