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A Pesach teaching about teeth
17 Apr 2019

A Pesach teaching about teeth

Dear families, I had a chance to meet with Grade 5 students yesterday for a short lesson on some of the deeper teachings contained in the haggadah, and I want to share with you what I shared with them, on the same condition that I gave them – make sure to share this particular teaching at your seder tables. It’s a simple teaching, but deceptively...

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Homework revisited
07 Mar 2019

Homework revisited

Dear parents, Our first survey, Homework, was met with a high rate or participation.  127 respondents took the time to provide their feedback on this survey. Over the last few weeks prior to Spring Break, we analyzed the results, highlighted the recurring themes and identified some of the actionable items that will further improve the homework experience at HFS.  We want to share the results...

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06 Feb 2019

The faces of children

Dear families, I wrote this following piece back in 2016 at my former school, and I wanted to share it with you as it relates to this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Terumah. One of the hardest  parts of the job as principal is when you have to to deal with young students who have gotten into a fight.  Not hard in a “what type of conflict resolution...

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On Literacy Month and Memories of Shogun, Astérix et Obélix
24 Jan 2019

On Literacy Month and Memories of Shogun, Astérix et Obélix

Dear families and friends, Hebrew Foundation School is currently in the middle of Literacy Month, in which the whole school has taken on the challenge of reaching a reading goal of 10,000 pages, in all three languages. Each time a student reaches his or her reading goal (pages, chapters or books, depending on their grade level), they receive a “bookworm” sticker which is placed on...

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On Chanukah, religious freedom and public faith
07 Dec 2018

On Chanukah, religious freedom and public faith

Dear friends and families, I was part of a panel discussion at a symposium last week in Ottawa, organized by the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute. Cardus is a Christian think tank, and I had gotten involved in this interfaith effort at the request of CIJA, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, after meeting with the institute’s director, Father Deacon Andrew Bennett, in the fall of...

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The struggle to protect
09 Nov 2018

The struggle to protect

Dear families and friends, This week’s Torah portion, Toldot, opens with Yitzchak and Rivkah struggling for years to conceive. They pray to God for help, and in their 20th year of marriage, Rivkah becomes pregnant with twins. It’s your standard pregnancy with pickles and chips, and sending Yitzchak for late night runs to the depanneur for Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice-cream (“don’t bother coming back without it”...

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19 Oct 2018

Go to yourself

Dear families and friends, We had a school-wide Kabbalat Shabbat today, in which we gathered as a school community to sing and pray, celebrate and bring in Shabbat together. In between the chicken soup and the fish course (just kiddding, just grape juice and challah), I had a chance to speak to the students and I would like to share with you what I shared...

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Post-flood parenting
11 Oct 2018

Post-flood parenting

Dear friends and families, A conversation I had with my five-year-old last night when I was putting him to bed has stayed with me long after he drifted off to sleep. We’re lying on the bed together, going over what happened in each of our days, and after we sang the Shma together, I told him: “You know, Hashem loves you.” He’s quiet for a...

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Why do we fall?
14 Sep 2018

Why do we fall?

Yom Kippur. The Fast Day when my attention turns to… Batman Begins. If you want to distill a key theological understanding of Yom Kippur down to one scene in the movies, this is the one for you. In the scene from the brilliant 2005 movie, a badly injured and despondent Bruce Wayne is rescued by his trusty butler Alfred, who, in his perfect British accent,...

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We are in this together
05 Sep 2018

We are in this together

Dear families and friends,  chères familles et amis, 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 classic spiritual work Orot HaTeshuvah (‘Lights of Penitence’). Allow me to explain. You see, I have a big problem over the High Holidays....

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