The reason GAJE was formed some three years ago was to help the community make Jewish education affordable to the many families in our community for whom it has become increasingly out of reach financially. In the process, we have also commented from time to time that the companion issue to the affordability of the education is its overall excellence.
An article appeared this week on the eJewish Philanthropy website that focuses the discussion about Jewish day school education on this very subject. Entitled, CAJE-Miami: A Decade of Lessons Learned, the authors Valerie Mitrani and Julie Lambert ask the question: “What is the point of sustainability and affordability if Jewish day schools aren’t at the forefront of education, providing learning environments that offer leading pedagogies and opportunities that meet the needs of our students and families?”
Of course, GAJE agrees with this proposition.
Mitrani and Lambert state “in a world full of options, we have a moral obligation as a Jewish community to ensure that Jewish day school students experience a high quality education.” And they add: “the single most important school-based factor impacting student learning is the teacher. The second most important factor is the principal.”
GAJE also agrees with these statements.
Thankfully, in the GTA, we are indeed able to say that the schools do provide excellent education in general studies and in Jewish studies, within of course, their particular respective philosophical Judaic outlooks. Of course, behavioural and pedagogical issues do arise in each school that are particular to individual students and that may make a child’s experience in the school difficult. We would never deny things we know to be true.
But on balance, the evidence persists that the day schools do offer a high quality educational experience. We must emphasize and re-emphasize this fact to the Jewish public. The teachers and the principals understand that they – the human factor – are the irreplaceable centers of each school.
Some weeks ago, we helped announce in this space the opening of a new pedagogically blended learning high school slated to open in the GTA in September 2019. The school organizers are holding an Open House on Nov 25, 7 pm in the Lipa Green Building, 4600 Bathurst Street.
Curious parents of prospective students and of course, students themselves are invited to attend to hear more about ADRABA: meet with the school’s originators, ask questions, discuss their plans and aspirations and experience a sample lesson intended for incoming students.
More info about ADRABA is available at ADRABA.ca.