By Natalie Soroka, TT Society
(Edmonton) – Many of us are familiar with the saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, in our case, It Takes a Village to Raise a School. Talmud Torah Society is grateful to the many organizations and volunteers who are consistently here for us and make up our village. There are so many supporters, volunteers, and donors who have and continue to be an essential part of our village. In this article, we are focusing on two important charitable organizations in Edmonton that contribute to our village.
The Society’s board of directors continues to uphold the idea that no child will be turned away because a family cannot afford a Jewish education. The Jewish Federation of Edmonton (JFED) has and will continue to be an integral part of our village, and is a crucial organization in our small, but mighty, Edmonton Jewish Community. Through JFED’s Integrated Bursary Program (IBP), families can apply for financial support through its confidential and respectful bursary program. Every Jewish community member who wishes for their child to have a Jewish education, but does not have the financial resources to pay full fees, can apply for a bursary. IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
The Society cannot do it alone, and JFED has been a very important and generous community partner. Of course, thanking the Jewish Federation of Edmonton means also thanking the many generous donors who contribute to its yearly United Jewish Appeal (UJA) campaign. The funding the Society receives is based on the success of the annual UJA campaign. A portion of the funds raised by the UJA campaign directly fund the Integrated Bursary Program. In addition to bursary funding, we also are fortunate to receive extra grants when there are surplus UJA funds available.
When our new Don z”l & Myrna Silverberg lunchroom was being built in August 2022, the Society applied for and received a Federation grant towards brand new microwaves. More recently, Federation provided us with a generous grant to replace aging Siddurim used by students in their Hebrew classes. CEO Stacey Leavitt-Wright, whose own children graduated from TT, attends many of our holiday assemblies, graduation ceremonies and programs, and often writes about the positive impact TT has on the community in JFED’s HAKOL newsletter. IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
Another valued contributor to our village is the Edmonton Jewish Community Charitable Foundation (EJCCF). Talmud Torah Society has been the recipient of many financial grants from the EJCCF over the years. Through its Chair Stephanie Hendin, EJCCF provides grants for initiatives that are spread throughout Edmonton’s Jewish community.
According to their website, “the Edmonton Jewish Community Charitable Foundation (EJCCF) helps people support Jewish causes that are important to them. We provide resources to make the community’s vision a reality, working in partnership with our donors, and striving to ensure the long-term financial security of the Jewish Community.” Their support has spanned so many areas of TT Society’s needs, including classroom Siddurim, guitars for our music program, Judaic/Hebrew classroom materials and resources, mindfulness resources, last year’s Jewish-themed drama production through Trickster Theatre, and most recently Hebrew readers for classrooms. The Society is thankful for EJCCF’s continued and ongoing support of our programming and commitment to Talmud Torah student enrichment. IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
In 2012, Edmonton Talmud Torah celebrated 100 years. It’s been 25 years since our newest school location opened its doors. Talmud Torah is resilient and strong. We are here because of the supportive and committed village of people and organizations who believe in us and our legacy. IT TAKES A VILLAGE.