Moses atop a new mountain
There's no more wandering for Richmond principal Philip Moses.
ROBERTA STALEY STAFF REPORTER
Richmond Jewish Day School has a new head of the class. Philip Moses, who started July 1 as the elementary school's principal, is cramming to acquaint himself with school policy and staff before 150 students tramp through the doors in September.
Mr. Moses believes his switch from the public school system to one ofiFering bible studies and He-
Mr. Moses' skills have also been utilized by the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society, for which he helped design education programs. His connection with the centre is deeply personal: both his parents, Eisig, 81, and Jeanette, 73, are Holocaust survivors. Eisig's own father and six brothers and sisters died in the town of Ciudin, Romania, which saw the massacre of 700
is "growing by leaps and bounds." RJDS had 128 pupils last year, more than double the 49-strong population when it opened in 1992. Mr. Moses said the institution, which received $215,000 in funding this year from the B.C. Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, may be forced to look for new facilities to accommodate its growth.
Mr. Moses said he hopes his students learn more than the
brew language classes is "going to be a wonderful change for me."
The 44-year-old's background is rooted in education and recreation. He has a University of B.C. master's degree in education, specializing in coxmselling psychology. He has worked in the Vancouver public school system for 10 years, the last three as an elementary school counsellor.
The principal said he wasn't sure he was making the right move when he applied to head Richmond's Jewish school. But his first visit quelled any misgivings. "What really swayed me was the enthusiasm. There's a really skillful batch of teachers here."
That includes Eleanor Braude, who is stepping down as principal to become a Judaic
people on July 5,1941. Jeanette's family, from the same province of Bukovina, survived intact after spending the war in Ukrainian slave-labor camps.
"In the light of being the child of Holocaust survivors, I think it's important to give kids a sense of Jewish identity," said Mr. Moses. "I certainly have a very strong sense of Jewish identity."
This identity extends to his family. His South African-bom wife, Danielle, is the regional coordinator of the Law Courts Education Society. The couple have two daughters. Nova, 18, and one-year-old Zavi. The family attends both Or Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues.
Meanwhile, the principal said he's more than ready to take on the school's challenges, the foremost being a student body which
three Rs. "I think that kids need to learn how to be independent learners. Learning is active and lifelong. It's not hierarchical and it's not competitive."
Learning also means developing tolerance, good exercise and eating habits, respect and tzedakah, or kindness, said the principal. Mr. Moses is cognizant of the role physical fitness plays in helping create a more well-rounded person. A self-described fitness nut who used to run gruelling 15-km races, Mr. Moses worked as a recreational administrator with the City of Vancouver before entering the world of fractions, grammar and bun-sen burners. He now swims and golfs to keep trim.
But even principals aren't always perfect. "I'm a hacker," he admitted with a grin. □
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