JPPS- Bialik

Efforts made to resolve parking disturbances at the Meadows by JPPS-Bialik parents

Today  I met with JPPS-Bialik Co-Heads of School Avi Satov and Marnie Stein and President Lee Wise, along with Mark Sidloi and Regine Banon from the Meadows Condominium executive.

During the 13 years I have been on council, we deal with different issues regarding JPPS-Bialik parents blocking access to driveways and more recently parking their vehicles during pickup time in the private Meadows parking lot on Kildare Road.

The JPPS-Bialik team have always done their best to work with us and I must emphasize that the perpetrators are a small minority of parents.

With the Passover Break now underway, the JPPS-Bialik administration will communicate with parents again upon the school’s return and repeat the ground rules. I will be speaking with our Public Safety Department and VCOPs to see if  they can help.  Avi and Marnie themselves will try and police the lot.

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With the arrival of JPPS to the building a few years ago, there are now 600 students in that building so traffic has naturally increased.

“The school recognizes that this is a real and pressing issue and in no way condones the disrespectful behaviour that was displayed,”   reads a statement from Avi and Marnie.  “Clear instructions to refrain from parking at the Meadows have gone out to our parent body several times this school year, from both our principals' desks and our parent Safety and Security committee.”­­­­

In response to recent confrontation between some illegally parted parents and Meadows residents,  another strong email was sent by the school administration. “We certainly understand and share your frustration,” they added.  

 We will stay on top of this issue.


Mindy Shulman Croitoru retires from JPPS

One of our community’s most dedicated school teachers, longtime District 2 resident Mindy Shulman Croitoru, has announced her retirement from JPPS after a remarkable career spanning nearly four decades.

“For close to four decades, Mindy Shulman Croitoru has shared her skill, experience and love of teaching with the children of JPPS,” wrote Marnie Stein, Principal and Co-Head of School at JPPS. “ She has inspired her students to reach their individual potential in English, Math and Science.”

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Mindy and her new student, grandson Charlie

Mindy’s retirement is effective January 2019.  Will she join our Volunteer Citizens  on Patrol (VCOPs) like her husband Marty, recently recognized as one our Volunteers of the Year? My guess is she will try and take it easy for a while and also enjoy life as a grandma!

 “With care and warmth, Mindy taught the students of JPPS the love of learning and the personal rewards of being a lifelong learner,” Stein continued. “As a role model to her students, she taught each and every one of them that hard work and perseverance pays off. The energy she devoted to that end is very much appreciated by the entire JPPS family.”

Stein noted that  throughout her years at JPPS, Mindy remained committed to her students and to helping develop their confidence as learners. “Her colleagues will cherish their memories of working alongside her and we feel so fortunate that our students were taught by such a special teacher,” she stated.

In the Talmud it is written that, "He who teaches a child, it is as though he created it." Stein wishes to  thank Mindy for the years of hard work and devotion to JPPS, and wish her good health, enjoyment, and nachas from her family, as she embarks on a well-deserved retirement.

As the parent of one of Mindy’s former students, I can attest to her excellent work in the classroom.

Good luck Mindy!


JPPS-Bialik unveils a state-of-the-art artificial turf sports field, basketball court

Only a few weeks after Herzliah High School inaugurated its new campus in snowdon, JPPS-Bialik in Côte Saint-Luc’s District 2 formally unveiled a  new regulation-sized, state- of- the -art artificial turf sports field, basketball court and healthy living curriculum under its Project Fit banner.

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Guests admire the new complex.

I was pleased to be at the VIP breakfast-time ceremony and tour, attended by parents, supporters and some community leaders. Dubbed the Cons Family Sports Facility and Tehrani Basketball Court, it is an absolutely extraordinary facility.

Officials noted that Project Fit will benefit the entire JPPS-Bialik Community through Mind, Body, and Spirit. This will include ensuring that their rigorous International Baccalaureate Programme is balanced with physical activity to promote a healthy mind and body; building on  strong academic programs with an enriched and accelerated curriculum; and backing up sport science studies which show that participation in sports activities improves school performance and builds self-esteem, especially in schools.

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With Mayor Brownstein, David Birnbaum and some students.

JPPS will introduce the Brain Break Program, with lunchtime fitness activities, such as CrossFit and yoga for students and teachers at JPPS and Bialik. More team opportunities at the high school level, providing students with physical activity options to counter sedentary screen time .A new hockey program is being launched in conjunction with the City of Côte Saint-Luc., to prepare for the new GMAA regulations. In the area of spirit, Jewish life events and programs designed to highlight all aspects of Judaism to our students and community. Mindfulness will be practiced daily at JPPS. It allows   students and staff to focus inward and start their day intentionally and purposefully.

JPPS-Bialik President Lee Wise, Foundation President Joanna Yufe Naimer and Co-Heads of School Avi Satov and Marnie Stein were elated with the final result of the complex. “Today is a very happy moment for all who love sports and our school,” said Wise.  “I have been here daily for weeks and  I am still in awe of what was transformed here. The community at large can take great pride in knowing JPPS-Bialik has taken a leadership role in creating an environment where every student is seen as an individual, and where every student can challenge themselves to excel with confidence and enthusiasm in sports and all areas of their education. “

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With Joanna Yufe Naimer, Lee Wise, Glenn J. Nashen, David Birnbaum and Mitchell Brownstein.

It was a couple of years ago that a past board officer, Etan Jagerman planted the seed that grew into a comprehensive effort to implement the concept of Project fit.  The baton  was then passed to Dave Perlis, who along with Jeff Fixman worked diligently assessing what was to be built and how.  Bobby Titleman, Ora Loeb  and John Dore were also in the mix. “The next stage was meeting with contractors and designers,” Wise explained. “I am going to be blunt now and tell you that we would not have such a gorgeous facility here without Luciano Catalogna and Ken Gilman.”

Gilman   is a new parent in the school and has a long family history in the artificial turf industry. He introduced Wise  to Catalogna whose family owns the huge The Catalogna Soccerplex in Lachine. “Together, they helped design, pick colors and most of all negotiate an incredible deal for us to build something that many thought was impossible,” Wise said.

Yufe Naimer credited Foundation staffers  Amy Finkelstein and Naomi Blumer for their diligent work on the project.  "Tuition alone cannot cover all of our costs," she said. "Fundraising is critical today."  

Satov said the opening of the complex marked an important moment in JPPS-Bialik’s history, “a moment that will propel our school to new heights.”

Satov said that  when he was growing up, his favorite movie was Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. “For those of you who may not be familiar will the movie, the premise revolved around farmer Ray who heard mysterious voices one night in his cornfield,” Satov said. “The voices said ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Despite taunts of lunacy, Ray builds a baseball diamond on his land, then baseball legends start emerging from the crops to play ball. As Ray learned, the field of dreams was about much more than bringing former baseball greats out to play.This project has been in the making for a few years.  Just as in sports, teamwork, dedication and commitment reap great results. “

Past presidents and board members, under the leadership of Jamie Ross and Harley Eisman, were thanked for their guidance, insight and support for the project  

Satov said that the new field will be used for regulation sports such as soccer, touch football, track &and field, field hockey, lacrosse to name a few, as well as Physical Education classes. " It will also allow for winter sports. It will provide and support a higher profiled academic sports leadership; most recently with the hiring our  Senior Athletics Coordinator Matt Starr," he said.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum were also at the ceremony as was JPPS-Bialik parent, alum and present-day board member Glenn J. Nashen with his wife Dr. Judy Hagshi.


Meeting with JPPS Bialik adminstration to discuss traffic matters

The safety of students attending JPPS  Elementary School and Bialik High School on Kildare Road near Marc Chagall remains paramount for the City of Côte Saint-Luc.

Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and I met with JPPS Principal Marnie Stein, Bialik Principal Avi Satov, JPPS Bialik Director of Security Avi Sela and executive assistant Jennifer Wilson recently.

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Myself, Jordie Reichson, Avi Satov, Avi Sela and Marnie Stein.

It has been a year and a half now since JPPS relocated from its Van Horne campus (now owned by Yaldei) to cohabitate with Bialik High School. There are 150 JPPS students and 332 at Bialik. This makes for a lot of traffic at drop off and pickup in particular. The school employs existing staff to handle traffic circulation. For those kids who walk, Côte Saint-Luc has Traffic Guard Norman Klein at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare from 7 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 4 pm.

In our meeting I reiterated our concerns about JPPS and Bialik parents  often parking illegally, blocking driveways and not showing proper courtesy to cars trying to turn on to Kildare from Rembrandt Avenue. The school will continue to work with parents. Our local Police Station 9 also does spot checks. I have noticed a significant improvement since I began meeting with them more regularly over the years. My goal is to start a Student Traffic Committee that can sensitize parents and other students to our various concerns. Hopefully we can arrange for a student delegation to visit City Hall for an information session.


JPPS-Bialik announces appointment of new Athletic Consultant, Mr. John Dore

JPPS-Bialik, located on Kildare Road in District 2, has made a very impressive hire. Their Foundation has announced the appointment of John Dore as he school’s new Athletics Consultant.

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John Dore

Dore is the former head coach of the Concordia Stingers basketball team and prior to that head of athletics at St. George's School. He  is considered a legend in college basketball, having taken his team to the finals 13 times. He has also been the recipient of key recognition awards and honors throughout his career from prestigious university sports organizations and has led several national teams, including Canadian entries at World University Games and the Maccabiah Games.

This new position is  considered a vital, driving component of the JPPS-Bialik new Project Fit initiative. Dore will no doubt be working closely with the school's Athletics Department which was ironically previously headed by Emerson Thomas, one of his former players with the Stingers.

Project Fit, as announced in August 2016, is an all-encompassing fitness/health program for the school that includes the building of a new state of the art field right on the JPPS-Bialik school campus. As the city councillor  for the district I will be following this closely to see about how we might be able to make this accessible to the community at large when school is not in session. There is even talk about an outdoor skating rink being built.

Project Fit is also designed to offer a specialized and dedicated school environment whereby students can participate and thrive in both competitive and recreational sports activities while promoting physical education, team spirit and a healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, the schools' objective is to have all students internalize and practice health-enhancing attitudes and behaviors.

Dore’s leadership and expertise is considered essential in the positioning of JPPS-Bialik as the leading sports school in this city and his impressive track record and experience is invaluable to the Project Fit development team. I  could not agree more. They found the right man!

 


Founder of Israel's Migdal Ohr, Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, meets with Bialik students

Thanks to the generosity of Cons Family, Secondary III and IV students  at Bialik High School, located in District 2, were privileged to have met Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, the Chief Rabbi  of Migdal HaEmek in Israel and Founder and President of the Migdal Ohr Educational Institutions. Rabbi Grossman is endeared to many Israelis as the 'Disco Rabbi' for his work years ago in going to the discos to seek out youth from disadvantaged and troubled homes, offering them a place to go, a grounding in their Jewish identities and an education at no cost.

As Rabbi Grossman related his inspiring story to the students, he emphasized the significance of Chanukah, the importance of having great pride in being Jewish, and in supporting Israel. He concluded his remarks asking each student to strive to be a light to others.

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Photo caption: Bialik students Max Kadanoff-Greenberg, Daniel Chetrit, Josh Schacter, David Ratner-Nemirovski, Mark Tchinov, Aidan Bienstock, Lewis Brandman and Evan Stern were among the many students who warmly welcomed Rabbi Grossman (3rd from left) to Bialik.

 

 

 


JPPS now happily cohabitating with Bialik High School on Kildare Road

It has been just over a month now since the staff and students from JPPS Elementary School left their long-time home on Van Horne Avenue and relocated to beautifully renovated premises at what is now known as the JPPS-Bialik campus on Kildare Road and Marc Chagall in Côte Saint-Luc. In fact, the slogan they use is “The Campus of Tomorrow.”

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The mayor and I are greeted by Maureen Baron, Marney Stein and some students.

As the city councillor for District 2, where the campus is situated, I was delighted to accept an invitation to tour the facility in the company of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. We were warmly greeted at the front door by a team of students who shook our hands and introduced themselves. In fact the same thing occurred at every class we stepped into, even at the Kindergarten level.

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The younger students wanted to show us their projects.

Work began last summer to renovate the building, which has always housed Bialik High School. It was nicely done, carefully separating the Kindergarten to Grade 6 students with the Grade 7 to 11 level. The fully updated and modernized JPPS Elementary School is now firmly rooted in the Bialik building, complete with a newly renovated library, state-of-the-art classrooms, new furniture including bicycle and standing desks, enhanced technology, a new fenced–in playground area, two gyms, and the Lederman Foundation Synagogue. The elementary and high schools have separate start, finish and recess times. There is an idea paint whiteboard in each class (that means you can write on the walls and it comes off).

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Here are more eager little ones.

“At JPPS, we are preparing a new generation of innovative Jewish thinkers who will have the creativity, insight, knowledge and empathy to make a positive difference in the world,” said Principal Marnie Stein, who gave us the tour along with Head of School Maureen Baron and communications director Shelley Paris. “Every day our students discover, uncover and explore the world around them with the guidance of our dedicated and talented faculty. While we pride ourselves on academic excellence, we are equally invested in our students’ developing a strong moral character and a dedication to derech eretz (ethical living). We believe that school can be much more than simply a place of academic enrichment. It can be the place where learning memories are made, friendships are cultivated, self-esteem can blossom and where future leaders are encouraged to question and think divergently.”

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Meeting the Israeli Sofer.

JPPS will hold a couple of Open Houses to showcase their new digs: Thursday, April 14 ( 7 pm to 9 pm) and Friday, April 15 ( 9 am to 11 am). -

On April 14 the Lederman Foundation Synagogue will receive a new Torah. The Israeli Sofer who wrote the Torah has been in town all week. During this time, he has been working with all of the students on a grade-by-grade basis, teaching them about the tradition of Torah calligraphy. I had a chance to see him in action.

While there is now increased traffic in the area due to the influx of more students, JPPS-Bialik staff are keeping order as they have been in recent years. The police due perform spot checks and  on one recent day they gave out a slew of tickets for parking infractions.

I saw many familiar faces among staff and they are all so pleased to be in Côte Saint-Luc, none more than a resident of Merrimac Road who has the quickest walk to work she ever dreamed of.


JPPS officially arrives in Côte Saint-Luc

We have welcomed a new elementary school to Côte Saint-Luc and District 2 this week.

Jewish People`s and Peretz School (JPPS) officially moved to the Bialik High School campus on Kildare Road on Monday, February 29 and presto a new Kindergarten to Grade 11 facility was born.

Head of School Maureen Baron and her team signalled this move last spring. The JPPS building on Van Horne has been sold to Yaldei (early intervention treatment and specialized therapies for children with developmental needs) and now JPPS-Bialik is one big happy family.

Hats off to Maureen, her staff, our Public Safety Department and Police Station 9 for ensuring that the drop-off and pickup of students ran smoothly.

My colleague, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, had a firsthand view of the situation. He is also the dad of three JPPS- Bialik students. “Public Safety was out in full force ensuring safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” he reports. “ he visual markers were extremely clear and well organized. JPPS personnel were also well positioned and helpful in moving things along.  

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Grade 3 JPPS students celebrate their new home.

All in all it was the best drop off I've witnessed in CSL. I'm sure that every parent was pleased with the city's involvement in making this a very secure scene.”

JPPS-Bialik spokesperson Shelley Paris thanked the city for its cooperation. “The security team was out in force directing traffic and explaining parking rules to parents,” she said. “Everyone felt so welcome and taken care of!  Kudos to all!”

The city has put up visible signs to formally welcome JPPS to CSL.

Over the years I have worked very closely with the administration to make sure that parents abided by the existing parking regulations and not block driveways. Police Station 9 do patrol the area and they have been known to hand out tickets, so please before you park see if there is a sign warning you not to pull up there.

By the way this is actually a homecoming for JPPS. They had a Côte Saint-Luc campus on Wavell Road for many years.

See Glenn J. Nashen's blog.


JPPS shines in math and Bialik in robotics

It has been quite a busy couple of months at JPPS and Bialik.  
 
The Van Horne-based JPPS  Grade 6 competitors were very successful during the Canadian National Math League Competition.  As a school, they ranked second in Quebec.
 
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Three students placed in the top 10 (they are located in the bottom row of the photo wearing white shirts): Jonathan Gotteiner, ranked first place overall in Quebec (center of the photo); Harley Eiley, ranked fifth in all of Quebec (left); and District 2 resident  Nathalie Nashen, ranked eighth (right). Maria Dimitropoulos is their teacher (right)
 
JPPS has always done very well in the competition, placing in the top three for almost 20 years.
The Grade 6 math classes focused on advanced materials to prepare for the competition, including many modules from the Secondary I text book. 
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Meanwhile,  for the second time the District 2 located Bialik High School Secondary I Junior Robotics Team competed in the city-wide East Robotics Competition. The competition was held at John Rennie High School  in Pointe Claire and required building and programming a robot to achieve a "Search and Rescue" challenge.  Pictured are: Rona Katz, volunteer manager of the Bialik Advanced Technology Program along with  Liam Murad, Max Laxer, Zachary Groszman, Harry Marshall, science teacher Andrea Mendell and  Josh Schacter. Missing is Jonathan Zlotnik,  a volunteer instructor 
 
With these two great achievements, JPPS-Bialik will be organizing an Advanced Technology Course for students come fall 2016.

  

 

Premier Couillard attends Yom Hashoah commemoration in Côte Saint-Luc

The annual Yom Hashoah commemoration took  place on Wednesday, April 15 in the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation on Baily Road in Côte-Saint-Luc, with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on hand to deliver greetings. He was on hand two years ago as well, shortly after becoming leader of the Liberal Party.

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The Premier, with David Birnbaum, is welcomed to CSL.

Couillard expressed his sympathy to the survivors of the Holocaust on hand for their loss. "Today their memories are very much alive," he stated. "This is why we have a duty to remember. We must remember that human beings are capable of the best and the worst."

The Premier was accompanied by D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum. Just a few seats away was Birnbaum's predecessor, Lawrence Bergman. I was on hand along with Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillors Sam Goldbloom, Ruth Kovac, Dida Berku, Mitchell Brownstein, Glenn J. Nashen and political representatives from the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Israel Consul General Ziv Nevo Kulman, the child of a Holocaust survivor, spoke eloquently and reminded everyone that having a Jewish State will ensure that a Holocaust never happens again.

This community-wide commemoration is extremely well organized by the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. The ceremony perpetuates the memory of all those who were murdered during the Holocaust and honours those who survived. It reminds us of our collective responsibility to remember the Holocaust and to protect individuals and communities from oppression, antisemitism, hate, racism and discriminatory policies.

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Co-Chairs Judith Nemes Black and Joyce Rappaport with Rivka Augenfeld.

This year’s theme, Remembering 1945 – Liberation: Hope and Anguish, reflected on a year characterized by both hope and despair as the end of the war drew near and liberation was in sight. Here in Montreal we are fortunate to still have Holocaust survivors in our midst 70 years after the end of the war, survivors who have contributed so much to our dynamic Jewish and Montreal communities. They were able to rebuild their lives despite the destruction and the losses they had suffered. Judith Nemes Black and Joyce Rappaport served as co-chairs.

Six Holocaust survivors lit memorial candles and shared their memories of liberation through short video testimonies. No matter how many times I hear these stories, I still find it hard to believe that such cruelty existed  in this world.

Hermann Gruenwald explained that he was the only Jewish cook in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He survived a death march where almost 18,000 people died, as well as several weeks of starvation before the liberation thanks to the food he could get because of his job in the kitchen. Elie Dawang was 10 years old at the liberation of France. He recalled the days when the Germans left the little village where he had been living in hiding, and the emotions he felt when he was reunited with his father. Sara Hersco-Hollander described how the Germans left her and other women in a cattle car without water and food for days on their way to Dachau. She was liberated by the Americans on May 1, 1945 and taken to a DP camp in Feldafing. Ursula Feist recalled the feeling of sadness having lost many family members in Berlin as the British celebrated the Liberation. Olga Sher spoke about the fear that haunted her for long years even after the liberation. Not only was she afraid that the Germans might return, but she, as many other Jews, was also not welcomed back by their fellow Polish countrymen. Ernestina Neumann Brauner related how hopeful she felt at liberation, but at the same time her dread of the Russian soldiers who had a reputation for being rough and raping women.

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Ernestina Brauner Najman lights a candle with her daughter Ruth and granddaughter Aliza.

Each survivor was accompanied by second and third generation survivors, who will ensure that these stories remain very much alive for years to come.

Congratulations go out to JPPS choirmaster and music teacher Elena Khitrin, who chose her Grade 6 students to perform at this very special event as it is in keeping with their curriculum unit - the Holocaust. JPPS Yiddish teacher Sheila Witt, has always believed that students learn best when they interact with the subject matter and learn about it from different perspectives. For Yom Hashoah, Ms. Witt created an innovative project that will help every student understand, think about and honour the victims of the Holocaust. Each student was matched with a child victim of the Holocaust who had the same date of birth (day and month) or Hebrew name. Using the Yad Vashem website , each student created a portrait of their assigned child victim, which included information about their child’s family, where they lived and ultimately, where they perished. Alongside photographs of each child victim, the student wrote a text about the child, in both English and Yiddish. These pages were put together to create an album, which leaves a profound mark on every single student, as it creates a connection between the student and their assigned child victim. “This connection,” says Sheila, “is never lost.”

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Some of the JPPS students. 

 

Ms. Witt later invites Holocaust survivors to visit with the Grade 6 students, where they view and discuss the album. which is then donated to the JPPS library; a place where the child victims will always be remembered.

Below is MNA Birnbaum speaking about Yom Hashoah in the National Assembly, showing his impeccable bilingualism.