Shabbat Candlelighting 7:49 p.m.                                                Friday, August 27, 2010/17 Elul 5770

This message has 495 words, and will take about 2-3 minutes to read.

Israelis and Palestinians to Resume Direct Talks
After months of background negotiations, Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet in early September for direct peace talks. While many groups have lauded the return to direct talks, there appears to be a lot of ambiguity around how the process will unfold. It is not clear if there is a set timetable, what the role of the Americans will be and whether preconditions on certain points have been set or accommodated. Nonetheless, given mounting tensions in the region after the flotilla incident, the shooting incident on the Lebanese border and Iran’s growing nuclear threat, it is a welcome step.

Jewish Educators Gear Up for New School Year
The directors of TAG and Torah High, our community’s two supplementary high school programs, have been working collaboratively over the summer to plan a joint orientation evening for Monday, September 13th at 6:00 p.m. at King David High School. Noam Dolgin, new director of TAG, and Rabbi Stephen Berger, director of Torah High, both underscore the importance of continuing Jewish education for teens, who are in the midst of crucial identity building years. By operating alongside of each other at KDHS, the two programs mutually reinforce each other by giving teens more options, and by providing a richer social scene. For more information visit the TAG and Torah High websites.

This past Wednesday, 30 early childhood educators from across the community joined together to learn from Maxine Segal Handelman, the acclaimed author of Jewish Everyday: The Complete Handbook for Early Childhood Teachers. Maxine spoke about how early childhood educators can integrate developmentally appropriate practices with what it means to be "Jewish Everyday". This workshop is part of a new initiative to provide professional development opportunities for community professionals who are working with pre-school children.

Our day school principals also met this week to share information on current enrollment numbers, new faculty joining their schools and to begin planning several collaborative initiatives that will take place over the school year. It is clear from the discussions that we have a vibrant and growing Jewish day school population.

Parashat Ki Tavo
At the beginning of this week’s parasha we see the recitation of the text included in the Passover haggadah that summarizes our exile in Egypt and our liberation during the Exodus. Immediately following, we find the injunction to set aside the “first fruits” of our labours – one-tenth of our yield every three years – to be provided for the needs of the community and its needy. This juxtaposition conveys a powerful message about the responsibilities that we carry related to the freedom God has provided. It is no different in our day. We enjoy tremendous privilege and freedom, especially living in Canada. It is therefore incumbent on us to remember that this hasn’t always been the case for us, to tell our story, to remember our blessings, and to participate in the mitzvah of tending to the needs of our community.

Shabbat Shalom!

This is an official email sent to you from the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. Federation respects and upholds an individual’s right to privacy and to protection of his or her personal information. We use personal data for providing up-to-date information on our objectives, services, to process donations.