I sat down to write this article at the end of the Thanksgiving long weekend. I had intended to focus my communication on the strategic planning process that the Board of Directors is currently undertaking to set the strategic priorities that will guide TanenbaumCHAT through the next five years. I was also going to highlight how exciting it is that we are growing the physical footprint of our building to accommodate our swelling numbers as a result of the unprecedented growth in our student population.

But, of course, all I could think about was Israel. Like everyone else, I was reeling
from the events in Israel that started on Shabbat that weekend and are ongoing
as I type. I am praying that by the time this article is published, peace will have
been restored and that the number of casualties will have been kept to a minimum.
Unfortunately, our collective psyche will be forever impacted by the carnage and
horrific acts of terror that were perpetuated against Israel, and by extension,
against Jews around the world.

We stand for the proposition that the Jewish community should be united”

At times like these, in addition to our hearts being with Israelis and feeling their
pain, our thoughts turn to the security of our community in the Diaspora.
I commend our leadership and the community at large for striving to ensure that
TanenbaumCHAT is a safe place for our students and staff. Unfortunately, the
students, like so many have us, have been exposed to graphic images they will
not likely soon forget. The school immediately put in place plans to help provide
mental health supports, with UJA promising to provide additional services across
the day school system. I say this not to toot our own horn, but rather to express
appreciation by a layperson of how the whole community works together swiftly
and with purpose in times of crisis.

TanenbaumCHAT is a mirror of our broader community. As Toronto’s only
community Jewish high school, we stand for the proposition that the Jewish
community should be united despite our individual differences in practices
and beliefs. Now more than ever, it is critical that our community come together
in our support of Israel and in our pride of Judaism. It is these thoughts that will
guide the Board as we delve more deeply into our strategic planning.

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