Swimming, paddle boarding and bush walking – these were just some of the incredible adventures our Year 5s experienced on their camp. Enjoying the great outdoors, they had a fantastic time being active and learning at the same time.
The health and wellbeing of our students is at the core of everything we do at Bialik. On Friday 13 March, the Year 11 and 12 students had a Health and Wellbeing day, during which they had some fabulous and intriguing electives to choose from.
There was dance, yoga, fitness to relieve stress, sex education around subjects like intimacy, cooking, smart investing, nutrition and more.
Healthy bodies, healthy minds = happy students.
Mazel tov to our four Year 6 stars who swam at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Championships and came home with a bronze medal in the 12/13 mixed freestyle relay. An absolutely amazing effort from Peri A, Ty J, Josh H and Max I!
Our annual Purim celebrations were full of joy, excitement, creative costumes and mitzvot.
As usual, all students from Creche to Year 12, as well as staff, arrived at school dressed in crazy, kooky, fun and colourful costumes. Parents came to watch the fun, which included an ELC costume parade, games in the amphitheatre and the always popular Year 12 dance.
The day was filled with amazing activities which were just as educational as they were exciting and fun. There was a reading of the Megillah in the Library, fulfilling the mitzvah of hearing the story of Purim.
As is tradition on Purim, the Year 12 cohort had the privilege of an excursion to meet and engage with the Year 6 leaders of Dandenong West Primary School. The students introduced the Year 12s to their school’s foundation and the values they pride themselves on. This was then followed by games during which everyone mixed together and introduced themselves, making new friends.
In the lead up to Purim, students and parents were asked to bring in donations of tinned goods, pasta, toilet paper, canvas bags, toiletries and more for the Matanot Le’evyonim program run on the day of Purim. The students heard from a wonderful speaker from CISVic, a Community Information and Support service that represents other local community services for those that are in need of assistance and support, and spent an hour on Purim creating care packages and writing letters to those in need. The donations were overwhelming and the students not only spent their time giving to others, they themselves took a lot away from the session.
Once again, Purim at Bialik was a wonderful day of celebration and giving.
In its sixth year, Science Week at Bialik saw students engaging in a range of activities around the theme of ‘Science in Motion’.
The ELC students investigated how neurons work to help them think and make connections by looking at and touching real brains.
Students in the Primary School got friendly with a variety of Australian animals like Serendipity the baby wallaby, crocodiles and snakes, and learned all about the human body by seeing and touching bones and body parts from different animals. The Year 3 and 5 scientists were amazed by the ‘Big Science Show’, where some brave students helped create a ball of fire!
In the Middle School, students learned the neuroscience behind magic, played with drones and robots, exploded a ball pit with liquid nitrogen, had a scavenger hunt around the school, and connected their Maths and Science skills whilst playing bubble soccer and using the crash carts.
Students from the Senior School honed their Physics skills when they took part in our axe-throwing activity, learned how to protect their brains and battled it out during a domino tower competition.
Throughout the week, students participated in forensics and sport activities, explored virtual reality and hugged some friendly animals during their lunchtimes.
Bialik gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Science Week at Bialik, in memory of Bettie Kornhauser.
Members of Bialik College Mazkirut (Leadership) had the opportunity to ask important questions about issues of domestic violence and the Coronavirus to a panel of expert speakers at the Kooyong 200 Breakfast event on Friday 6 March. The event was in support Josh Frydenberg (Federal Member for Kooyong, Treasurer of Australia) and the Kooyong district and was a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage with important topics that are affecting all Australians.
Bialik was one of only the three schools that was invited to attend and our students presented their questions with great forethought and maturity.
One of the most exciting projects of our Bnei Mitzvah program is when the students get to research their family trees. The Year 7 Bnei students dig into their roots with the help of representatives from the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society. The representatives spoke to the students about creating their family trees and gave them tips on how to conduct their research.
There are often many surprises for the students on during this research, whether it’s finding out they’re related to someone sitting in the same room as they are, or that they’re related to a famous or world-renowned Jew!
|A message from Dan Sztrajt, Assistant Principal (Jewish Life)|
For generations Jews around the world have celebrated the joyous festival of Purim by dressing up and wearing masks, just as Queen Ester masked her Jewish identity. As part of our mitzvah to hear the Megilah, we recount how Mordechai helped Ester hide her Jewish heritage in order to marry King Ahashverosh. Unbeknown to Ester at the time, her masked Jewish identity would ultimately allow her to save the entire Jewish people from annihilation.
Haman’s plan to execute all the Jews of the Persian Empire was spawned by his anger at a single Jew who acted differently from other citizens, one who would not bow to him. Haman’s ability to project his rage from one person onto their entire ethnic or cultural group exemplifies the very root of racism. Haman’s excessive response provides us with a mirror to our own biases and the dangers they create. How frequently do we see someone who looks different or does different things from us and make judgments about their entire ethnicity?
Right now, we are confronted with a new reason why so many people all over the world are wearing masks. These masks are not about hiding one’s identity, but rather protecting themselves from others. Our fear of the Covid-19 Coronavirus is quite valid, so much of this new threat is unknown and we are left unsure about how to best protect ourselves. Yet incredibly, long before the bulk of Australians have donned masks, many chose to protect themselves by excluding others. The mistrust of Australians and visitors of Asian origin has been a major feature of this health crisis. Icons of Asian dining have closed down and reports of discrimination and racism have grown. For some, the current climate is scary for more than just the obvious reasons.
So what does our Jewish heritage and the Purim story have to teach us about how we respond to Covid-19? Perhaps our Jewish understanding of being an outsider and looking a little different gives us a valuable sense of empathy. From Queen Ester we know what it is like to have to hide your identity to attain equal treatment. From Haman we understand how quickly people unfairly perceive a threat simply from the way somebody looks. As we don our masks for Purim, let’s heed the lesson of the megillah, and treat others with the same dignity we all deserve.
On Wednesday 26 February, Bialik celebrated Rosh Chodesh (the first day) of the month of Adar. Traditionally, Adar is a month of festivities and joy and is also the month in which we celebrate Purim.
Students throughout the school came to school with crazy hats and socks and there were fun activities for all.
Middle School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) days are a challenging and fun way for students to expand their learning environment and collaborate with peers from other year levels.
On February 26 and 27, the first STEM Days of the year were held and were a great success.
Students collaborated in their teams to find bushfire solutions. They spent time researching, talking to guests who had experienced bushfires before, talking to a guest from the Environmental Protection Authority, working in Makerspace with drones and robotics, pitching their designs to teachers – who gave them ‘Bialik cash – going to the ‘shop’ to buy supplies, making prototypes for their inventions, creating advertisements for their designs and sharing them on the CLE. Once they had uploaded their ads, they watched each other’s videos and left constructive feedback in the comments section.
We saw many amazing ideas, including new kinds of gas masks, drones to fight fire or rescue animals, animal shelters, subterranean dwellings modelled on Coober Pedy, animal transport containers, special banks to help people after the fires and so much more!
There are many brilliant prototypes on display in the Middle School Corridors. The students enjoyed being able to choose their teams and portfolios. They did well at following Bialik’s Design Process, which begins with empathy, designing something to help someone based on an identified need or problem, evaluating, modifying and improving until the end ‘product’ is completed, then pitching to an audience.
This STEM Day involved two pitches: the one to their teachers on Wednesday and their ads on Thursday.