CHATTER Magazine Winter 2020

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CHATTER WINTER 2020 / 5781


A unique perspective

on high school during a pandemic Celebrating the Class of 2020 Hybrid-Synchronous Learning Explained Remembering Rabbi Marvin Pachino z”l

CHATTER Winter 2020 / 5781


The Chatter is published through the TanenbaumCHAT Advancement Office and is distributed to more than 9,000 alumni, parents, donors and friends of the school.

Message from the Head of School  3 Message from the President of the Board  4

Editor: Jane Rimmer

Quick Study: What it took to reconfigure and reimagine TanenbaumCHAT for a pandemic  5

Design & Layout: Ulrike Balke Cover Image: Daniel Malen Printing: Superior Printing & Litho Inc. Follow us on

Facebook: @TanenbaumCHAT1 Instagram: @tanenbaumchat LinkedIn: TanenbaumCHAT Alumni Association

5 Powering TanenbaumCHAT  17 All About Alumni:  Alumni News & Notes  24 Profiling Alumni: the Weinroth family   26 Farewell – & Welcome!   27


Alumni Back @ TanenbaumCHAT  28 Mazal Tov!  29

FEATURES: Remembering Rabbi Pachino z”l  11 Delivering on Grad  13

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TanenbaumCHAT 416-636-5984 Director of Advancement Frances Bigman, CFRE Director of Admissions Laurie Wasser, CAEP Alumni News & Notes submissions: www. or contact Laurence (Lola) Barchichat:

Message from the Head of School Jonathan Levy, Ph.D., Head of School


ow does a successful, well-established institution adapt in the face of a global pandemic when it can no longer run as it has for 60 years? How do we create a new paradigm of the Jewish day school experience? These were the challenges facing TanenbaumCHAT as the COVID-19 pandemic demanded that we rethink and reinvent every aspect of our school for the 2020-21 academic year. The core values of curiosity, character, connection, community and contribution that we rely on in “normal” times and that serve as our inspiration and guide, proved to be no less helpful during this unprecedented period of “unknowns.” However, we had to consider how each value could be applied and implemented within the framework of public health guidelines. It was imperative to maintain the integrity of our dual Judaic and General Studies curriculum, which is the cornerstone of our program. Ensuring that students could be appropriately placed in each of their classes would best serve each child’s learning needs in the long term. A focus on student mental health and workload led us to limit the number of courses students take at one time. The flexibility to adapt to what could be a rapidly changing health landscape would properly position us for the various scenarios that the pandemic might force us to consider. Our vast extracurricular program had to be entirely reinvented. We had to plan how groups of students could gather virtually, how we could connect our students with the State and People of Israel, and how we could continue to build school spirit. The result is a new wave of activities and programs that are tailored to an online environment. School provides consistency and certainty for students. Last spring, as the world was shutting down with the onset of the pandemic, our students knew that, despite all that was going on, they would continue to work, study and learn. So too this year, our goal remains to challenge our students intellectually as well as to support their emotional and social needs. TanenbaumCHAT is buoyed and bolstered by the many people who care deeply about the school. We are blessed with a dedicated and creative staff; community and lay leaders who are committed to our success; parents who believe in us and entrust their children to us; and donors who support us. Most importantly, we have students whose flexibility, resilience and determination is inspiring. It is a joy to see them everyday!  ◆ | 3

Message from the President, Board of Directors Jonathan Zepp, B.A., LL.B


ince my wife and I attended public school, our journey with Jewish day school education began with our children. From the first day of nursery at Associated Hebrew Schools to the moment our children walked across the podium as TanenbaumCHAT graduates, we knew we had given them an incomparable gift that would enrich their lives immeasurably. We also knew that we were part of a continuous chain of Jewish parents whose commitment to educating our children exceptionally and Jewishly would sustain them, the Jewish people, Israel, and the wider community. It is with great zchut (honour) that I was able to be part of this great enterprise as President, leading a dedicated board and partnering with Head of School, Dr. Jonathan Levy. I don’t mind telling you that affording tuition throughout was hard, (we experienced only one year of reduced fees before our youngest child graduated). Sometimes too hard. But, the reward was incomparable. Our children stand with all other TanenbaumCHAT alumni: they have experienced a best-in-class general studies and world-leading Jewish education. They are filled with the potential to lead exceptional lives rooted in a strong Jewish identity. The five-year reduced tuition initiative, made possible by the visionary gifts of the Jesin-Neuberger Foundation and the Granovsky family, made it clear that families want their children to experience all that TanenbaumCHAT offers – but that they need to be able to afford it. It shouldn’t be too hard. Seized with this vision, our board formulated the TanenbaumCHAT Tuition Accessibility Program (TTAP) (“tee-tap”) to keep tuition low and predictable for all families. It will come into effect in the 2022-23 school year. TanenbaumCHAT has embarked on an ambitious plan to grow its fundraising capacity to meet the challenge. The success of tuition accessibility is only possible with the support of our generous donors, and we all have a role to play. "It is not incumbent on you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it." (Pirkei Avot, 2:21) I conclude my tenure safe in the knowledge that we have created a sustainable future for our preeminent Jewish high school, with greater tuition accessibility supported by robust fundraising and strong enrolment. There is still much for us to do. And with you, our parents, alumni, grandparents and donors, the continuous chain will endure undiminished. ◆

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Usually, “Quick Study” features brief overviews of some of the highlights of the past several months. In March 2020, however, the notion of “quick study” took on a whole new meaning as we raced to reconfigure and reimagine what TanenbaumCHAT would look like remotely. In the early days of the lockdown, Grade 10 art students were tasked with creating visual journeys. This example is by Noam Borenstein.

W Grade 9s designed their own mandalas (this one is by Sydney Green) to learn about pattern, symmetry and balance during an anything but calm and stable period.

ith the pandemic situation quickly evolving, the school’s administration began to plan rapidly and preemptively. Nevertheless, the speed with which the “go button” had to be pressed on a fully-operational, virtual TanenbaumCHAT was dizzying. As Head of School Dr. Jonathan Levy notes, “we went from wiping down door knobs and bannisters one day to running a full online academic and extra-curricular program almost the next,” closing our physical doors on Friday, March 13 and opening remotely on Tuesday, March 17. “Providing a sense of routine and normalcy for our students in a world turned upside down,” was critical, says Dr. Levy, so it was vital to deliver as much of the TanenbaumCHAT experience as possible, virtually. With more than half the school year already complete, fundamental rescheduling was impossible and so the students continued to follow their weekly timetables via Zoom. Teachers, administrators and support staff pulled together, adopted new technologies and re-learned how to do their jobs. The school’s lay leaders and parents were supportive and encouraging. And TanenbaumCHAT students metaphorically grabbed the baton and ran with it… all the way to June and final assignments. ◆ | 5

The dawning of a new school year

Knowing from the get-go that the 2020-21 school year would unfold during the pandemic provided an opportunity to plan in a way that had not been possible in March – and for that planning to be informed by the experience of the previous six months. Here are some of the things that had to be considered: Structuring the school year for easy and seamless switching between in-school and online learning Maintaining the unique dual General and Jewish Studies curricula, and access to the depth and breadth of the school’s electives Keeping the course load manageable over the long haul Accommodating government recommendations that students be part of only two in-person cohorts Keeping the TanenbaumCHAT ruach (spirit) alive – around 80 extra-curriculars are taking place this year, along with modified "spirit days" and other events Accessing the full range of student support services Reducing overall volume and congestion in the building

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The solution – a quadmester structure featuring hybridsynchronous learning – was launched in September 2020. (See pages 18-19) “The focus was on student engagement and learning, and trying to create a sense of stability,” says Principal Renee Cohen ’96, “while recognizing that we are not living in normal times.” For TanenbaumCHAT educators, forging a connection between in-school and at-home cohorts, and designing learning that works in that context, has been vital. “It’s uncharted territory,” says Mrs. Cohen, “but with unprecedented situations comes opportunity. We were confident that our staff and faculty would find ways to innovate and be creative.” With the notion of a positive and growth mindset front and centre, the message to students and staff alike has been, “take a deep breath, we’re in this together,” says Mrs. Cohen. “Let’s take this journey one step at a time.” ◆

Centre: Avital Aharon, Director of Educational Technology, with members of the Tech Team. L to R: Lior Zada, Giovanni Coto, Shirley BarMenachem.

Educational technology at TanenbaumCHAT


ven before COVID-19 arrived, the need for 21st century learning skills and state-of-the-art educational technology had been a priority of TanenbaumCHAT’s administration. With the onset of the pandemic, “that focus became especially relevant,” points out Avital Aharon, Director of Educational Technology. She cites as examples professional development, addressing student needs, and examining new pedagogical approaches, such as the flipped classroom model, and universal design.

The school’s tech team delivered equipment – laptops, USB keys, microphones, cameras – directly to staff and student homes. Every math and science teacher received a tablet that would allow students to see notation in real time. Online security measures were reviewed and updated regularly, and one-on-one and group PD sessions continued remotely. With staff and students navigating hardware and software at home, the tech team had to be readily available to offer support.

Early in 2020, Mrs. Aharon had already begun to research various platforms for online learning. On the morning of Friday, March 13, while students collected their belongings from the building, TanenbaumCHAT teachers were already in the midst of training sessions on Zoom and other platforms, as well as in discussions about educational expectations, and reviews of the school’s extensive online repository of print and video support materials.

With the school's decision to pursue a hybrid-synchronous learning model in the 2020-21 school year, the focus was on the educational technology, state-of-the-art digital tools, and innovative pedagogy that would make that a success. ◆ To learn more about TanenbaumCHAT's hybrid-synchronous learning model, cohort system and structure for the current school year, see pages 18-19. | 7

This year, by staff and students Educators and students have all learned to adapt – particularly in areas that call for specialized equipment and resources.


he new format of two-hour classes is proving to be a boom in the arts, despite the fact that the athome cohort on any given day is less “hands-on”. “It’s resulting in greater and faster development of skills and overall confidence,” says Lori Fahidi, Department Head, Drama. Similarly, in Visual Arts, students are “getting a lot of work done and there’s significant improvement from class to class,” says Department Head Michael Kohl ‘97. “The use of virtual galleries to view student work and provide real-time feedback, and creating instructional videos, has been ramped up,” notes Visual Arts teacher Melissa Dubin. According to Drama teacher Ryan Peters ’09, “Students have been great about using the technology to recreate the atmosphere of performing onstage. I’m constantly toggling between camera angles to provide the “folks at home” with the best view!”

“  The practical application

of synchronous learning is the most concrete expression of the phrase “we're all in this together.” ”

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An example of educational technology being used in music this year is a platform that allows “students to play alongside themselves, a metronome, or even the full band”, says Department Head Jaclyn Klimitz ‘03. Curricula adaptations include more extensive recording and sound editing components, and an interdisciplinary music-video project. Safety precautions like bell covers, playing woodwinds inside a bag and "blowhole" masks are also used, and instruments are played for just 30 minutes at a time to allow air filtering. Teacher John Malarcyk notes the overall enthusiasm and is “thrilled to be giving the students this opportunity.” In the smaller setting of Zoom breakout rooms, “students are more willing to take risks and ask questions,” says Paula Sousa, Department Head, Science. And when she offers help, “students have to listen to other questions and responses before asking their own, so that’s a win-win!” Labs have largely been replaced by watching teacher demos, but there are “amazing virtual simulations online, which the kids love.” In Health and Physical Education “as many activities as possible are done together,” says teacher Keren Ragol. Classes at home are challenging but provide room for creativity like soccer drills around the sofa, using breakout rooms so students can time one another on different exercises, and developing class challenges – like the daily squat targets selected by one group of girls. Ali Aber, Head of Guidance points to the portable canopies that her team has set up outside in order to meet with students one-on-one but

socially distanced and unmasked. However, “many quick questions that students would usually just pop by to ask are now being handled in large part by emails and Zoom.” The department has created a one-stop info sheet with links to university websites, virtual tours and other resources, and the customary visits by university reps have become virtual Q&As. The Freedman Centre for Differentiated Learning (CDL) remains “dedicated to an exemplary level of care and commitment for each student,” says Sandy Kadoch ’96 Head of the CDL (Alpha A-Le). Beyond the formal Learning Strategies course that students who are served by the CDL can take, staff have redesigned their ad hoc support services to address individual needs. Additional help is available by appointment in-person or virtually, and Mrs. Kadoch also oversees a daily Virtual Learning Space. “We’ve always prided ourselves on offering a wide range of activities, unparalleled in schools across the GTA,” says Josh Sable ’90, Co-Director of Student Activities. “Despite the obvious challenges, we are overseeing more than 80 clubs and committees this year run by student leaders and staff advisors.” Along with the “oldies but goodies” like DECA, Yearbook and Israel Engagement, there are a whole host of new programs including Cooking Club, Covid Relief, Knitting Club, and many more. Summing things up, Jewish Studies teacher Alexandria Silver says she is “shocked about how smoothly it's gone. We've all been forced to adapt very quickly. I think that the practical application of synchronous learning

and all that it entails is the most concrete expression of the phrase ‘we’re all in this together.’ ”


s for the students, those in Grade 9 have had to acclimatize to a new approach to schooling as well as a new school! The more concentrated nature of quadmestered courses means “there is a lot of work that needs to be completed,” says student Carmel Baratz. However, “the teachers are always there for support, and everyone in the TanenbaumCHAT community has been so welcoming, and the school is so spirited!” While Maddy Moskovic (Grade 12) continues to be involved in extracurriculars she is disappointed that there are limited activities in person, especially since this is her graduation year. Still, even having some classes in

person, “builds a personal connection with others socially and improves my mental state of mind.” What’s more, “the school is doing an excellent job of teaching on Zoom and online classes are very productive.”

great job by splitting the cohorts and minimizing risks.” During days learning from home, she has, “a significantly greater amount of time that can be dedicated to studying, volunteering, and extracurricular activities.”

For Noah Juravsky (Grade 12), taking just three classes concurrently “allows me to narrow my focus, and better manage my time.” With the condensed quadmesters, he will miss building ongoing relationships with teachers. “Many of them are incredible people who I wish I could get to know for longer than nine weeks.”

“Being able to physically see my teachers and friends every single day is something that I will never take for granted,” says Chloe Perlon (Grade 11). She says that even though there are still “spirit days” in school, they are not the same. “The rush of excitement, walking into the atrium, seeing everyone dressed up is incomparable. I know that soon enough, that same rush of excitement will be back in the TanenbaumCHAT building.” ◆

Stacey Goldberg (Grade 12) notes that “being a part of a sports team and building relationships with your teammates are unforgettable experiences” that she will miss this year but that ”the school has done a | 9

There have been many online events – some new and some reimagined for a virtual world; our students have kept busy and kept us proud; and we’ve continued to find ways to celebrate. Here's a taste of what's been going on.

Student Council Elections, the 14th Annual Golden Bagel Awards and the Athletics Banquet all happened online. In September, our Grade 9 New Stream Parents Meet & Greet allowed families whose children had come from 34 different schools to connect virtually! (To read about a Q&A with Zach Hyman ’10 and our Lag Ba’Omer Kumzitz, see P. 28)

We the Nines: In September, Student Activities reps visited individual classrooms to welcome our 318 new Class of 2024 students.

Marking the holidays: Shavuot heralded socially-distanced cheesecake deliveries to all staff. A communal Rosh HaShana apples-and-honey celebration was out of the question this year, but individual packages were provided to all students. During Sukkot, students still made it outside to an “actual” sukkah, too! 10 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

Desmos Global Art Contest: Ezra Oppenheimer (then Grade 11) beat 4,000 contestants from over 100 countries to win this math graphing competition. The judges called his 3,000-equation entry "a mathematical and artistic tour-de-force." Terry Fox Run: In August, Russell Reback (Grade 11) and five friends ran 250 kilometres north to their summer camp and raised over $25,000. In the fall, the Athletics Department mobilized approximately 200 students, teachers, parents and alumni who together covered 8063km “cross-country” to raise $2,282. Chidon HaTanach/Canadian National Bible Contest: Yemina Goldberg (then Grade 9) won first place and will represent Canada in the international contest.

October 12, 1934 – August 30, 2020

Pictured left: Rabbi Pachino, bottom R, with L to R: Rabbi Chaim Sacknovitz (former Head of Guidance), Sam Kapustin (former Principal of Jewish Studies), Gary Levine (former Principal of CHAT-Richmond Hill), Sheldon Friedman (former Principal, Wilmington campus).

Remembering Rabbi Marvin Pachino z”l Rabbi Marvin Pachino z”l was born in Baltimore, and graduated from Yeshiva University in 1955 with a major in psychology. He began his professional career as a pulpit rabbi and was installed as spiritual leader of Sinai Synagogue, South Bend, Indiana, in 1966. That same year, his book Toward an Understanding of Jewish Funeral and Mourning Practices was published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. He later moved into the world of education serving as Principal of Judaic Studies at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago, and as Headmaster at CHAT from 1979 to 1998 where enrolment grew from 230 students to more than 700 during his tenure. Rabbi Pachino passed away in Israel, where he moved following retirement. May his memory be for a blessing. In the words of Rabbi Chaim Sacknovitz, former Head of Guidance, “His contribution to the educational system in Toronto will live on in the memories of the thousands of teachers and students who passed through the halls of CHAT.” We were honoured to receive a number of reminiscences of Rabbi Pachino from former colleagues and students. We share some excerpts on page 12.

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Sheldon Friedman, former Principal, Wilmington campus)

Rabbi Chaim Sacknovitz, former Head of Guidance

Rabbi Wayne Allen, current teacher

It was Marvin’s ability to listen to all sides before making a decision that allowed the school to grow. From my point of view, that humble characteristic made him an outstanding headmaster. His decisions, however, never compromised the high standards he set for himself and the entire CHAT community. Marvin was very focused on this mission to impart a strong Jewish identity to the students [through Jewish Studies] while at the same time offering them an excellent secular education.

Rabbi Pachino was an outstanding educator, who innately understood how to relate to students. He instinctively knew when to be firm and when to have compassion, when to stand strong and when to be lenient. He guided me, shared ideas with me, and I watched, often in awe, how he dealt with serious issues. Marvin was a highly principled individual. His goal was always to create a Jewish school, not just a school for Jewish students.

In my first year as a pulpit rabbi in Toronto, Rabbi Pachino invited me to take part in a discussion on how to supplement the CHAT experience with informal education using local rabbis. Two things struck me. First, he did not hesitate to include rabbis of every stream of Judaism. And second, he saw Jewish education radiating from the school to the home and the community with each reinforcing the other. It may seem pedestrian to say now but, at the time, it was daring. His courage and his commitment to Jewish education was profound.

Samuel Kapustin, former Principal of Jewish Studies During his tenure as headmaster, aided by a cadre of visionary laypeople, the direction of the school assumed a new and dynamic path. Marvin never expected from others what he did not demand of himself, the highest standards of professionalism and honesty, in order to attempt the nearimpossible: to provide education at the highest academic level, nurtured in an environment imbued with sensitivity and caring in which each student could hope to achieve his/her full potential.

The Marvin B. Pachino Award established at the time of his retirement is given annually at graduation for excellence in Jewish Studies and continuing Jewish education in Israel. To date, it has helped to fund a gap year of studying in Israel for more than 50 TanenbaumCHAT alumni. If you would like to contribute to this fund to honour the memory of Rabbi Pachino, please visit: remembering-rabbi-pachino 12 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

Norman Grill, former Board President I was on the Board of the school in the 1990s [and served] as President from 1996 to 1999. During this time I met with Rabbi Pachino often, both on an educational and personal basis, and always found him very friendly and informative. On his retirement in 1998, the community honoured him and his family with a dinner. Many community leaders attended and spoke of his many achievements in the field of Jewish education. Dr. Eli Honig, former teacher One of my students had done something… remarkable. I headed to the headmaster’s office to... sing the praises of this student prodigy of whom I was so proud. Rabbi Pachino… gently responded with an observation that has remained with me to this day. I quote, or in the lapse of time perhaps paraphrase: “Eli, we shouldn’t take too much credit for the accomplishments of students who would have done just as well without us. The real work and reward is to catch and help those who are falling through the cracks.” In one simple but profound statement he directed a moral imperative to teach each student at the level at which he or she is capable. I, and the students that I subsequently taught, remain forever in his debt.

Alex Gropper, current teacher I had the honour of teaching under Rabbi Pachino throughout his tenure at the school from 1979 to 1998. He was a man of integrity, honour, and moral conviction. Judi Morris, former teacher One always knew his position, which was based on common sense and Jewish values, and he never waffled. He was a consummate professional. Leora (Levy) Barak ’84 On August 31, 1980, I arrived in Canada, hardly speaking any English, feeling nervous and lost. My parents scrambled to get me into a good school, and CHAT welcomed me with open arms. Rabbi Marvin Pachino made it all possible. I think of him and remember his humility, grace and compassion. Risa Kirshblum ‘85 I came to CHAT in grade 11. On my first day, I saw Rabbi Pachino in the hall and he addressed me by name. I couldn’t imagine how he knew who I was but I soon realized that he made it his business to know who everyone was. It made a real impression on me. ◆ | 12

Delivering on Grad Reinventing graduation fell squarely in the category of “something we never imagined we’d have to do”. But in April 2020 imagine we did, and we decided to bring grad home – literally!


here was a unique logistical challenge to navigate: how to reach 226 grads spread over the GTA and beyond. So on June 17, more than 60 volunteers – teachers, administrators, staff, the incredible 20-strong parent graduation committee, photographers, and several alumni – fanned out across the city to help the Class of 2020 mark this important milestone. Stunning personalized grad boxes were packed with diplomas, caps and gowns, taste-of-Chicago popcorn (a tiny nod to the destination of the cancelled grad trip), a cozy blanket, a plush Twix the Tiger mascot, mezuzah for their future dorm room, and other gifts. Delivery teams arrived at each home to wish b’hatzlacha (good luck) and mazal tov to the newest cohort of TanenbaumCHAT alumni which included 51 children of 55 alumni parents! It proved to be an exhilarating day of celebration and festivities: unquestionably different, uniquely meaningful, definitely special!

Photograph: Caryn Silverstein | 13

Class of


Award Winners To see Talia Levitt deliver her valedictory address, and for more photos of the grad event, go to: grad2020

Recognition of Excellence Awards

Departmental & Subject Awards

Valedictorian Talia Gillian Levitt


The Governor General’s Award In recognition of achieving the highest average in all credits in Grades 11 & 12 taken at TanenbaumCHAT Talia Gillian Levitt Jerusalem Scholar Award Funded by the Aron and Ruth Shostack Memorial Endowment In recognition of achieving the highest average in Jewish Studies in Grade 12 Alyssa Gahtan The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Community Service Jared Ryan Fischbach Staff Award In recognition of overall contribution to school culture, spirit and ethos Jared Ryan Fischbach Student Leadership Award In recognition of ongoing leadership in Student Activities exemplifying TanenbaumCHAT values Danielle Naomi Wohl

Art Award In memory of Lisa Shore Shayna Leba Adivi Business Studies Award Henry Korenblum Memorial Endowment Fund Jordan Ethan Dacks Business Studies Award In memory of David E. Buck Matthew Brownstein Moskovic Centre for Differentiated Learning Joan Blidner Award For outstanding improvement while at TanenbaumCHAT Noah Alexander Deitel Centre for Differentiated Learning For outstanding improvement while at TanenbaumCHAT Zara Renee Berman Computer Science & Technology Award Avrum Jeffrey Duke Memorial Endowment Fund Jacob Solomon Mausberg Dramatic Arts Award Laura Hannah Edelstein English Award Lisa Coristine Memorial Endowment Fund Jessi Marisa Brooke Berdugo English Award In memory of Ian Cohen ’70 Danielle Naomi Wohl Mathematics Award In memory of Sara & Joseph Rahmani Jacob Solomon Mausberg

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Mathematics Award In memory of Beryl Levy Etan Louis Ossip Modern Languages Award Sophie Adina Gilbert Music Award Lisa-Ann Lauren Posluns Memorial Endowment Fund Ilan Brandon Benjamin Physical Education/ Kinesiology Award Barbara Manilla Memorial Fund Annie Erin Wolfond Science Award In memory of David J. Levy David Reuven Shemesh Science Award Arthur Lerman Memorial Endowment Fund Ilan Brandon Benjamin Social Science Award Benjamin David Pike Social Science Award Esther Haberman Memorial Endowment Fund Jack Rubin Cohen

Jewish History Award Carol Rosenfeld Memorial Endowment Fund Amy Shoshana Posel Jewish History Award In memory of Israel Appel Danielle Naomi Wohl New Stream Award Erica Schiller Mammon Memorial Endowment Fund Erin Samantha Adler New Stream Award Anshel & Devorah Zylberman Endowment Fund Zara Renee Berman Rabbinics Award Amy Simone Gotkin Rabbinics Award Adam Toby Cohen Talmud Award Jacob Solomon Mausberg Tanach Award In memory of Jonathan David Deitcher ’87 Jordan Benjamin Abramson


Tanach Award Miriam Alkin Memorial Fund Mitchell Ellis Beallor

Hebrew Language & Literature Award In memory of Elliott M. Wilson Adina Tamar Borenstein

Scholarships & Special Awards

Hebrew Language & Literature Award Hershenfeld Weltman Family Endowment Fund Saul Aaron Widrich Jewish Thought Award David & Bluma Schachter Memorial Fund Jacob Solomon Mausberg Jewish Thought Award Shimon & Clara Berglas Memorial Endowment Fund Matan Yaakov Bibla Eben-Ezra Jewish History Award – Holocaust Studies In memory of Rubin Tencer, a survivor of Auschwitz Russell Grant Mandel

Morris & Rose Alspector Award For highest average in Judaic studies over four years Jacob Solomon Mausberg Isaac & Basia Jesin Award For excellence and dedication to Jewish Studies over four years Talia Gillian Levitt Eric & Marsha Slavens Award For combining sporting & academic achievement Elijah Gabriel Wyman Matan Yaakov Bibla Eben-Ezra Michelle Eva Goldman Paige Simcha Soberano

Philip & Helen Zucker Scholarship For continuing education in Jewish studies Natan Samuel Parker Jenny Lewis ’95 Award For Excellence in Creative Writing Lauren Faye Berkes

Continuing Studies in Israel Judy Shaviv Memorial Fund “Keren Yad Yehudit” assisting graduates to study or volunteer in Israel Rachel Tobie Rosenberg Jonathan David Deitcher Memorial Scholarship for continuing Jewish studies in Israel Nathan Starkman Rabbi Marvin B. Pachino Award For excellence in Jewish Studies and continuing Jewish Education in Israel Talia Gillian Levitt David Rosenzweig Memorial Scholarship Established in memory of David Rosenzweig ’72, by his friends David Samuel Yuffa Gertrude & David Sher Foundation Scholarship For continuing Jewish studies in Israel Robert Henry Tylman Daniel Sherman Memorial Scholarship For continuing studies in Israel Sarah Paige Zaionz & Zara Renee Berman Icek & Manya Segal Award For continuing studies in Israel Noah Alexander Deitel Board of Directors Awards For continuing studies in Israel Talia Levitt, Sarah Zaionz, Zara Berman, Rachel Rosenberg, Robbie Tylman, Nathan Starkman, Noah Deitel, Natan Parker, Shoshana Khazanski, David Yuffa, Aaron Zwiebel, Lauren Shoub, Jacob Samson, Jeremy Margles, Jacob Price | 15

Mazal Tov, TanenbaumCHAT Class of 2020/5780 Mati Abrahami

Ethan Daniel Cohen

Adam Myles Hanser

Jeremy Maxwell Margles

Evan Lewis Rimer

Tyler Jack Spring

Jordan Benjamin Abramson

Jack Rubin Cohen

Zev Leo Heller

Aaron Joshua Martell

Rachel Rodkin

Nathan Starkman

Jacqueline Gail Cohen

Sarah Ilana Hennick

Jacob Solomon Mausberg

Mitchell Parker Rodney

Doron Shlomo Stein

Shayna Leba Adivi

Jordan Ethan Dacks

Joseph Ezra Hershkop

Joshua Elad Meisels

Erin Samantha Adler

Ilana Jane Davids

Corey Ethan Himell

Benjamin Ethan Merkur

Jacqueline Amanda Rosenberg

Monica Ariella Stockhamer

Jason Mitchell Allen

Adira Sarina Davis

Michelle Eliana Hirsch

Max Ethan Merovitz

Rachel Tobie Rosenberg

Cole Judah Stotland

Ryan Cooper Allen

Noah Alexander Deitel

Orad Ifrach

Elijah Aaron Minden

Maayan Rotberg

Jared Isaiah Strelshik

Shawnee Zoe Amar

Naomi Yael Derfel

Claire Hadasa Jacobs

Noah Asher Minsky

Andrew Benjamin Roth

Yael Gila Swartz

Adam Samuel Arbess

Ezekiel Elias Diamant

Dayna Amy Jacobs

Rebecca Mintz

Julia Elena Rothman

Tal Kalanit Tamari

Seth Bankler Aronoff

Dylan Riley Drukmaler

Rachel Bayla Jacobson

Rachel Ashley Minuk

Daniel Reid Rotman

Justin Ezra Tanenbaum

Joshua Azouri

Laura Hannah Edelstein

Eliana Shira Kagal

Madeleine Renee Monson

Tali Samara Ka Lok Rovet

David Barron

Sarah Miriam Eklove

Joshua Ethan Kauffman

Samuel Morey Moses

Brooke Marissa Rubinoff

Coby Benjamin Tanentzap

Shira Lilly Barth

Daniel Abraham Elmaleh

Noam Kehimkar

Rachel Helene Rusonik

Joshua Louis Taras

Mitchell Ellis Beallor

Jonah Chad Enchin

Carly Michelle Keshen

Matthew Brownstein Moskovic

Carly Jaye Taylor

David Raphael Benbassat

Emma Nicole Epstein

Tamar Zohara Keslassy

Orit Mourad

Jacob Erwin Chaim Samson

Dan Bener

Sophie Factor

Michael Khakhan

Nicole Julia Naimer

Lily Hannah Samuel

Maya Tick

Ilan Brandon Benjamin

Nathaniel Feldman

Maya Jordan Treitel

Jared Ryan Fischbach

Max Eitan Cohen Nathanson

Madeline Sanders

Jaime Lauren Ber

Shoshana Rachel Khazanski

Abigail Maya Sandler

David Ethan Ariel Tsetlin

Jessi Marisa Brooke Berdugo

Samantha Rose Fisher

Jacob Harry Kinross

Noah Ryan Nefsky

Robert Henry Tylman

Julia Rachel Frankfort

Ilan Michael Klein

Suzanne Julia Neumark

Jacob Solomon Brail Schaffer

Alyssa Gahtan

Russell Maxwell Kline

Austin Nisker

Samantha Tori Walt

Shael Nolan Garay

Ethan Samuel Kobrin

Daniel Gidon Orelowitz

Howard Maxwell Schimmer

Mitchell Aiden Gardner

Bradley David Kravice

Jenna Carli Orvitz

Noah Tyler Gelbloom

Emily Reese L Lackie

Megan Brooke Osler

Joshua Gertin

Maya Nicole Langburt

Ethan Louis Ossip

Sophie Adina Gilbert

Matthew Langer

Natan Samuel Parker

Ryan Cramer Gluskin

Noam Salomon Lasry

Tamar Yael Patel

Chaim Zachary Goldberg

Daniel Shane Lester

Leah Danielle Pearl Jack Dylan Abbott Perzow

Laila Ava Bloomstone

Daniel Jacob Giordano Golden

Justin Tyler Levinsky

Adina Tamar Borenstein

Liora Roslyn Golden

Jamie Shane Levinson

Alexa Braverman

Daniel Adam Goldkind

Talia Gillian Levitt

Or Brener

Michelle Eva Goldman

Lauren Riley Breslin

Lauren Faye Berkes

Rebecca Maya Tepper

Joel Rami Verrier

Jessie Enya Schnoor

Tamara Elizabeth Waserman

Dylan Cole Seigel

Olivia Jayden Waxman

Leah Danielle Shapiro

Jessica Hanna Weinberg

Megan Rachel Shaw

Noah Jake Weinstein

David Reuven Shemesh

Jennifer Michelle Wener

Marissa Faye Shemuel

Rebecca Anne White

Abby Laura Shore

Saul Aaron Widrich

Ella Danielle Shoub

Maya Emma Wienberg

Benjamin David Pike

Lauren Rebecca Shoub

Danielle Naomi Wohl

Daniel Max Pollock

Jonathan Marcos Shriqui

Annie Erin Wolfond

Jacob Samuel Levy

Lauren Sydney Soskin Polster

Jordan Shulman

Elijah Gabriel Wyman

Leo Rex Siegel-Hyams

Justin Israel Goodman

Atara Tzivia Lipetz

Emil Yakubov

Amy Shoshana Posel

Ryan Jacob Silver

Keren Meital Gorman

Rebecca Madan

Jordan David Yarmus

Kyra Sylvia Brodkin

Jacob Elijah Price

Adam Elliott Slan

Amy Simone Gotkin

Shara Yael Maimon

David Samuel Yuffa

Leah Maya Brooks

Maya Shirah Puntillo

Rachela Tzipora Smith

Jason Mitchell Gould

Samuel Myles Maltz

Sarah Paige Zaionz

Daniel Hylton Brown

Roni Rapoport

Lauryn Sophie Smuckler

Samuel Noah Greenspoon

Matthew Jacob Mamelak

Aaron Jacob Zuckerman

Abbigail Jessica Buslovich

Cooper Jack Raubvogel

Jordan Shale Snow

Amy Rebecca Grossman

Alanna Lindsay Mandel

Noah Andrew Zweig

Shira Keren Chazen

Morrison Liam Reback

Paige Simcha Soberano

Orr Gubbay

Russell Grant Mandel

Aaron Alexander Zwiebel

Adam Toby Cohen

Maya Sadie Reichert Gelfand

Liat Victoria Soref

Zara Renee Berman Cassidy Eve Bernknopf Matan Yaakov Bibla Eben-Ezra Noah Levi Bierstock Wilder Ethan Tyler Ceresne Black Samara Paige Black Lily Rebecca Bloom

16 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

Dana Renee Levinson

Power ing TanenbaumCHAT I

Now & Always

n March 2020, TanenbaumCHAT was meeting and exceeding fundraising goals. But in an instant, with the onset of the pandemic, everything changed.

At TanenbaumCHAT, we remain steadfast in our fundraising priority of keeping fees as low as possible and providing tuition predictability. However, this past spring, in support of the UJA’s Community Resilience Campaign, all our efforts were put on hold. Events and donor meetings were replaced with Zoom gatherings and telephone check-ins, and in June we facilitated 226 visits to the Class of 2020. Incredibly, our entire TanenbaumCHAT community stood by us. The exemplary efforts of our faculty and administration to reinvent school for a fully virtual experience, generated immense good will. We closed the 2019-20 school year with a record $1,502,276 fundraising dollars. TanenbaumCHAT now faces an extraordinary challenge. To allow us to meet our tuitionreduction objectives, our fundraising goal for 2020-21 was originally set at $1.7million. However, as a result of the pandemic, the school has incurred myriad unforeseen additional expenses – over $700,000, or roughly $650 per student. This year, a successful Powering TanenbaumCHAT annual campaign is imperative. I know our community cares deeply and is committed to powering the school – as our tagline says – now and always. But this year, now more than ever, we are counting on your support. Frances Bigman CFRE, Director of Advancement / 416-636-5984 Ext. 230

Powering up our Annual Appeal to support reduced tuition, educational excellence, and equipping our school for a pandemic.

To find out more, go to  | 17

Hybrid–synchronous learning at TanenbaumCHAT Hybrid refers to a combination of in-school and at-home learning. Synchronous means that all students – whether in school or at home – learn together in real time.

Plexiglass screens at all workstations

Using the in-classroom computer, SMARTBoard and camera, and using various educational technology and video-conferencing platforms, teachers and students connect and interact in real time. This ensures an engaging, viable and authentic learning experience for all students every day.

Quadmesters: The 2020-21 year is divided into four sections. Students take fewer courses, more intensively, during each quad. Cohorting: All courses are divided into two groups, Cohorts A and B, by alphabet. Cohorts attend school in person or learn from home every other day, and on alternating Fridays, for two morning classes. In order for students to be assigned to a maximum of two inperson cohorts, all students take period 3 remotely. A wide range of educational technology platforms are being employed. For example: STREAMER creates real-time captions – a boon especially for hearing-impaired students and those with auditory processing issues. Kami allows students to upload work of any kind and the teacher to provide feedback digitally. TestWE is a secure testing platform. Teachers can assign test duration on an individual basis – particularly helpful for students with educational accommodations. Through the “exam speaking feature” students can respond orally. The SMARTNotebook SMARTBoard software renders all content fully interactive. To watch our “Unique Perspectives” video series on pandemic adaptations at TanenbaunCHAT, go to:

Power ing TanenbaumCHAT Now & Always

18 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

SMARTBoards in all learning spaces

Disinfectant wipes and sanitizer in every room

Juno microphones, worn around the neck, amplify sound for hearing-impaired students, and help teachers with vocal cord issues Wide-angle MINRRAY 4K videoconferencing cameras with noise cancelling features and built in speakers serve as a gateway, connecting in-person and at-home groups Socially-distanced seating with assigned spots for each cohort

Students and teachers use a screening app daily to verify they are healthy and can attend school | 19

“  E ven through these difficult times, TanenbaumCHAT continues to be a shining light in our Jewish educational world.  ” Morris & Sarah Perlis (current grandparents)


he Powering TanenbaumCHAT annual campaign was designed to power our school into the future by prioritizing financial accessibility, as well as maintaining educational excellence and responding to emerging needs. A 5-year pilot program to reduce the cost of tuition was launched in 2017. It was made possible through transformational gifts facilitated by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto together with extensive fundraising by TanenbaumCHAT. Combined, these funds bridge the gap between current fees and the actual cost of providing an education to our students. This pilot program has been extremely effective and parents have welcomed the financial relief provided by subsidized tuition. TanenbaumCHAT is thriving! Enrolment has risen consistently; retention from our feeder Jewish day schools is robust – now at 80%, up from 57% prior to tuition reduction; and intake to our New Stream program is strong. The TanenbaumCHAT Tuition Accessibility Program (TTAP), beginning in 2022-23, will sustain lower fees and tuition predictability beyond the initial five-year period. Our goal is to double our fundraising to $2.5 million annually to support reduced tuition. Your gift will allow more families to choose TanenbaumCHAT for their children, and will secure the future of Toronto’s only community Jewish high school for generations to come.

Power ing TanenbaumCHAT Now & Always

20 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

This year, due to the pandemic, TanenbaumCHAT has incurred in excess of $700,000 in additional unforeseen expenses – approximately $650 per student. In order to open our school and provide our students and staff with a safe and functional environment, expenditures encompassing a wide range of adaptations and upgrades were necessary. Increased Scholarship Support The school has supported families who have experienced pandemic-related financial loss, over and above aid provided through the UJA’s Emergency Campaign for Community Resilience or Tuition Assistance Program. Health & Safety Including new cleaning protocols, increased sanitation supplies and services, comprehensive building signage, and PPE. Building & Infrastructure Including HVAC and plumbing upgrades, classroom and office retrofitting with plexiglass barriers, UV air purification technology in the music room, a tent in the courtyard for additional outdoor space.

Additional Staffing The school has hired a nurse, in-person instructors for remote teachers, and additional staff for security and Student Support services. Enhancing the Classroom Experience* IT upgrades for 60 classrooms have been installed, including wide-angle MINRRAY 4K video-conferencing cameras and additional SMARTBoards. Online Learning Platforms* The school has adopted many new digital educational learning platforms, online assessment tools, and a closed-captioning program for students who are hearing impaired * See pages 18 and 19 for more information.

Your gift will continue to keep tuition as low as possible and mitigate the extraordinary financial burden placed on the school by COVID-19. TanenbaumCHAT is powered by the generosity of our entire community. And now more than ever, you can make a difference.

“  Receiving tuition support

enabled our son to stay in the Jewish day school system. The school is a wonderful place to extend tzedakah that will have a real impact on a student's life. ” Elizabeth Katchen (past parent)

“  Our gift is in appreciation

for all TanenbaumCHAT does for our children. We are particularly grateful for the tuition subsidy. We hope to continue to support the school and gradually repay the subsidy in years to come. ” Russell Goldman ’87 (current parent)

Please make your gift today. 1. Hold your phone camera over this QR code 2. W hen a notification appears, tap to go to our giving page Or visit:

To find out more, go to  | 21

Celebrating our Donors

“  We are thankful for the sense of

community and Jewish identity TanenbaumCHAT has given our children, and the positive impact a strong and vibrant Jewish high school has on Jewish continuity in our city.  ”

The Tanentzap Family


e were thrilled to gather this fall to welcome 15 families whose names were installed on our beautiful donor wall in recognition of their leadership gifts. It was also an opportunity to honour the Jesin-Neuberger Foundation and the Granovsky family for their transformational gifts, and to recognize all the donors who have been inspired to join them. In lieu of taking our guests to see the donor wall in person, we shared a video-montage of the newly-mounted plaques together with family photographs and reflections from the donors on why they were moved to support the school. Speakers included Head of School Dr. Jonathan Levy; Outgoing President of the Board, and parent of alumni, Jonathan Zepp; Chair of the Major Gifts Committee, and current parent, David Mansell; and President and CEO of UJA and current parent Adam Minsky. We were also honoured to hear from Paul Bernstein, CEO of Prizmah, the network for Jewish day schools across North America. There were greetings from our Student Council Co-presidents, Isaac Begun and Alexa Jacoby, and guests were treated to a rendition in Hebrew of the song “Let It Be” by the TanenbaumCHAT Singers.

Power ing TanenbaumCHAT Now & Always

22 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

View the videos that were shown at the event: celebration2020

“  The school has had a profound

influence on our family. The campaign permits us to ensure others can benefit similarly. We are forever grateful for the school’s ability to reinforce Jewish values.  ”

The Belzberg Family

Join our growing list of donors and attach your name to TanenbaumCHAT. For more information, contact Frances Bigman CFRE, Director of Advancement: / 416-636-5984 Ext. 230

Calling TanenbaumCHAT grandparents! We extend heartfelt appreciation to the following donors who have generously committed to supporting the tuition reduction initiative.

Learn online with incredible TanenbaumCHAT educators! All classes are Thursdays, 11AM to noon.

Norman Jesin '74 & Edie Neuberger '75

Steve & Suzy '90 Kauffman

Eric Adelson & Andrea Himel

Stephen Posen & Robyn Kestenberg '83

Corey Adler & Melissa Snider Adler

Mark Rotstein & Melanie Kraft

Brent & Lynn Belzberg

Levy Family

Thursday, January 21 Rachel Urowitz ’89 Digging up the past: Using archaeology to understand Jewish practices in the Second Temple period

Rodney & Julie Bergman

Barry & Cooki Levy

Paul & Judith Bloom

Jonathan & Meredith Levy

Jeffrey Bly & Janice Feldberg-Bly

David & Karen Levy

Thursday, February 18

Chaim Bell & Sharon Chodirker

Daniel & Debra Levy

Ryan Peters ’09 Drama 101 for grandparents

Theodore Croitoru & Edith Devico

Cliff Librach & Judy Siblin-Librach

David & Pearl Elman

David Mansell & Naomi Rifkind Mansell

Jay & Vered Feldman

Joel & Rochelle '89 Monson

Thursday, March 18

Flatt Family

Barry '68 & Esther Naiberg

Rabbi Aaron Greenberg

Ab & Phyllis Flatt

Morris & Sarah Perlis

Stephen & Ilene Flatt

Ian & Heather Ringel

What is Freedom? The deeper meaning and purpose of Passover

George & Judy Frankfort

Lloyd Hoffman & Ray Rubin

Dov & Nancy Friedberg

Jules & Ariella Samson

Thursday, April 29

DH Gales Family Charitable Foundation of Toronto

Aaron '87 & Ettie Schimmer

Dr. Nicholas Maes

Mark & Ilana Segal

The nature of modernity and its threat to Jewish identity

Allen Gales & Brenlee Gurvey Gales

Edward & Fran Sonshine

Keith Ray & Leslie Gales

Lawrence & Judy Tanenbaum

Wally Levitt & Beth Gamulka

Eitan & Jodi Tanentzap

Howard & Claire Glowinsky

Tylman & Maisel Families

Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin

Matt Cockburn & Sue Valencia '85

Darren & Sara '91 Gottlieb

David '70 & Bernice Walerstein

Eric & Karen Green

Aaron & Nina '85 Wine

Richard Samuel & Marion Greenberg

Harold & Carole Wolfe

Mark & Irina Gross

Craig Rimer & Elyse Zelunka

Allan Guttman & Helen Finder Guttman

Jonathan & Tracy Zepp

Jay & Barbara Hennick

Gary Samuel & Paula Zivot

Thursday, May 27 Dr. Alexandria Silver Jedwabne and the Jewish History: The town as a lightning rod for the historical and current Jewish-Polish experience To register, go to: tanenbaumchatteaches

New donors this year are in bold. | 23

& Over the last few months, we’ve had plenty of time to reflect on our many alumni who work in health care and have been on the frontlines during COVID-19. Here are two examples.

As Deputy Director for International Affairs at El Al, Stanley Morais ’87, was privileged to be on the tarmac to witness the first-ever commercial flight by an Israeli carrier to the United Arab Emirates. On August 31, 2020, El Al Flight 971, carrying high-level Israeli and US delegations, flew southeast down almost the entire length of Saudi Arabia to reach Abu Dhabi. It was the first time an Israeli plane was given permission by the Kingdom to use its airspace. Stanley points out that he has also been “responsible for protocol for the flights... that carried both Pope Benedict and Pope Nicolas when they visited Israel.” In May, Edward Prutschi ’92 was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice, presiding in Newmarket. He is a current parent, committed member of the Jewish community, and has served as a board member and volunteer for UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Edward is a former partner at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman.

24 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

Dr. Ariel (Ari) Lefkowitz ’04 wrote a harrowing firsthand account in Toronto Life entitled “Fourteen Days on the Covid Ward” – a brutally honest overview of his time in charge of all non-ICU Covid patients at Sunnybrook Medical Centre. On Day 1, he writes: “The hospital has only a few confirmed Covid patients right now, but there may be a rapid influx over the next two weeks. I hope we’ll be ready… I’ve never before feared for my life going to work.” After a gruelling two weeks, on Day 14 he notes: “I’ve realized something unimaginable – I got used to being a Covid doctor. What was at first frantic handwashing, fraught clotheslaundering and showering the toxicity off… has become a calm ritual. I did what I had to do.” Dr. Stephanie Klein ’08 is a Family and Community Medicine physician at North York General Hospital (NYGH). She responded to a plea for health care workers to volunteer assisting staff and providing testing in long-term care homes. “I’ve felt a strong desire to help in the long-term care sector, so… I felt a sense of pride and purpose knowing that we could step in to support our community partners in need,” she said in a NYGH blog post. The post continues: “Seniors… have contributed so much to society throughout their lives, and they are also the group in greatest need of our help now. The most impactful moment for me is the look of relief on the faces of the staff when they see the team from NYGH arriving to provide support.”

In March, three of our alumni were ordained by Yeshiva University. L to R: Rabbi Aaron David Cherniak ’08, Rabbi Adam Friedmann ’08, and Rabbi Jonathan Green ’10. Max Gelkopf ’13, a medical student at McMaster University, recently became the recipient of a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award. The award celebrates outstanding medical students across the country with an established track record of community leadership, superior communication skills and demonstrated interest in advancing knowledge. Max is working towards his residency in ophthalmology.

Jaron Brown ’16 was named Wilfrid Laurier University's 2019-20 Male Athlete of the Year. Jaron's three individual gold medals in four seasonal events helped propel the university’s golf team to their first ever Ontario University Athletics title.

In April, Global News featured Becca Moss ’13 for the work she does with older people in our community. An accomplished singer, for the last 10 years or so she has visited retirement and long-term care facilities to share her music with residents. During the pandemic, unable to be there in person, Becca took to FaceTime to continue singing with, and for, them.

Rachel Goldfarb ’16 and Laura Goldfarb ’16 both graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with Gold medals. Rachel won a Science medal and is going on to study Medicine at the University of Toronto. Laura won an Arts medal and will also continue at U of T, for Law.

Having found herself without a summer job and a little time on her hands, Talia Bell ’18 banded together with a group of fellow Queen’s University students to create Canadian Face Masks in order to help fulfill the ever-growing need for these items during COVID-19. Talia credits TanenbaumCHAT’s rigorous curriculum with “helping me develop a strong work ethic and drive to succeed,” and also gives a shout out to her former field hockey and soccer coach as well. “Mr. Fabrizi helped me build my patience, determination and allowed me to learn how to work effectively in a team, benefitting both this new endeavour as well as my academic performance in university.” | 25


Profiling Alumni We catch up with the Weinroths, one of the increasing number of three-generation families that have called our school home. Judith Weinroth ’65 earned an Honours BSc in Biological and Medical Sciences, an MSc in Anatomy/Histology and, after raising her family, attended medical school at U of T. She enjoyed a 30-year career as a GP oncologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, and as a GP Psychotherapist for cancer patients. She is retired, volunteers in the community, and remains very involved with family and friends. Aaron Weinroth ’91 earned degrees in electrical and biomedical engineering from U of T and is a licensed professional engineer. He has more than 20 years of experience creating and commercializing new medical devices and other technologies. He leads and advises companies on innovation strategy and execution, mentors start-up entrepreneurs, and serves as an external reviewer and judge for several technology funding programs and awards. Sari Weinroth ’22 is in Grade 11. She is actively involved in several Jewish youth organizations, loves spending time with her friends, and is an avid dancer. 26 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

Dr. Judith Weinroth ’65: Can you share some memories of school life when you were at CHAT? I was a member of the small first graduating class of CHAT – then called the Toronto Hebrew High School. We were housed at the Neptune branch of The Associated Hebrew Day School. Our General Studies teachers were retirees from the public school system who were very experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Our Hebrew courses were taught Ivrit b’Ivrit (in Hebrew) by rabbis, and other educators and scholars. We, our teachers, our parents and the community leaders who bravely founded the program, knew that the school’s future depended on whether we were successful or not. What role has the school fulfilled over the last 60 years? The school instills in its students a love of Judaism and of Israel. Over the last 60 years, alumni have gone on to become leaders in the local and worldwide community. Many have made aliyah and contribute greatly to Israeli society. Many have returned to CHAT as teachers and staff members. If that is not a measure of the school’s success, I don’t know what is. I made lasting friendships with my classmates that continue until today. How did you feel to see your grandchild become a TanenbaumCHAT student? Seeing my granddaughter, Sari, become a TanenbaumCHAT student has made me feel proud, hopeful and optimistic. I am grateful that our family tradition carries on, and that the Jewish values and education that the school imparted to me and to my children will be passed on to the third generation.

Farewell – and welcome! Aaron Weinroth ’91:

In June 2020, TanenbaumCHAT said farewell to the following teachers. We thank them for their many years of service to the school and wish them good health and fulfillment in retirement.

What was the school like when you were a student? Our teachers had high expectations and set high standards but they all genuinely wanted to help us learn, grow, and succeed. I also remember a strong sense of community – and I still feel a bond with my former classmates and teachers. I’m regularly reminded of those bonds since some of my closest friends today are former CHAT classmates. Why did you choose the school for Sari? We wanted her to get the best possible secular and Jewish education in an environment that would deepen her connection to her Jewish heritage and the traditions, practices, and values that we teach and follow at home. The excellent peer group and social connections are important and, of course, we wanted to qualify as a three generation CHAT family – and pave the way for the fourth too! How has your perspective of the school changed as you moved from alum to current parent? As an alumnus I was always happy and proud of my association with CHAT as an important community institution. As a parent, I’m much more concerned about maintaining the quality of the formal and informal educational experiences and I have higher expectations as I look out for my daughter’s best interests.

Opposite page, L to R: Aaron, Judith and Sari – three generations of alumni, and three generations of school clothing!

L to R: Yael Amar spent 20 years in the Ivrit department and was a former Department Head, French; Richard Dlin taught mathematics for 12 years and was a former Department Head; Judi Morris taught English and Careers teacher for 21 years; Brenda Silverberg spent 30 years at the school as a science teacher and was a former Department Head This year, TanenbaumCHAT was excited to welcome four more alumni educators, and we wish them much success. They are (L to R): Naomi Satok ’83 (Art), Leah Sutton ’09 (English), Cedric Attias ’18 (Engineering Intern), and (not pictured) Melissa Koziebrocki ’03 (Supply teacher).

Sari Weinroth ’22: How odd/weird/nice is it that you are the third generation of your family to be in the school? It’s nice to walk down the hall and see pictures of my father and my aunts (Eva Vanek ’89, Dena Shulman ’94) who are all graduates. It was really nice that on Generations Day my grandmother was able to come back and share personal stories about her experiences with me. How do you think the school has changed since your grandmother was a student here?

The technology is obviously very different. The online classes I take now would have been impossible back in 1965! What are some of your favorite things about TanenbaumCHAT? My favourite thing about TanenbaumCHAT is the amazing people I meet. I love how well [the school] is preparing me for future opportunities, and gave me the confidence to go on a semester in Israel last year where I had the chance to utilize my Hebrew skills. ◆

Right now there are a lot of differences like mask wearing and quadmesters! | 27

Alumni Back at TanenbaumCHAT On May 12, TanenbaumCHAT celebrated Lag Ba’Omer with a community-wide online kumzitz, with musical entertainment provided both by current students and alumni. It wasn’t quite the same as gathering around a fire together, but there was plenty of warmth and community spirit! Our thanks to performers Coco Einarsen ’21, Avery Florence ’09, Ari Freedman ’21, Michal Freedman ’18, Benjamin Levitt ’18, Jonah Levitt ’16, Talia Levitt ’20, Lily Librach ’18, Jonah Opler ’18, Ben Peretz ’23 and Shira Zionce ’18 for helping to create a sense of togetherness at the beginning of the lockdown. From left: Avery Florence, Lily Librach, Shira Zionce

In February, David Matlow ’79 was a guest in a Jewish History class taught by Aviva Polonsky ’91. He discussed his life-long interest in Theodor Herzl and shared photos from his collection of Herzl memorabilia. He is the owner of the world’s largest collection of Herzl artifacts and is the producer of My Herzl, a documentary film about the continued relevance of the statesman today.

In March, barely a day or two before the school switched to remote learning, Shane Rodak ’10 and Sagi KahaneRapport ’14 spoke to our Grade 11 Media and Communication Technology classes about their real-life work experiences in their respective fields. Shane is a copywriter and discussed how a commercial is created from conception to filming. Sagi spoke to the class about working as a film and commercial director. Both shared some examples of their work, discussed post-secondary options and provided some excellent insights into how to succeed in the creative arts fields.

In early March, Jacob (Jake) Jesin ’97 worked with Grade 11 Law students and moderated a mock trial. “It was my absolute pleasure,” he said. “The case was particularly difficult this year with some interesting criminal law issues and the aspiring lawyers impressed me with their advocacy and articulate arguments on both sides of the case. I look forward to seeing some of them join me as colleagues in future years.” Jake graduated from Queen’s University Law School and was called to the Bar in 2006. He is a partner in RSJLAW. 28 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020

One small upside of the NHL being on hiatus during the pandemic was that Toronto Maple Leafs player Zach Hyman ’10 had time to visit his alma mater – albeit virtually. Students, staff and parents were thrilled to connect with Zach during a Zoom Q&A that was moderated by Director of Student Activities, Josh Sable ’90. Zach shared some reminiscences about his time at the school, his journey to the NHL, and his role as author of children’s books. Zach was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs as their nominee for the 2019-20 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. We were thrilled to welcome back the following alumni who helped pack and deliver goodies, and celebrate the Class of 2020 at our grad event in June: Talia S. Aaron ’19. Jayden Berdugo ’19, Dahlia Langburt ’19, Evan Sinclair ’13, and Joshua Sinclair ’15. Jillian Abramsky ’18 (pictured) also brought her video skills to the table when she helped to edit the 14th Annual Golden Bagel video.


Submit your News & Notes directly through our website. Visit:

Aliza English ’06 & Yehuda Eisenbach

Zane Brickman ’09 and Laura Elman ’09 were determined not to let the pandemic stand in the way of their nuptials, and on March 29, 2020 they became one of the first couples to re-imagine a marriage service via Zoom. They were even featured on CBC’s The National!

Madison Rochwerg ’08 & Jonah Cait

Nicole Foigel ’10 & David Gatt

Donna Brenkel ’11 & Joshua Rosenberg ’08

Michael Kohl ’97 (current staff) & Allison Todrin

Shira Sasson ’07 & Guy Voichek

Orly Bogler ’12 & Justin Cuperfain ’10

Naomi Benmergui ’15 & Abraham Elmaleh

Zachary Danilewitz ’12 & Rachel Lipowitz | 29


Aryeh Fortinsky ’12 & Evie Bernstein

Carly Abrahams ’16 & Daniel (Shalom) Saban’12

Talia Priluka ’13 & Jared Rakoff ’08

Melissa Tayar ’08 & Ethan Eisen ’08

Jenna Halberstadt ’10 & Ezra Grossman ’07

Lauren Berman ’17 & Yossi Friedman

Sarah Shiff  ’11 & Seth Frieberg ’08

Rachael Milwid ’09 & Daniel Shaul

Sloan Baron ’09 & Aaron Farber

Erin Chesney ’10 & Jesse Weinberg ’10

Casey Rosen ’11 & Max Stone ’11

30 | CHATTER Magazine WINTER 2020


Ruby, Avery, Reid

Oz Saar & Matan Maor

Netanel ‘Nati’ Shalom & Adi Tzipora

Tyler-Rose (Zidenberg) Garnet ’08 & Joey Garnet

Keren Romm ’98 (current staff) & Hillel Kurlandsky

Elianne Neuman Schiff ’11 & Yaakov Schiff


Nora Alston

Emma Audrey

Itai Chen


Robbie Handelman ’06 & Jessica Tobianah ’08

Jonathan ’06 & Eliana Kipper

Zack ’05 & Torey (Stronell) ’05 Belzberg

Simone Suttner ’01 & Chaim Landau

Danya (Borenstein) ’08 & Jonah Koplowitz ’03



Gabrielle Maya

Joel Kadish ’10 & Arielle (Maze) Kadish ’09

Daphne (Hornstein) Desyatnik ’05 & Brandon Desyatnik ’04

Jenna Kellner Izraelski ’05 & Yossi Izraelski ’02

Evie Dylan


Eden Goldberg ’08 & Nate Udren

Gerald Lazar ’00 & Rachel Libman



Lennon Moon

Avital Lola

Jack Thomas

Kyle ’06 (current staff) & Shirley Borenstein

Liat Papular ’05 & Josh Benzacar

Mirelle (Shimonov) ’08 & Corey Paris

Rebecca Dreezer ’06 & Joel Friedman

Elizabeth Gottesman ’05 & Jeff Pelchovitz | 31

1093 students 8688 alumni 1 day to support

Help sustain the future of TanenbaumCHAT and our Jewish community. Join us to donate on:

Tuesday, December 8


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