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.
As we approach the end of the third week of the 2020 school calendar, it struck me as to how much happens behind the scenes – over the summer break – to have the school ready and operational for a new school year. Overall, by the time students arrive, few give a moment of thought to what has transpired to ensure a smooth transition for all.
Like great umpires or referees, who control a game but remain unnoticed and quietly go about their business in the background, with minimum fuss or profile, Frank and his maintenance team are the unsung heroes of the College, overseeing and orchestrating an army of tradespeople and contractors, who, by Day 1, are a distant memory. Samples of the work arranged and completed over the break include the:
Added to that, consider the work by Finance, HR, Communication, Registrar and others to integrate effectively over 70 new students (not including those starting at Kinder 3) and 20 new staff. Each addition adds to the fabric of the College, bringing new ideas, new challenges and new opportunities. By considering all of these elements, one can gain some insight into the scale of human capital invested in getting things “just right” for a new school year.
With the unwavering optimism and energy befitting the young, we enter 2020 knowing that taking time to notice and not to take for granted that which is under our nose, are critical in keeping us grounded and connected. Whether it be our amazing Graduating class of 2019, where 36% volunteered as “buddies” on a Flying Fox camp (for young people with disabilities) the week after their VCE results came in, or our current cohort who helped make calls for JNF last Sunday, there are plenty of reasons to have Bialik up and running.
During the year, the Etgar students raised funds for Youth Projects, an organisation that offers support and employment opportunities to at-risk young people.
The Years 8 and 9 students who participate in the Etgar program could elect to sell coffee from the Gary Peer coffee van, the profits of which were collected for this very important cause.
During the last week of Term 4, visited Youth Projects to present the organisation with the money that they raised. Kol ha’kavod!
Our Chavayah cohort had a wonderful experience when they visited Masada with their educators from Israel’s Alexander Muss High School .
They were learning about the mitzvah of laying tefillin and the educators were telling the students how one of the greatest discoveries of Jewish history was when archaeologists found ancient tefillin in the very vicinity where our students were visiting
In a serendipitous stroke of luck, while our students were discussing this, a group of Chabadniks who were climbing in the same area approached the cohort and offered for them to lay tefillin with them. The boys in the group were eager to join in and found it to be a very significant and emotional experience, given the location.
Our staff from Alexander Muss, a school that mirrors Bialik’s ethos of pluralism and inclusion, noticed that girls were feeling left out. These wonderful educators took out their own tefillin and began passing them around so that everyone, including the girls in the group could share in this remarkable moment. They were assisting the girls and teaching them as they went and we are very grateful that our students could enjoy this special tradition with inclusion and equality.
What a wonderful incarnation of pluralism in a place of such spiritual significance. It was an experience that none of our students will ever forget.
On Tuesday 3 December, all students in Year 3 shone on the stage in the Victor Smorgon Hall during their Performing Arts Presentation, ‘The Pirate Code’.
In this production, we followed the journey of young Max, who ran away to join a band of pirates at sea. On his travels, Max discovered an ocean world suffering at the hands of the human footprint. With themes around sustainability, the Year 3 students sent a very strong message to the audience about the real pirate ‘Arrr’s’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Kol ha’kavod to all these students on their outstanding effort.
Scroll down through the images below to see the exciting holiday programs being hosted at Bialik over the summer holidays. Or click on these links for more information:
The Rosenkranz Centre for Excellence and Achievement
Well done to the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Robotics team, including Olivia W, Eliana F, Jaiden K, Nathan S, Joseph Z, Jack R and Shakked F.
The team competed in the regional FIRST LEGO League competition in Roxburgh Park on Sunday 17 November. Even though it was not Bialik’s first FLL competition, it was the first time competing for all the current team members.
While Bialik’s team did not win this time, it was a quick learning curve. The students’ designs, building and programming got better each time between Rounds 1, 2 and 3. It was a great first experience of an FLL competition for all. The judges loved our team’s description of the research project and were impressed by how much our students had done.
The students had a great time and were outstanding representatives of Bialik College with their positive attitude, values and teamwork.
Yom Manhigut (Leadership Day) took place on Friday 15 November and was a day full of activities, excitement and fun. The day started with a session on the importance of Public Speaking by our one-and-only Deb Farago. The art of Public Speaking is an important skill to develop and acquire and a skill that will stay with our students for life.
Our Year 4s will all be developing this skill by speaking in public during their Manhigut journey next year.
The main message from Karen Friede was T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves More. She also spoke about the five main leadership skills we value here at Bialik and they are:
Our Year 4 teachers, together with members of the Mazkirut, organized and ran activities that focused on Manhigut skills such as, team building, responsibility, event organisation and knowing your own strengths.
In the afternoon, representatives of our current Manhigut came to present their Portfolios. This was followed by the students selecting their preferred three portfolios that they would like to be responsible for next year.
Our last keynote, which was delivered by Principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, focused on different styles of leadership and leadership skills.
However, no event is complete without yummy food. Our Year 4s enjoyed a BBQ lunch and in the afternoon had a chance to schmooze (socialise) with friends, munch on a cookie and drink hot chocolate. Our day ended with a Year 4 Kabbalat Shabbat.
Now the students are waiting in anticipation to find out the portfolio to which they will contribute next year. All will be revealed on Monday 9 December at our final Primary Assembly.
On Thursday 24 October we welcomed our Prep and Year 1 families for an evening of Maths Games, including Go Fish, Sum Duel and Tactix.
There was air of excitement in the Mifgash as families played the games and compared winning strategies.
We thank our families for engaging in this evening and for fostering a love of mathematics. All games can be accessed following this link to continue the learning at home.
The Year 6 students had an enriching and insightful visit to the Immigration Museum, where they actively explored Melbourne’s Jewish history, as well as the immigration stories of all the other cultures that make up our diverse country.