Letter from David Bogoch, Chair, Talmud Torah Alumni Association


Letter from David Bogoch, Chair, Talmud Torah Alumni Association
Letter from David
Bogoch, Chair, Talmud
Torah Alumni Association
Felicia Folk, David Goldenberg, Danny Goodman, Marjorie
Goodman, Pearl Grunfeld, Beth Kagna, Leo Kron, Brian Lercher,
Dianne Mann, Sydney Nesbitt, Eva Rosenstrauch, Phyllis
Rosenstrauch, Audrey Rosenthal, Jeffrey Samuels, Corrine
Solman, George Weiss, Milton Yacht, and Harold Yacowar.
Where is the Class of 1958?
The missing class was made up of children born in 1945,
would have finished grade 6 at Vancouver Talmud Torah in
1957, and would have graduated from a public school, in grade
7 in 1958. At that time, Talmud Torah did not go up to grade
seven. To standardize the class categories, we use the June
year they would have finished grade 7.
The Alumni Committee has been
working for the past six years
trying to find every student who attended Talmud Torah since
the its early days. We have concentrated our efforts on the
students in the classes of 1955 to the present. So far, we have
identified over 2300 students! Of those, we have current
contact information for 2014 of them, leaving just a few left to
If anyone knows of people in the missing class, we would
welcome the leads. Start asking people, spread the word, and
I am guessing, before long, a list of names will start to emerge
and we will solve this nagging mystery.
Many of the missing left town years ago, mostly back to Israel.
While we’re on the subject of missing alumni, do you know
Some of the missing still live in town, but nobody involved in
anyone who attended TT in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s? We are
the committee knows how to find them. Additionally, as soon
moving into the real old history of the school and would love to
as we think we have one class completed, someone brings up
have a class reunion for the class of 1949, or the class of 1939,
a new name we have not heard of, or a name we completely
or if we have anyone left, the class of 1929 (born in 1916). At
forgot about, and then there are more people to find. It is an
least for the school archives, we would love to gather this
ongoing job, not to mention having to account for moves and
missing information.
changes of address and email addresses. However, there is
one class for which we have absolutely no information. The
Please forward any information to [email protected]
class of 1958 is a complete mystery. We have not been able to
or by phone at 604.269.9085. Many thanks and best wishes!
identify even one student who went to
the school in that grade. Now, we
know there was a class of 1958.
Do you recognize anyone in this class photo?
There was a class of 1957 and a class
your best guesses to [email protected]
of 1959, but nobody from those
classes can remember who was at
school either one year ahead of them
or one year behind them.
The class of 1957 includes Sheila
Balshine, Esther Blumenfeld, Barnie
Eskin, Judy Garfin, Tom Gelmon,
Michael Gurvin, Lani Harowitz,
Tammy Kagna, Marshall Letcher, Stan
Levy, Martin Lipsky, Seema Sasloff,
Estelle Schecter, Danny Weinstein,
Ruth Weinstein, Brian Wener, and
Marsha White. And the class of 1958
includes???? The class of 1959
includes Richard Ames, Jerry
Apfelbaum, Leslie Blond, Valerie
Blumes, Eileen Buchwald, Fred Curtis,
Zichronot/Memories, Vancouver Talmud Torah Alumni Association Newsletter
Winter 2010
Message from Cathy Lowenstein, Principal of Vancouver Talmud Torah Moving Towards 21st Century Learning As Principal of Vancouver Talmud Torah, it is my job
to ensure our students receive the requisite skills
and knowledge to become well-educated and active
contributors of both the Jewish community and
society at large. Though no one will dispute the
importance of the 3 “Rs,” the advent of the digital
age forces us to think about education with a new
lens. Due to the
widespread availability of--and accessibility to-information, we are in an era where the teacher no
longer owns the learning. This requires a radical
rethinking of how teachers teach and how students
For the last several years, we have implemented significant fundraising initiatives to equip our school with the latest hardware (iMacs
and Apple laptops, digital cameras, SmartBoards, wireless hubs) to give our students and teachers the best available access to
technology. However, equipment is not enough to effect change. Though there is no substitute for excellent pedagogy, as a school we
must confront the reality that today’s generation of learners, known as “digital residents,” require multiple multi-sensory inputs to
absorb and process material. Since the summer of 2009, we have been supporting our faculty to integrate technology into their
teaching. In addition to hiring an Information Technology Manager, we have a consultant on site once or twice a week to help
teachers familiarize themselves with various tools and develop ways to meaningfully integrate them into their lessons plans.
One of our most successful achievements was offering no-interest loans to anyone who wanted to purchase a laptop. Having
teachers own their own computers transformed what was initially perceived as threatening to something fun and challenging. Putting
tools directly into teachers’ hands facilitated a paradigm shift more than any professional development or encouragement from
In the school’s first-term alone it has been amazing to witness so many transformations to teachers’ professional practice. Many are
now communicating with students and families through blogs and wikis; student digital images and videos are finding their way into
the curriculum to demonstrate progress; and collaborative documents are allowing students (and other stakeholders) to not only read
students’ work, but comment on it as well.
One unforeseen outcome of this journey has been the strong teacher-leadership that has emerged. Teachers have gained confidence
and have a renewed sense of pride in their craft. The impact on student learning is immeasurable. Many on our team are joining with
their students to learn together. This indeed is a giant leap toward 21st century learning.
You Know?
Do you recognize anyone in this graduation
photo? Email your best guesses to
[email protected]
We have a staff of 90;
After a 25-year hiatus, Talmud Torah sports
teams are once again competing against the
VSB (and winning!);
Our preschool boasts 100 students;
We attract families from across the Lower Mainland
(Burnaby, West Van, North Van, Surrey);
We are now educating 3rd generation TT families;
Strathcona has been running for 30+ years;
We have wireless Internet access;
Eric Lee still teaches math, but gave up science for the
first time in over 35 years;
VTT has a full-time hot lunch
program run by Jewcy
Zichronot/Memories, Vancouver Talmud Torah Alumni Association Newsletter
Winter 2010
Message from ADAM GELMON, DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION AND School-Wide PROGRAMs Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Dear Fellow Vancouver Talmud Torah Alumni,
When I graduated from VTT in 1990, I thought the only time I’d pass through the halls again
would be for my 20 or 30-year reunion. When I had the good fortune to return as a teacher eight
years ago, it felt like coming home. And now as the school’s new Director of Admission, I am
thrilled to be able to speak from a place of knowledge and experience
about our school.
If you haven’t been back in a while, I invite you to come in for a trip down memory lane to see the
blue lights of the Wosk chapel, your old locker or the “small” gym where you may have been a star
intramural athlete.
It won’t all be familiar, though.
If you peek into the classrooms or the “big” gym or the new media lab, you’ll see just how much
we’ve changed and how much we’ve grown--how we are a school of excellence in both Judaic and General Studies.
I invite you to get to know Vancouver Talmud Torah as it is today: a school community with a rich history and a dedicated staff
committed to the pursuit of academic excellence. We’d love for you to see our wonderful school in action and experience for yourself the
many ways in which Vancouver Talmud Torah prepares its students to become proud, caring, responsible global thinkers and dedicated
members of the Jewish community and Canadian
Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to schedule
a visit or a tour, or even if you’d like to reminisce about
old times. I’m available by phone at 604-736-7307,
ext. 3478, or via email at [email protected]
I look forward to welcoming you back to our school.
Save the Dates
Class of 1960 50th Reunion
Sunday, May 16 for brunch at
Talmud Torah; for more info
contact David Bogoch at
[email protected]
Classes of 1979, 1980 & 1981
Reunion, Sunday, May 30 at
Talmud Torah; contact Lisa
Boroditsky, Adam Brosgall or
Deborah Youngson at
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected]
Zichronot/Memories, Vancouver Talmud Torah Alumni Association Newsletter
Winter 2010
Have you visited our website lately?
Log onto www.talmudtorah.com and click on the ALUMNI link to find dozens of photo albums from
the past. Don’t forget to check out EASE THE SQUEEZE to watch the video that was the
introduction to our building campaign. The PUBLICATIONS link has access to our Board’s
capital campaign. And if you’re so inclined, you can make a donation through the “Giving to VTT”
link! Feel free to visit many of our teachers’ blogs and websites in the LINKS section.
We need your help
to find the following
missing alumni from
the Class of 1990:
Lauren Berman
Barbara Crapko
Jeremy Frimer
Yael Kenig
Stacey Landau
Hannah Meyer
Noa Robinson
Alexandra Rothstein
Gabriel Solomon
Did you know that Talmud
Torah’s oldest and most successful
fundraiser, the Jewish Phone
Book, is still going strong? To list
your name or to advertise, contact
Carol Fader at [email protected]
Save a tree and join our
email list! Contact
Jennifer Shecter, Director
of Communications, at
[email protected]
or go directly to
or call 604.736.7307
Alumni Profile: Elana Jacobson (nee Nep)
It's been a long time since Elana Jacobson was busy m a k i n g C h a n u k k a h d e c o r a t i o n s i n kindergarten, though the memories of spending her early years with veteran teacher Sandy Baker (now retired) were potent enough to bring her back to her alma mater after graduating with a Bachelor of Music from UBC. Although Jacobson began as a volunteer in her former teachers', Sari Weintraub and Colette Leisen, classrooms back in 2004, a music specialist position soon became available for which she was the logical‐‐and natural‐‐fit! It didn't take long for Jacobson to raise the bar of the school's music and performing arts program to earn it consistent accolades and admiration. In recent years, she has joined forces with drama specialist, Keri Smith, also a VTT alum, to co‐
produce, co‐direct and co‐write, MACCA‐BIA (based on the music of ABBA, and with creative participation from another VTT alum, Rabbi Matthew Bellas) and MACCA‐BEATLES (based on the legendary tunes of the Beatles). Both shows attracted audiences upwards of 500, and sealed Vancouver Talmud Torah's reputation as a school that values the arts.
Jacobson's ties to VTT extend beyond the professional. In 2007, Elana wed alumnus Brian Jacobson and currently teaches a niece and nephew at VTT. When asked if she would send her own (future) children to Talmud Torah, Jacobson responded with a resounding, "Absolutely!"
Zichronot/Memories, Vancouver Talmud Torah Alumni Association Newsletter
Winter 2010

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