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Robbins Hebrew Academy

1700 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 3K3

Progressive,  Reggio Emilia
Grades (Gender):
Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 8 (Coed)
$5,700 to $16,980 /year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 370 (Gr. NS - 8)

School Address
1700 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 3K3

About this school:


At RHA, we want students to explore, discover, debate and imagine the possibilities. That’s why we offer a cutting-edge curriculum that teaches our students to think critically and globally, in a community that builds self-esteem and lifelong character. It’s why our students go on to become society’s original thinkers and principled leaders. And it’s why RHA is Toronto’s first Jewish school to be accredited by CAIS, putting us in the company of Canada’s finest schools. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Robbins Hebrew Academy

our takeThe three Rs are important, though who we are, how we grow, and how we build a sense of belonging within our communities are important too. Certainly, that’s the principal that has guided the school since it was founded in 1957. The academics are strong, and RHA has long demonstrated a willingness to look forward, adapting programs to the needs of the students—including the adoption of many of the practices that fall within the category we might think of as 21st century literacies. Identity is a focus, too, and is a foundation of the Robbins program across all of the curricular areas. The ideal student is one looking to learn and grow into a sense of themselves as learners and members of the communities they are a part of.  

Principal's Message


Claire Sumerlus , Head of School

Welcome to RHA!

I want to introduce you to a school that is different from any other. It is a school that is at the cutting-edge of academic innovation. It is a school that has as an entirely unique community. And it is a school that is committed to building the character of each and every one of our students. It is no wonder that RHA is the first Jewish day school in Toronto to be a candidate for the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) — the gold standard in educational excellence.

Our ultimate goal is to produce graduates who are original thinkers and principled leaders. That is why our curriculum is based on a pedagogy of critical thinking. Students are taught not just fact and figures, but sophisticated methods of assessing, evaluating, and critiquing knowledge. They are taught to explore, debate and solve problems equally in secular and Judaic studies. They are equipped with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly complex and global world: independent and inquisitive thinking, collaboration and creativity, resilience and perseverance. They are given the breadth and depth of knowledge  — in English and Hebrew, in math and sciences, in bible study and Jewish history, in the arts and in technology — to innovate and excel.

But no matter how rigorous our education, we are a school that nurtures and cares for our students, and for our families. There is a special warmth here at RHA which you just can’t find anywhere else. We’re a school where everyone knows each other’s names. We have built buddy systems, diversity programs and leadership initiatives right into our culture. We rally together when a family needs help, and we gather together to celebrate a simcha. It’s just who we are.

Because our kids feel challenged and cared for all at the same time, they grow into exceptional teens and young adults who know how to stand up for what’s right, and speak up against what’s wrong. They become people who have a special relationship with Judaism that is based on a celebration of life, a love of learning, the power to make choices, and of course, Tikkun Olam — repairing the world as caring and concerned citizens. They gain the qualities of character — empathy, compassion, and gratitude — that enables to them lead their lives with purpose, focus and integrity. 

Since we began more than 50 years ago, our graduates have become globally renowned entrepreneurs and executives, judges and scientists, writers, athletes and inventors. As importantly, they have become leaders in Jewish life throughout the world. We expect no less from our students. As we develop their intellect and foster their emotional intelligence, we watch as our children become empowered learners with the life-long character to succeed across all measures. 

Please visit us. We want to get to know you. 


Curriculum Progressive, Reggio Emilia

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

Secondary Curriculum: Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia emphasizes the role of the child in directing their own learning. Heavily intertwined with progressive ideals in education, the program espouses ideas such as child-centred classrooms, discovery learning, and 21st century education.
If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia education, check out our comprehensive guide.

What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: At RHA, we are a ‘community of thinkers’ where ideas are shared, curiosity is inspired, creativity is fostered and leadership is nurtured. In fact, our classrooms are incubators of deep thought, propelled by critical inquiry and engaged learning of both secular and Judaic studies. Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs, interests and talents of each of our students. Our exceptional faculty and staff continually use best practices to retool, redesign and rethink the educational experience. Not surprisingly, our students are involved in virtually every aspect of academic inquiry – both inside and outside the school. They are top-ranked in competitions ranging from math and creative writing contests to science fairs, video production and social venture projects. Our students publish books, design advocacy campaigns, produce documentaries, write original screenplays, and lead projects that benefit communities locally and globally. Everything we do at RHA is designed to equip your children with the skills – creativity, collaboration, curiosity and critical thinking – essential for success in the 21st century.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs Religious-based
    Academic Gifted Jewish

    If you want to learn more about faith-based education, check out our comprehensive guide.
    If you want to learn more about Jewish day schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Elementary - Students work collaboratively to develop their conceptual understanding and procedural skills in math using problem based learning. They explore the grade level specific expectations of the Ontario Curriculum and receive extra support or enrichment as needed. They are engaged in everyday problem solving as they investigate guiding questions that ask them to reason and prove their answers, reflect on their thinking and represent their learning in a variety of ways. Middle School - The goal of the mathematics program is for students to become proficient and confident mathematical problem solvers (confident in problem based learning) as they develop and apply new conceptual understandings, facts and procedural knowledge through the mathematical processes including representing, reflecting, reasoning and proving their answers. This thoughtful approach helps students better understand what they are learning. Technology is used to help math come to life especially as students start using E-textbooks.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Beginning in Junior Kindergarten, the children begin to explore their love of reading, writing and sharing ideas. Major themes and exciting critical thinking questions spark their curiosity and encourage them to follow their own interests. Language, literacy and communication are embedded into all of their daily experiences through thematic units, children’s literature, oral and written communication and learning centers. Teachers plan learning activities that include rhyming words, building vocabulary, manipulating the sounds in words, answering questions, speaking in sentences, engaging in story retelling and experimenting with writing. Continuing into kindergarten, the children continue to develop their oral language and begin reading using a balanced literacy approach. Through shared readings, guided readings and independent reading, students develop their reading skills and reading style.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: The comprehensive Language Arts program is based on a balanced literacy approach where students are engaged daily in meaningful and developmentally appropriate reading, writing, oral and listening activities. Students focus on developing their skills through the study of the science or social studies unit making their work relevant and therefore more engaging for them. Included in these thematic units is the focus on creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication skills.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Elementary - An integrated, inquiry based approach to science engages students in meaningful investigations. Students explore the scientific concepts through critical thinking questions while at the same time develop their language arts skills. They expand on their knowledge of the world by exploring scientific problems that are similar and different in Israel. Middle School - Students are engaged in rigorous and innovative science learning as they investigate and think critically about the world around them. Students explore four units, as specified by the Ontario Curriculum, including Life Systems, Structures and Mechanisms, Properties of and Changes in Matter, and Conservation of Energy and Resources. Students build skills of questioning, scientific discussion and debate, experimentation, research and documentation. The teachers and students use technology to support learning, research and communication, with a focus on analysis and evaluation of a variety of sources.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Students have the opportunity to explore, wonder and inquire into a variety of topics as they build a deeper understanding of the world around them. The social studies program is based on the new Ontario social studies curriculum and is integrated with the language arts program. Students extend their understanding as they explore problematic situations through critical thinking questions using a variety of resources including novels, short stories and real world documents.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Humanities courses have been designed to be inquiry-based and focused around critical thinking questions that help provide a larger context for student learning. Teachers are using the new Ontario social studies curriculum and integrating it with the study of Israel, global education outcomes and other subject areas in the General and Judaic Studies. The history portion of the course helps the students understand that a knowledge of the past provides a lens through which to understand the present and to view the future. The geography portion of the course is designed to provide students with a better understanding of their world. Students are engaged in active learning through a variety of projects that includes the exploration of photographs, documents and other primary sources. All units of study incorporate reading and writing skills as part of the core curriculum and foster critical discussions and reflective thinking.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Hebrew - Students learn Hebrew as a modern, living language and as a gateway to text study. It is a common language that connects our students to their past, present and future. By learning Hebrew, students strengthen their ties to the state of Israel and their Jewish identity. Students are encouraged to converse in Hebrew during class. They develop a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values as well as integrate the study of Israel. French - Beginning in grade one, students participate in two plays each year giving them the opportunity to develop their oral and written proficiency and comprehension in engaging scenarios. Teachers use a multimodal approach called the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) where students use gestures, key words, dramatic arts and literacy activities. The focus is on building high frequency and functional vocabulary to accelerate meaning and spontaneous language usage.

    • Languages Offered: • French • Hebrew

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: tudents are exploring and creating personal connections to the art world as seen on display in the halls, the art room, classrooms, and online. All of the Arts (Visual Arts, Music and Drama) play a significant role in providing a rich context for learning Hebrew and actively immerse the students in the Jewish culture. The art program is developed in conjunction with RHA’s overall themes making connections to the “world community”. Each open ended project focuses on a question such as “What is art?” which helps develop students’ creativity and critical thinking skills. Student are introduced to various artists such as, Kandinsky and Goldsworthy, as well as specific time periods such as Renaissance and Abstract Expression. Visit our Art website http://art-rha.weebly.com. You will gain a sense of which mediums are introduced and which art concepts each grade learns.

    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: RHA has been focusing on the strategic use of technology in enhancing both teaching and learning. Teachers are maximizing the potential of technology to develop students’ understanding, stimulate their interest, and increase their proficiency in a variety of skills. They customize course materials and create personalized learning experiences tailored to students’ needs.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: The physical education program promotes an active lifestyle through maximum participation in a wide range of sports, games and rhythmic activities. Students learn how skills, concepts and strategies learned in one activity can apply to other activities. They take on leadership opportunities as club helpers, junior assistant coaches, league organizers, referees and demonstrators. Students participate in a variety of discussions related to different health issues, personal growth and healthy relationships.

    Religious Education More than 25% of our courses are religion courses
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Students are immersed right from the start in Jewish religion and culture. Prayer is integrated into our learning structure. Mitzvot and Tzedakah are key components of our core values. Students study the holidays, learn Jewish history and explore Jewish traditions. They perform Chanukah plays, participate in Shabbat and Siddur ceremonies, eat in the Sukkah and march proudly through the streets of Toronto on Israel’s birthday. We apply our same standard of academic innovation to our Judaic program. As students study the Bible and Israel, as well as the Hebrew language and literature, they engage in critical discussion, question conventional wisdom, and debate the many issues around Jewish values, identity and customs.

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Reggio Emilia

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Reggio Emilia programs aim to develop curiosity and problem-solving skills through the liberal use of “projects”, (as opposed to “activities” or “lessons”). Teachers design projects for children around their demonstrated interests. Projects can be geared to an individual student, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. Projects can last from a few days to the whole year. Art is strongly emphasized and is typically incorporated into every project. Teachers actively participate in projects alongside students, rather than sitting back and observing. A high degree of parent involvement is also encouraged, particularly when forming curriculums and project plans (which happens throughout the academic year).
    If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: At RHA, we know how important the Early Years are in a child’s development. This is a time of tremendous growth! Children are learning how to be a member of a school community as well as building a rich vocabulary of words, skills, and concepts that lay the foundation for learning and future success. The students discover, create, think, learn, and play! Our Early Years program is inspired by the world-class Reggio Emilio approach in both how we teach and the classrooms in which we teach.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: At RHA, we are a ‘community of thinkers’ where ideas are shared, curiosity is inspired, creativity is fostered and leadership is nurtured. In fact, our classrooms are incubators of deep thought, propelled by critical inquiry and engaged learning of both secular and Judaic studies. Our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs, interests and talents of each of our students. Our exceptional faculty and staff continually use best practices to retool, redesign and rethink the educational experience.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Spiritual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Spiritual
    Individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith, and respect for God or a higher power.

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: Since it began a half century ago, RHA has been celebrated for its unique and close-knit community, where integrity, leadership, care and responsibility are cultural cornerstones. Our goal is to build lifelong character in our children, developing them into responsible stewards and well-rounded citizens committed to their communities and to the world.

    Special Needs Support Withdrawal Assistance

    Withdrawal Assistance

    Students remain in a regular classroom for most of the day, but are pulled out for extra support from a qualified special education teacher.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support Dedicated gifted school

    Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 8, Robbins Hebrew Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Robbins Hebrew Academy 0 mins0 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins
    Site Average5 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 8

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Math Club
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    This information is not currently available.

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: NS to 8
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with each family. for processing financial applications
    If you have any questions about financial assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 416-224-8737 ext. 137.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 370
    Average enrollment per grade28
    Average class size20
    Gender (grades)Nursery/Toddler to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Robbins Hebrew Academy says:

    Come take a personalized tour! 

    • Meet the head of school, student leaders and RHA parents
    • Find out why our curriculum is cutting-edge and our community renowned for its warmth
    • Discover how we build strength of character and a lifelong love of Judaism

    For more information, please contact Michael Ferman at 416-224-8737 ext. 137. 


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Robbins Hebrew Academy is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeNSPSJKSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Zach  Hyman 2006 Zach Hyman was called to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 29, 2016.

    Alumni Highlights

    • We have recently launched a new LinkedIn Alumni page and are eager to connect with RHA (formerly USDS) alumni. We would appreciate your help in growing this Group. You can join here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8409725

    Stories & Testimonials


    The Building of an Academy

    Last year, RHA undertook a major project: a three- year strategic plan made up of big, bold and dynamic initiatives. This plan is a living, breathing document that not only sets out an ambitious agenda for our school but also embodies the values and spirit of our community.

    The plan is governed by a single idea: to bring the notion of ‘academy’ to life. Because that’s what RHA is. A progressive Jewish academy dedicated to building the next generation of original minds and courageous leaders.

    What does a Jewish academy look like? For one, it offers the most advanced curriculum where students master not just the basics, but are challenged every day to think for themselves -- critically and creatively. Second, it encourages students to develop their own unique Jewish identity, all the while opening their minds to the world around them. Finally, a Jewish academy provides the discipline that builds character. At RHA, we believe that who you are is as important as what you achieve.

    The plan has been put into effect and it is already having a major impact. Our new nursery school sold out in its first year– and for next year as well. We instituted a Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum for our Early Years Program – a model of early childhood education developed in Europe that has been extensively tested and recognized as the best of its kind throughout the world. It’s no wonder the enrollment in RHA has increased by a stunning 25 per cent in a single year.

    Though RHA has always been renowned for its math program, we never rest on our laurels. So this year, we created a Math Chair. We are honoured to welcome Xinli Wang who works with our faculty to teach best practices in math instruction. Next year will bring another Chair in a different academic area.

    We’ve also introduced academic specialities in robotics, coding and technology. We are deepening our emphasis on STEM which has been shown to enhance problem- solving, and of course, prepare our kids for a technology- driven world. We are offering programs in financial literacy, chess and a much-broadened arts curriculum. And, we are piloting two new Hebrew programs for our middle school: Conversational Hebrew for students who want more language study; and Bible study in English for families who want less Hebrew but still want their children steeped in Jewish learning.

    And last but certainly not least, we are building a physical environment that is as conducive to innovative learning as is our academics. Phase I of the renovation of our Early Years Wing is already complete.

    Phase II of our renovation plan will see our elementary classrooms and hallways redone, all aimed at fosteringcollaborative learning and critical thinking. Then it’s time for the middle school with new classrooms, a makers space, learning commons, science lab and arts space. All the latest to support the most advanced academics.

    We are honoured that RHA is the first Jewish day school in Ontario to be CAIS-accredited, the gold standard in education. These credentials put us in an elite group of private schools throughout the world.

    With our faculty, our staff, our board of directors and our parent community, we are relentless in providing our students with an educational experience that equips them with the skills and character they need to thrive in the years to come.

    It is our privilege to do so. 


    Why Parents Choose RHA

    What does our family love most about RHA? Just ask our kids. Benny, Marlo and Teddy say they love their teachers, their friends and their extracurricular activities. For Brian and me, we are thrilled with our children’s progress. Each one is on their own path and RHA meets their individual needs every step of the way. No cookie- cutter approaches here. And because RHA is famous for its strong sense of community, we knew from day one that our kids were going to be in a safe and loving environment. There is always regular communication and involvement with the parents. There is an excellent student-to-teacher ratio. And we are so impressed that RHA is the first Jewish day school in Ontario to be CAIS- accredited. That’s a big deal. It means the school has been evaluated inside and out and it’s considered one of the finest in the country.

    With its massive renovation underway, RHA is better than ever. But even more important than what RHA looks like is what happens inside its walls. RHA is a special place where our children learn not only how to think and imagine, but how to become caring, empathetic teens who lead their lives with a sense of wisdom and tradition rooted in Jewish culture. 


    How NHL Player and RHA Grad, Zach Hyman Inspires Off the Ice

    Zach Hyman is a hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is a published author of children’s literature. And he’s a 2006 graduate of Robbins Hebrew Academy.

    Zach came back to RHA last month and talked to over 400 cheering parents, kids and visitors. The excitement in the room was palpable. Here was one of our own in the hockey big leagues. His happiest moment that night? When Donnie Friedman, his English teacher at RHA, introduced him.

    We sat down with Zach for a one-on-one chat.

    Tell me about your years at RHA.
    They were amazing. I guess two things stand out. The first is the teachers. They went above and beyond to prepare us for the next step in our lives. They taught us what it means to be Jewish and how important it is to give back. The second is the friends I made. Many of them are still my best friends today and a huge part of my life.

    You’ve won so many awards. You were named the 2011 CJHL Player of the Year, University of Michigan’s Athlete of the Year and a First Team All-American. But what stood out most for us was the Hobey Baker Award.
    The Hobey Baker was really important to me. It’s great to win awards for how well you play, but this one is about strength of character both on and off the ice. It’s about contributing to the integrity of the team as well as having great skills. I was a top-ten finalist for the award and I was so touched that I got the most fan votes for it.

    Beyond your athletic skills, what do you think has made you so successful?
    There are so many things you can’t control but the one thing you can control is your attitude. If you’re positive, that’s not only going to help your game – or whatever you’ve chosen to do – but it will also influence the people around you.

    It’s also about work ethic. If you want something, you’ve got to give it your all. You have to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. Not everything is going to go your way all the time. But if you work hard enough, you will get there.

    I also think it’s about perspective. Things go wrong but we have to think about how lucky we are. Today I went to visit the children at SickKids Hospital with some of the other Leafs. You realize very quickly that we are very fortunate.

    So much of what I learned about attitude and hard work and gratitude came from RHA and, of course, my parents.

    Not only are you a major league hockey player, you are also a published children’s author. How did that happen?
    Here is the funny thing. My second book actually started right here at RHA. I won the UJA Creative Writing Contest for my story about a shy hockey player who overcomes playing in his brother’s shadow and eventually makes his dream come true. Years later, I turned that story into a book and Penguin Random House published it.

    How do you see your life in ten years?
    I hope I’ll be playing hockey. And I would like to have a family by then. It would be great if I was living in Toronto. Of course, my kids will have a Jewish education – at RHA! 


    Portrait of RHA Graduates - David Matlow, class of 1975

    How did RHA shape you?
    I wouldn’t say that everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten – but I would say that everything I learned, I learned at USDS (now RHA). Most importantly, we learned how to learn. The school was small so we had opportunities to get to know one another. My classmates were like my family – we grew up together.

    Do you still keep up with classmates from your years at RHA?
    In June, we had our 40th class reunion. It was a very moving evening. While we may not have seen one another for some years, we all shared a common bond: our early lives. After our 30th reunion, one of our classmates wrote an email saying what a privilege it was to grow up with this group. We all feel that way.

    Have you been involved in community work over the past years?
    I was the co-chair of the 2015 UJA Campaign. My first experiences with philanthropy were at USDS. At the outbreak of the Yom Kippur war in October 1973 (when I was in grade eight), I was the co-president of the Junior High Student Council. We organized a door-to-door emergency campaign that raised $2,500 for Israel’s war effort. That same year, we participated in an experiential game called “Dilemma.” Its purpose was to identify the priorities of a Jewish community and how to allocate a limited pool of funds amongst the many competing interests. All Jewish communities still wrestle with that issue.

    Why did you choose RHA for your children?
    My wife, Leanne, and I have three daughters – Naomi, Orli and Yael – who all graduated from RHA and TanenbaumCHAT. RHA was such an important part of my life that I wanted them to have the same experience. Leanne and I believe that a good Jewish education is critical to our children living meaningful lives in a pluralistic society because it grounds them in our history and traditions and lets them open their minds to new experiences at the same time.

    How has the school shaped your girls?
    Each of my kids had a unique RHA experience. But they all emerged from the school, and TanenbaumCHAT, with a love for the State of Israel, an appreciation for our history and an understanding of our traditions. They will chart their own paths through life, but Leanne and I have no doubt that they know where they came from.

    Why is RHA so special?
    RHA is unique because it is intimate. It makes Jewish values and history relevant because they are taught within the context of today’s realities and challenges. RHA doesn’t want to be just another school. It has purposely designed itself as a Jewish learning academy that is at the cutting-edge of teaching. It empowers graduates to live a Jewish life in a secular world and to have feet squarely in both camps. RHA changed my life. It will do that for the next generations of children.

    David Matlow is a legal superstar – he is a partner at Goodman’s LLP, one of Canada’s most prestigious law firms – but he never forgets the impact Robbins Hebrew Academy (then USDS) had on his life. A 1975 graduate, David is a community leader and a bona fide Herzl expert.


    In the News


    March 16, 2017 - RHA Receives L.B. Daniels Award

    RHA is recognized for its deep commitment to professional learning and its singular focus on creating thinking classrooms. ...

    April 12, 2016 - Robbins Hebrew Academy has Heart!

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    April 11, 2016 - RHA Sweeps Jewish Day Schools Debate Tournament

    Congratulations to RHA's unstoppable debate team and their coach for their triumph at the Jewish Day Schools Debate Tournament. ...


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