From the Principal’s Desk 5779
Welcome to a new year at Temple Israel Religious School! I am looking forward to another amazing year of partnering with families, students and staff, working with our volunteer Education Committee, Rabbi Morais and the rest of the professional team at Temple Israel.
My vision for TIRS is to create Ottawa’s premier center for Jewish learning for JK through Grade 12. Your children will be a part of a positive and interactive learning environment as we partner to create the best possible Jewish education we can offer, using the most up-to-date resources for student-centered lessons and experiences. We provide a strong Jewish identity through Jewish values and ethics, Torah and Prophets, T’fillah (prayer), Holidays, Music and Hebrew.
We continue to benefit from Jewish Federation of Ottawa’s P2G and Gesher Chai programs. In July, I attended the biennial Etzbah Hagalil P2G Educators’ Conference in Israel for the second time. Principals and teachers from Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver along with our colleagues from our twin schools in the Upper Galilee came together to both learn and develop curriculum.
At this year’s conference, I was able to get to know the principal and teacher of Einat Hagalil (our partner school). Anat, Nomi and I worked to develop a plan for the coming year, making some positive changes and additions beyond being pen pals. This year, “Friends Across the Sea” curriculum will come alive using Google Docs/Google Classroom, videos and more! This program focuses on Jewish Identity and Klal Yisrael (all of the Jewish people) and issues that Jewish children face all over the world. TIRS is the only supplementary school involved in this partnership program which speaks to the level of education TIRS provides and is a great source of pride for us.
We welcome our new “Shinshin,” Liam, an Israeli teen between high school and the army on “Shnat Sherut” (a year volunteer service). From September to June, Liam will be working at TIRS on Sundays and Mondays and will also be attending services on Shabbat mornings at Temple Israel.
As we’ve done the past few years, each grade will be active participants in one Kabbalat Shabbat or Shabbat morning service. Younger students will have opportunities to learn and interact with older students (i.e. on Simchat Torah when our high school students will present Torahs to new students at Consecration on September 30th starting at 5:00 pm).
Family programming at TIRS continues this school year with Jewish holiday and Tikkun Olam themes. In addition, we invite families with children under the age of 6 to TOTally Shabbat (4th Friday of each month), JBaby Shabbat Play Group (1st Shabbat morning of each month) and JBaby Volunteers at Hillel Lodge (4th Thursday of each month) for children under 3. Plans are underway to create more activities for children in Grades 1-6 including a junior choir. If you are interested in joining any of these programs, please feel free to approach me any time.
This year, we will continue to offer classes for Grade 11 – Adult in Conversational Hebrew. This class will help to improve reading skills so that, if you are a parent, you will be better equipped to nurture your child’s Jewish education or just have fun!
“All Youth” programs are again scheduled for kids in Grades 6-12 whether they are students at TIRS, in FROSTY (Senior Youth Group) or JYG (Junior Youth Group) or just want to join us for a great evening!
With all the great things going on in our school, it is no surprise that our enrollment continues to grow. At the end of the last school year we had over 90 students including Pre-K. In addition, we are anticipating a preschool program on Sunday mornings for 2- and 3-year-olds. Please let me know if you are interested!
I am always open to receive feedback as we work together to ensure success for our children in a safe, inviting, inclusive, and engaging school.
Shana Tova U’metukah — Wishing you all a sweet and happy New Year!
Sue Potechin, TIRS Principal
What We Offer
Class Led Services
All of our class-led services on Friday nights are followed by a “Bring Your Own Dinner” where families (old and new) are able to get to know other families and it is a way for the children to be together outside of school/TIRS. Plan to team up with other families for mains, sides, salads and desserts so no one has to prepare it all as we come together to share in community. Check our calendar for our upcoming services led by classes.
A Jewish education that:
- engages children from JK to Grade 12
- promotes Jewish ethics and social justice
- creates a bond with Israel and the greater Jewish community
- celebrates Jewish life cycle including preparation for Bar/Bat Mitzvah
- inspires youth programming for Grades 6 to 12
Instilling Jewish values
“TIRS provides the foundation for living a Jewish life in the modern world. As a former student and parent of current students, I have experienced firsthand what it means to grow up in a creative, nurturing and enriching Jewish environment.”
— Fern DoctoroffPar
Creating Jewish community
“TIRS means to us, being part of a large extended family, with fun learning and a great sense of community with love, encouragement and support from staff, students and families.”>
— Bonnie Cooper
Building Jewish identity that grows with your child
“TIRS has a warm, inclusive, welcoming atmosphere that fosters learning, growth and a pride in a Jewish identity.”
— Marie Carmen Berlie and Charles Khazzam