With Restriction Lifted, Toronto Cheder Holds Melava Malka

After nearly two years of waiting due to Canada’s strict Covid measures, Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chabad of Toronto parents gathered for a Melave Malka featuring guest speaker Rabbi Yaacov Barber.

By Aydla Vechter

After nearly two years of waiting, Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chabad of Toronto parents gathered the Cheder Chabad Melave Malka.

When the beautiful flyer first went out it was met with cautious optimism. And then, when the first date had to be canceled, it only fueled our excitement for the event that finally did occur on Motzei Shabbos, eve of 5 Adar I.

The Melave Malka highlights the unique beauty of our Cheder and the special place that each Talmid has in the Cheder family. The event gives parents a glimpse into where and how our children spend their days in these most important formative years and encourages parents to continue partnering with all
of our energy in this special Zchus of raising Neshamos.

The evening was hosted and co-sponsored by Oren and Neely Antebi, and coordinated by Mrs. Neely Antebi, pillars of the community who devote themselves בגופם ובממונם to the community in general and the Cheder in particular. This evening was dedicated in loving memory of Chaim ben Yosef. The decor, video, and art gallery were coordinated by dedicated Mothers and teachers of the PTA.

Every detail of the evening was full of thought and infused with a Chassidishe “Taam.” Before entering the hall, parents had the opportunity to view an incredible artistic display, made by Talmidim in different classes. Each board depicted one of our Rebbeim with a story through various artistic mediums. The Baal Shem Tov leading the children to Cheder; the Magid teaching about Ahavas Yisroel; The Alter Rebbe and Kiddush Levana; The Mitteler Rebbe with Chassidus pouring forth; The Tzemach Tzedek and Tracht Gut Vet Zain Gut; The Rebbe Maharash’s humility with his learning; the Rebbe Rashab’s teaching about a Lamplighter; the Frierdiker Rebbe teaching about America being Nisht Anderish and The Rebbe’s 10 Mivtzoim!

Entering the hall, one was transported far from the frigid temperatures outside, to a warm, close-knit, Chassidishe Farbrengen.  

Our confident emcees for the evening were Yaakov Antebi and Mendel Goldman, two proud Grade 8 students. The evening began with a Hartzige Choir, the Largest Cheder Chabad choir in Toronto’s history! The voices of our pure Yingelach, ably led by Rabbi Moshe Weinfeld, began the Chassidishe Farbrengen in earnest. What a treat!

Rabbi Bard-Wigdor, our esteemed menahel, has shown his devotion to each student personally and our school as a whole in these most challenging two years of lockdowns and mandates and Religious services. Rabbi Bard-Wigdor shared a fascinating story from the Gemara of a fish and those who interacted with it, and the beautiful lessons to be derived as parents invested in the Chinuch of our children.

Next we heard from our executive director Rabbi Shur, who thanked the menahel, Rebbeim, Morahs and General Studies teachers along with all of the other staff entrusted with the smooth running of our Cheder. Rabbi Shur shared exciting news about Cheder’s projected growth, with additional staffing to the Cheder.

The evening continued with a video tour through the Cheder, led by an adorable pre 1-A Yingele. The Video highlighted unique aspects from each Rebbi in their classroom as fondly recalled by eighth-grade graduates.

Our main speaker, Rabbi Barber inspired us with a message about three Es in Chinuch:

Experience: As adults, we don’t remember what our teachers and parents told us when we were kids. We remember how they behaved. As adults, we have to be proper role models. If children have a positive experience, they will want to emulate their parents.

Explore. A child needs to create his own Yiddishkeit, to be excited about it. We must welcome questions, and be sure children have ownership over their own Yiddishkeit so that they feel pride in our precious heritage. 

 Excel. A child needs to feel successful to want to come to school. Adults get up and go to work for two reasons; to make money or feel successful. Students aren’t paid to go to school:), therefore we need to ensure that they feel successful, as a motivation to continue to grow 

As the evening concluded, parents were left with a feeling of warmth and community and renewed inspiration to dedicate themselves to the chinuch of our most precious gems.  

אשרינו מה טוב חלקנו! How lucky are we to be entrusted with our precious children and how lucky are we to have a מוסד like Cheder Chabad with whom to partner in this sacred mission!

May we all be Zoche to much Yiddishe, Chassidishe Nachas, and may we all bring tremendous Nachas to our Rebbe and immediately, in this month of Adar, may we dance to the גאולה האמיתית והשלימה ומלכנו בראשנו!

Click on these links to hear the Cheder Chabad Choir through Spotify:




Click on these links to hear the Cheder Chabad Choir through Youtube:

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