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.