Our Meet the Community blog column gives Heschel families the opportunity to get to know some of the people who make a difference at The Toronto Heschel School.

This month’s edition features a familiar face around school, Mark Abramsohn, our Acting Executive Director and Director of Business Operations.

Heschel Hive (HH): Mark, anyone who has spoken with you can immediately hear your South African accent.  What city are you from and when did you move to Canada?

Mark Abramsohn (MA): I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I emigrated to Canada with my wife and three children in 2001.

HH: How long have you been with The Toronto Heschel School?

MA: I joined The Toronto Heschel School in 2008 – making it 14 years.


HH: So you have been here for more than half of the school’s lifetime! What is your favourite Heschel memory from over the years?

MA: One of my favourite memories is the Table Talk events, where a small number of people gathered in the homes of volunteer school families for a catered meal, together with a guest who delivered an inspirational talk. The 18th anniversary event was also memorable, honouring the then Head of School, Gail Baker, and highlighting the achievements of our young school.


HH: What do you like most about the school?

MA: I like the pluralistic approach, teaching with Awe and Wonder, and the environmental ethos.


HH: You are the Acting Executive Director and Director, Business Operations.  What are your responsibilities?

MA: In a nutshell – I deal with almost all aspects of the school that are not related to education. These include: Accounting and financial matters, including tuition discussions with families, Human Resources, Facility and Maintenance, Computers and IT, Administration, and more.


HH: Wow, that must keep you busy! What do you like to do in your spare time?

MA: The number one and most important thing to me is family. As such, I like to spend time with my children and grandchildren. I also enjoy spending time with friends. I like watching TV and browsing the internet learning about various items of interest.


HH: How many grandchildren do you have, and what is your favourite part of being a grandparent?

MA: I now am a very proud grandfather of 6. The overwhelming joy and pleasure that these kids bring to the family makes being part of this special club beyond any expectation. Seeing them grow up, doing well and above all else, being healthy, are the main and most important matters for me.

HH: Do you go by “Zayde,” “Saba,” “Gramps,” or other?

MA: Zaidie.


HH: Pick your favourite decade and tell us why you chose it.

MA: The 80s, as I got married to the love of my life and together we had three children, all in the 80s.


HH: What actor would you want to play you in the movie about your life?

MA: Jonathan Goldsmith – The Most Interesting Man in the World.

HH: Good choice.  Thank you very much for your time today, Mark!