We are excited to share some important updates with you regarding the Gesher Abraham Foundation, the formal organization that operates The Toronto Heschel School. Thanks to a generous funding commitment from the New Orchard Foundation, we have a new opportunity to propel the Gesher Abraham Foundation into an exciting new strategic direction.


Founded in 1996, the Gesher Abraham Foundation initially operated a small school called The Toronto Heschel School (THS), serving 52 students from Junior Kindergarten through a combined class for grades one and two. Since 2003, the Foundation has also operated the Lola Stein Institute (LSI), known for publishing THINK, a biannual journal on integrated Jewish education. Additionally, LSI has offered professional learning and seminars for Heschel teachers and educators across Toronto. In 2023, the Lola Stein Institute launched the Teacher Performance and Learning Studio as a new initiative.

The work of the Toronto Heschel School and the Lola Stein Institute have been recognized for excellence and innovation through numerous awards and acknowledgments by experts in the field of Jewish education.

Going Forward:

In recognition of the growth of both organizations, and to better advance their respective mandates, The Toronto Heschel School and the Lola Stein Institute will reorganize into two separate divisions, each with its own leadership, governance structure, and budget.

We are delighted to announce that Moreh Alan Rusonik, who joined The Toronto Heschel School as Principal in 2022, has been appointed Head of School. We are equally pleased to announce that Moreh Greg Beiles, who has dedicated the past 27 years to the growth and leadership of The Toronto Heschel School, will now serve as President of the Lola Stein Institute. Both appointments will take effect at the start of the academic year commencing September 2024.

Moreh Alan Rusonik

Moreh Greg Beiles

The Toronto Heschel School operations, including program delivery, faculty and administrative management, school culture, and parent engagement, will be overseen by Moreh Alan Rusonik as Head of School.

The Lola Stein Institute operations will be led by Moreh Greg Beiles as President of the Lola Stein Institute. The funding commitment from the New Orchard Foundation will enable Lola Stein Institute to advance its work in two key ways:  (1)  to equip the school with an online curriculum library including curriculum guides, teaching materials, pacing guides, standards and benchmarks and model lessons and exemplars of student work; and (2) to advance teacher training in the delivery of integrated Jewish education, including an enhanced Professional Development Programme (Training and Performance Learning Studio) for THS faculty, with a goal to extend this programme beyond THS in the future. This new strategic direction will have a positive and lasting impact on your children’s educational journey at The Toronto Heschel School. 

Both divisions will have a restructured governance model:

  • The Gesher Abraham Foundation Board will be renamed the Gesher Abraham Foundation Board of Trustees and will oversee both operating boards.
  • The Foundation Board of Trustees will ensure the long-term educational vision, mission, and financial sustainability of both divisions.
  • Both the Head of School and President of the Lola Stein Institute will report directly to the Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • The Toronto Heschel School will be supported by a School Council, and the Lola Stein Institute will be supported by a Steering Committee.

Looking Toward the Future:

We are currently developing a framework for close cooperation between the two divisions to effectively deliver the educational mission of the Gesher Abraham Foundation. We are confident that this new structure will allow each division to thrive and collaborate.

As always, our priorities remain the success of our students and faculty, and dedication to our integrated, arts-based Jewish education inspired by the teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

We are eager to embrace these changes, continue striving for excellence, and work as a team with you, our Heschel families, to deliver a dynamic and innovative Jewish education.