December 18

Senator Marc Gold

Today we welcomed Senator Marc Gold into our Grade 5 classroom, where he delivered a bilingual presentation sharing his experience in the Senate of Canada and answering our questions.

The students were so engaged, and their interest was seen through the thoughtful and insightful questions they asked. There were so many incredible lessons that Senator Gold shared with us that I hope we will all remember for a long time.

What stood out for me, is how much Senator Gold relies on his Jewish values in the decisions he makes, the path he has followed in his life, and the way he considers his responsibilities within the Senate. Growing up in a Jewish home, he remembers his mother giving food to strangers who would knock at the door. From that upbringing, he always felt a strong responsibility to take care of the most vulnerable, and do his small, but important role, of making the world a better place. Tikkun Olam is what guides him on a daily basis, and says that even his non-Jewish colleagues believe in this important Jewish value.

Working as a senator is an important job, one that Senator Gold does not take lightly. He has had to make difficult decisions, as his commitment to his province, his belief in the constitution, and his own personal opinions can sometimes conflict with each other. Again, he makes connections to Judaism when facing these challenges. Our tradition teaches us to confront challenges (own our own learning), to look at multiple points of view, expose ourselves to as many points of view as we can (we learn better together), and rely on others to teach you (each person is responsible for the other), as this is how we learn the best. He even referenced the Talmud, where multiple commentary are included, not just the commentary of the “winner”. These opinions are important to document and share, as their thoughts may be important at some point in history. Therefore, even if his opinions are not the most popular, Senator Gold sees it as his responsibility to share and document them, as their value may not yet be seen.

Finally, he showed us that diversity is important. Before becoming a lawyer and a senator, he always loved music, and continues to play in a band, even today. He loves to walk, spend time with his family, read, and my favourite, daydream.

In our class we know that, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”

At OJCS, we embrace our differences, encourage hard work, and help to guide each other on our own unique Jewish journeys. Today was an incredible example of how these values will continue to serve us, even after we leave the welcoming walls of OJCS.

 

October 18

Student Vote 2019

We had a great turnout for our Student Vote yesterday! The grade 5 students prepared and delivered! It was a long morning, where lots of patience was needed, but they stepped up to the challenge and were true model students and citizens.

We started the morning learning how to fold and initial the ballots to ensure they were all “kosher” and hadn’t been tampered with. They also witnessed and confirmed that the ballot boxes were empty before they were sealed.

And then the fun began! We welcomed all the classes from grades 3 to 8 into our room, presented important information on the main party platforms, and then worked as Poll Clerks and Deputy Returning Officers to guide voters through the voting process.

 


We can’t wait to share the results with you, after the polls close for the rest of the country, on Monday evening. We will be counting the votes on Wednesday so stay tuned!

October 11

It’s Voting Season!

Last week our middle school students ran for various positions on our Knesset (student council). We listened to their speeches and then went through the private voting process.

Today, it was our turn to run! Five well-deserving candidates gave speeches to their peers for the position of Class Representative. It’s not always easy to speak in front of the class, and they all did a great job! Although there had to be one winner, I was so impressed with the support and camaraderie all the students showed each other.


Next week, as the Canadian population prepares to vote, our students will also have the opportunity to have their voice heard. With grade 5 students at the lead, they have been researching the various parties, their leaders, MP candidates, and platform highlights. They will share this information with students in grades 3-8 on Thursday, October 17th, as the OJCS participates in the Student Vote Canada 2019. 

We’ll definitely keep you posted on the results. It will be interesting to see how our students feel compared to the rest of Canada!

 

October 16

Traveling Across the Country

Who says you need to get on an airplane to travel across the country? Thanks to Canadian Geographic Education, we got to experience the map of Canada like never before.

And what was even better (in my opinion) was that students were able to identify how this activity would benefit a visual and kinesthetic learner! Love how this is becoming more and more a part of their vocabulary and how they are starting to make choices for themselves to use the tools they need to be their best.