ca. 180 photographs : col. and b&w (ca. 165 col. negatives) ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller
Established in 1949 as the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Board of Jewish Education (BJE) is the central Jewish agency in Toronto whose mandate is to preserve, enrich, and promote Jewish education in the Greater Toronto area. Its primary tasks are to coordinate and provide leadership in teacher training and professional development, curriculum development, school administration, and inter-school activities, and also to allocate funds to affiliated Jewish schools raised through the annual UJA Federation fundraising campaign.
The BJE was established following the recommendations of a 1948 study of Jewish education in Toronto undertaken by Dr. Uriah Z. Engelman of the American Association for Jewish Education, and sponsored by the United Jewish Welfare Fund (UJWF; now, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto) and the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), Central Region. In its constitution, the bureau was described as having the dual characteristics of being an autonomous agency of the UJWF and also as acting for the UJWF in the field of Jewish education. The bureau was governed by a board of governors with representatives from affiliated schools, the UJWF, CJC Central Region, and from the community at large. The inaugural meeting of the board took place on 20 March 1950.
The organizational structure of the Bureau of Jewish Education mirrored that of the UJWF, with a board of directors and executive committee, standing comittees, and a professional staff. Samuel Posluns was the first president of the BJE and Dr. Joseph Diamond was its first executive director, serving in this position for 18 years. In the 1950s, the staff consisted of the executive director, an administrative assistant, and a school consultant. Over time, the staff was expanded to meet the increased demand for BJE services as the number of affiliated schools grew. For example, the position of director of school finances was created in 1976 to oversee school budgets, monitor tuition fees and teacher salary profiles, and perform other duties relating to financial management.
The BJE's offices were located with those of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, first on Spadina Avenue and then on Beverley Street, until the 1960s, when the board moved to offices in the Jewish Public Library on Glen Park Avenue. The board remained there until 1983, when the BJE moved into the newly built Lipa Green Building, on Bathurst Street, along with the other departments of the Toronto Jewish Congress, as the UJWF was renamed in 1976.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, the BJE sponsored adult education programs in Toronto through the Institute for Jewish Studies, in collaboration with the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) and CJC. The BJE also provided assistance and advice to the CJC in support of Jewish education in the smaller Jewish communities in Ontario. The BJE's role in adult education diminished significantly after its reorganization in 1968, but this again became a responsibility for the BJE in the late 1990s.
The BJE has gone through several periods of reorganization since it was founded: in 1968, when the bureau became the Board of Jewish Education and its board was reduced in size significantly; in the late 1970s, with the implementation of recommendations of the 1975 UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education; in the early 1990s, following the development of a strategic plan for the BJE; and in the late 1990s, following the recommendations of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto Commission on Jewish Education (1996). The 1968 reorganization was the most significant of these, with the BJE Board of Directors reduced from over 80 members to just 20 members approved by the UJWF, and the number of standing committees was reduced to two. Stephen Berger was appointed as first chairman of the Board of Jewish Education in 1968, and in 1969, Rabbi Irwin E. Witty became the second executive director of the BJE. Later reorganizations typically involved alterations to the number and responsibilities of BJE committees.
Although its primary function is to support existing educational institutions, the BJE has also participated in establishing several new instititions in Toronto. In 1953, to meet the need for qualified teachers in affiliated schools, the BJE and CJC Central Region founded a Jewish teachers' seminary (Midrasha L'Morim) in Toronto, which was jointly funded by the BJE and CJC for many years. In 1960, the BJE and UJWF sponsored the establishment of a non-denominational Jewish high school, the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT), with the BJE Executive Director as its director. In 1978, the Orah School for Jewish Children from the Soviet Union was established by the BJE, to meet the special needs of the large numbers of recent immigrants from the Soviet Union.
At its founding, the BJE served a total of 21 day and supplementary schools. When it ceased functioning in 2012, the BJE served more than 70 day and supplementary schools in the Greater Toronto area, with the position of chair held by Baila Lubek and the position of executive director held by Dr. Seymour Epstein. The Board was replaced by the Mercaz and later, the Centre for Jewish Education.
The BJE records in accession 1995-8-2 were in the possession of Harvey Raben, formerly a school consultant with the BJE, for several years prior to his donation in 1995, while Raben worked on his Doctor of Education thesis on the history of the BJE.
Scope and Content
The fonds documents the interactions of the BJE with affiliated schools, the UJWF and its successors -- the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC), Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto (JFGT) and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto -- and the community in its work of facilitating and financing Jewish education in Toronto. The bulk of the records consist of the files of the executive director, associate director and director of school finances, and minutes of the BJE Board of Directors and its committees. As well as meeting minutes, these records include memoranda, correspondence, committee reports, budget and financial statements, and a small number of photographs of individuals and of BJE events.
The fonds is arranged into eighteen series defined by the BJE's organizational units, projects and programs, institutions established by the BJE or its officers, and by record form. These series are as follows: Board of directors and executive committee, Executive director, Director of school finances, Subject files, School files, Chronological correspondence and memoranda, Newsletters and other publications, Midrasha L'Morim, Bible contests, Canada-Israel Secondary School Program, Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, Orah School for Russian Jewish Children, Dr. Abraham Shore She'arim Hebrew Day School, Toronto Jewish Media Centre, Meyer W. Gasner Memorial Scholarship Fund, Principals councils, Association of Jewish Day School Administrators, and Parents Council of Hebrew Day Schools
Board of Jewish Education
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The records of the Educational and Cultural Committee in the Canadian Jewish Congress Central Region fonds document the CJC's involvement in the establishment of the BJE and the operation and funding of the Midrasha L'Morim. The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto fonds, accessions 2002-10-54, 2004-6-4 and 2004-6-9 contain records on the establishment of the Bureau of Jewish Education, the appointment of UJWF representatives to its board, the reorganization of the bureau as the Board of Jewish Education in 1968, the various studies conducted of the BJE, and the annual review and approval of allotments for Jewish education in Toronto by UJA Federation and its predecessors. Accession 2004-6-4 also contains records on the funding of Jewish education in Toronto by the UJWF in the late 1930s and the 1940s, prior to the establishment of the BJE.
Files at the BJE were typically organized alphabetically by subject with no clear division by function or program. While some files were kept in a central filing system maintained by an administrative assistant and shared by all professional staff, staff members also kept their own series of alphabetical subject files. Since staff responsibilities for programs and support of board committees shifted over time, records relating to these programs and activities became dispersed across several sets of files. The archivist has extracted files relating to programs, committees, and areas of activity from these various sets of subject files and defined series according to these activities, programs and functions. The remaining alphabetical subject files have been integrated into one subject file series. File titles have been edited to bring together records relating to similar topics, events and activities within this series.
The other two common filing methods employed at the BJE were to store correspondence, memoranda and committee minutes chronologically (often in 3-ring binders), and in series of "School files" -- files organized alphabetically by school name, containing correspondence and other records relating to the school. The school files have been brought together into one school file series. The chronological series have been left in their original order.
Between 1949 and 1968, the board was comprised of representatives from each of the affiliated schools, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, Canadian Jewish Congress Central Region, and members representing the community at large. The BJE Board of Directors was responsible for managing the affairs of the bureau, although the UJWF had final say over budgetary matters and changes to the BJE constitution required the approval of its sponsoring organizations, the UJWF and CJC Central Region. Standing committees were formed to oversee the activities and programs of the bureau. These included the Public Relations Committee, Planning and Capital Repairs Committee, Constitution Committee, Adult Education Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, Publications Committee, Personnel Committee, Youth Education Committee, and School Committee. Given the size of the board of directors, much of the board's routine work -- such as receiving reports from committees and reviewing requests and inquiries from schools -- was delegated to an executive committee comprised of the officers of the board, chairmen of the standing committees, the executive director, and several other members of the board appointed by the committee.
By the mid-1960s, the board had grown to more than 80 members, including the representatives of all affiliated schools. There was a growing perception in the community and within the UJWF that the BJE was no longer an effective body, and had become primarily an agent for the schools (whose representatives might outnumber the representatives of other constituencies in board meetings) and their special interests, rather than an arms-length body representing both the schools and the UJWF. Following an informal review by the UJWF and representatives of the CJC Central Region of the workings of the BJE, the Bureau of Jewish Eeducation was reorganized and renamed the Board of Jewish Education in 1968.
The board was reduced in size to twenty members, appointed by the UJWF, with no less than ten members from the UJWF Board of Directors, including the BJE Chairman and Vice-Chairman. The standing committees of the bureau were eliminated -- including the executive committee -- and were replaced by two permanent committees: the Committee on Pedagogic Matters and the Committee on Fiscal Matters. The Committee on Pedagogic Matters was concerned with issues such as teacher training, teacher certification standards, inter-school programs, and other matters. The Committee on Fiscal Matters was concerned with reviewing school budgets, establishing guidelines for the assessment of tuition fees, and regulating and enforcing a uniform salary scale for teachers in subsidized schools. These committees had the authority to establish sub-committees to carry out some of their responsibilities.
Following the 1975 report of the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education, this committee structure was altered to allow for more standing committees reporting directly to the board. An informal executive committee, the BJE Steering Committee, was established by the chairman of the board in the early 1970s, to assist the chairman between meetings of the full board, and to review matters considered by the chairman and executive director to be too sensitive for the full board. This committee became a formal committee of the BJE in 1976, its size and role were expanded in 1978, and in the early 1990s again became the BJE Executive Committee.
In the mid- to late-1990s, following the reports of the BJE Strategic Planning Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto Commission on Jewish Education, the board returned to a committee structure similar to that established in 1968, with a Fiscal Committee and Educational Services Committee as the two primary committees and sub-committees reporting to these committees. The number of board members has been increased on several occasions after 1968, with twenty-four active community volunteers sitting on the BJE Board as of 1999. The chair of the BJE Board is appointed by the President of UJA Federation for a two year term. The members of the board are appointed by the chair of the board of the BJE, upon the recommendation of a BJE nominations committee.
The board of directors currently holds at least seven meetings annually, in addition to an annual general meeting and special meetings as required. As of 2006, the major committees on the board include the Fiscal Committee, Educational Services Committee, Education Research Committee, Marketing Committee, Financial Services Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Tuition Fee Subsidy Guidelines Committee, Affiliation and Compliance Committee, Supplementary School Committee, High School Funding Committee, and Tikun Chaim Committee.
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the BJE Board of Directors and its executive committee in setting policy for the BJE and overseeing its operations, providing guidance and coordination for Jewish education in Toronto, in allocating funds to schools and monitoring the financial performance of these schools, and in representing the interests of affiliated schools within the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and its predecessors, the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto, the Toronto Jewish Congress, and the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
The series contains six sub-series of records relating to the work of the following committees: the Fiscal Committee, Educational Services Committee, the Affiliation Requirements Committee and other committees reviewing affiliation requirements, Guidance and Counselling Steering Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and the Board of License and Review.
The series also includes meeting minutes of the board of directors and the executive committee, which were often interfiled, and files of committee minutes and other records whose volume did not warrant establishing separate sub-series -- for example, the Teacher Recruitment Committee, a short-lived ad-hoc committee of the board.
The executive director is responsible for the administration and management of the Board of Jewish Education, including its committees. During the 1950s, the executive director was one of five staff members, along with a school consultant, assistant director (i.e., administrative assistant to the executive director), secretary stenographer, and stenographer. In the 1960s and 1970s, as the Jewish education system in Toronto grew, additional positions were created to assist the executive director, including an associate director, director of school finances, and later, the director of educational technology.
The responsibilities of the executive director have included the supervision of administrative and professional staff, assembling board and committee agendas, planning new projects, recruiting and hiring of new personnel, monitoring the availability of scholarships and bursaries for students pursuing higher Jewish education, consulting with teachers and principals of subsidized schools on such matters as curriculum and professional development, acting as the BJE representative in dealings with government agencies and other organizations, and public relations and education activities like conferences and media interviews. The executive director is an ex officio member of many BJE committees and other organizations, such as the Principals Council.
The executive director liaises with the schools on inter-school activities such as the Bible Contest and Jewish Book Month Contest, works with the Midrasha Board of Governors in the preparation and supervision of its curriculum and budget, consults with staff at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT), and assists in the administration of the Israel study programs. The executive director has also carried the title of director of CHAT, stemming from the initial founding of the school by the UJWF. This position has involved serving on the board of directors of CHAT, dealing with staff needs, helping determine policies and plans for the school, and reviewing the school's budget and operations. The executive director has been the dean of the Midrasha L'Morim since its establishment in 1953.
Dr. Joseph Diamond was the first executive director of the BJE, serving in this position for 18 years. In 1969, Rabbi Irwin E. Witty became executive director and served in this position for 28 years. In 1997 and 1998, Rabbi Dr. Jeremiah Unterman held the position. In 1999, Dr. Seymour Epstein became executive director of the BJE and, as of 2006, also holds the position of Vice-President for Jewish Education, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Scope and Content
This series documents the executive directors' work with the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education in the early 1970s, and with agencies of the municipal, provincial and federal governments to secure funding for Jewish schools. The series also documents the executive director's public relations work on behalf of the BJE, through public speaking engagements and radio programs and the recruitment and hiring of teachers and principals for the various schools. The series contains personal correspondence of Dr. Diamond and Rabbi Witty, which they kept in the BJE's filing system and contain some references to their work as executive director.
The series is organized into four sub-series: Personal correspondence and writings, Government aid to schools, United Jewish Welfare Fund Study Committee on Jewish Education, and Teacher files.
Please note that much of the material in other series of the fonds -- especially the Subject files (series 4), School files (series 5) and Chronological correspondence (series 6) -- include records created or accumulated by the executive director in his work on BJE projects and programs.
The UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education recommended in 1975 that a Department of School Finances be established at either the UJWF or the BJE, to develop standards for accounting practices in affiliated schools, review school budgets and financial statements, develop tuition fee guidelines, and oversee the granting of bursaries and tuition assistance to students. The position of BJE Director of School Finances was created in 1976 to carry out these recommendations. In 1976, Sheldon Lofsky briefly served in the new position, and in 1977, Bernard Shoub was hired to fill this position.
The director served as staff member on the BJE Fiscal Committee, Budget Committee, the Association of Jewish Day School Administrators, and other committees concerned with school or BJE administration and finances. His work included receiving and reviewing monthly reports of school income and expenses; monitoring and reviewing student dropout and retention rates for all funded day schools; assisting in the review and analysis of school budget submissions and year-end financial statements, teacher salary grids, and school tuition fees and tuition assistance; assisting with contract negotiations with teachers' unions; assisting in preparing the annual budgets for the BJE, Midrasha L'Morim and the Orah school; and, overseeing the review by BJE staff of monthly income and expenditure reports for the BJE prepared by the UJA Federation financial department.
Upon Bernard Shoub's retirement in 2003, the position of BJE Director of School Finances was eliminated and the director's responsibilities were transferred to the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto Financial Department.
Scope and Content
The series documents the director's work in reviewing school budgets and financial statements, teachers' contracts and salaries, and student enrollment figures. The series also documents the director's work as staff member for BJE committees and the Association of Jewish Day School Administrators. The records in the series include correspondence with affiliated schools, memoranda issued by the director, financial statements from affiliated schools, copies of contracts with teachers' unions, and minutes and reports of committees on which the director was a member, including the Association of Jewish Day School Administrators. The series contains two sub-series: School audited financial statements, and Chronological correspondence and memoranda. The latter sub-series constitutes the bulk of this series.
The Toronto Midrasha L'Morim (Toronto Jewish Teachers' Seminary) was founded in 1953, a joint effort of the Bureau of Jewish Education and the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) Central Region. The Midrasha provided interested day school graduates with the opportunity to pursue a career in Jewish education without having to leave Toronto for training. It also provided those already in the field with the opportunity to improve their qualifications. The Midrasha was created to meet the anticipated shortage of teachers in the late 1950s, as enrollment in Toronto's Jewish schools increased.
J. Irving Oelbaum, chair of the CJC Central Region in the early 1950s and a well-known advocate for Jewish education, was named the founder of the Midrasha. The Midrasha was governed by a board of governors, appointed jointly by CJC-Central Region and the UJWF. The BJE Executive Director served as dean of the seminary, and the position of registrar was held by the BJE senior school consultant, Dr. S.B Ullman, until the late 1960s, when this responsibility was transferred to the BJE Associate Director. Funding of the Midrasha was shared by the BJE and CJC Central Region until the late 1970s, when the teachers seminary became solely the responsibility of the BJE and its parent organization, the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC). During the 1950s and early 1960s, however, the bulk of the funding for the Midrasha came from the CJC, with the BJE responsible for the seminary's daily operations and administration.
The Midrasha opened on 3 October 1953, with classes held at Community House, 44 St. George Street, Toronto, which was owned by the National Council of Jewish Women. Initial enrollment was 23 students divided into 2 classes by age group. The first class, aged 16-18, was enrolled in a four year program; the second class, aged 18-23, was in a two year program. Six teachers were employed, teaching courses in Hebrew literature, Torah, prophets, post-Biblical texts, Yiddish, and educational methodology & psychology. Subsequently, the four-year program became standard for the Midrasha. Locations for classes varied over the years, typically making use of classrooms in the Jewish day schools after school hours. The first class graduated in 1955 and was composed mainly of Toronto-born, female students. In the late fifties and early sixties, an increasing percentage of the students were recent immigrants from Israel. Graduates of the program helped to relieve the shortage of Hebrew teachers at day and supplementary schools in Toronto and across Ontario. The four-year program of study was extended to five years in 1970, divided into a two-year preparatory program and a three-year teacher training course.
In 1967, the CJC Central Region conducted a review of the Midrasha L'Morim which led to the introduction of post-graduate and part-time programs. This study was soon followed by the UJWF Study on Jewish Education, one section of which dealt with the Midrasha and teacher training. In the 1975 report, the Study Committee on Jewish Education recommended the development of a degree-granting program in Jewish teacher education at York University, and this was established soon after. The Midrasha continued to operate alongside the York program, providing supplementary and specialized training. As of 2006, the Midrasha L'Morim continues to operate, offering teacher certification upon completion of the program. It includes evening, Sunday, and summer courses, conducted primarily in Hebrew, on a variety of Judaic subjects
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the Midrasha board of governors and staff in guiding the operation of the Midrasha and responding to enquiries and reports from Midrasha study committees. The series also documents the work of the Midrasha registrar -- the BJE Associate Director -- in assisting students and organizing the Midrasha curriculum. The series consists of minutes of board meetings, reports and minutes of Midrahsa study committees, course outlines and course calendars, and records relating to the faculty, teacher seminars, student enrollment, graduation exercises and Midrasha budgets.
The Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) was founded in 1960 as a co-educational Jewish high school, sponsored and funded by the United Jewish Welfare Fund. The UJWF's original intention was that CHAT would be the only BJE-affiliated and community-funded Jewish high school in Toronto. This goal was subsequently abandoned in the 1970s, as the increasing size and diversity of the Toronto Jewish community led to a demand for new high schools meeting the distinct needs within the community.
CHAT was incorporated in 1964 as the Jewish Community Day School of Toronto. The school is governed by a board of directors appointed by the UJWF and its successors, with an executive committee delegated to conduct the routine work of the board between meetings. Committees of the board include Budget and Finance, Education, Development, Personnel, Tuition, Health and Safety, and Building Committees. From 1960 to 1980, the executive director of the BJE held the position of Director of CHAT. While the responsibilities of this position were never explicitly defined, the executive director served as a professional resource person and consultant with CHAT, working with the principals on enrolment campaigns, Hebrew staff recruitment, curriculum design, and policy matters. The executive director is also allowed to attend meetings of the CHAT Board of Directors. This ex officio position of the BJE Executive Director was eliminated in 1980, with Rabbi Witty retaining the title of Director Emeritus until his retirement.
For many years, the school's professional staff consisted of a headmaster, a principal of general studies, and a director of guidance. As of 2006, CHAT is managed by a professional staff consisting of a director of education, director of Jewish studies, and executive director/CFO. The two campuses of the school are each headed by a principal, an assistant principal of general studies, and a vice-principal of Jewish studies.
For its first 19 years, CHAT was housed at the Neptune Drive branch of the Associated Hebrew Schools, and in 1979, moved to a former Toronto District School Board public school building at 200 Wilmington Avenue in Downsview. In 1998-1999, enrollment at the school increased dramatically from approximately five hundred students to just over 900. Due to this increase, and with the help of a major gift from Mrs. Anne Tanenbaum, a major renovation and extension project took place and the site was renamed the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Education Centre. Enrolment continued to increase after 2000, with many of the new students living in the north of the city. In 2004-2005, CHAT's total enrolment was just over 1,400 students. In September 2000, CHAT opened a Richmond Hill branch at 51 Wright Street, with an initial enrolment of approximately 150 students. This branch is scheduled to move in September 2007 to the new Vaughan Region community centre being developed by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the CHAT Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Education Committee, the involvement of the BJE Executive Director in these committees, and CHAT's interactions with the BJE, the UJWF and its successors. The series consists of meeting minutes and reports, correspondence and memoranda, and records relating to UJWF and TJC committees which studied the operations of CHAT between 1970-1972 and 1979-1981. Files in the series are arranged alphabetically.
The Meyer W. Gasner Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1974, and incorporated in 1977. The fund was named in honour of Meyer Gasner (1906-1974), a successful businessman and leader in the Toronto Jewish community. Gasner always took a great interest in Jewish education, was one of the founders of Associated Hebrew Schools, and served on the board of the BJE. The fund provided scholarships for post-secondary Jewish education to students who intended to pursue a career in Jewish education. Sam Sable and Rabbi Irwin Witty were the initiators of the fund and served as officers of the corporation. Other officers included the well-known philanthropists Kurt Rothschild and Joseph Tanenbaum. Although the fund was not formally affiliated with the BJE, BJE staff carried out routine administrative work for the fund, distributed application forms and accepted applications, which were then passed on to the Meyer W. Gasner Memorial Scholarship Committee for consideration. The first scholarships were awarded in 1976.
Raising the capital funds needed to support the regular awarding of scholarships proved difficult. The committee was unable to award scholarships every year, and not in the amounts they would have liked. The fund continued to operate until 1998, and granted scholarships to approximately 200 students during its existence. At the end of 1998, the fund ceased operations and its remaining assets were transferred to the UJA Federation's Meyer W. Gasner/Joe Berman Educational Scholarship Fund.
Scope and Content
The series documents the founding of the fund, its financial performance over the years, and the decisions of the scholarship fund committee in awarding scholarships. The series consists of committee meeting minutes, audited financial statements, correspondence with committee members and scholarship applicants, and promotional material for the scholarship. The files in the series are arranged chronologically.
Originally established in 1966 as an arms-length board sponsored by the BJE, the purpose of the Board of License and Review was to review and clarify the licensing, assessment of credentials, and salary categories of teachers in the Toronto area. The board could also periodically recommend to the BJE new regulations to improve the standards for Jewish education in Toronto. The board's membership consisted of the dean of the Midrasha, the president of the Midrasha and/or the president of the BJE, the chairman of the Jewish Teachers' Alliance, and the chairman of the Principals Council.
The need for the board arose due to dissatisfaction with the system in use since 1949 for appealing the BJE's categorization of teachers. In the previous system, a teacher's appeal was heard by a joint committee of the bureau and the Teachers' Alliance. If this committee could not reach an agreement, the appeal would be decided by the Personnel Committee of the bureau.
The need for an arms-length board to hear classification appeals diminished during the 1970s, as standards for the training of teachers became better established and the categorization of teachers was more explicitly defined through the collective agreements between the BJE and the teachers' bargaining units. By the 1980s, the Board of License and Review had become a standing committee of the BJE consisting of professionals and laypeople. Members of the Board of License and Review are appointed by the chairman of the BJE and its decisions are reported periodically to the BJE.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the board's work in reviewing teacher classifications and appeals, and implementing the regulations established by the BJE for teacher classification. The sub-series consists of correspondence with teachers, school officials and union representatives as well as memoranda, meeting minutes and reports.
The principals of BJE affiliated schools were organized into a Principals' Council in the early stages of the development of the BJE. The Principals' Council, chaired by the executive director of the BJE, was an advisory body to the bureau in all matters related to the educational interests of the affiliated schools and met to discuss common problems, such as the content and program of teachers' seminars, coordination of inter-school activities, professional welfare, and school policies and procedures. The Principals' Council also dealt with matters such as security in the schools, enrolment campaigns, professional development programs, the distribution of educational publications, evaluation of teacher performance, Israel study tours, and other matters. Implementation of decisions made by the Principals Council was typically the responsibility of BJE staff, if these decisions required action beyond the individual schools.
In the late 1970s, due to the increase in the number and diversity of affiliated schools, separate councils were established for day school and supplementary school principals, known respectively as the Day School Principals Association, and Meetings of Supplementary School Principals and Coordinators.
Scope and Content
The series documents the meetings of the Principals Council and its successor bodies, the Day School Principals Association, and the Supplementary School Principals and Coordinators, and the relationships between these councils and BJE professional staff. The series consists of meeting minutes, memoranda, and correspondence between school principals and BJE staff. The files are organized by the name of the body, and then by date.
Established in November 1978 as the Orah School for Jewish Children from the Soviet Union, the school was intended for children who recently arrived from the Soviet Union with no previous Jewish education. Funding for the school came from special grants from the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC; now, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto), from community fundraising for the school, and from tuition fees. The school was managed by a board of directors, with a staff consisting of a school principal and vice-principal, and as many as eight teachers and junior teachers. The number of teaching staff varied over the years with fluctuations in enrolment and funding. The bulk of the administrative work for the school was carried out by BJE staff, and the school was considered a special project of the BJE and its parent body, the TJC. The executive and associate directors of the BJE were ex-officio members of the Orah board.
The school operated as a Sunday school, with six hours of classes every week. The curriculum was designed to suit families with little familiarity with Judaism, many of whom found the greater time requirements of the day schools and other supplementary schools too onerous. The school also provided children with bar and bat mitzvah training. The school's location varied over the years, moving between branches of the Eitz Chaim schools and the Hurwich Branch of Associated Hebrew Schools.
In recent years, the Orah school's affiliation with the BJE came to an end. Now called the Orah School for Children, the school is currently located in Thornhill at the Spring Farm branch of Eitz Chaim Day School, with Rabbi Yosef Michalowicz serving as principal.
Scope and Content
The series documents the BJE's involvement in founding the Orah school and assisting in its operations. The series also documents studies of the school conducted by the TJC and BJE in the early 1980s and again in the early 1990s. The series contains meeting minutes of the board of directors and study committees, memoranda and correspondence relating to the school's operations, and records relating to the school's budget, fundraising activities, and enrolment. Files in the series are organized alphabetically by subject.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The Bible Contest (Chidon Hatanach) is an annual interschool program organized and administered by the BJE that began in 1959. The purpose of the contest is to promote the interest in and love of the Bible among Jewish students and to strengthen the role of Bible studies in the school curriculum
Students from BJE affiliated day and supplementary schools participate in the contest. The contest usually has an oral and written component and is conducted in Hebrew for the day school students and English for the supplementary school students. There are different divisions of the contest according to the grade level of the students. There are local, regional, national, and international stages to the competition. The international contest is held in Israel. Prizes have included trips to Israel, summer camp scholarships, and Israel Bonds
From 1959 to 1969, the national contest was organized by the Toronto BJE in cooperation with the Department of Education and Culture of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israel Bible Society based in New York. In the 1970s and 1980s, the national contest was organized by the Toronto BJE in cooperation with the Canadian Zionist Federation (CZF), Bureau of Education and Culture, National Bible Contest Committee. The Ontario Regional Bible Contest was co-sponsored by the B'nai Brith Lodges of Upper Canada and Leonard Mayzel. As of 2006, the national contest is organized by the Canadian National Bible Contest Committee, a joint venture of the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre (BJEC) in Montreal and the Toronto BJE
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the BJE -- carried out for many years by the director and associate director, and, later, by the BJE school consultant -- in sponsoring and managing the local and regional Bible contests, and its participation on the committee organizing the national contest. The series consists of meeting minutes, memoranda and correspondence relating to the organization of the contests, copies of contest questions, and contest results. The files are organized by the stages of the competition -- local, regional, national and international -- and then chronologically within these categories. The photographs are contained in a publicity file and consist of group shots or individual portraits of contest winners.
Regular meetings between the BJE professional staff and school administrators began in the late 1970s, as recommended by the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education. This body was initially known as the Executive Directors Council, or, Meetings of Executive Directors. In 1981, the council was renamed the Association of Jewish Day School Administrators. The chair of the association is elected from amongst the administrators, while BJE staff are responsible for coordinating and supporting the meetings. The purpose of the association is to discuss administrative matters of common concern to the day schools, including the hiring of personnel, contract negotiations with teachers' unions, taxes and insurance, the annual budgeting process, centralized purchasing of equipment and materials, and standards for school administration. The association often has invited speakers at their meetings, to speak on topics such as risk management and health insurance plans. Staff responsibility for working with the Association has shifted over the years, from the associate director to the director of school finances, but meetings have often been attended by all of the BJE's senior staff.
Scope and Content
The series consists of minutes of meetings of the association, correspondence and memoranda. The series also contains several photographs of a meeting of the association at which Ira Berman was presented with a plaque marking the end of his term as chairman. The files in the series are arranged chronologically.
Minutes of the Executive Directors Council can be found filed with other records in series 6, Chronological correspondence and memoranda
The Canada-Israel Secondary School Program was a one-year study program for Ontario students in grade ten and eleven from both day and supplementary high schools, sponsored by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) Torah Education Department, the Jewish Agency for Israel Youth Aliya Department, and the BJE. Modeled on similar programs offered by Jewish boards of education in Montreal and in the United States, the program began in the 1980-1981 school year and came to an end with the 1988-1989 school year, following a period of declining enrollment and the decision by the Youth Aliya Department to end its participation in such programs.
Initially located at the Israeli youth village of Kfar Batya in the town of Raanana, Israel, the program changed location several times during its existence. Other locations included Jerusalem and Kfar HaNoar HaDati, near Haifa. The curriculum followed Ontario government guidelines for general studies, combined with an intensive immersion in Jewish studies and Hebrew adjusted to suit the level of the students. Students were housed in dormitories at the schools, and those students without relatives in Israel were assigned to an English-speaking Israeli family, who served as their "surrogate family" during their stay, to better familiarize them with Israeli culture. In addition to their school studies, students were taken on field trips and traveled extensively to different parts of Israel. The BJE was responsible for organizing the curriculum for the program, and the executive director of the BJE served as its coordinator.
Scope and Content
The series documents the BJE's work with the WZO and Youth Aliya Department in organizing the program, developing the curriculum, assessing students' academic performance, monitoring their involvement in social and religious activities, and keeping parents informed of their children's progress. The records include the following kinds of materials: information brochures for parents and students applying to enter the program; correspondence and memoranda between the BJE, Torah Education Department, and Youth Aliya Department; course schedules outlines; student newsletters; and, the BJE Executive Director's correspondence with parents and students. The files in the series are organized chronologically.
The PTA Council of Hebrew Day Schools, Toronto, was formed in 1976 to as a forum for parents to discuss common issues and concerns relating to the schools and their children's education, and to coordinate their activities and interactions with BJE staff. The council is composed of representatives of parents for each affiliated school, with a senior BJE staff member -- originally, the associate director, Harold Malitzky -- as support person and BJE representative. The council's interests include public funding of private schools, leadership development, fundraising projects, school curriculum and extra-curricular activities for their children. Speakers on educational matters address their meetings or events sponsored by the council. In the late 1970s, the council was called the Parents Council of Day Schools. In the early 1980s, the council was called the Parents Council of Hebrew Day Schools, and as of 2006, is known as the Parents Council of Jewish Day Schools.
Scope and Content
The series documents the meetings of the council and the activities and events which they sponsored. The records in the series include meeting minutes; correspondence between council members and BJE staff; memoranda relating to council activities; newsletters and other promotional materials from the schools, the BJE, or created by the council.
From 1949 to 1968, the Budget and Finance Committee was the standing committee responsible for financial matters of the board and affiliated schools. The committee's work involved reviewing the budgets of affiliated schools on an ongoing basis, calculating the subsidies to be granted to schools, and also developing the budget for the BJE itself. Following the reorganization of the bureau as the Board of Jewish Education, in 1968, the Fiscal Committee was one of two permanent committees of the board. The functions of the committee include receiving school budgets and reviewing them as a check on the spending of subsidized schools, negotiating teachers' contracts with teachers' unions, reviewing areas for possible savings for schools, establishing tuition fee assessment guidelines and determining the actual tuition levied in all subsidized schools, regulating and enforcing a uniform salary scale for teachers in subsidized schools, and periodically recommending policies to the BJE board on fiscal management.
The formulae used to determine school subsidies have changed several times over the decades, as the Fiscal Committee sought to balance the financial needs of the schools against the ever-increasing costs to the UJWF and its successors of supporting the school system. Initially, subsidies were simply calculated based on the gap between a school's budget and the money raised by the school through tuition fees and other forms of fundraising. In the late 1950s, the BJE attempted to cut costs by eliminating building maintenance from the budget items eligible for subsidization, but this resulted in many schools developing large deficits by the early- to mid-1960s. This, in turn, led to special fundraising programs sponsored by the UJWF to assist the schools in eliminating those deficits. In the 1970s, following the recommendations of the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education, efforts were made to develop a funding formula based on budget models for different categories of schools. Since the schools and BJE were unable to reach a consensus on these models, the actual school budgets of 1977-1978 were used as a base for calculating future budgets, with changes calculated based on the rate of inflation, changes in enrollment and school staffing, and other factors. Budgets submitted by the schools were assessed against these calculations. Further changes to the formulae were made in the 1980s and 1990s, with a shift towards calculating the grants to schools as tuition subsidies in support of families unable to pay the full cost of their children's education, with full tuition calculated as the per capita cost of the school's operations.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the work of the Fiscal Committee in reviewing school budgets and working with the schools on new funding formulae. The sub-series includes meeting minutes and reports of both the Fiscal Committee and its predecessor, the Budget and Finance Committee, correspondence with schools and memoranda. The sub-series also includes records of the "Fiscal Forums", organized by the Fiscal Committee in the early 1990s to work with affiliated schools to address funding reductions caused by shortfalls in the annual UJA fundraising campaigns, and of the Mandate Sub-Committee, formed in 1997 to evaluate new school funding models, including school voucher and tuition loan systems.
The Pedagogic Committee was established in 1969 as one of the two standing committees of the Board of Jewish Education. The committee had twenty-four members: eight members from the BJE, eight nominated by the CJC and appointed by the UJWF, and eight from the community-at-large. The first chairman of the Pedagogic Committee was Meyer W. Gasner. For the first few years of its existence, there was some uncertainty as to the role of the committee and it rarely met. Over time, the committee took on responsibility for advising the BJE Board of Directors and affiliated schools on such matters as teacher training and professional development, teacher certification standards, interschool activities, the establishment of a media centre, and the principal's role in subsidized evening schools. Some of these responsibilities had previously been carried out by the bureau's School Committee.
In 1975, the UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education recommended that the Pedagogic Committee be replaced with a new Management and Academic Affairs Committee. This new committee would deal with personnel practices, reports from school consultants on affiliated schools, seek input from schools on how the BJE could better meet their needs, and deal with general problems relating to the quality and standards of Jewish education. In the 1980s, the main function of the Management and Academic Affairs Committee was to undertake reviews of major educational programs and concerns affecting all affiliated schools. One of its projects at the time was an intensive review of the proposal to shift grade nine into the high schools.
In the later 1980s, the Management and Academic Affairs Committee, like the earlier Pedagogic Committee, met infrequently. The 1991 BJE Strategic Planning Committee report called for the creation of a Department of Educational Services, overseen by an Educational Services Committee, which would assume the responsibilities of the Management and Academic Affairs Committee and would coordinate the formal and informal educational services of the BJE. The new committee began meeting in March 1993. Its stated goals were to review the BJE's services to affiliated schools and assess their quality, determine unmet needs of the schools, propose and initiate actions to expand services or create new services, and promote BJE services to the schools.
In 1998, in response to the recommendations of the Commission on Jewish Education, the Educational Services Committee was restructured as the Jewish Educational Services Committee, with the expanded responsibility of coordinating all curriculum-based Jewish education in the community receiving financial support from UJA Federation.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the meetings and some of the projects of the Pedagogic Committee, the Management and Academic Affairs Committee, and the Educational Services Committee. The records include committee minutes and reports, correspondence and memoranda. The files are arranged chronologically.
One of the first actions taken by the Bureau of Jewish Education Board of Directors was to work with the schools to define the requirements for affiliation with, and financial support from, the bureau. Reviewing affiliation requirements and applications for affiliation from schools were the primary duties of the bureau's School Committee. These requirements were occasionally reviewed and updated by the board during the 1950s and 1960s. In general, the requirements stipulate that the school should be open to all Jewish students; that the schools comply with government and BJE standards for teacher qualifications and general studies curriculum; that it not be a profit-making venture; that it have a stable and adequate administrative structure, and have been in existence for at least a year; that it cooperate with the BJE on fiscal and administrative matters, and allow visits from BJE school consultants; and that the schools should strive to enhance students' knowledge and appreciation of Judaism and their understanding and concern for the welfare of the state of Israel.
The UJWF Study Committee on Jewish Education report of 1975 included a large number of recommendations for revisions to the affiliation requirements. Rather than simply reviewing and implementing these recommendations, the BJE board appointed an Affiliation Requirements Sub-Committee in the late 1970s to conduct a further study of the current affiliation requirements and possible revisions. This committee reported to the board in 1980. After this date, an affiliation requirements committee (under various names) remained a component of the board's committee structure, although it did not meet on a regular basis. Affiliation requirements were again reviewed and revised in the mid-1980s, and then in the mid-1990s, in response to the inquiries of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto's Commission on Jewish Education. As of 2006, the BJE Affiliation and Compliance Committee is responsible for considering revisions to requirements, applications for affiliation from new schools, and monitoring schools' compliance with these requirements.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the work of the School Committee, the Affiliation Requirements Sub-Committee (also known as the Affiliation Requirements Committee), and its successors, the Affiliation and Funding Requirements Sub-Committee, and Affiliations Criteria Sub-Committee. The sub-series includes meeting minutes, copies of the affiliation requirements for different time periods, reports from the committees to the board on proposed revisions to the affiliation requirements, and recommendations from the committees to the board on applications for affiliation. The files are arranged chronologically.
The BJE's guidance and counselling services for students began with a pilot project organized by the UJWF, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), and Jewish Family and Child Services (JF&CS) in the mid- to late-1960s. JVS was then contracted to provide these services in some of the affiliated day schools. Studies of the program were carried out by the UJWF in the early 1970s, and again by its successor, the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC) in the late 1970s; the second study was prompted by some schools starting their own student counselling programs, staffed by in-house personnel. The BJE's Guidance and Counselling Steering Committee (also known as the Guidance and Counselling Advisory Committee) -- a joint committee with representatives from the BJE and JVS -- met on an irregular basis during the 1970s to review the program's operations. Following the recommendations of the TJC study, the BJE Guidance and Counselling Steering Committee took on a more active role in supervising guidance serices during the 1980s.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the meetings of the Guidance and Counselling Steering Committee, and BJE's involvement with evaluations of the program. The records include memoranda, correspondence with schools and JVS, committee meeting minutes and reports.
Records relating to the UJWF and TJC study committees and the original UJWF pilot project can be found in series 4, "Subject files."
The BJE Strategic Planning Commitee began meeting in August 1988 as the ad-hoc Think Tank Planning Committee, with the goal of planning a weekend "think tank" session of BJE professional staff, lay people, and representatives of affiliated schools to review the role and functions of the BJE. The group's deliberations led to an expansion of this mandate, to include developing a mission statement, as well as goals and objectives for the board. The committee consisted of Martin Sable (chair), Sandra Brown, Sheila Freeman, Henry Koschitzky, and Howard Nathan, with Harold Malitzky, associate director, and Rabbi Irwin Witty, executive director, as staff members.
The BJE received a grant from the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC) to finance the preparation of a strategic plan, and, early in 1989, hired Gary Sandor of ARA Consultants to assist the Strategic Planning Committee in defining the purpose of the committee, developing a work plan, and gathering data for the project. In April-May 1989, Sandor interviewed key informants and distributed questionnaires to over 200 stakeholders in the community: presidents of teachers federations; the chair of the parents council; school presidents, administrators and principals; presidents of synagogues which sponsor schools; BJE board members and TJC Executive Committee members. In May 1989, the committee sponsored the Community Leadership Forum, involving over fifty participants from the BJE, affiliated schools, and the TJC Executive Committee, to discuss the major themes which had been identified so far by the committee. This was followed by an interim report by Sandor, in June 1989, summarizing the work so far on the strategic plan and the outcomes of the forum. The forum and the report identified three major themes for the planning committee to focus on: clearly defining the BJE's mandate, clarifying its major responsibilities, and taking a leadership position in the community.
By May 1990, the committee had developed a mission statement, objectives and an action plan for the BJE, which were presented to the BJE board and approved in principle. The final report of the committee was presented to the board in January 1991, and in February 1991, the report was presented to the TJC Executive Committee for approval. Implementation of the committee's recommendations began in 1993. In addition to developing the mission statement, objectives and action plan for the BJE, the major recommendations of the committee were to revise the board's committee structure; more clearly define the composition of the board, the representation of different stakeholder groups on the board, and the responsibilities of board members; and, to increase the interaction of lay committees and professional staff by more clearly defining staff responsibilities for supporting board committees. The key features of the committee restructuring were the re-establishment of a BJE Executive Committee and the creation of a Department of Education Services, reporting to an Educational Services Committee. All working committees of the board were to report to either the Educational Services Committee or the Fiscal Committee. This reorganization led to a structure similar to that originally envisioned in the BJE reorganization of 1968, when the two standing committees of the board were the Pedagaogic Committee and the Fiscal Committee.
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the committee and its consultant, Gary Sandor, in gathering information from the community on perceptions of the BJE and areas for improvement, and in drafting the mission statement, goals, action plan, and proposed restructuring of the BJE board. The records in the series include committee minutes and reports, memoranda and correspondence, copies of the consultant's reports, and records relating to the Community Leadership Forum.
The sub-series consists of Dr. Joseph Diamond's and Rabbi Irwin Witty's personal correpondence, filed with their executive director records, the text of public talks and of commentaries made on Zelda Young's "Jewish hour" radio programme, broadcast every Sunday on the CHIN (Toronto) radio station. The topics of these commentaries varied widely, including Talmudic commentaries, Israeli and Diaspora Jewish politics, as well as matters relating to Jewish education in Toronto and elsewhere. Although much of the personal correspondence is routine in nature, some of the letters include discussions of Jewish education and activities of the BJE.
The sub-series consists of records and reference materials relating to BJE applications for school and program funding to the federal and provincial governments, and to the North York Public School Board. The projects and programs include heritage and French language programs, and professional development projects for teachers. The sub-series includes records relating to BJE and CJC efforts to lobby the provincial government to extend funding of schools to include private schools. The sub-series includes a photograph of Rabbi Witty and Bernard Shoub accepting a Government of Canada cheque for a BJE project.
The Study Committee on Jewish Education was formed in 1970, with a mandate to investigate all aspects of Jewish education in Toronto and make recommendations for changes to the UJWF. The committee was co-chaired by J.S. Midanik and Donald Carr. The committee's work was carried out by six "task forces", which studied Jewish day schools, day high schools, supplementary schools, the BJE itself, teacher training and recruitment, and financing for Jewish education. The task forces carried out their investigations through meetings, interviews and surveys of school personnel, administrators and board members, as well as through reports on specific topics by academic researchers. Each task force prepared an interim report of its findings in 1974-1975, and these reports were then synthesized into the final report published in 1975, accompanied by a lengthy set of recommendations approved by the entire study committee. Rabbi Witty, executive director of the BJE, and Shoshana Kurtz, BJE school consultant, were staff members of the committee and served on the editorial sub-committee which drafted the final report. The study committee's recommendations, on matters relating to the financing of the Jewish school system, recruiting and training teachers, establishing standards for curriculum, administration and teacher qualifications in affiliated schools, and the structure of the BJE, were considered and acted upon by committees of the BJE and the UJWF during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Scope and Content
The sub-series documents the work of the executive director as staff member for the Study Committee on Jewish Education, and the meetings of the various task forces of the committee. The sub-series provides additional information on schools and community perceptions of the school system and the BJE in the early 1970s. The sub-series includes task force minutes, copies of questionnaires distributed by the task forces, data collected by the task forces which were used in their interim reports, and a copy of the final report.
The records in this sub-series include correspondence, memoranda, committee reports and minutes, primarily of the BJE Fiscal Committee, its sub-committees, and the Association of Jewish Day School Administrators. Rather than being filed by committee name or by record form -- such as correspondence -- these records have all been filed together by creation date, with separate files for each month. While this form of organization means that there is duplication of materials between this sub-series and the series and sub-series for those committees, this sub-series documents the major activities and decision-making in which the director was involved, in the order those activities occurred.
The series consists of copies of audited financial statements from BJE affiliated schools. Receiving and reviewing these statements was one component of the director of school finances' work. Copies of the reports were shared with members of the BJE Fiscal Committee, and were kept on file by the director for future reference and comparison.
ca. 175 photographs : col. and b&w (ca. 165 col. negatives) ; 21 x 26 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
The series consists of alphabetical subject files, titled primarily by names of persons, organizations and events, but also by topic (e.g., "Sabbath observance"). The file contents include both records relating to programs, events and activities of the BJE or which involved BJE staff, and also topical materials about the subjects of the files (e.g., newspaper clippings or articles on a given topic). The photographs in the series are primarily from a tribute dinner honouring Harold Malitzky, on 25 May 1992. A large percentage of the files appear to have been created by the executive director, but the files also include records received or created by other BJE professional staff and by BJE board members. Some of the files contain personal correspondence and records of the executive director.
The series contains a wide range of records relating to affiliated schools, created or accumulated by all BJE professional staff, and organized alphabetically by school name. The series documents many, if not all, of the interactions between the schools and the BJE board and professional staff. The files include the following kinds of materials: correspondence with school principals and administrators; BJE school consultants' reports on school visits; information on school enrolment and curriculum; school annual reports and budgets, newsletters, event programs and other promotional materials.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.
The series consists of BJE committee meeting minutes and reports, memoranda, and correspondence filed in chronological order. The minutes are primarily from the BJE Board of Directors, and the memoranda and correspondence were created primarily by the executive director, for BJE staff and the affiliated schools. However, the series also includes correspondence and memoranda issued by other professional staff, and by the chairman of the BJE board.
The records in this series duplicate to some extent records found in other series, but weeding of the files is made difficult by their organization, with records relating to different committees and activities filed together. These files were apparently maintained by BJE staff -- usually in 3-ring binders -- as an ongoing record of current work.
Founded in 1979-1980, the Dr. Abraham Shore She'arim Hebrew Day School is the only Jewish school in Canada for children with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Rabbi Irwin Witty, executive director of the BJE, and Rabbi Joseph Kelman of Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue, played the leading roles in organizing and planning for the school in 1979-1980. The founding of the school was inspired by more than a decade of study by the BJE, the UJWF/TJC, and Jewish Vocational Service (which provided guidance and counseling services in Jewish schools) of the need for greater support and specialized services for Jewish children with learning disabilities. The school was incorporated in 1980 as the She'arim Hebrew Day School, and is governed by a board of directors. Classes began in September 1980, following a year of preparatory work by a planning committee and professional advisory committee.
The school's enrolment in its first year was eight students; this number grew to more than 65 by the year 2000. It was renamed in honour of Dr. Shore in the mid-1990s. She'arim originally accepted students from grades five to seven, and this was quickly expanded to include students in all grades up to grade eight. The school emphasizes the small size of its classes -- usually six to eight students -- which allows teachers to focus on the distinctive needs of each student. The school seeks to provide students with the skills and problem-solving strategies they need to realize their academic potential and transfer into the mainstream schools.
Although Rabbi Witty was very involved with the founding of the school and its operations in its early years, and also maintained files on She'arim administration and financing with his BJE records, She'arim did not become an affiliated school of the BJE until the mid-1980s. She'arim's application for affiliation, in 1984-1985, led to the first of several studies of the school by the BJE. After She'arim was accepted for affiliation and financial support, this initial study was followed by a study of the school's management and operations, in the late 1980s, by the consulting company, ARA Consultants. A BJE committee was then appointed to consider and implement the recommendations of the consultant's report. The main changes to the school involved implementing a structured approach to course planning and evaluation for the school. A further review was carried out in the mid-1990s, to address the school's pressing financial crisis of the time.
Prior to 2001, She'arim was located at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue at 100 Elder Street, Toronto. Following a donation from Sam Hennick, in memory of his late wife, Sara, and with additional financial support from Jewish Toronto Tomorrow, the school moved in September 2001 to a larger space at the Bathurst Jewish Community Centre, named the Dr. Abraham Shore She'arim Hebrew Day School, Sam and Sara Hennick Education Centre.
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of Rabbi Witty and Rabbi Kelman in founding the school, the preliminary work of the planning and professional advisory committees prior to the opening of the school, the work of the She'arim board of governors, and of the various BJE committees which studied the school and its operations. The series consists of committee minutes and reports, correspondence and memoranda concerning the school and its fundraising activities. The files in the series are organized chronologically.
The BJE's media centre began in 1971, with the appointment of a full-time director of educational services, whose responsibilities included developing a collection of audio-visual materials, providing audio-visual services to affiliated schools, developing the BJE's pedagogic library, and assisting teachers in the preparation of educational materials. In the mid-1970s, responsibility for the pegadogic library was transferred to the BJE senior consultant, and the director of educational services became the director of the Media Resources Centre. By 1980, the media centre's collection had grown to over 5,000 items.
In the early 1980s, discussion began between the BJE and CJC Ontario Region on developing an integrated media centre in the new Lipa Green Building for Jewish community services, where both organizations moved in 1983. The CJC had their own media services department and a small collection of audio-visual materials, which they used to provide similar services as those offered by the BJE Media Resources Centre, to Jewish schools and adult education groups outside of Toronto. The BJE media centre had previously provided assistance to the CJC media services department on an informal basis.
The first meeting of the Joint Media Centre Committee -- soon renamed the Toronto Jewish Media Centre (TJMC) Committee -- took place on 3 June 1983. The committee consisted of four representatives from the BJE and three from CJC Ontario Region. The TJMC was formally described as a joint project of the BJE and the Toronto Jewish Congress' Jewish Cultural Council, which, in turn, was a joint committee of the TJC and CJC Ontario Region. The CJC's Educational and Cultural Committee was responsible for distributing and delivering materials to communities outside of Toronto, while the TJMC was responsible for managing the media collections and offering services to schools within Toronto.
The TJMC's activities included those previously performed by the BJE and CJC media centres, as well as such community projects as tape-recording public talks sponsored by other organizations, and organizing film festivals. The Toronto Jewish Film Society was an outgrowth of these festivals. By the late 1980s, the TJMC's formal structure, with representation from both the BJE and CJC, had ended and committee members were chosen based on their committment to the committee's goals of encouraging the use of audio-visual materials in the classroom and in support of community events. Representatives from the Toronto Jewish Cultural Council and the Jewish Public Library also sat on the committee.
During the 1990s, lack of funding prevented the TJMC from pursuing its broader activities in the community, and it again focused on assisting teachers, providing media services to schools, and supporting the CJC Ontario Region's programs for providing audio-visual materials to smaller communities. In 2006, the Toronto Jewish Media Centre became part of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto's new Latner Centre for Jewish Knowledge and Learning, along with the Holocaust Education and Memorial Centre of Toronto, the Jewish Information Service of Greater Toronto, the Jewish Public Library, and the Ontario Jewish Archives.
Scope and Content
The series documents the formation of the Toronto Jewish Media Centre Committee in the early 1980s, its fundraising efforts for the media centre, and the media centre's work through the 1980s and early 1990s in providing audio-visual materials and media services to Jewish schools and community groups in Ontario. The series consists of meeting minutes, correspondence and memoranda, and newspaper clippings documenting the media centre and the film festivals sponsored by the committee. The series also includes catalogues of media centre holdings.
The series consists of newsletters and bulletins published by the BJE as part of its outreach and promotional activities. The intended audiences for these publications were parents, teachers at affiliated schools, and school principals and administrators. The newsletters for teachers are "Likutim : a bulletin for teachers" (1951-1955; in Hebrew and English), and "Teachers' bulletin" (1957-1959). Likutim was intended primarily to keep teachers informed of new developments in pedagogy. Teachers' bulletin contains information on the BJE, its programs and services.
A newsletter specifically aimed at parents was initially titled "Our children" (1954), and then "Home and school" (1954-1963). This newsletter contained articles on Jewish holidays and other aspects of Judaism, news articles on the BJE and Jewish education, and articles on how parents could encourage and be involved in their children's education.
In the 1970s, the BJE published the "Board of Jewish Education newsletter," which contains short articles on current events relating to the BJE and Jewish education, and the services and activities of the BJE.