About OJCS

The OJCS difference

OJCS is dedicated to enriching the lives of our students along with strengthening their character and instilling their love for Israel. Inspired by Jewish values and heritage, a love of learning, and guided by innovative teaching practices, our students reach for their potential to become the leaders of tomorrow, and responsible citizens of the world. Our trilingual curriculum combines the teaching and understanding of Judaism and the Hebrew language with the bilingual culture of our nation’s capital city.


OJCS is built upon these six core values

1

Talmud Torah / Love of Study

Lifelong learning rooted in Jewish and secular studies, emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

2

Kevod HaBriyot / Respect for Humanity

Living and learning in ways defined by decency, kindness, respect for oneself and others, and honouring diversity.

3

Ahavat Yisrael / Love of Israel

Centrality of the State of Israel to Jewish identity, and a deep connection to its people, land, and history.

4

Chashivut HaIvrit / Importance of Hebrew

Recognition of Hebrew as a living language, integral to Jewish life, and an essential link to Jewish texts, prayer, and modern Israel.

5

Tikkun Olam / Repairing the World

Instilling social responsibility and an engagement with the global community built upon the foundation of tzedakkah (charity), chesed (good deeds), compassion, and courage.  

6

Mi Dor Le Dor / From Generation to Generation

Fostering Jewish continuity and instilling Jewish identity and a sense of peoplehood by transmitting traditions, participating in rituals, and engaging with the Jewish community at home and around the world.

Mission

The Ottawa Jewish Community School is an all-day, trilingual elementary school that aims to develop academic and personal excellence in our students in an inclusive, caring and pluralistic environment that is based on Jewish religion, culture and values.

The school’s mission is summarized in the OJCS’ community themes:

Respect.

Responsibility.

Reaching for Excellence.

Our philosophy

The Ottawa Jewish Community School embodies both in its tradition and its daily practice the assumption that children are by nature open to growth, to learning and to reason. At OJCS, your children participate in a learning environment where they can grow, flourish and construct Jewish life.

As a community, we recognize that students construct their knowledge on many levels and the learning process is diverse for all. Through differentiated instruction we encourage our students’ commitment to inquiry, to critically think, to reflect, to explore and to question. Your child’s development is not only limited to achieving academic competencies. OJCS students are distinguished by their compassion and understanding for others and an enduring love of learning rooted in curious, creative, and inquiry-based learning.

OJCS seeks to foster students’ growth and provide diverse learning opportunities by offering a flexible curriculum in Jewish and General Studies and a rich variety of academic, extracurricular and cultural activities that are supported by a high degree of teacher and community involvement.

We believe that education is enriched by community involvement, and we encourage parents, community leaders, and other professionals to participate and collaborate in the teaching practices and learning activities of our students. Visitors can often be seen at OJCS reading to children, speaking to students on their areas of expertise, hold workshops, and volunteering at sports and cultural events.

Community involvement

The OJCS and our students are involved in all aspects of the Jewish community and the Ottawa community at large through partnership opportunities, social events and volunteering. Our three main pillars are: Partner Organizations, Collaboration with Congregations and Social Action.

Partner Organizations

OJCS is located on the Jewish Community Campus, which serves the Jewish community of Ottawa. Our students are able to form close relationships with neighbouring organizations as they meet for community events and religious celebrations. This cooperative community environment also provides OJCS families with a variety of enrichment programs and after-school activities. Some of these partner organizations include the Soloway Jewish Community Centre, the Jewish Federation of Ottawa, Hillel Lodge, PJ Library and our feeder preschools Ganon and Early Beginnings. Also located nearby is Jewish Family Services and the Kosher Food Bank.

Collaboration with Congregations

Our families are members of many different synagogues located across the city with whom we work to organize joint social and religious celebrations. In October 2015, our school and a local synagogue co-organized our first-ever Kids Mega Challah Bake. Another ongoing program is the OJCS Special Shabbaton Services held at different synagogues throughout the year. Our students take part in all facets of the service and have the opportunity to showcase what they have learned in school.

Social Action

One of our 10 values is Tikkun Olam, which means repairing the world. One Friday a month we have a dress down day and all money raised is donated to a different charity organization, such as CHEO, Make A Wish Foundation and the Kosher Food Bank.

In our middle school program, students have a variety of school leadership opportunities. By taking part in community activities and leading programs and events for the younger grades, such as Reading Buddies, activity days, school assemblies and extracurricular clubs, our students become role models for their peers. Leadership lessons are reinforced in the classroom and in our many extra-curricular activities. Our Grade 6 leadership team organizes and participates in multiple local and global social action initiatives each year. They participated in the We Act Challenge with Free the Children and hold in-school fundraising events that raise money to support developing countries.

Our history

In 1949, a group of local parents recognized the growing need for a community Hebrew day school in Ottawa that could provide a strong Jewish education for children in a pluralistic environment. From this, Hillel Academy was founded under the guidance of Rabbi Baruch Kravetz. As the Ottawa Jewish community grew, Hillel became an integral part of the fabric of Jewish communal life.

The school was built on the philosophy of combining core Jewish Values, Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, Jewish heritage and love of Israel with a quality, trilingual education that allowed their students to achieve success. These values continue to shape the school today.

Hillel Academy was housed in several different locations through the city until 1980’s when the parents purchased the building on Broadview Avenue at 31 Nadolny Sachs Pvt., which has been our home ever since. The student body at the vibrant Jewish day school continued to grow as the Jewish community campus flourished along with it.

In 2009, Hillel Academy merged with Yitzhak Rabin High School to become known as the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Committed to our original mission, we are continuing to building on the legacy of quality Jewish education in Ottawa.

Sustainability plan

Overview of Ottawa Jewish Community School Strategy and Sustainability Plan

The Ottawa Jewish community has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. From its modest origins, the community now has a complex socio-demographic make-up. Jewish community institutions, such as the Ottawa Jewish Community School, now face a new set of challenges in order to meet the needs of the community. In order to help the OJCS become the school of choice for the Ottawa Jewish community, and to align the school with the evolving needs of the community, the school has chartered a new course. A strategic plan and sustainability plan have been outlined to act as a roadmap as to where the school is going, to redefine the school’s vision and mission and to outline a clear set of goals with clarity of how the school will meet its objectives.

STRATEGY AND SUSTAINABILITY PLAN