Keeping the light on

Dear friends and families, “Then sang Moshe and the Children of Israel this song to God, and they spoke, saying: This is my God…”  (Exodus / Shmot 15:1-2)  A servant girl saw at the sea what Isaiah, Ezekiel and all other prophets did not behold.  (Mechilta) Being a (good) parent is hard.  Being a Jewish parent is even harder. The world we live in
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Untouched purity

“When the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all of the oils. After the Hasmoneans defeated them, they searched and found but one cruse of oil, untouched and sealed with the seal of the High Priest. The cruse had only enough oil for one day, but a miracle occurred and they were able to light from it for eight days. The following year they
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If… then

This week’s Torah portion Vayetzei begins with Yaakov (Jacob) on the run from his brother Esav, alone and heading for Charan.  He stops at the future site at what will eventually become the Temple Mount, and has his famous dream, of “a ladder (that) stood on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of G-d were ascending
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Avraham Avinu pre-Instagram

I signed up for Instagram a few weeks ago (don’t ask).  Not that I don’t have enough to do in my  life, or enough distractions, but I’ve been looking at how to start to use its platform, along with Facebook and Twitter to promote the school and our programs to the wider community.  And let me tell you, Instagram is a crowded marketplace, filled
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Zman simchateinu… really?

I wanted to write about so many good things happening in the school, about student-led activities fueled with ruach and chesed, about the beauty of the Jewish holidays and the power of a great Jewish education. I wanted to write about the students in grades 6/7 who on Thursday were honoured and excited to host more than twenty seniors of the Kehila Society of
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Learning for the real world

On Monday night, September 21, RJDS is holding its annual Meet-the-Teacher evening. The evening is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to meet and connect, learn about what students will be learning this year in class, and have an overall picture of the school year.  Over the course of the evening, many teacher presentations will be referencing BC’s new curriculum, which is the plan that
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Collective soul

With a few days to go before Rosh Hashanah, my thoughts always turn to the writings of the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel, Rav Kook (1865-1935), and his teachings of teshuvah (penitence) in his beautifully poetic book Orot HaTeshuvah (‘Lights of Penitence’).  A key teaching of his is how teshuvah is not only an individual responsibility, but a communal, collective process: “We must disclose the secret that
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Welcome to Lian Swissa, our shinshin!

Dear families, We are very excited to welcome Lian Swissa, a talented and enthusiastic Israeli high school graduate, as our Israeli emissary (shinshin), to Richmond Jewish Day School. “Shinshinim” is an acronym for shnat sherut, meaning “a year of service”. This word describes a program developed by the Jewish Agency for Israel, with the support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, whereby Israeli high
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Find your song

As each school year nears its end, I generally find myself in a pretty contemplative head space. It has been a wonderful year at Richmond Jewish Day School, on so many levels.  We are meeting our educational goals and requirements and providing a meaningful educational experience at the same time.  The school has dedicated teachers and staff, and a wonderful group of parent volunteers.  Retention
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Under the mountain

On Thursday, we had a visit to the school from an artist who had donated a number of his paintings to our school last year.  Usher Hammer, along with his wife Rose, came to see how his artwork, which focuses heavily on letters of the Alef Bet along with precise geometric shapes, was doing in its new home.  We walked through the school and into some
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