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Welcome the new school year

The first two weeks of September 2023 were packed with activities. Leading up to opening day, our Grade 9s had their first taste of life at TanenbaumCHAT at orientation. Other events were the opening assembly and carnival. We also held a welcome event for our Grade 9 parents that included keynote speaker, Dr. Alex Russell, who spoke about navigating the high-school years. Our Clubs and Committees fair gave students the opportunity to sign up for one of our 100+ school clubs.

TanenbaumCHAT went all out for Israel’s 75th birthday. Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities included an in-class “escape room” program and an epic carnival complete with food, camels, inflatables, dancing, singing – and more dancing!

In the classroom

In a Grade 9 New Stream Rabbinics class taught by Kyle Borenstein ’06, students celebrated the culmination
of their “Blessings” unit with a spelling- bee style Bracha Bee. Dressing up in yellow and black attire was optional but knowing the blessings taught during the unit was not.

JNF Emissary Yifat Bear Miller visited a Grade 10 Tanach class taught by Sheer Barkai. They had an interactive lesson on the story of the spies in Sefer Bamidbar, complete with a giant map of Israel.

The choir from New York’s Ramaz School visited in March 2023 for a wonderful collaboration with our music students. By the end of the period, both choirs had learned a song together under the co-direction of music teacher Jaclyn Kilmitz ’03 and Ramaz’s choir director Daniel Henkin.

Celebrating our athletes

This year, our TanenbaumCHAT Tigers participated in the city-wide TDCAA badminton finals at Humber College. According to Coach Rachel Urowitz ’89, our Grade 9 team’s hard work and tenacity paid off, and Josh Brown ’26, placed first in the city, walking off with a gold medal.

In June 2023, our Varsity boys baseball team won the TDCAA Tier II Baseball Championship versus Brebeuf College school.

We celebrated our student athletes, teams, coaches and managers at our annual Athletic Banquet wonderfully put together by our Athletic Council in the Meyer/FInkelstein Gymnasium. Awards were handed out for “most valuable,” “most improved” and “sportsmanship” in each sport, and letters and recognition were awarded to both students and coaches.

On stage

Our student artists showed their stuff this year, with an array of onstage programming.

We continued our celebrations of Israel at 75 with the return of the Ivrit Play. Spearheaded by the Grade 12 Ivrit Drama class, the play connected us to pivotal moments in Israel’s 75-year history through the lens of iconic Israeli songs from the Eurovision Song Contest.

In the Matlow Black Box Theatre, students together with a staff creative team, mounted a performance of The Audition, a play both hilarious and heartbreaking.

The Grade 12 Band class performed as part of Jewish Music Week’s Community Melaveh Malka concert at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue. Alongside renditions of Hava Nagila and a medley from Fiddler on the Roof, the band premiered
a composition by Cai Siegel ’23 titled “The Ocean Chant.”

All business

Under the mentorship of teacher Lindsay Masters, the TanenbaumCHAT Business Council held its annual StartUP TanenbaumCHAT conference. The exciting event exposes students to the business world and helps to open their eyes to the diverse opportunities that may be available to them in the future.

Our Grade 11 Business & Leadership course, guided by teacher Bryce Ridge and Business Studies Department Head Jordan Hoffman, held our annual Venture Week, during which students were tasked with developing a viable business idea, then turning it into a reality complete with budget, marketing strategy and contingency plan.

Our Keshet (Rainbow) Club kicked off Pride Month by selling rainbow- sprinkled donuts, raising money for various LGBTQ+ charities and taking pride in TanenbaumCHAT’s inclusive, respectful and welcoming community.

Weizmann safe-cracking competition

The International (“Safe-Cracking”) Physics Tournament is run by the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. It challenges students to create and crack safes based on two physics riddles. After winning the Canadian regional competition, which was hosted at TanenbaumCHAT, our team along with staff advisor Mindy Chapman ’13, traveled to Israel for the finals where our students competed against 47 other teams of Grade 11 and 12 students from around the world.

Celebrating our graduates

In anticipation of graduation, our Guidance Department invited representatives from Hillel Ontario to talk to Grade 12 students about “Life After TanenbaumCHAT,” and the role Hillel can play in helping students transition to university and continue their connection to Jewish life, learning and Israel.

For the annual Grad Trip, our Grade 12 class visited Chicago and celebrated the culmination of four years of hard work. A week later, we gathered at Beth Tzedec Congregation to send off our newest alumni. For more on the Class of 2023, click here.

Golden Bagels 2023

This year marked the 17th annual Golden Bagel Awards, our annual end-of-year celebration featuring awards, tributes, laughs, and plenty of bagels. The fun-filled ceremony was organized by Student Council and featured the premiere of the annual Bagel music video.

Honouring important days

TanenbaumCHAT came together to commemorate Yom Hashoah at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue in a powerful assembly that included readings, songs, instruments and prayer. The ceremony honoured the victims who were murdered at the hands of
the Nazis, as well as the survivors and rescuers, through the lens of various Holocaust memorials from around the world. Afterwards, our Grade 10 students welcomed Holocaust survivor Elly Gotz to tell his story of survival and resilience.

In recognition of Yom Hazikaron (Israel Remembrance Day), our Israel Engagement Committee organized a ceremony commencing at the exact moment all of Israel stopped to observe the siren that sounds throughout the nation in memory of the citizens and soldiers, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who gave their lives for the State of Israel. We were honoured to be joined by Idit Shamir, Consul-General of Israel in Toronto.

Fighting antisemitism

Our Grade 12 students welcomed guest speaker Charlotte Korchak to our Hennick Family Atrium to learn more about the organization, Stand With Us Canada, and the ways in which our students can combat antisemitism and online misinformation. Charlotte shared her experience growing up as an American-born Israeli and provided our students with some important tools to combat modern-day antisemitism both online and in real life. Additionally, during the Grade 12 Shabbaton, the Hasbara organization ran hands-on sessions about connecting to and advocating for Israel.

Shakespeare, in and out of school

The Shakespeare Club began during the pandemic, offering students the opportunity to explore works of Shakespeare that didn’t fit into the classroom curriculum. Over the past couple years the club has grown to over 30 enthusiastic students, diving into OthelloTwelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s Dream and King Lear. Students took the learning outside the school, organizing trips to the Stratford Festival, Shakespeare in High Park, the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada.

Yom Iyun

Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we once again opened our doors to community rabbis for our Yom Iyun. We were honoured to welcome 26 rabbis from a wide variety of synagogues and affiliations to share their wisdom and insights on the topic of “Prayers for the New Year” with our Grade 11 and 12 students. (See page 35 for more.)

L’hitraot and thank you!

In June, we bade farewell to retiring staff. We were proud to honour their many years of dedication to TanenbaumCHAT and wish them the best in their retirement.