CHATTER Magazine Winter 2019

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CHATTER WINTER 2019 / 5779


Our new look

And another great way to connect with the TanenbaumCHAT community Generations Day The Becker tournament returns Expanded Alumni News & Notes The Jesin-Neuberger Community Service Program

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Table of Contents Winter 2019 / 5779 ‫חורף‬

Messages: Head of School 3 | Principal 4 | President of the Board 5 | Outgoing President of the Board 13 | Regulars:


EDITOR: Jane Rimmer Design & Layout: Ulrike Balke

Quick Study: Highlights from around the school 6 Alumni News & Notes 24


The Chatter is published through the TanenbaumCHAT Advancement Office and is distributed to more than 8,000 alumni, parents, donors, and friends of the school.

FEATURES: Giving Back @TanenbaumCHAT 9 Making Memories 10 Celebrating Leadership 12 Profiling Alumni: Eynat Katz ‘89 14 Acts of Kindness 16 An Inspiring Journey 18

On the cover: Student Council Executive. Standing L-R: Talia Aaron, Jeremy Urbach, Aaron Herlick; Sitting L-R: Alexa Jacoby, Jason Bergman, Zara Berman, Justin Tanenbaum Photo: Aubra Millstone Printing: Origo Communications Follow us on

Events: Tee Off for TanenbaumCHAT 19 Generations Day at TanenbaumCHAT 20 The Israel Becker Basketball Invitational 22

Facebook: @TanenbaumCHAT1 Instagram: @tanenbaumchat LinkedIn: TanenbaumCHAT Alumni Association TanenbaumCHAT 416-636-5984

24 Upcoming Events March 3: Dance Fashion Show March 14: Reel Film Festival March 19: Day of Giving March 26: Back @CHAT 2019 April 3: Spring Music Concert May 21: Athletic Banquet May 23: Arts Café June 6: Tee Off for TanenbaumCHAT

Director of Advancement Frances Bigman, CFRE

Our New Look

TanenbaumCHAT is a vibrant high school that boasts an 8,000-strong alumni network and highly-engaged parents and families. We are redoubling our efforts to keep all of you connected and informed, and figured a fresh look for the Chatter was in order! We’ve aimed for a clean contemporary design reflective of the energy of today’s TanenbaumCHAT, as well as content of broad interest and relevance. We hope you like it. Read on – and enjoy! Jane Rimmer Communications & Marketing Manager

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Director of Admissions Laurie Wasser, CAEP Alumni News & Notes submissions: or contact Erica Melamed ’11:

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Dr. Jonathan Levy enjoying Shavua Israel – Israel Week – with students.

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


spent winter break in Israel and, as is often the case when I’m there, I connected with many alumni. They span the generations – some very recent, many older – and I love hearing about their experiences. I’m struck by how they have, essentially, expanded the TanenbaumCHAT community to Israel. TanenbaumCHAT has prepared more than 8,000 alumni (and counting!) to become contributing members of the greater Jewish community here in Toronto, throughout Canada, and across the globe. This seems appropriate because, first and foremost, we are a community school. Our students come from various backgrounds, encompass a wide range of religious observance, and are truly representative of Jewish Toronto. Furthermore, with robust admission and a stellar retention rate, we expect our enrolment to top 1,000 next year. Much has changed over the years, but the academic rigour, breadth and depth of our program, and school spirit have remained steadfast. The needs of students, however, are many and multifaceted – and different from even just a generation ago. Providing a program of caliber in 2019 requires collaboration, imagination and resources. This makes the give and take between the school and our community more important than ever. TanenbaumCHAT can be relied upon to educate successive generations of our young people; and we know that you can be relied upon to continue to step up to support our school. For example, recently, alumni were instrumental in re-launching the Becker tournament which further increased our global reach by bringing in teams from the US and Israel; many alumni are active in school activities; and we are extraordinarily appreciative of your financial support. Long may this fruitful relationship continue. ◆ | 3

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Principal Renee Cohen joins students in the Guttman Family Science Wing.

Message from the Principal Renee Cohen ’96 B.A. (Hons.), B.Ed., M.Ed. So long as the Jewish people never stop learning, the Jewish heart will never stop beating. – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

.‫ הלב היהודי לעולם לא יפסיק לפעום‬,‫כל עוד העם היהודי לא יפסיק ללמוד‬


t TanenbaumCHAT, students come together from all different backgrounds and learn from one another, and their teachers, in a respectful, tolerant and meaningful way. In the classroom, and through our extensive extra-curricular programming, we foster innovative, entrepreneurial and growth mindsets to create a love of learning and creating, and to build resilience in our students.

We strive to allow our students to understand why we are learning something and why we are engaging in a specific task, in an effort to create a sense of awe and wonder for our students and to help drive them to use their new learning to actualize positive change.

‫ ומדוע אנו‬,‫אנחנו שואפים לאפשר לתלמידים שלנו להבין מדוע אנחנו לומדים משהו‬ .‫עוסקים במשימות מסוימות‬ Across all programs and curricula, students are learning 21st century skills such as collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking, inquiry and problem solving to help tackle real-world problems and issues with creativity and imagination. Recently, various student leaders ran four simultaneous chesed drives. They took their learning and used their passion to address real-world problems in meaningful and significant ways. For example, “Sneakers for Africa”, involved collecting slightly worn shoes to send to children in need at a school in South Africa. May we continue to put our learning into action, encouraging active community contribution, and may we continue to explore ways to foster these positive mindsets in our students. ◆

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


t is an exciting time to begin my role as President and Chairperson of the Board of Directors at TanenbaumCHAT. I am so proud to be part of this vibrant community: a school that is unique in Toronto and a leader among Jewish high schools throughout the diaspora. I am the parent of two recent alumni who started their day school experience at Associated Hebrew Schools. I went to a public high school in Cote St-Luc which was overwhelmingly Jewish, perceived by its students and parents as a Jewish alternative. Even as a teenager, I knew that was not true.

My wife, Tracy, and I knew that Jewish day school was the single greatest gift we could give our children. At TanenbaumCHAT, they were impacted by shabbatons full of ruach. The schlichim at TanenbaumCHAT made the land and the State of Israel current and pressing. Our children internalized the lesson of tikun olam through the study of Jewish ethics put to work in countless ways while at TanenbaumCHAT. We intrinsically know that there is no equivalent Jewish alternative to Jewish day school. My children are now at their choice of university programs. They are thriving along with their peers, fellow alumni, in their chosen paths, connected by their joint history and boundless futures. We are well into our second year of significantly reduced tuition for our premier high school experience. Our school is brimming with students with a remarkable spectrum of course options and an abundance of extra-curricular and enhanced programs delivered by passionate, engaged and class-leading faculty. TanenbaumCHAT allows each student to uncover her or his passions and develop knowledge, character and the courage to act – impacting today and tomorrow. It is easy to see why we all find ourselves at TanenbaumCHAT. ◆ | 5

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Highlights from around the school


OUR FIRST YOM IYUN An extraordinary morning of learning took place at a Yom Iyun on September 13 when TanenbaumCHAT invited GTA community rabbis to lead schoolwide study sessions. Our entire student body was involved in this opportunity – a perfect time for reflection between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Thirty-five rabbis were able to attend and students selected with whom they wished to learn. The rabbis examined the issue of “Bein Adam L’Chaveiro” (mitzvot between people), with particular reference to the issue of teshuva. It was exciting to partner with these community leaders to offer an enriching learning experience to our students.

TanenbaumCHAT students appeared in a slew of performances. Pictured above, teacher Jaclyn Klimitz ’03 conducts the TanenbaumCHAT Singers and Symphonic Band at the Chanukah concert held at Adath Israel Congregation. At right, Annie was a spirited rendition, in Hebrew, of the classic musical. Below, TanenbaumCHAT’s Got Talent 2018 – the Greatest Show on Earth – showcased students who sang, played instruments, danced, spoke, and mystified the audience with magic tricks!

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WEINER BASKETBALL TanenbaumCHAT athletes competed in the 32nd Annual Florence and Joseph Weiner Basketball Tournament held at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore, MD. Our varsity girls went undefeated and won the championship for the third consecutive year, while our boys battled hard and finished with two big wins. Leigh Rudberg – was awarded the finals MVP, Paige Soberano and Jack Sable were named tournament All Stars, and Ely Wyman won the character award. Tigers roar! Above L-R: Paige Soberano, Jack Sable,

In early November 2018, our 23-member Student Council attended the 40th annual Ontario Student Leadership Conference (OSLC) in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The conference featured three jampacked days of inspiring workshops, motivational speakers and leadership training. Our students took advantage of many opportunities to meet and learn from student leaders at other schools, and of course to bond as a group!

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Students were honoured for their scholarship and service to the community during the 2017-18 school year at the Awards of Excellence. The following students received the Sefton Awards for Academic Achievement: Tali Sacke (for Grade 9), Ilan Benjamin and Talia Levitt (for Grade 10), and Shira Aronson (for Grade 11). The winners of the Tikun Olam with Distinguished Service to our Community award were: Jenna Cohen (for Grade 9), Jared Fischbach (for Grade 10), and Adi Nachmani (for Grade 11). (See p. 16 for more.)

Leigh Rudberg

DECA Regionals

Top left: L-R Michelle Goldman, Ryanne Rosenberg Bottom left: L-R Benny Schneeweiss, Justin Grad, Jordan Bloom

The almost 120-strong TanenbaumCHAT DECA team travelled to Whitby, Ontario in November to join a field of more than 1,000 independent school students at the Ontario Regional Competition – a qualifier leg for the Provincials. The DECA organization helps to prepare high school and college students around the globe in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Our DECA team prepped in weekly training sessions run by the student executive and the hard work paid off: they walked away with more than 50 top-10 exam and role-play awards and 19 students won medals for achieving top overall scores.

Above: Koby Gottlieb, Ari Freedman | 7

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Highlights from around the school

LEARNING IN MISHMAR PITTSBURGH SOLIDARITY In the wake of the terrible events in Pittsburgh in October 2018, students and staff came together at a moving assembly to demonstrate solidarity with that community and to honour the victims of the attack.

Leah Powell (Grade 10) writes: Mishmar is an after-school learning experience during which students discuss the upcoming Parsha, conflicts in Torah laws, deeper meaning in upcoming holidays, and much more. With a nice dinner and interesting debates, Mishmar is always a great way to end off a Thursday afternoon. It is a place where we can immerse ourselves in Jewish learning with a smaller group than in a classroom. The challenge to think critically and compare and contrast different sources is a skill that I build by going to Mishmar and can input into my life, not only in academics. The discussions are facilitated in English by knowledgeable TanenbaumCHAT rabbis and teachers, making it available for students who do not speak fluent Hebrew.

IN OTTAWA Ten students from the Politics Club, along with teachers Jordan Sable ‘86 and Lynne Howard, travelled to Ottawa, Ontario to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver his official apology for Canada’s role in the fate of passengers on the MS St. Louis. L-R: Rachel Kelman, teacher Lynne Howard, and Shira Aronson with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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Giving back

@TanenbaumCHAT T

anenbaumCHAT is a giving community. Our educational experience encompasses a strong commitment to tikun olam. This is evident in the way our students contribute both to the school and to the wider community. What’s more, it’s a sensibility that extends to teachers, families, lay leaders and alumni alike. In the following pages, we’ll meet teachers and staff who volunteer to support students in extra-curricular pursuits, and we’ll look at how our students provide thousands of community service hours to a vast range of organizations. We’ll speak to an alumna who is helping to launch “Back @CHAT 2019” – an exciting new alumni event; we’ll celebrate our lay leaders and the time and talent they provide to strengthen our school; and we’ll acknowledge the vital role our donors play in ensuring the viability of our school. So, read on and discover just a few of the ways we are giving back @TanenbaumCHAT!

TanenbaumCHAT students give it their all, in support of important causes! From top: Selling donuts in aid of the Israeli organization Café Hachi Achi that delivers food and clothing to IDF soldiers | ThinkPink raised more than $10,000 for Rethink Breast Cancer | Gearing up for the 2018 Terry Fox Run, TanenbaumCHAT edition | 9

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Making Memories

TanenbaumCHAT has an impressive roster of extra-curricular activities that are key to the educational experience and student journey. While most activities are studentled, none would happen without the staff advisors and coaches who donate their time and energies to supporting this critically important aspect of student life. “We like to think that we offer something for everyone: intellectually-charged opportunities, things that are more artistic or career driven, things that are just for fun or that cater to a specific interest,” says Josh Sable ’90, who is Co-Director of Student Activities along with Keren Romm ’98. With more than 80 extra-curricular activities on offer, and numerous athletic teams, TanenbaumCHAT students stand an excellent chance of discovering new passions as well as strengthening current interests. Maintaining this impressive roster depends on the dedication of many teachers who, in addition to their teaching commitments, spend countless volunteer hours as coaches and staff advisors to clubs, committees and teams.

Zev Steinfeld accompanying students on a school trip to Ecuador

When asked why they take on these responsibilities, teachers most often cite the value of being with students outside of the classroom, helping kids develop new skills, the benefits of informal education, and the importance of all students feeling included. “I think that there’s a number of different motives for getting involved,” says Zev Steinfeld, who teaches Tanach and Ethics and currently coaches baseball and hockey. However, fundamentally, “the school is about education, and education isn’t just about an hour in the classroom – it’s about a holistic approach and looking at an entire child.”

Giving back


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Gerry Shindo, who teaches Physical Education and Learning Strategies, says that “you build relationships with students that you normally wouldn’t have in a classroom and can pass on different values and encourage the development of different skills,” like commitment, teamwork, communication and timemanagement. Plus, the chance for students to connect with peers and teachers in a different context can further enrich the learning experience in the classroom. Ali Aber, Head of Guidance, concurs. “I really get to hear more about the students’ lives when I get into their space. And I think that’s invaluable,” she says, adding that “the things that kids learn through being on a team, managing a club, having to get sets ready by a certain date for a show, or learning their lines – those skills are huge.”

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Gerry Shindo (left) and Michael Kohl ’97

Social Sciences teacher Marilyn Arkin is staff advisor to the Model UN. “Kids will come in, I’ll watch them present and debate, and then get them into a committee that would suit their needs,” she says. “You watch kids develop – and that’s the piece that I love to see.” Alumna Lyla Farbstein ’07 teaches Jewish History and coaches volleyball. “I was really shaped by my time at CHAT,” she says adding that, as a student, she played on multiple sports teams. “It was a huge part of my experience at the school, so I want to give back that way.” She notes that working with some influential coaches was also significant. For example, Dan Salsberg, who passed

away while Lyla was a student, “really inspired students to love volleyball and I want to continue that,” she says. Head of Visual Arts, alumnus Michael Kohl ’97 observes that involvement in extra-curricular pursuits, can be “a way for kids to express themselves differently as well.” An added benefit is that “it helps you develop as a coach and a teacher,” too. Ultimately, “students often come to their high school experience looking for a fresh start and a sense of purpose,” says Josh Sable. “They want to know that they’re part of something special. We try to give students an opportunity to feel that sense of community.”

Shabbatons are a huge part of this endeavour. Teachers give their Shabbat and weekend time to accompany the students, and these trips away provide an unparalleled sense of warmth and community spirit for all participants. For many students, the immersive nature of these weekends can be formative. For a teacher, it can be equally significant. Says Zev Steinfeld: “Being able to share in an experience like that is truly meaningful and inspiring.” ◆

Lyla Farbstein ’07 sharing volleyball tips with students | 11

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Giving back



Leadership T

anenbaumCHAT was honoured to hold its second Celebration of Leadership on December 8, 2018. Board members, staff and friends gathered in the Jay & Barbara Hennick and Family Atrium to honour Ray Rubin as her term as President of the Board of Directors came to an end, and she passed the baton to Jonathan Zepp. The first such celebration took place in 2016 to mark the tenure of Ellen Chaikof ’80. Ray and Ellen are just two of the hardworking and dedicated lay leaders who have given of their time and talents over the years to serve our school and further its mission and goals. Ray is a parent of four TanenbaumCHAT alumni (Max ’14, Gabe ’14, Judah ’16, and Solomon ’18). Over the last eight years, Ray, her four sons and her husband Lloyd Hoffman, have been integrally involved in a multitude of school leadership opportunities.

Top of page: Ray Rubin is thanked for her contributions as President of the Board of Directors Above: L-R David Granovsky, Miray Cheskes Granovsky, Ray Rubin, Lloyd Hoffman; Ray Rubin with her mother, Helene Rubin

A fundraising campaign spearheaded by Ray’s friends Miray & David Granovsky, who are current TanenbaumCHAT parents, raised $50,000 for professional development to enrich Jewish Studies teaching at the school – an area particularly close to Ray’s heart. “She is a passionate advocate for Jewish education,” said Miray and David, noting that “during her tenure as President of the Board, Ray’s leadership helped the school to navigate some turbulent times and attain its current position of vibrancy and strength.” We are indebted to Ray for her years of dedicated service to our school. ◆

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Ray Rubin at the Celebration of Leadership held in her honour, with new president, Jonathan Zepp.

Message from the outgoing President of the Board, Ray Rubin


s I leave TanenbaumCHAT in my dual capacities: as a parent who recently watched my youngest child graduate, and as a volunteer whose term on the Board of Directors comes to an end, the following words from Psalms 71:18 capture the sentiment in my heart.

‫וגם עד זקנה ושיבה אלקים אל תעזבני עד אגיד זרועך לדור לכל יבוא גבורתך‬ Now that I am old and grey haired, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength unto the next generation and Thy power to all future generations. As a parent, I feel confident that the generations that follow me are well prepared. I will always be indebted to TanenbaumCHAT for having instilled in each of my four children the ability to think critically and independently. Academic excellence is the hallmark of TanenbaumCHAT. But having been steeped in a comprehensive, premier Jewish experience, my children truly found themselves @TanenbaumCHAT. They were anchored in Jewish peoplehood and Jewish values and emerged with deep inner strength. They participated in the multitude of committees and clubs and discovered passions and talents. They were encouraged to become their best selves. As a member of the Toronto Jewish community, I am confident that our future is in good hands. The TanenbaumCHAT Board has been resolute in its commitment to its fundamental objectives: maintaining the excellence, breadth and vibrancy of our offering and ensuring that our sacred Jewish heritage is intertwined in our students’ lives. I know that with the leadership of Jonathan Zepp, the Board will take the school to even greater heights, ensuring that future generations of teenagers will be linked to Jewish peoplehood and Jewish values, emerging as curious, committed and moral Jews with the knowledge and courage to impact the world around them. ◆ | 13

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For Proofing Only Over and over again, the notion of giving back – seeing oneself as part of the bigger picture – is fundamental to the TanenbaumCHAT experience. Alumni go on to make their mark as contributing members of the wider community. Many are also committed to maintaining and strengthening their connections to one another and to the school.

Eynat Katz

Eynat (Tabakman) Katz ’89, who is a current TanenbaumCHAT parent, certainly lives these values. Together with Miri Schneiderman (parent of alumnae Mohr ’99 and Danielle ’03), she is co-chairing an upcoming, and unprecedented, alumni event, “Back @CHAT 2019”, and she is excited to invest her energies into making it a huge success. We sat down with Eynat to hear about her time at the school and what she’s been doing since. What was the most important thing you took away from your time at TanenbaumCHAT?

Profiling Alumni Giving back


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My time at TanenbaumCHAT played a strong role in shaping who I am today. It instilled in me a solid Jewish identity and core Jewish values. My strong sense of belonging and being a part of a larger community here in Toronto and Israel, was nurtured during my years at the school. What’s your favourite memory from TanenbaumCHAT? Our Shabbatons and trip to Ottawa: the camaraderie, music and singing, shared meals, and philosophical talks left a lifelong impression. Some of my closest friends today were classmates on those Shabbatons and school trips.

For Proofing Only Why do you think Jewish day school education is important? Jewish education fosters lifelong connections to Judaism and the Jewish homeland. It provides kids with a solid foundation for the rest of their lives instilled with Jewish values and morals, and a strong social and academic Jewish framework. It ensures the future vibrancy and vitality of our community. Moreover, it teaches our children to see the world through the lens of Derech Eretz, consideration for others, rooted in the Jewish concept of repairing the world – Tikun Olam. What path has your professional life taken? I’ve been fortunate to be involved in many different professional educational activities. For example, since 2014, I’ve worked for Legacy Heritage Teacher Institute, in partnership with Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It’s taken me to some 20 Jewish day schools

across North America and Australia. In Italy, I was trained in the Reggio Emilia approach and, with additional training focused on Jewish values, I worked to integrate it into Jewish day schools. I also attended a Yad Vashem training program specializing in specific Holocaust curricula and creating hands-on learning experiences to aid educators who teach this period of Jewish history. Do you volunteer elsewhere in the community? I strongly believe in “walking the talk” and teaching my children by example. I therefore, invest a great deal of my time in various Tikun Olam projects. I have donated my time to March of the Living, Muki Baum Accessibility Center, OneFamily Fund, Ve’Ahavta, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Tali’s Fund that supports vital research at SickKids Hospital, to name just a few.

How are you involved with TanenbaumCHAT today? My husband (Arny ’81) and I, are both TanenbaumCHAT alumni. We felt it was important for our children to go through the day school system. My daughter Tali is currently in grade 12, so first and foremost, we are current parents. Throughout our children’s school years, I have volunteered my time to be part of many different committees.



And what about “Back @CHAT 2019”? This year I will be co-chairing “Back @CHAT 2019”. We’re hoping for a big turnout of graduates from every decade since the school’s founding in 1961. This will be an opportunity for all TanenbaumCHAT alumni to reconnect – to come together to hear great music, and re-engage and rekindle old friendships, while raising funds that will support the school. ◆ See the back page to find out more about Back @CHAT 2019! | 15

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Acts of Kindness Through the Jesin-Neuberger Community Service Program, TanenbaumCHAT students contribute more than 30,000 hours of volunteer service annually to the Greater Toronto community.


o underscore the importance of acts of kindness in our everyday lives, our students are required to volunteer a minimum of 18 hours per year for a total of 72 hours over the course of their high school careers – well in excess of the Ministry of Education minimum. This enhanced contribution to the welfare of others is part of the educational curriculum of TanenbaumCHAT and an essential part of the school ethos. Some students go the extra mile and volunteer more than the TanenbaumCHAT requirement. (See Awards of Excellence, p. 7). One of these is Grade 12 student, Adi Nachmani. She volunteers at the Tzofim (Israeli Scouts) as a counsellor. “We plan a lot of programs and activities for the kids to learn about Israel,” she says adding that the opportunity to pass along her knowledge and train upcoming counsellors has been particularly satisfying. Jenna Cohen (currently in Grade 10) spent the summer of 2017 volunteering at Moshava Ba’ir, a Jewish day camp run by Bnei Akiva. “I love kids so I was very excited to get involved,” she says. Grade 11 student Jared Fischbach has been volunteering with Reena for more than two years. Raquel Heayn, Reena’s volunteer coordinator, says that “volunteers act as a link to the community,” and help the organization reach its strategic goals of building independence and increasing inclusion for individuals with developmental disabilities. Jared notes that, “the friendships I’ve built with the individuals I support and with the other volunteers have been incredible.” “Volunteering with Reena is a very unique experience,” Raquel says, adding that “Jared and his fellow volunteers from TanenbaumCHAT come to Reena with positive attitudes, great communication skills, and a willingness to contribute.”


Giving back


• Synagogues • Jewish day schools and public schools • Community centres and recreation programs • Hospitals and health-advocacy foundations • Food banks • Youth groups and youth sports • UJA Federation • Israel-related organizations

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For Proofing Only You only learn so much in school, “   but volunteering is real world knowledge, and it’s a way to connect with others and grow as a person. – Jared Fischbach

Adi Nachmani volunteers with the Tzofim (Israeli Scouts)

leave every time knowing that I positively “  Iimpacted someone’s day. ” – Adi Nachmani

Jared Fishbach (right) with an individual supported by Reena



Jenna Cohen volunteered with Moshava Ba’Ir.

made a lot of great “ I bonds with the kids I looked after, and that is a relationship I will never forget. – Jenna Cohen | 17

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Giving back


A Promise for the Future By Frances Bigman CFRE, Director of Advancement


n December, I was privileged to have a snapshot of some of the landmarks that define Jewish life in our city. It was an inspiring journey! Waiting for the safe arrival of my first grandchild, I did what any good fundraiser would do to pass the time: I admired the donor recognition displays saluting the philanthropy that ensures the hospital can continue its good work. A few weeks later, as we gathered to welcome and name my granddaughter, I was reminded of how the synagogue – and many others like it – is bolstered by its members. Returning to work after all this excitement, I once again was thrust into the energy that is TanenbaumCHAT, amazed anew at the extraordinary educational journey our students enjoy – one that only happens with your vital philanthropic support. At TanenbaumCHAT, students are nurtured so that they can make discoveries, find their passions and contribute, in turn, to our community. It’s something we’ve been doing for nearly 60 years. It’s both an incredible legacy and a remarkable promise for the future.

Not surprisingly, the future has been on my mind a great deal. The arrival of my granddaughter – a precious new Jewish life – was supported by people she will likely never meet. Nevertheless, it’s clear she has been born into a generous community – one that collectively recognizes its obligation to keep and preserve the institutions and organizations whose mission it is to strengthen and protect lives like hers. TanenbaumCHAT is such an institution: a premier Jewish high school that has impacted and enriched our community for generations. Community support for TanenbaumCHAT signals a commitment to more than Jewish education. It recognizes this school as an integral part of a Jewish institutional network that ensures all our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. ◆

When you find a way to give, you help students

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TEE OFF for TanenbaumCHAT The rain held off and the sun shone brightly on August 7, 2018 as Tee Off for TanenbaumCHAT swung into action. Our inaugural golf tournament was a huge success with 128 participants comprising alumni, parents, teachers – and even two students. Golfers played 18 holes at the Lebovic Golf Course, and enjoyed on-course snacks, lunch and dinner, and a silent auction. We thank our generous sponsors for their support. Platinum Sponsor

Hole Sponsors

Toby and Saul Feldberg Janice and Jeffrey Bly

Aloris Mercantile Corporation

Dinner Sponsor

Amexon Property Management Inc.

Stephen Turk Law

BSM Accounting Services

Golf Cart Sponsor

Dr. Errol Nezon - Paediatric Dentist

Robins Appleby LLP

Epstein Cole LLP Forest Hill Orthodontics

Tee Blocks Sponsor Connor Clark & Lunn Private Capital

Ideal Solutions Insurance Brokers Inc. MNP LLP

Contest Sponsor

Origo Communications Corporation

3T Equity Partners

RJM Group Inc

Toram Contracting Inc.

RSM Canada Limited Southdown Builders Limited Talbot Marketing TES The Employment Solution

Save the Date! We’ll be teeing off again on June 6, 2019, at 8:00 am at the Lebovic Golf Course. | 19

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For Proofing Only Three generations of the Lapedus family: Mark ’66 addresses the gathering, as son Justin ’91 and grandson Jake ’22 look on.

e are all blessed here… “  Wgrandparents getting well deserved nachas from our grandchildren. We support them in every way we can. We should all redouble our efforts to support CHAT.

Guest speaker, Mark Lapedus ’66

Generating Connections at Generations Day 2018


Read more about our multi-generational TananebaumCHAT families in our Annual Report:

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he annual visit of our grandparents at Generations Day once again provided this special audience with a unique way to connect with their teenage grandchildren. More than 500 guests enjoyed coffee and sweets as they were warmly welcomed at a morning assembly. A D’var Torah was delivered by Grade 12 student, Rachel Kelman, student council president Jason Bergman brought greetings, and entertainment was provided by the TanenbaumCHAT Singers, led by music teacher Jaclyn Klimitz ’03. In keeping with the generations theme, the audience was moved by keynote speaker Mark Lapedus ’66 who took the stage with his son Justin ’91 and grandson Jake, who is currently in Grade 9. Mark’s personal story resonated with the audience, as he talked about his high school experiences and looked

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forward to watching Jake follow in the TanenbaumCHAT family tradition. Following the assembly, grandparents attended class with their own grandchildren. Whether participating in a science experiment, an Ivrit quiz or a music lesson, our guests had the opportunity to find themselves learning side by side with their grandchildren. We sent our visitors off with challah for their family Shabbat table, where we are sure they shared memories of a wonderful day. â—† | 21

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A Slam Dunk Success The return of the Israel Becker basketball invitational


ver four action-packed days in January, more than 100 young athletes from Canada, the US and Israel were at TanenbaumCHAT for the 2019 Israel Becker TanenbaumCHAT International Invitational basketball tournament. Undeterred by arctic temperatures, flight delays and terrible highway conditions, teams travelled from near and far and still made it to Toronto on time. We were thrilled to welcome a boys HaPoel Eilat squad from Israel, and boys and girls teams from The Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York and Montreal’s Bialik High School. Closer to home, Bnei Akiva, Or Chaim fielded a team, and the TanenbaumCHAT senior boys and junior and senior girls squads rounded out the rosters. The athletes played some absolutely gripping basketball which, in a TanenbaumCHAT first, was live-streamed and accompanied by play-by-plays provided by TanenbaumCHAT students. The bleachers were packed with avid sports fans – parents, staff and alumni, as well as students who managed to finagle whatever time they could away from classes to attend the games.

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Despite the packed sports schedule, the students also had time to connect with TanenbaumCHAT students, socialize, eat together, go tubing, and even bake challah, in a grand gathering of Jewish youth from across the world. The tournament began in 1995 to honour the memory of Israel Becker ’88. When Head of School, Dr. Jonathan Levy began to explore the possibility of reviving this exciting event, he reached out to the school’s athletic department and invited alumni Josh Sugar ’90 and Eitan Mammon ’90 – who were keen basketball players as students – to run with the idea. During the closing ceremony, Josh Sugar noted that he had talked with Mary Becker (mother of Israel z”l, and Isaac (Itzik) ’86) on the first day of the tournament. She told him how much it meant to her that people still remember Israel and that TanenbaumCHAT continues to pay tribute to him in this way. At the end of the day, the TanenbaumCHAT senior girls and the Heschel boys were the championship winners. However, the real victory was the event as a whole – for providing a fantastic experience for participants and spectators alike! ◆

Opposite page: The TanebaumCHAT Tigers in action This page, from top: The girls’ title was won by the TanenbaumCHAT Tigers; the Heschel Heat won the boys’ championship; eating and enjoying a challah bake together. Photos on opposite page, and Championship pictures above, by current parent, Sheldon Freeman | 23

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Introducing Erica Melamed ’11, Alumni Relations Officer

& Class Reunions: Reconnecting and Reminiscing For many adults, high school is a time they would rather not revisit. So, when a high school reunion rolls around, people come up with all kinds of excuses for not attending. Not so at TanenbaumCHAT! The fall of 2018 saw in excess of 250 alumni finding themselves back at CHAT reunions, reconnecting with old friends and former teachers. Classmates from the Class of 1978 travelled from as close by as London, Ontario and as far away as Chicago to attend their 40th anniversary reunion. The highlight of the event was a video call with a parallel mini reunion taking place in Jerusalem. The Class of 1998 held their 20-year reunion in October and more than 40 graduates attended. They spent the evening in the Jay & Barbara Hennick and Family Atrium at TanenbaumCHAT, shmoozing and catching up, and enjoying the hits of the nineties.

Alumna Erica Melamed ’11 joined TanenbaumCHAT in August 2018 as Alumni Relations Officer, and is excited to put her experience and love of the school to use in her new role. After graduating from TanenbaumCHAT, Erica went on to complete an Honours B.A. in Communication and History and an M.A. in Communication and Culture at York University. Since coming back to TanenbaumCHAT to work in the Advancement Office, she has been busy reconnecting with alumni in connection with projects as diverse as DECA, class reunions, and the relaunch of the TanenbaumCHAT Alumni Mentorship Network. Erica invites all alumni to get in touch with her to share their news, update their contact information, join the Mentorship Network, and see how they can get involved.

In November 2018, two 10-year reunions were held at TanenbaumCHAT: the TCW Class of 2008 gathered to reconnect and mark their 10th anniversary with food, fun, games, and a photo-booth. The TCK Class of 2008 grads celebrated with entertainment from a live band, and a slideshow filled with memories. They also commemorated the passing of their classmate Shane Klein ‘08 by donating to the The Shane Daniel Klein Scholarship in Family Medicine at Queen’s University in his honour. TanenbaumCHAT is thrilled to see the rise of all kinds of alumni activity in the school. What’s more, these reunions contributed over $10,000 to our Annual Fund. Thanks to all of the committee members involved in organizing these wonderful gatherings.

Class of 1978

Contact her at: or 416-636-5984 Ext. 377

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Class of 2008 TCK

Class of 2008 TCW | 25

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& In November 2018, the Bar-Ilan University Senate approved the appointment of Prof. Karl Skorecki ’71 as the new dean of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Skorecki is a physician and researcher, a full professor at the Technion Faculty of Medicine, and director of Medical and Research Development at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Said Bar Ilan University President, Prof. Arie Zaban, “Prof. Skorecki has extensive experience and proven abilities in patient care, research, teaching and administration. He has already begun constructing a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at deepening the impact of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in all areas”.

Dr. Karen Skinazi ’92 is a senior teaching fellow and the Director of Liberal Arts at the University of Bristol in the UK. She is a scholar of multiethnic, American and women’s literature. Her most recent book, Women of Valor: Orthodox Jewish Troll Fighters, Crime Writers, and Rock Stars in Contemporary Literature and Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2018) examines media portrayals of Orthodox Jewish women and delves beyond stereotypes to identify a powerful tradition of feminist literary portrayals of Orthodox women – often created by Orthodox women themselves.


4:50PM Ron Davis ’75 is a renowned pianist and composer. The release of his 12th recording, SymphRONica is his 3rd innovative collection that fuses jazz and symphonic music. It was released in October 2018. The event was heralded by a concert at the Bathurst Centre for Culture.

We are excited to share news about our alumni. If you have something you’d like to share, please contact Erica Melamed ’11, Alumni Relations Officer at

In November, Risa (Dodick) Rotman ’85 was at the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto Congregation to talk about her book Terror and Emunah in Har Nof (ArtScroll Shaar Press, 2017). In the book, Risa reflects on her family’s experience dealing with a terror attack that ultimately took the life of her husband Chaim (Howie) Rotman ’79. Risa tells her story “in her own words, with honesty, insight, and yes, even humor.”

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Dylan Itzkowitz ’12, was a recipient of Ontario’s David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. On December 4, 2018, he was presented with the Youth Leadership Award for his work establishing The Forward Movement which has been committed to inspiring municipalities throughout Ontario to adopt a Dynamic Symbol of Access to change perceptions of disability. The symbol shows a person in a wheelchair in motion, as opposed to appearing in a static position. Dylan’s passion for accessibility began when he was struck by a car in 2016, temporarily requiring him to rely on a wheelchair for mobility.

At the Annual General Meeting on December 8, 2018, Hart Heller ‘89 and Howard Simkevitz ‘91 joined these fellow TanenbaumCHAT alumni on the Board: Alan Grad ’88, Suzy Kauffman ’90 and Sue Valencia ’85.

Alumni Reflect on Pittsburgh

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presents Dylan Itzikowitz ’12 with the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.

Two TanenbaumCHAT alumni wrote thoughtful reflections on the tragic events that unfolded in Pittsburgh in October 2018.

Corey Farber ’17 was chosen as one of a team of four to represent Canada in the snowboarding event at the 29th Winter Universaide. The games will be held in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in March. “On Pittsburgh: A Jewish Student’s Reflection” by Jack Kline ’17 appeared in the McGill International Review.

Jonah Solomon ’16, (pictured left with a model) who is currently studying fashion design at Ryerson University, was awarded a Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute (SRFI) Fellowship for which senior students and recent graduates undergo a competitive selection process. For those in the program, the SRFI helps bridge the transition from fashion education to practice. Of the Fellowship, Jonah said that it has “given me the confidence to push for myself and my brand, and who I am as a designer.”

Joshua Granovsky ’16 wrote “Standing strong in the face of antisemitism”, an essay that was subtitled: Learning from discriminatory experiences at Queen’s and in Kingston. It was published in the Queens University Journal. | 27

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Announcing the TanenbaumCHAT Alumni Mentorship Network This alumni-to-alumni program matches TanenbaumCHAT grads who are exploring career options, with experienced alumni already working in their fields of interest. Whether mentees are considering graduate schools, thinking about changing majors or career paths, looking for a new job, relocating or strategizing about how to get ahead, this one-on-one highly individualized approach is here to help.

You can be a part of this uniquely TanenbaumCHAT experience! More than 60 alumni have already signed on as mentors. We are still looking for more mentors – and mentees! Why not join them? For more information about this exciting program, please contact: Erica Melamed ’11, Alumni Relations Officer at (416) 636-5984 Ext. 377 or; or visit:

Alumni Mentorship Network

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(with sister Sloan)

Ellison Grace Alina Zaltzman ’06 & Michael Pearlstein

Matthew Reingold ’03 & Chani Greenwald ’04

Max Philip

Avery Sloane

Sam Direnfeld ’05 & Lauren Sacks ’07

Sebastian Max


Ashley (Kochman) Bahar ’03 & Ilan Bahar

Jillian Green ’01 & David Herling

Jaden Bill Andrew


Tamar Zagdanski Weisbrod ’07 & Max Weisbrod ’07

Samantha (Glied-Beliak) Yablonsky ’07 & Rafi Yablonsky

Michelle (Baron) Srour ’04 & Richard Srour

Charlie Hy

Leo Benjamin

Quinn Lily

Diana (Jaskolka) Gilbert ’06 & Jay Gilbert

Zack Belzberg ’05 & Torey (Stronell) Belzberg ’05

Lori Wasserman ’99 & David Bitton

Allison (Hennick) Segal ’05 & Matt Segal

Sadie Raymonde

Chloe Rachel

Jonah Toby

Rebecca Chloe

Joshua Bernick ’06 & Kayla Goldrich ’07

Alana (Arshoff) Steinhauer ’05 & David Steinhauer ’05

Kim (Lichtman) Waltman ’06 & Brian Waltman ’06

Melanie (Steele) Conway ’07 & Matthew Conway

Ryan | 29

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Samantha Lastman ’08 & Edden Katzav ’09

Rachel Devon ’10 & Josh Daniels ’08

Eve Hurowitz ’10 & Adam Jerusalim Jared Teitel ’05 & Warren Cass

Ariel Waks ’10 & Zach Tobe ’10

Tal Naidik ’14 & Yaniv Elancry ’14

Donna Brenkel ’11 & Josh Rosenberg ’08

Erica Melamed ’11 & Jesse Lash ’11

Jody Steinman ’10 & Daniel Gelberger

Hart Goldhar ’08 & Susie Senders

Natalie Slavat ’11 & Brandon Greenspoon

Noah Stern ’10 & Jenna Goldberg ’11

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Rachel Glowinsky ’12 & Ben Babins

Sam Zimmerman ’10 & Rachel Davis

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WEDDINGS Sheri Herblum ’06 & Michael Benson

Steven Glowinsky ’00 & Danielle Fleming with daughter Sienna

Alyssa (Naor) Zohar ‘12 & Uriel Zohar

Hayley (Goldenberg) Finewax ’10 & Jordan Finewax

Michael Adler ’07 & Judy Gerlock ’07

Shoshanna Rehak-Peters ’11 & Jonathon Peters

Melody Barkhordarian ’11 & Hagi Achren

Marni Gelkopf ’10 & Yosi Lazarev

Michael Saskin ’12 & Hillary (Weisleder) Saskin ’12

Alexa (Blustein) Rosenberg ’14 & Mitchell Rosenberg

Jonah Koplowitz ’03 & Danya Borenstein ’08

Matthew Cohen ’05 & Laurel Sas ’07

Mitchell Rattner ’08 & Samantha Seaton

Yonatan Lipsitz ’08 & Lauren Gans | 31

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