(AJNews) – The landscape of Jewish education in Edmonton will be changing very soon with the recent announcement that the Edmonton Menorah Academy will be closing its doors at the end of this school year.
On October 28, 2020 David Ghermezian, Chairman of the Universal Educational Institute of Canada, sent a letter home to all families with children attending Menorah Academy.
In the letter Ghermezian writes, “With much regret, Menorah Academy will be permanently closing at the end of the 2020/2021 school year due to financial constraints.
“We are sympathetic to the difficulties this will cause students, parents and community, but unfortunately, there is no viable option to keep the school open.
“We wish you and your families the very best as you seek alternative educational opportunities for your children for the 2021/2022 school year.”
Menorah Academy was formed over 30 years ago as an independent school to provide an educational alternative for Jewish families, to Edmonton Public Schools and to Talmud Torah School which operates as an EPSB school. It is accredited under Alberta Education as a private funded school at the highest level. The pre-school and day care programs have been licensed under Alberta Early Childhood Services. The school has been open to families of any level of Jewish observance but was particularly popular with families who were seeking a higher level of Jewish religious programming as part of their school day.
Its stated mission is to provide a balance of outstanding general studies curriculum under Alberta Education, along with an extraordinary Judaic program, incorporating Torah values and skills with middot tovot (good character) in an environment that welcomes and is comfortable for Jews across the spectrum of religious observance, preparing and inspiring our children for life.
The school’s mission statement included that “every Jewish child deserves a genuine Torah education, regardless of financial means. Scholarships were made available for families whose financial need might otherwise prevent them from attending.”
The recent announcement has caused a wave of concern among families in the Edmonton Jewish community. Alberta Jewish News will follow this story to see how the community can accommodate the closure.