Editorial 17 09 2021

Dear Parents,


Although תעשה ולא מן העשוי is a halachic term to do with building the Succa, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would explain that it could also be understood quite literally. Namely, don’t be passive, rather be proactive.


Fresh from the serious and ethereal nature of the Yamim Noraim, we are thrust into the exciting and frenetic few days to prepare for Succos.


Succos is a magical time of the Jewish year. Aside from everything else, it is a time of massive השפעה רוחנית, spiritual opportunity and blessing, but this needs our input to activate.


We have tried hard in school to educate and inspire all our students in the build up to the Yamim Noraim and Succos – a task made all the more challenging with yom tov falling so early this year.


Now it’s over to you – be sure to use the quality family time to build on what we’ve tried to do. Enjoy spending time with your children, learn and play with them and use the opportunity to build your relationships with them.


תעשה ולא מן העשוי – don’t be passive, be proactive!


Wishing you all a wonderful Yom Tov,


Rabbi J Golker






The Barnet School Age Immunisation Team have been in contact with us; we are aiming to offer vaccinations to 12-15 year old students in school in October.  More details will be sent to you together with consent forms over the next few weeks.





We are delighted that our new catering company Signature will start serving hot and cold meals from Monday 4th October.  All information can be found in General Letter for Boys and General Letters for Girls.

Editorial – 9th September 2021

Dear Parents,

There is a striking problem about Vidui, the confessional prayer which is such a central part of our tefilla during the Yamim Noraim period.

Vidui is phrased in the plural: “We have been guilty, we have betrayed etc.” Surely saying sorry for our sins is a very personal thing and everyone should focus on their own shortcomings? Moreover, under normal circumstances, saying “it wasn’t just me, they did it too” is itself a sin!

Why do we say Vidui in the plural?

Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein, a former Hasmonean student, in his superb work entitled “Teshuvah” (p.232) suggests an answer in the name of Rabbi Yosef Cohen. The Rambam states that the teshuva of a community is much more effective than that of an individual. Why? Because saying Vidui in the plural attaches us to the tzibbur and allows us to harness the power of the community.

Being a part of the community is not just about being physically in the same location as others – it is about having the interests of the community at heart. As each individual seeks forgiveness for his own shortcomings, he makes room in his heart for others as well, so that he defines success on Yom Kippur as the entire Jewish People receiving atonement.

To the extent we attach ourselves to the tzibbur, we merit Divine assistance. In these heady days of Yamim Noraim, we should be challenging our own communal efforts and asking ourselves: What can I do to help my community? What can I do to help my neighbour, my school or my shul?

By saying Vidui in the plural, we attach ourselves to the tzibbur, and latch on to the power and protection of the tzibbur.

May all our communal efforts be rewarded and may all of our tefilos be answered l’tovah.

Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos and gmar chasima tova.

Rabbi J Golker


Erev Rosh Hashana

The Jewish Studies Department concluded 5781 with a perfectly designed Erev Rosh Hashana programme. Following Selichot, the Year 10 and 11 students remained in the hall to learn from Rabbi Bennett who discussed with students how we can merit a favourable judgement, focusing on the importance of davening for others. Our Years 7-9 attended Machzor workshops where these sessions were geared to help students understand the structure, themes and purpose of the longer, more complex Tefiillos of Rosh Hashanah. The groups then swapped so that everyone gained in understanding, inspiration and motivation as we approach Rosh Hashana 5782.

Editorial – 2nd September 2021

Dear Parents,

Our INSET day yesterday was the first time all staff have been able to gather together in one place since the first lockdown and it has been really tremendous to welcome both them and all of the students back to school today. The atmosphere is truly wonderful… a sense of homecoming or a return almost to pre-Covid times.

However, given the fact that Covid has not in fact gone away (however much we wish this were the case), I would like to remind everyone of the current Covid rules for schools. The system of “bubbles” – where children only mix within a fixed year or class group – has ended. Face coverings no longer need to be worn by staff or pupils (although they still need to be worn on public transport and teachers/ pupils can wear them if they wish). Any pupil who tests positive for Covid will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to isolate. The child – or their parents – will be asked to provide information about close contacts at school and elsewhere. Those pupils named as close contacts will be asked to take a PCR test, but will not have to self-isolate unless they test positive. Due to the national relaxation of Covid mitigation measures, it is all the more important therefore that secondary school pupils (and staff) self-test twice a week to prevent the spread of the virus and continue to practice good hygiene. At the Girls’ School, Lateral Flow Tests can be collected by your children from Mrs Palmer at Student Services and at the Boys’ School, Lateral Flow Tests will be handed to students at the school gates at regular intervals.

As you have been previously advised, ISS, the catering provider for Barnet schools, has terminated its contract with Barnet. We are in the process of arranging a contract with a new Kosher provider. However, due to some historical TUPE issues which emerged during the change of contracts, students will need to bring their own lunches for the (very few) days that we are in school during September. I am very sorry that this is the case and can assure that we will do our utmost to resolve this situation as soon as possible in time for our return after Succos. If your child is entitled to free school meals, their meals can be collected from the lunch halls as normal. Otherwise, please ensure your child brings packed lunch to school for the month of September.

Wishing everyone Shanah Tovah,

Mr Andrew McClusky

Young Artists’ Summer Show

This year, the Royal Academy of Arts held its third Young Artists’ Summer Show. Of the 33,000 entries, 260 were selected for display in the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain and one of those submissions was that of Sophia G, a Year 11 student.

Her acrylic on canvas image entitled ‘One Body, One Soul’ was based on a photo taken on Netanya Beach as the sun was setting. She created it in order to bring a piece of Israel into her home. Looking at the painting, it can only be that sunset on that beach- it just evokes Netanya and that moment as the sun dips down the horizon.

Sophia said that it reminds her that wherever she is in the world, Israel is a huge part of her life and inspires her to embrace her Judaism every day. We should all be proud of Sophia as a fantastic ambassador for Israel and Judaism through her art and her words.