|ROYAL WEST ACADEMY’S JEWISH STUDENTS GET CONNECTED WITH WEEKLY JEWISH CLUB|
MONTREAL, MARCH 13, 2013 – Every Wednesday afternoon, about 15 students from Royal West Academy in Montreal West spend their lunch hour participating in an extra curricular activity that brings them closer to their Jewish heritage and identity.
Royal West Academy’s Jewish Club was established five years ago, and is currently under the direction of Carolyn Gehr, a math teacher at Royal West, and Rabbi Dovid Pearlstein, who is affiliated with Chai Chabad and runs similar Jewish clubs at Royal Vale High School in NDG and Westmount High School.
“Fifteen percent of the school’s student population is Jewish. Every week, the Jewish Club gathers to discuss topical matters, current events, Jewish customs and holidays and Jewish ethics and how Jews value life,” said Ms. Gehr. “We also educate students, and give them a little something that they might not have known before, so that it can help them connect to their Jewish identity,” added Rabbi Pearlstein.
At a recent gathering of the Jewish Club, Rabbi Pearlstein led a brief discussion on the history and significance of the Jewish holiday of Purim. It was followed by a spirited and lively game of “Family Feud,” in which the students were tested on their knowledge of Yiddish words and expressions, Jewish holidays and food, as well as Biblical figures and events. That week’s meeting concluded with a kosher pizza lunch.
“I enjoy attending the weekly Jewish Club meetings. It brings us all together and helps me connect with my Jewish roots,” said Matthew Phillips, a grade 11 student at Royal West.
The Royal West Academy Jewish Club is made possible through a Promise Grant from GEN J, which awards grants to innovative, creative and inclusive programming that helps to promote Jewish connections, as well as programs that reach out to Jewish teenagers whom attend non-Jewish high schools.
Michael J. Cohen