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.