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Jewish Education

Project Maven

Maven: a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from the Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.

This venture is an expansion of our current pilot program which features a solo ‘Maven’ Intern working on three campuses. The project aims to place informal Jewish peer educators on university campuses with Jewish populations comprised largely of Toronto natives. Each Maven will be hired to work on the campus where he or she currently studies with the primary objectives of lending accessible Jewish content and depth to initiatives already existing on campus (such as Shabbat dinners, Birthright reunions, or tzedek projects), building relationships with unengaged Jewish students, and creating both formal and informal learning opportunities. Qualities we are seeking in interns are: a strong Jewish background, past participation in Jewish youth programming, gap year, yeshiva or as a camp counselor, ability to have in-depth conversations, emotional maturity, without a prior formal leadership role within the Jewish campus community, and able to attend a national training. When students complete their internship they will have gained and honed new skills in many areas, including teaching, communication, working with peers, strategy, marketing, and networking. They will also be well-trained informal Jewish educators.

Camp Aim

CAMP AIM was established in 2008 to create a camp experience that would cater to the needs of Jewish children aged 3-12 with a wide range of disabilities and medical needs. The camp addresses the social, recreational, and therapeutic needs of these children. It is the only Jewish day camp in Toronto providing for special needs children, serving some 40 children each July. This year a Leadership Program was instituted to service special needs teens by providing them with specialty programming and vocational training while instilling in them the value of giving back to their community. Our mission is to help physically and mentally disabled children enjoy a Jewish day camp environment while continuing to grow in skills and self-esteem through the summer.

We are conscious of the critical need for socialization, recreation and therapy in this population and are committed to growing the service to more children in the community. The camp currently plays a vital role in the lives of children and their families. It provides a warm Jewish environment filled with activities for the children, and a much needed respite for their parents and siblings. Hard-earned advances made by the children in the school year are constantly built upon as we bridge the delicate balance between therapy and fun.

Help CAMP AIM in its mission to provide more services to more Jewish children with special needs.

CAMP AIM presently manages its budget for the current enrollment in three ways: first, through tuition; second, through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) government initiative; and third, through various government and non-governmental grants that are available to the parents. We have already received the maximum allotted amount for a camp from the CSJ.

It is important to note that since the inception of the camp in 2008, we have always maintained a deficit-free budget. The camp has been run in a lean yet most efficient manner. We have never advertised, yet our enrollment has grown exponentially from ten children to forty this year, and a wait list of ten.

Our proposal requires your investment for program funding so that we can open our doors to as many Jewish children with special needs as possible. As well, CAMP AIM seeks to launch a marketing and public relations campaign to raise community awareness and future funding in order to ensure sustainability. Your help in this area would be most beneficial.

We are excited about the prospect of partnering with you in this endeavor and thank you for your consideration of our request.

Uri- Awaken

The Annex Shul is pleased to propose the Uri (Awaken) Initiative, a holistic family education journey that empowers parents to move their families along an educational path at home and within the community. The Annex Shul nurtures an entrepreneurial and hands-on approach in which young Jews take an active role in shaping and creating their Jewish experience and community.
Following the momentum of the existing Annex Shul Family Programming- for young professionals with young families- the Shul Leadership Team is committed to developing the Uri Initiative which is modeled off of the Yerusha Initiative founded in Princeton, NJ. The program encompasses the 3 pillars of
1. Child focused learning,
2. Adult (parent) learning and
3. Community engagement.
The program itself embraces an integrated approach to learning with modules that have elements for parents and children to learn together and separately, and implement experientially into their home. Families graduate from one module to the next by meeting specific experiential learning objectives and implementation requirements. There is also a communal aspect wherein involved families meet on a regular basis to celebrate Shabbat and holidays in a meaningful way, engage in dynamic learning experiences, sing, explore and to pay tribute to one another’s’ accomplishments. Unlike other educational models, this honours the pace and readiness of the individual children and their family units and empowers the parents to move their family along the Jewish Journey.