Principal Marc Light looks at the camera, he is wearing a grey suit and smiling. The King David School's logo is behind him, silver on a wood background.

Channelling our sorrow into support

Last week, I wrote to you to try to convey the challenge of channelling our hurt, anxiety and sorrow into support for one another and the Israeli people. As the Israel-Gaza war has extended into this second week we have already seen an incredible response from within the school community in this regard.

The immediacy with which The King David School community provided important financial and practical support has been overwhelming. We chose to support Israel’s ambulance service, Magen David Adom, and The Joint, which provides vital relief support programming within Israel and particularly to the communities in the South that were so devastated by the Hamas terror attacks.

Additionally, I am so pleased with the manner in which our students and staff have offered help in various inspiring ways. So many of our students have written or drawn pictures for Israeli soldiers. Others have recorded video messages for Israeli students. Our teachers have furthered the work that I mentioned last week of providing lesson plans for Israeli families who cannot attend school.

You can also be proud that our school is opening its arms wide to families who have had to leave Israel suddenly as we provide opportunities for their children to attend our school.

While speaking of pride, I need to share with you the immense nachat that I experienced when meeting with our students in light of current events. Firstly, last week I met with the Year 12 students to suggest changes to their planned Celebration Day. As the Jewish people were in a period of mourning, I explained that we needed to adjust the day so that it still reflected a meaningful acknowledgment of the end of their school journey without the usual frivolity which would have set the wrong tone. The response of our students was entirely mature, reflective and compassionate and reinforced my confidence that the Class of 2023 is a beautiful cohort of menschen.

This was mirrored in the manner in which the Year 10 students graciously accepted the disappointment of learning of the postponement of this year’s Yesh trip to Israel. The students have been so looking forward to this peak experience but were able to keep this in perspective and immediately look forward with optimism to the opportunity to participate in 2024.

On Tuesday, together with our Director of Jewish Life and Learning, Sidra Moshinsky, I represented The King David School at a rally on the steps of Parliament House which drew attention to the plight of the hundreds of hostages, both Israelis and foreigners, who are being held captive in Gaza. 

It was uplifting that many politicians including Premier Jacinta Allen; Leader of the Opposition, John Pesutto; and member for Caulfield, David Southwick; all came out of Parliament to directly address the rally and express their solidarity for Israel and the demand to release the hostages.

As the war continues we know that such expressions of unity, solidarity of support will be nourishing for our Israeli siblings and also strengthening for our community that cares so deeply.

Am Yisrael Chai! 

Shabbat Shalom,

Marc Light