Jewish day school enrollment has been the hot topic of discussion in the Jewish community. Everyone has a theory why enrolment is down. Some argue it’s because of the cost of education; tuition at day schools can exceed that of Canadian universities. Others say it’s because of value; fewer families today value an intensive Jewish education than in previous generations. Whatever reasons we come up with, we cannot neglect the fact that we are part of a larger issue facing the GTA education sector as a whole.
Anyone who has been following local news knows that our public educational institutions are also experiencing financial stress. The Toronto Catholic board announced a budget deficit in excess of $23 million. The Toronto District School Board announced that 130 of its schools are less than 65 percent full. The Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto and at York University are on strike. The student population is down all over the city, and budgets are stressed.
There are likely unique factors that affect the Jewish community. However, we shouldn’t think that we are immune to the demographic challenges faced by all schools in the Greater Toronto area.
I am confident that the entire TanenbaumCHAT community has the support, the grit, the vision and the creativity to overcome these challenges. We as a team has what it takes to create a school of enduring significance with two thriving campuses.