Year 12 students are on the bimah for the 2024 Back to School Service at TBI syngagogue. They are wearing school uniform. One girl is wearing a tallit.

Our Beautiful Back to School Service

Our Middle and Senior School students participated in a beautiful Back to School Service yesterday, run by our Jewish Life Va’ad (Year 12 student committee). This year’s theme was based on the lesson taken from the film ‘Inside Out’, which helps us to understand the importance of recognising and feeling our emotions without judgement. Students from each year shared something they are grateful for as part of Nissim b’Chol Yom (including friends, pets, and time at school). Principal Marc Light focused on the importance of being our best, particularly in our interpersonal relationships. Va’ad Rosh Trixie Burstin-Irwin gave the drash on Parashat Mishpatim, emphasising the power of intention. Year 12 student Debbie Pastor spoke about her personal relationship to Judaism and the importance that the Progressive Youth Movement, Netzer, holds in her life.

We said a prayer for the release of the hostages, and of course, sang Oseh Shalom for peace. One reason ‘Inside Out’ was chosen as a reference point was to recognise that the last few months have been very difficult for our families.

Longstanding staff member Cathy Kaiserman was honoured with an aliyah l’Torah, as was our new Director of Jewish Life and Learning Ilan Bloch. Year 12 student Milena Hain and her family were also honoured as Milena was called to Torah for the first time, becoming Bat Mitzvah. Kol HaKavod to our student leyners, Gemma Hatfield (Year 8), Reuben Goldfarb (Year 10) and Mia Bentata (Year 12) who leyned with resonance and clarity. Our Year 12 students were also given a special blessing on the bimah, as they attended their final Back to School Service. Well done to all involved in this moving service which engaged all year levels, from 6-12.