LEGACIES Some Things Never Change F our men fly to Florida in the dead of winter. Is there anything special about that? Normally, no, but when they haven’t been in the same room together since 1951, it’s a story worth hearing. The last time Malcolm Thomson, Myron Tapper, Martin Brotman, and Charles Faiman were together, they were crossing the room to pick up certificates as part of the first graduating class of Talmud Torah, one of the founding schools of Gray Academy. Now, the connection they built so long ago in the North End called them back together. “It seemed time for a reunion,” says Thomson, 80, a rabbi-turned-Wall Street executive who lives in Grace Kelly’s former apartment on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. “After 67 years, I knew we’d pick up our friendship where we left off.”
In January, the men—all of whom now live in the United States—arrived in Delray Beach for a four-day rendezvous, sharing stories of their early days in Manitoba and highlights from their lives since. Faiman and Brotman became top physicians and Tapper an internationally recognized aerospace physicist. Thomson points to the community that Talmud Torah created for their enduring friendship. At the reunion, he couldn’t help but marvel at how the Class of ’51 still had such a strong bond. “How many people can get together for the first time in 67 years and still have an intimate connection?” he asks. “Talmud Torah did that then, and Gray Academy does that now.” •
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Legacies Legaciesisispublished publishedbi-annually bi-annuallythrough throughGray GrayAcademy’s Academy’sMarketing Marketing and and Communications Communications Department. Department.Digital Digital and and printed printed copies copies are are distributed distributedtotoparents, parents,grandparents, grandparents,alumni, alumni,and andfriends friendsofofthe theschool. school. IfIfyou youwould wouldlike liketotosupport supportGray GrayAcademy, Academy,please pleasecontact contactususatat 204.477.7410 email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org. Head HeadofofSchool Schooland andCEO CEO
LORI LORIBINDER BINDER(’91) (’91)
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Director DirectorofofAdmissions Admissions
JUDI JUDIPRICE-ROSEN PRICE-ROSEN
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Director DirectorofofMarketing Marketingand andCommunications Communications
DAVID DAVIDBORZYKOWSKI BORZYKOWSKI(’01) (’01)
Sean SeanShore Shore
President, President,Winnipeg WinnipegBoard BoardofofJewish JewishEducation Education
Lori LoriBinder Binder
Head HeadofofSchool Schooland andCEO CEO
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linkedin.com/company/grayacademy linkedin.com/company/grayacademy Board BoardofofDirectors Directorsofofthe theWBJE WBJE Sean SeanShore, Shore,President President Evan EvanRoitenberg Roitenberg(’84), (’84),Vice VicePresident President Diane DianeShindleman, Shindleman,Treasurer Treasurer Bruce BruceCaplan, Caplan,Secretary Secretary Tracy TracyKasner-Greaves Kasner-Greaves(’94), (’94),Past PastPresident President Jen JenDimerman, Dimerman,Evgeny EvgenyGotfrid Gotfrid(’13), (’13),Richard RichardHechter, Hechter, Tara TaraKozlowich Kozlowich(’94), (’94),Laura LauraKravetsky-Chisick Kravetsky-Chisick(’99), (’99), Cindy CindyLazar Lazar(’87), (’87),Rabbi RabbiMatthew MatthewLeibl Leibl(’03), (’03), Marla MarlaLevene Levene(’93), (’93),Josh JoshWeinstein Weinstein(’89) (’89) Writers Writers
DAVID DAVIDBORZYKOWSKI BORZYKOWSKI(’01) (’01) BEN BENWALDMAN WALDMAN(’13) (’13)
Expand Your World Diane and Sandy Shindleman didn’t plan on having any more kids. With their daughter, Annie, and a successful real estate business, they thought their lives were complete. But when an opportunity came up with Gray Academy’s International Student Homestay Program, the Shindlemans reconsidered their decision. Gray Academy’s International Program offers high school students from abroad an opportunity to study at the school and live in the homes of Gray families. Students come from countries like Brazil, the USA, and Mexico, and stay with their host family for a semester or a full year. This unique program is the only one of its kind in North America. “Unlike a traditional boarding school, our students don’t live on campus or in dorms,” says Lori Binder, Head of School and CEO. “Being in the home of a Gray
family enables the international student to live just like their classmates and further integrates them with their peers. Our program gives students something so special, the opportunity to immerse themselves in Canadian life and culture.” While the program gives students a Gray Academy education and lifelong social bonds, it also gives host families an incredibly fulfilling experience. They see the students experience high school and get to watch them grow into young adults, all within their own home. “After hosting three girls over the past five years, we’ve really felt a sense of pride in watching them succeed at Gray,” says Sandy Shindleman. “I know that we contributed to that success, and that is the best gift you can get.” When the students left Winnipeg, two returned to Brazil, and one is now studying in Israel, preparing to make Aliyah. For the Shindlemans, their host kids will always be part of their family.
They Couldn’t Stay Away
the student makes me a better teacher, and working with my Grade 3 teacher [Na’ama] gave us an ease and familiarity that benefited our students.”
High school graduates often toss their caps in the air, grab their diplomas, and never look back. But at Gray, alumni can’t wait to get back in the yearbook.
Based on the numbers, it's possible that a future colleague is sitting right in front of her. "I can't wait to see which student of mine will eventually join us in the staff room," says Gabi.
Out of the school’s 80 staff members, 16 are graduates. That means one in five educators at Gray once sat in the same seats as their students. The fact that so many former students are now on staff is a testament to the community that Gray creates. “When I was teaching in Toronto, none of the schools had the feeling that Gray does,” says Gabi Winestock (’07). “I can go into the staffroom and have instant connections to my colleagues.” A particularly special moment for Gabi was in the 2017-18 school year when she taught Grade 3 in the same room that she was a student in. She also worked with her Grade 3 teacher, Na’ama Miller (’85). “I could relate to both my students and my teaching partner,” says Gabi. “Knowing the experience of Alumni staff range from the class of ’69 to the class of ’11.
Shooting for the Title The history of the Gray Academy junior varsity boys basketball team goes back much farther than their two provincial championships in 2017 and 2018. They didn’t become one of the best Raiders teams Gray Academy has ever produced overnight. Their story starts in Junior Kindergarten. That’s where many of the players first met each other and forged lifelong friendships. In Grade 5, when Gray Academy first offers basketball, they all jumped at the chance to join the team. "We couldn't wait to play," says Eldar Kravitz, Grade 11. "From our first practice, we were obsessed with basketball and playing together." As they got older and entered high school, their dedication to the sport grew.
“Our practices involve complicated drills and lessons,” says Coach and Athletic Coordinator Jamie Kagan. “Other teams can’t run the plays that these guys can. They dedicate so much time to practice that many of the players put off driver’s ed so they have more time for basketball.” Entering the varsity league this year, the team knows that they’ll have a challenge against older, more developed competition. But that doesn’t scare them. “We have the right foundation to go all the way again,” says Aaron Thomas, the 2017 and 2018 provincial tournament MVP. “Our guys might not always be the tallest, but we make up for it in our work ethic, friendship, and love for the game.”
SARAH JACOBSOHN The Ultimate World Champion A hush falls over the crowd as the Gray Academy Raiders charge up the field. The game is tied. Sarah Jacobsohn gets the frisbee and swiftly makes the pass to her teammate in the endzone to win the game. This story is a typical one for Sarah. At 15, she was named to the Canadian National Ultimate Team, the youngest person ever chosen (the team won the world championship at the tournament in Wroclaw, Poland). At 17, she was named captain for the 2018 squad. Sarah attributes much of her remarkable athletic success in ultimate frisbee to Gray. Sarah was first introduced to the sport in her Grade 7 gym class. She started by learning how to throw the frisbee and then learned the fundamentals of the game. “The program at Gray essentially laid the foundation for my ultimate career,” says Sarah. “At Gray, I was able to develop leadership skills on the ultimate team, which made an enormous difference in my role on the national team and for my individual confidence.” Joining the middle school team in Grade 8, Sarah was able to get a taste of competition. Since then, she has been a fixture on the Raiders varsity starting line. Sarah attributes much of her success to her coaches in those early days. “Josh Kerr (’12) and Adi Koifman (’15) were the coaches who got me involved at Gray and who encouraged me to go further outside of school ultimate,” says Sarah. “Without their guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Josh Kerr is effusive in his praise for Sarah. “As soon as she picked up the frisbee, we knew that she was a special player,” says Kerr. “The way that she can see the plays develop enables her to impact the game with or without the disc in her hand. This makes her the best junior women’s player in Manitoba and one of the best in Canada.” Even though she is a world champion, one title has eluded her all these years. As Sarah enters Grade 12, she’ll have one more chance to bring home the provincial title for Gray Academy. “I really think this could be our year,” says Sarah.
Words about Debating and Public Speaking The debate and public speaking program starts with workshops in elementary. It is a required course for all Grade 7 and 8 students and becomes a desired elective from Grades 9-12.
Emily Kalo vs. the World If you get into an argument with Gray Academy alumna Emily Kalo (’18), odds are you’ll have a tough time winning. With her knowledge of current events, public policy, and global affairs, Emily has represented Gray in debating and public speaking competitions around the world, consistently placing at the top of the field. Not only does she stand out in Manitoba but also in the world. Emily was named the 12th best public speaker in the world at the prestigious 2018 World Individual Public Speaking and Debating Championships in Cape Town, South Africa.
acquiring critical thinking and logic skills. “An essential element to speech and debate is understanding there are two sides to every idea,” says Andrew Kaplan (’98), Gray Academy’s debate and public speaking teacher. “Then, it’s up to competitors to engage their audience with passion and purpose.” Emily has become a top speaker, and at the same time Gray has become a perennial powerhouse in speech and debate, with dozens of students competing in Manitoba, Canada, and abroad.
“It’s pretty incredible to succeed at home, but to be able to hold my own against some of the smartest teens in the world is something I don’t take for granted,” Emily says.
“At the biggest tournaments in the world, certain schools are expected to be there,” Emily says. “Gray is absolutely one of those schools.”
She began debating in Grade 6, quickly
See, she is persuasive.
In 2017, Gray Academy co-hosted with Balmoral Hall School the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Competition (IISPSC), one of the largest tournaments in the world. Students came to Gray Academy from the USA, Peru, India, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, Bermuda, South Africa, and across Canada. The tournament was a qualifier for the World Individual Pubic Speaking and Debating Championships (WIPSDC). Emily Kalo (’18) was one of 16 students from Canada to compete at WIPSDC in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 100 participants competed from around the world. Andrew Kaplan (’98), Gray Academy debate and public speaking teacher, is the vice president of the Manitoba Speech and Debate Association. In 2017-18 Gray Academy students participated in 18 competitions in Winnipeg and across Canada. Students travelled to St. John’s, Vancouver, Calgary, and Halifax. More students than ever are choosing the debate and public speaking elective. The program hopes to qualify for worlds again this year.
More than A Trip Winnipeg and Kiryat Shmona: Two cities that couldn’t be much more different. One is in the heart of the Canadian prairies, the other is 10,000 kilometres away, abutted by the vast green of the Hula Valley to the south and the Israel-Lebanon border to the north.
Each fall, Danciger students arrive in Winnipeg to stay with host families and experience Gray’s tight-knit community. At first, they might feel out of place, but over the course of 10 days, they become indistinguishable from Gray students. A few months later, the Winnipeggers make the voyage to the Upper Galilee, and even when they return, they never really say goodbye.
Despite their differences, students from Gray Academy and Danciger High School have visited one another through the Partnership 2Gether (P2G) program, building lifelong connections and discovering they’re more alike than not. The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg has generously supported this program since 1997. “It’s an unparalleled cultural exchange,” says Judaic studies teacher Avi Posen (’06), a 2004 P2G delegate who’s led five delegations to Danciger. “The impact it’s had on both schools is remarkable.”
“Since my trip, I’ve kept in touch with my friends in Kiryat Shmona,” says Seth Baker (’13), a 2012 delegate. “I have a family there, and my Israeli counterpart has one here in Winnipeg.” Now, more students than ever before are getting that experience. In 2018, Gray sent 15 students to Danciger, the largest delegation yet. In the fall, Danciger will send its largest group ever, too. “I’m always excited for the next years’ students,” says Posen. “I know that their lives are about to change forever.”
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