The Jewish Canadian child owns a double identity—Jewish and Canadian— and integrative education welcomes the combination, neither dividing the day in half to distance the characteristics one from another nor separating universal study from Jewish study to filter each artificially.
Dvora Goodman and Pam Medjuck Stein
At The Toronto Heschel School, students learn through an Integrated Curriculum, which weaves academic disciplines from both Jewish and General Studies together under an overarching “Big Idea”. Students keep the big idea in mind while learning skills that fulfill (or exceed) the academic demands of their grade.
In each grade, central curricular themes span multiple Jewish and general subjects. For example, in Grade 5, the theme “From Slavery to Freedom” is echoed throughout the curriculum. In Chumash (Bible studies), the students study the Exodus from Egypt. In language arts, they read Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker and explore the journey of African American slaves escaping to Canada via the Underground Railroad. In visual arts, the students create a Seder plate for the African American characters in the novel. Read more about this big idea in Grade 5:
In every class… there are hundreds of dots that are being connected. All of our classes share a common thread, a generative topic that can link to Talmudic studies, art classes, music, poetry, dance and so much more. Not only do you learn to dance, to sing, and to write but also, you learn how to integrate diverse ideas and concepts.