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.