Tuition has dropped for the next five years by about $10,000, and we’ve received over 60 inquiries since the announcement.  The reduction in tuition makes a big difference for many families, and it’s important to spread the news.  We greatly appreciate the generosity of the donors who have made this possible.  However, as important as the price reduction is, our value proposition is not that a TanenbaumCHAT education is less expensive than it used to be.  What makes TanenbaumCHAT worthy of consideration is what we offer, not just our price.

We prepare students not just academically, but Jewishly as well. We empower today’s Jewish teens to have the confidence to stand up for Israel when no one else does, to continue their exploration of Judaism even when their peers have stopped, and to remain loyal to Jewish tradition even when it’s unpopular. We connect students to their Jewish roots, the Jewish people, and the Jewish State so that they enter university comfortable in their Jewish skin.

TanenbaumCHAT is a place where students can bring their whole selves to school: not only their academic and athletic and artistic “self” but their Jewish “self” as well.  At TanenbaumCHAT students have Jewish experiences in the hallways, in casual discussions with teachers during lunch, and on the weekends at a shabbaton.  They encounter something Jewish in the daily announcements, in the music over the loudspeaker, and, of course, during class.

When that happens, when Judaism is relevant at all times of the day and not just a few times a year or even one night a week, Judaism becomes part of who you are. The beauty of our school is that students can take their whole self with them, including their identity as a Jew, to the place where they spend more hours of the day than in any other place of the first 18 years of their life.

Our vision at TanenbaumCHAT is to raise a generation of young adults of high moral character who are intellectually curious, deeply connected to their Jewish roots, the Jewish community, and Israel, and prepared to make a unique contribution as a citizen of the world. The magic of TanenbaumCHAT happens everyday… in the way a teacher teaches not just the subject matter but a valuable life lesson; in the way the music or arts or Tanach or sports helps students discover an ability that he or she never recognized; in the way TanenbaumCHAT students accept, embrace, and help kids who wouldn’t necessarily fit in some place else; in the way that regardless of denominational affiliation, everyone gets along and studies Jewish texts together under one roof.

While we share the news of the reduced price of tuition, this gift is, to quote one of our parents, “a gift of opportunity.” What’s priceless is what we offer.

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This Tuesday evening is the start of Yom Yerushalayim, the day celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem 50 years ago.  It is the day that invokes the stirring words “Har Habayit b’yadeinu,” the Temple mount is in our hands. In an era like ours when wars endure for years, it is hard to comprehend that Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in merely six days.  It was a miraculous victory.

Amidst the euphoria of our celebration, it is appropriate to recall that victory came with a price.  Approximately 800 Israelis were killed and over 4,000 were wounded.  In gratitude and in memory of those who sacrificed their lives so that Jerusalem could be the reunited eternal capital of the Jewish nation, I share excerpts of the words of Galit Baram, The Israeli Consul General which she spoke at this year’s city-wide Yom Hazikaron ceremony.

Many of us carry in our hearts names and faces of our fallen family members, friends from school, neighbours, army buddies and colleagues.  Each one of them has a name; each one of them was a whole world of hopes, dreams, plans, talents – that will never materialize.  And the feeling of loss is unbearable.

On this day (Yom Hazikaron), we go to military cemeteries and attend memorial ceremonies.  We see their parents and ourselves growing old, see their children or nephews and nieces growing up.  Time passes and they will forever remain young and handsome in our memory.            

The State of Israel is an unprecedented miracle of an ancient people returning to its ancestral home after 2000 years of exile.  Israel’s social, regional and economic achievements in its relatively short modern history are magnificent.  It is a country that absorbs immigrants, guarantees democratic values and defends its population in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in the world.  It has managed to sign two peace agreements with its former enemies – Egypt and Jordan.  It provides humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, and is willing to negotiate with any party in our region sincerely committed to peace.

All this could not be achieved without the sense of duty, sacrifice, resilience and determination of the people of Israel.  Canadian visitors to Israel, elected officials among them, told me on more than one occasion how impressed they were with the vitality and energy of our diverse Israeli society, and with the resilience and courage of our population….

Israeli musician and songwriter Naomi Shemer wrote in her song,“We Aren’t There Yet”:

That’s a sign we have not yet arrived,

And the horizon is still far away,

And your heart is still open to the four winds –

And we must continue walking,

And we must continue marching,

And the road continues to be long.”

We are committed to continue to fight for the defense of Israel, for its identity, for its growth and prosperity; and to make sure it will be worthy of the sacrifice of your loved ones, of our loved ones.

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I remember visiting TanenbaumCHAT five years ago and inquiring about the school’s STEM curricula (the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  I was told surprisingly “we don’t do that here.”  It was odd given that STEM occupations were growing rapidly throughout the world and STEM careers are driving innovation and a thriving global economy.

Thanks to a million and a half dollar gift from Danny and Anita Chai, we founded an Engineering Academy last year, established a competitive robotics team, and sent a group of students to the Technion to learn how to design robots that mimic biological systems.  STEM is taking root at TanenbaumCHAT.  This fall will be the Academy’s second year and we will be welcoming 33 students into the program, double the number currently enrolled.

Who are next year’s cohort of Grade 9 budding engineers?  Most of them are tinkerers. They like taking things apart and building things. Some got their start building sand castles and figuring out how to make tall towers stay up.   One built a robot that closes his bedroom door and another that senses when his water bottle is full so that he stops filling it.  Another designed his own website; one does breadboarding (designing electronic circuits).

Whether it’s a zipper, a car, or a robot, figuring out how things work and how to make them better intrigues these students.  “I am very interested in the idea of how things work,” wrote one applicant, “and the science behind it.”  Some have taught themselves coding such as Javascript, HTML, CSS, Scratch, and Python; one is teaching himself how to build an Android app.  All seem to be Lego aficionados.

Among our applicants are students who have built and launched their own rockets, built towers and bridges, reprogrammed crashed or non-functioning cell phones into working computer platforms and working phones with great capabilities, built a solar panelled windmill, created a lottery game using Scratch, and recycled old scraps into new usable objects.  One student was the youngest member of his middle school’s professional IT Department whose job it was to repair computer software problems for the Senior Division laptop program.  Several have experience building robots with Mindstorms EV3.

The entering class is made up of problem solvers, creative thinkers, and inventors.  They are inquisitive and curious.  They like math and logic and programming and a good challenge.  “No matter how hard the task,” one wrote, “I’ll always be optimistic and won’t stop trying until I solve it or fix it.”  All enjoy hands-on projects.

They tend to learn things on their own (Codeacademy, YouTube, Numberphile, and Scishow are popular), but they also recognize that engineers work in teams.  They value collaboration.  They understand that engineering is an “iterative” process; you work on a design over and over until it works.  One student said it this way: “I like the fact that there is no such things as a bad idea.”

I was struck by the number of students who had an influential role model in their life.  For some it was a parent or grandparent.  For another it was a middle school math teacher.  One admires Elon Musk for his dedication to building electric vehicles and rocket ships.  Many attributed their interest to middle school clubs, classes, a bridge building competition, or robotics team.  One said it was the STEM class that sparked her interest; for another, it was a Rube Goldberg contest.

Some know they want to go into engineering as a career.  One thinks a lot about ways to integrate technology into the design of aircraft.  Another aspires to be an astronaut in space.  One wants to understand how hardware and software interact in order to design new electronic devices.

Why are these students interested in the Anita and Danny Chai Engineering Academy?

All acknowledge the important role that robotics, automation, and technology in general will increasingly play in the world of tomorrow.  One wrote “I believe it is essential that all kinds of people have the knowledge of engineering so they can use it for the benefit of the world and humankind.”

Another cleverly captured the thoughts of all the applicants: “In today’s technological world, I feel the engineering program is a pathway for life (Chai) into a highly skilled field that will open up many options for me.”

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I’m a lover of Hebrew.  I like languages in general, but especially Hebrew.  Throughout my life, Hebrew was and is one of the primary ways that I identify as a Zionist.  In fact, since my four sons were born (our oldest was born in 1989), I have spoken only Hebrew to them.  My Hebrew still has an American accent.  I make mistakes in grammar and syntax.  I’m not proficient in street Hebrew and often use antiquated words that make Israelis cringe or laugh.  Nevertheless, our sons have learned Hebrew (thanks also to their day school education).

My Eliezer ben Yehudah craziness about Hebrew wasn’t always received well by my kids.  At times they responded in English, but they also knew that if they wanted something they needed to make the request in Hebrew. Now, our two sons who served in the IDF have authentic Israeli accents. The one who currently lives in Israel has near-native abilities and gently and respectfully corrects my Hebrew.  The other two speak to me predominantly in Hebrew but mix in English and do well around Israelis.

As committed as I am to the Hebrew language, I must admit that we fight an uphill battle in the Diaspora to make the case for Hebrew.  In the world today, more Jews speak English than Hebrew; English may now be the lingua franca of our people.  To advance in academia in Israel, one must publish in English.  Almost every classical text that was originally published in Hebrew is now available in English translation thus making the incentive to read texts “in the original” not so pressing.

Given this new reality, I wasn’t surprised to read the findings of a recent study conducted by Professors Jack Wertheimer and Alex Pomson about Hebrew language instruction in Jewish day schools.  It is available online at: https://www.rosovconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hebrew-for-What-AVI-CHAI-Foundation.pdf.

One of the most intriguing and disturbing  findings is that older day school students typically perceive their Hebrew language skills to be poorer than younger students’ perceptions of their abilities. Older students also enjoy learning Hebrew less than do their younger peers.

Alex Pomson explains the results this way:

In the early phases of learning a language, the gains come quickly, and the motivation to learn comes from a sense of making progress. The satisfactions are intrinsic to the task. We thrill at being able to say things in a foreign tongue. At some point – sooner or later – we hit a wall. We enter what the Proficiency Method people call a “silent phase” where language learning advances less dramatically, and the intrinsic pleasures are not enough to sustain our language growth. We start to say less even if we understand more. And the question is what might it take for us to scale that wall or break through the silence.

It’s in that “silent phase,” when Hebrew takes a plunge, that students begin asking themselves why they are breaking their teeth on Hebrew.  Some don’t hit a wall and progress is its own motivation.  However, the vast majority of students need reason to “keep calm and carry on.”

Another study, conducted by the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, offered some encouragement.  The latter research found that kids who have relatives in Israel and who visit those relatives in Israel are more likely to gain proficiency in Hebrew and feel positive about their abilities.  These findings have implications for students who don’t have relatives in Israel.

Here’s what Alex Pomson writes:

Educators need to provide students with relevant goals and reasons for persevering with this task. If teachers would truly only respond when students speak in Hebrew, that would provide reason to persist. If students know that they need Hebrew to communicate with peers in Israel – not just on a two-week trip but on an ongoing basis -that would be another reason. And if teachers would be ready to explore with students what they see as compelling reasons to study Hebrew, that would make a difference too.

I don’t put the responsibility on teachers alone.  All of us need to make the case to our children why it’s worth learning Hebrew.  It’s starts by asking ourselves the question:  Why do we think it’s important to learn Hebrew?

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The Holocaust is an inscrutable tragedy.  The enormity is hard to grasp…..except if instead of focusing on the bigness of six million, we focus on the “small” searing death of one life.

That’s the message I learned from this year’s Yom Hashoah ceremonies at TanenbaumCHAT.  It’s when we learn about one child, one boy, or one girl who was killed or sacrificed their life heroically or managed to survive, and we multiply that six million times, only then do we understand what six million means.  It’s in the individual’s story that we overcome the malaise of numerical numbness and begin to feel something.

At TCW the students highlighted the lives of victims their own age.  They shared the story of teenagers like Nina Wienstock who was just like any other girl. She enjoyed her life playing with friends and going to school until she was forced to leave her home in Krakow to flee to Lublin.  Here is an excerpt from Nina’s diary:

In late summer 1939 Germany invaded Poland… My parents decided to move to Lublin, to aunt Escia and her family. I do not remember the preparations for our departure or the leaving except that my parents were full of foreboding at what was to come even though nobody, at that time, had enough imagination to think of the event that would eventually take place.

We all loved our home and I feel sure that no one wanted to think that we were leaving for good. All this to explain, that without any doubt the preparations were made in an atmosphere charged with fear, anxiety, and unhappiness. I could never bear to see people I loved being unhappy. And feeling helpless to cheer them up, as a child I withdrew into my daydreams and do not now remember.

I put this forward as a fact and not as a possibility, because I recall consciously doing this later, when I was older, and events were too overwhelming. But to return to our move, I remember arriving. It was early autumn and I was wearing a grey tweed coat trimmed with fur and a hat to match. This was a new outfit and I loved it. I think I was still trying to pretend that things were normal but the others did not join my game. We all stood in the large kitchen and for a while nobody said a word. I recall the unease so different to the usual excitements of our ordinary visits and my overwhelming wish  to  break  that  strain.”

At TCK, students told the stories of resistors.  One was Abba Kovner who was part of a youth movement in the Vilna ghetto.  In an impassioned speech that was met with cheers and applause from the residents,

Kovner urged the Ghetto inhabitants to rise up and fight.  Here is an excerpt from his speech:

Jewish youth!  Do not trust those who are trying to deceive you. Out of the 80,000 Jews in the “Jerusalem of Lithuania” only 20,000 are left….Hitler plans to destroy all the Jews of Europe, and the Jews of Lithuania are first in line.  We will not be led like sheep to the slaughter! True, we are weak and defenseless, but the only reply to the murderer is revolt! Brothers! Better to fall as free fighters than to live at the mercy of the murderers.  Arise! Arise with your last breath!”  

Kovner and hundreds of ghetto fighters escaped through the city’s sewers and other outlets to the Rudniky forests where they joined the Soviet partisans in many combat missions.  There, Kovner and his followers operated a partisan division comprised solely of Jews, and performed many heroic acts of sabotage.  Kovner survived the war, made aliyah to Israel, joined the Givati Brigade to defend the newly formed state, testified at the trial of Adolph Eichman, and became an acclaimed writer.

It is the focus on one boy or one girl’s story that helps us fight the malaise of numerical numbness.

Six million Jews is a statistic, not to be minimized, but hard to comprehend.   It explains nothing except how much death came in the years between September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945.

We understand the enormity of a tragedy when one life is at stake.  Instead of saying that six million died, we should say that one person died six million times.  That is how we avoid the numbness of big numbers.

The real horror of the Holocaust lies not only in the bigness but it its smallness.

The real horror of the Holocaust lies in the small, searing death of one person six million times.

And that one person was not a number.  That person was a father or mother or brother or sister or son or daughter or grandmother or grandfather, husband or wife, many of whose names we here today carry.

And the death of each and every one of them alone would have been worthy of commemoration.

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We at TanenbaumCHAT are very lucky.  We have dedicated teachers, hardworking students, and supportive parents.  We also have a team of shlichim who find ways to connect our students to Israel in class, between classes, weeknights, and weekends.

Last year, Shlomi and Yaara brought to TanenbaumCHAT a program that started seven years ago in Israel called Zikaron Basalon, literally “Living Room Memories.”  It’s a more intimate way to commemorate Yom HaShoah in which survivors share their stories with a small group of people in someone’s home.  A year ago, nine families hosted a survivor, and over 120 students participated.

I had the honour of facilitating one session at Elyanna and Ami Wenner’s home.  Our speaker was Sylvia Goodman.  Mrs. Goodman taught French at TanenbaumCHAT for many years, but more importantly, she is Elyanna and Ami’s grandmother.

Mrs. Goodman was born in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.  At age two, she was separated from her parents and hidden by an elderly Gentile couple who passed her off as their granddaughter.  Mrs. Goodman’s parents were sent to the the Malin (Mechelen) transit camp in Belgium which was liberated just before they were to be sent to Auschwitz.At the end of the war, Sylvia was reunited with her parents, and in 1951 she came to Canada with her parents who sought an English speaking country (the US wasn’t accepting many immigrants at the time).

Mrs. Goodman recalled what life was like as a child. She helped us imagine how painful it was for her parents to give up their daughter and how her surrogate grandparents helped ensure that she would successfully re-integrate into her parents’ embrace.  We all admired the way she maintained a positive attitude despite these and other traumatic experiences.  To this day, she is always cheerful and upbeat. You can see the sparkle in her eyes from the photo of her with the students; it captures her smiling personality.

The hour passed quickly.  Like any good teacher, she didn’t just lecture; she asked questions along the way.  The students listened with rapt attention.  They, too, asked questions.  Often, Yom Hashoah invokes a heavy mood.  That night, we left inspired.  We were inspired by Mrs. Goodman’s courage and by her instinctive affirmation of life.

This year, Zikaron Basalon will take place on Monday evening for the TCK community and on Tuesday evening for the TCW community.  We encourage students to make the time to be part of these “Living Room Memories” and meet these inspiring heroes from our community.

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Knowing the answers will help you in SCHOOL; knowing how to question will help you in LIFE.  –Warren Berger, author    “A More Beautiful Mind”

The highlight of most seders is the Ma Nishtana.  It’s the part of the seder that is reserved for the youngest child.  As a parent, I remember rehearsing these scripted questions with our four sons so that they were prepared for their 15 “minutes” of fame.

The remarkable thing about the Ma Nishtana is that the ancient rabbis said that ideally the Mah Nishtana should be not be recited.  The rabbis preferred that that children and adults generated their own questions instead of mimicking a scripted set of questions.  They intuited what modern research has shown: that around age 5 or 6 questioning drops off a cliff unless parents and educators make it safe, fun, cool, and rewarding enough to ask questions.

The Mishna in the 10th chapter of Tractate Pesachim says:  After the second cup of wine is poured, a child is given the opportunity to ask a question.  The nature of the question is irrelevant; It could be about the pouring of a second cup of wine or anything else that stands out at the Pesach seder.

If the child doesn’t ask a question, then a parent should draw the child’s attention to all the anomalies of the evening—the unusual props, symbols, foods, and customs that will appear throughout the night. Essentially, the Ma Nishtana wasn’t originally a set of questions that the child recited but a table of contents that was meant to spark his or her curiosity.

The rabbis wanted the seder leader to stimulate as many questions as possible.  In our home we do this by giving anyone who asks a question a piece of gum or candy.  Whether or not someone can answer the question is a different story.  We want to encourage engagement.

On all nights of the year, we live by Warren Berger’s adage–knowing the answers helps you in school; knowing how to question helps you in life.  On Passover, the holiday we celebrate freedom of thought and body, we add one more reason that questions are vital.  The ability to question is a sign that we are no longer disempowered slaves but a free people, free to make meaning of our reality and our sacred traditions.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said that the role of an educator is to “be a midwife to the birth of a question.” I would say that describes the role of the seder leader perfectly:  to create an environment and an experience where no one is intimidated and all are encouraged to ask questions.  Chag Sameach!
(For a list of sources in Hebrew and English, see https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/61965.)

Shira Aronson is a grade 10 student at TCW who just won 1st place in the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) sixth annual Speaker’s Idol evening, held Wednesday night at Toronto Centre for the Arts. Shira received a laptop and a plaque.  Below is her award winning speech.

 

We’re told that anyone can change the world. Simon Wiesenthal once said, “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men and women to do nothing.” Wiesenthal’s message is simple and clear. However, its application has proven to be much more complex in our reality. Wiesenthal had a view of the infallible individual “good”, whereas today’s reality of moral relativism creates multiple definitions of good. These varying definitions of good impair the ability of an individual to positively change the world. John Locke was a 17th century English philosopher who has shaped modern thinking of how society defines for itself what is good. In the Origins of Government,he writes that “men, being biased by their own interest… [require] an established, settled, and known law… to be the standard of right and wrong.” The need for a universal definition has been demonstrated by the tragedies of recent history, caused by varying definitions of good.

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide claimed the lives of 800 000 people while the world struggled to take decisive action. The Canadian Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda. He writes:

[N]ations have become accustomed to acting if, and only if, international public opinion will support them – a dangerous path that leads to a moral relativism in which a country risks losing sight of the difference between good and evil.

While hundreds of thousands were being killed in Rwanda, the nations of the world decided for themselves how to respond. As they deliberated over their individual definition of good, a genocide occurred that resulted in the death of 800 000 people.

In Biafra in the late 1960s, the Nigerian civil war led to the starvation of one million people in full view of the Western World. Countries could do very little to assist, since, in spite of numerous peace conferences Nigeria, Biafra, and their allies could not come to a basic humanitarian solution. No parties could find a definition of good that would benefit all people and as a result, one million people starved to death.

Wiesenthal’s ideal had been based on a universal definition of good. In today’s reality, the relativism of people and nations demands integration of varying definitions of good in order to actually effect world change. There cannot be individual definitions of good. Simon Wiesenthal said that “for evil to flourish it only requires good men and women to do nothing,” which implies that individuals can each change the world. Wiesenthal’s insight can actually be interpreted more richly: to change the world, individuals first must strive for a universal definition of good as a standard relevant to all people.

 

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Rabbi Buckman congratulates Shira on her award.

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Shira receives a Certificate of Achievement from Jennifer Valentyne.

One of the key elements that is facilitating the merger of our two campuses is a series of programs and activities that are planned to bring our students together.  Last weekend was our Grade 11 shabbaton.  Starting a year or two ago, we already began implementing joint programming in order to reduce cross-campus duplication.  Our Jewish Student Activities leaders have paved the way for this type of collaboration.  Below is a powerful testament to collaboration and resilience written by guest bloggers Olivia Varkul and Marci Jacobs.

Over the past three years at TanenbaumCHAT,  the Shabbaton program has greatly enhanced  our connection with the school and to our Jewish identities. Shabbatonim give us, as well as many other students, the unique opportunity to observe Shabbat, think more deeply about our Jewish values, enhance our knowledge regarding Zionism and provide us with a strong feeling of community.  Although in school we study many Jewish topics, the Shabbaton is a time where we can be with our friends in an informal setting and apply our knowledge and beliefs learned in class to hands-on activities and discussions.

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go on the grade eleven Shabbaton with students from both TCK and TCW. With the recent announcement of the merger, we feared that there would be tension and segregation between the two campuses. We were both nervous that our Shabbaton experience that we cherish and love would be negatively impacted. Nobody knew what to expect, and it is safe to say we were all extremely worried and uncertain of what was to come over the next couple of days.

When we arrived, our nervous feelings quickly subsided as we realized that the Shabbaton program, which both campuses love so much, would be something that would help to bring us together. Everyone was there with the same intentions: to have an amazing, ruach-filled weekend. The Shabbaton began with ice breakers,  debates about hot topics in Israel and a shabbaton favourite, Kumzitz (campfire songs).  Kumzitz is a program that is so dear to both campuses although each campus runs the Kumsitz in a unique way. This was one of the first times we were able to see TCK and TCW begin to truly mesh their traditions together.  TCK was able to learn new things from TCW and vice versa. Not only did this enhance the Kumzitz experience as a whole, it showed us that both campuses have truly great things to offer and we all have so much to learn from one another.

On Friday afternoon, the special Shabbat feeling began to sink in as we all got ready for Shabbat. This traditional day of rest allows for self reflection. This Shabbat especially gave us the opportunity to contemplate all that has happened and enabled us to keep open minds about the rest of the Shabbaton and about the upcoming school year. At first, it was hard to accept the two campuses, two cultures and two communities will soon be one.  However, as the Shabbaton progressed, we were able to realize the importance of keeping an open mind in the face of change. The merger is not something that will be easy and it will take time to adjust. However, this weekend proved that bringing the best of both campuses together is what is going to make this transition as easy, effective and positive as possible. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to embarking on this journey together.

Shabbat shalom!

Marci Jacobs (Grade 11, TCK) and Olivia Varkul (Grade 11, TCW)

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It’s often difficult to reduce to a sound bite complex issues.  It is especially true in a heated Town Hall meeting.  However, certain questions deserve a thoughtful response.  In today’s blog I explain the principles behind teacher retention.

April 1st is the deadline by which TanenbaumCHAT must issue layoff notices.    Since 2008 when enrollment began to decline, teachers wait anxiously through March to hear whether or not they or their colleagues will be laid off.

The collective bargaining agreements govern teacher layoffs in terms of who and when.  As a general rule, the most recently hired teachers, regardless of which campus they are from, are the first to be laid off when the number of students decline in the overall system. That is, a teacher may be laid off from a campus that is not experiencing a declining student population if he or she is the most recently hired.

This coming year, as enrollment in the combined TanenbaumCHAT system is expected to drop by over 100 students, teachers on both campuses wait with nervous uncertainty to hear if they have a job next year.  We know this is very difficult for teachers and we empathize with them.

Understanding this reality, the administration works creatively to retain as many teachers as possible.  For those whom we simply cannot retain, we help teachers network and find new employment.  We write letters of recommendation and speak to other school administrators.

It is a sad reality that as enrollment declines, we must say goodbye to friends and colleagues.  Our hope is that the number is as few as possible and that every one of us remembers to say thank you for playing a role in shaping the next generation of strong, passionate and proud Jews.