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A new school year, a new Jewish year

Friday, August 31, 2018

Apples, wine and a shofar

For many, this time of year is all about the last days of summer and the countdown to children returning to school. In the Jewish calendar, with high holidays on the horizon, we add to these undertakings a time for self-reflection.

This year, we have the opportunity to reflect on the new school year and the new Jewish year practically simultaneously. The hubbub of new class schedules, organizing lockers, reacquainting with friends, organizing carpools and packing lunches coincides with the Hebrew month of Elul, when extra prayers and the sounding of the shofar escalate the level of intensity and introspection that culminates in the holiness of Yom Kippur.

During this period in the Jewish calendar, many choose to review the year they've had, to think about the decisions they’ve made and consider the changes they would like to see in the future. Some may undertake new personal commitments, religious or otherwise.

The timing of the chagim this year presents us, as a school community, with the ideal opportunity to reflect on how we want to approach the new school year and to consider the goals we might set for ourselves, our students and our children. Perhaps this is the time to dedicate oneself to better study habits or to get involved in a new activity or cause.

TanenbaumCHAT remains committed to challenging, supporting and preparing our students to live lives of high moral character, intellectual curiosity, Jewish commitment, and civic duty. We are blessed with faculty and staff who stimulate and support our children.

We provide an unparalleled number of courses and academic tracks, and extra and co-curricular activities. This year, in addition to our regular impressive roster of shows, events, clubs, teams and activities, we are offering new opportunities such as:

  • A new elective for grade 12 students called “Literature, Film and Tanakh” that allows students to compare and contrast traditional text and modern interpretations.
  • A pre-Yom Kippur learning program in which more than 30 community rabbis, from synagogues across Toronto, will engage students in the issue of bein adam l’chaveiro (how we treat each other)
  • An international basketball tournament that we will host in January and to which we will welcome teams from Canada, the United States and Israel.
  • The installation of 15 new enhanced SmartBoards.  

This year, we have also launched a new campaign that challenges each of our students to “Find Yourself @TanenbaumCHAT”.  With the breadth of options available, and the support and guidance of our staff, I encourage our students to explore and to get involved in school life. I am confident that in doing so they will find many opportunities for learning, growth and self-reflection at our wonderful school.

Wishing you and your families a happy and successful school year, and a meaningful and enjoyable high holiday season.

Shana tova u’metuka.




Photo courtesy: Gilabrand