Working in a Jewish day school, you are surrounded by modern-day Maccabees whose heroic actions lead to miracles — big and small — all the time. During Chanukah, AVI CHAI and Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools are featuring stories from Jewish day schools of “Maccabee moments” when students, teachers, and leaders made a difference to surmount challenges, beat the odds, and valiantly further Jewish values and actions in our community. Together we will read them and say “Nes Gadol Haya PO!” Chag Urim Sameach!
A Maccabee Moment at The Leo Baeck Day School in Toronto
The question of how to impart a Tikkun Olam mindset is something that we grown-ups spend a lot of time discussing, planning and administering to at The Leo Baeck Day School. It’s especially meaningful when a social justice initiative arises from the students themselves, or from a particular family committed to making a difference. With two campuses on either end of our sprawling city, it’s a miracle of synchronicity when two almost identical community initiatives occur simultaneously.
On November 14th, one grade at each campus decided to mark World Diabetes Day with special activities that raised awareness about diabetes. The Grade 5s at our South Campus decided it was important to deepen their knowledge and help educate fellow students about a disease that impacts billions of people worldwide. Their enthusiasm motivated a Grade 5 family to donate blue shirts celebrating World Diabetes Day to our school community. On the same date, at our North Campus, Grade 1 students welcomed the parents of a classmate with Type 1 diabetes into their classroom for a presentation about diabetes, gaining a better understanding of what it’s like for their friend to live with this condition.
We’re proud of the spirit of empathy and inclusion that inspired our students and families to take action of their own accord.
Submitted by Iris Glaser, Director of Marketing and Communications, The Leo Baeck Day School.