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Children, Youth & Family Education
Early Childhood Education
This is a unique educational moment in the life of your child. It’s a time when children are free to focus on building positive relationships and self-esteem. At the Early Childhood Centre at Holy Blossom Temple, we believe that these skills prepare your child to thrive in life. In a warm and nurturing environment, we work closely with you to honor your child’s special talents and needs. Above all, we strive to create a strong sense of community among our families.
About the ECC
The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) at Holy Blossom Temple views each child as competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. We offer a nurturing environment that respects each child, fosters self-esteem, and supports the growth of the whole child in his/her social, emotional, physical, cognitive, spiritual and creative development.
We follow an emergent, play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum as set forth by the Ministry of Education that involves a balance of child-initiated and adult supported experiences which allow each child to develop at his or her own pace. Our classrooms include a variety of learning centres designed for purposeful play and children’s exploration, literacy and math readiness, science, daily physical activity and outdoor play. Reform Jewish traditions, values and rituals are interwoven into the curriculum.
Your child will be provided with an enriched and loving Reform Jewish learning experience in our warm, nurturing and stimulating school.
Beyond the Classroom
Special Programming at the ECC
Children will have the opportunity to experience many enrichment opportunities on a rotating basis:
- Weekly music
- Group Shabbat
- Library with Caroline in the Temple newly renovated library
- Dance and gymnastics
- Visits with our Rabbis and Cantor
A Message from Our Director
The Early Childhood Centre at Holy Blossom Temple is a wonderful choice for your child’s first school experience. I am happy to receive you not only as part of the ECC family but as part of our Temple family as well. Together with our teachers and Temple community, we begin our partnership with you and your children.
Designing learning environments that are engaging and meaningful for children is my passion. I am committed to creating a strong Jewish-based educational program where sound foundational skills and play with a purpose are always the focus. I am especially attuned to the needs of parents and strongly advocate for parental engagement in our children’s educational process. I believe that each child should feel valued and each parent’s voice heard.
My role as Director is a very hands-on approach. I will always be available to you and really enjoy the time I spend in the classroom with the children. I value our parents as partners in education and welcome your participation. I want you to be engaged in meaningful ways and hope that you will join us in the classroom as a parent volunteer in whatever capacity you feel most comfortable.
I have an open-door policy and I will always be available to you.
When we say the learning happens through play and that play is a child’s work, it is important to understand that the best play is purposeful and engages children’s’ minds, bodies and emotions.
All learning is integrated-learning is never isolated. Concepts are woven into various play/work centres and are presented in ways that will engage the tactile, auditory, visual or kinesthetic learning. Our wonderful staff are engaged in both child-initiated and teacher-guided learning experiences. Careful observations allow us to present materials and activities to stimulate interests or build on acquired skills.
Although our days seem short, they are action-packed! Your children will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of developmentally appropriate activities that will challenge and further their development of key skill domains, fine and gross motor, creative, cognitive, numeracy and early literacy. They will build self-confidence, self-awareness and self-help skills. Our teachers plan curriculum bases on an emergent philosophy set out by the Ministry of Education.
Through all of this, our teachers also strive to impart a Jewish identity to all the children. Hebrew songs and blessings, learning about Jewish holidays, visits to the Sukkah, hearing the blowing of the Shofar, Preparing for Shabbat every Friday, Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday nights with the Temple community all contribute experiencing Jewishness in a Reformed Jewish Context.
I am so honoured to serve as the Director of the Early Childhood Centre at Holy Blossom Temple and build on its remarkable reputation for over 50 years.
Wendy Steinberg Himmel
Registration & Tuition
Register today! Join us!
Please note the policy regarding registration, refunds and tuition fees:
- 3 Mornings Pre-Nursery (M/W/F): $ 4,816.00
- 5 Mornings Pre-Nursery: $ 8.131.00
- Pre-Nursery Lunch Bunch (M/W/F) to 1:00 PM (child must be 2 years) $2620.00
- 5 Mornings Nursery: $7,031.00
- Nursery Extended Day (M-Thurs) to 2:55 PM $4978.00
We value our partnership with our parents! As you know, we love having all of you as a part of our program! Parent and grandparent volunteers provide for an incredible experience for the children and we consider this integral to the relationship that we build together.
The ECC welcomes families throughout the year:
- Grandparents Shabbat in the Sukkah
- End of Year Graduation
- ECC Family Shabbat
There are also opportunities for parents and grandparents to visit and help in the classroom.
We also invite ECC families to register for Little Blossoms. This year we have 2 programs:
Friday morning music with Mark Weinstock and Thursday L’Dance
Holy Blossom Temple invites ECC families to join:
- Holy Blossom Tot Shabbat
- Family Shabbat
- Festival Celebrations
There are volunteer opportunities and we invite you to join the Temple Festivals Committee.
Families can also host a Tot Shabbat. As a host they will help with set up, serve pizza dinner, clean up and your family will be invited to light the Shabbat candles.
At the ECC we teach 3 very important principles: Mitzvot, Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam; good deeds, giving to charity and trying to make the world a better place.
- The children collect Tzedakah every Friday which is generously shared with various charities. They also use this money to purchase flowers for the seniors at Baycrest.
- The children collect toys and food to share with those in need during Chanukkah and Pesach and they contribute to the Temple’s Out of the Cold program.
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Youth Education Centre
The vision of Holy Blossom Temple Religious School is to create an atmosphere of warmth, excitement, and love of Jewish learning in which students in JK through to Grade 10 Confirmation acquire
- Jewish values, skills and knowledge
- Values of life-long Jewish learning and mitzvot
- Commitment/love of Judaism and Israel
- A deep sense of connection and belonging to their Jewish community
Through a combination of creative and hands-on learning experiences, we aim to build a sense of community and belonging to Holy Blossom Temple, to the Jewish communities within Toronto and Canada, the broader Reform movement and Israel.
The development of skills and knowledge are meant to enable Jewish young people to read Hebrew, participate comfortably and capably in worship services, and master the basic skills required to study Torah, Haftarah, and the holy days.
To attain these goals, we rely on an integrated curriculum and experiential/creative teaching models. Our teachers are dynamic, enthusiastic, and positive Jewish role models for our students. We aim to create a partnership between teachers and parents at home, to support and encourage Jewish learning and living, and we are grateful for the support of our congregation, who places importance and values Jewish learning at all ages.
Not only is our goal for our students to gain Jewish skills, but also, to form meaningful relationships and ties to their peers and to our congregational community. All students are encouraged to continue along their path of Jewish Education beyond B’nei Mitzvah, to Confirmation in grade 10, and take their place in a photo on the wall.
JK – Grade 7
JK-Grade 5 classes will be held on Sunday mornings from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm (11:30 am for JK-Grade 1)
Grade 6 – Grade 10 Confirmation+ will be on Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
JTEM: Grade 8 – Grade 10 Confirmation
JTEM is new and improved for the 2021-2022 school year!
Meeting on Monday nights from 6:30-8:30 pm, Grades 8 to Grade 10 (Confirmation) will be starting Monday, October 4th.
The first hour will be JTEM’s classic and much-loved learning sessions with Geri Durbin, covering deeper topics relevant to today’s Jewish teens which will include exciting guest speakers.
The second hour will be a “workshop” hour. In this time, we will rotate through four different workshop types: Madrichim Training, Arts, Life Skills, and “Kulam”.
In our new Madrichim Training program, teens will learn the skills necessary to be young leaders in our community. This ranges from leading and writing programs to problem-solving with younger kids.
Arts Workshops will bring in a facilitator to run creative and practical activities such as drama and writing, painting and music.
Life Skills is an exciting one, focusing on skills that everyone should know how to do; from changing a car tire to cooking chicken soup to putting up a shelf.
The last section will be “Kulam”. This program runs through Moving Traditions, equips Jewish teens to engage in dynamic and authentic conversations in order to think reflectively, act courageously, and develop healthy, honest relationships. In this program, Jewish teens ask big questions about where, why and how they belong while exploring issues of identity, equity, and justice.
Link to registration: https://cloud4good.tfaforms.net/390076
Israel Engagement ShinShinim
UJA’s Israel Engagement ShinShinim are young Israeli leaders who have just finished high school and come to the GTA for one year to volunteer in our community. Each year, the ShinShinim are hosted by local Toronto families, and engage more than 3,000 Jewish community members with cutting edge programs focusing on contemporary Israel.
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto has the largest delegation of ShinShinim in the world – currently 26. Toronto’s ShinShinim are active in over 40 day schools, synagogues, supplementary schools, youth movements, community programs, and summer camps across Toronto, with increasing demand each and every year. The ShinShinim informally teach about Israel through creative programs and challenging discussions, bringing an authentic Israel experience to the Toronto Community.
Youth Activities & Events Calendar
Family Shabbat Education
New this year: Family Shabbat Education option on Saturday mornings starting in October!
This pilot program will combine YEC-style classes with our Family Shabbat services. It will be a combination of family learning, service participation, and student-only classes, and can be an alternative (or an add-on!) for Sunday morning YEC classes.
Families will gather at 9:45 for a family learning experience before family Shabbat services begin. At the start of the Torah service, kids will leave with designated teachers for a YEC-style class and then reunite with their families at the conclusion of services. Our expert teachers and family service leaders and facilitators are excited to embark on this new learning opportunity with you!
Link to register: https://congregationconnect.tfaforms.net/f/HBTFSE2021
Contact Lisa Isen Baumal [email protected] for more information
There’s lots to do at Holy Blossom Temple for our families with children, and it all starts with Family Programming!
See below for a complete listing of all our Family and Youth programming, and learn how you and yours can get involved!
Little Blossoms with Marky Weinstock
Join us Friday mornings for Shabbat music, stories, and more. Dr. Marky (MD, MEd) is an award-winning entertainer and respected educator with over 20 years’ experience running Shabbat programs that inspire and help stimulate your child’s motor and language development. Welcome, Shabbat with a smile and song in your heart!
Little Blossoms Thursdays with L’Dance
From Ages 0-18 Months
Parents, grandparents, and caregivers can bond with their babies and toddlers through dance!
Friday evenings, 5:30 pm
Saturday mornings, 10:30 am
Shabbat at the Barns
Shabbat at the Barns is currently on hold. Check back for updates!
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