Read what people are saying about OJCS...

This School is Worth its Weight in Gold

I wanted to give a big shout out to the staff and teacher’s at the Ottawa Jewish Community School!! You have provided our children with an online platform that has offered them daily instruction and help when needed. It has been worth every penny of the tuition that we pay!!! If anyone in the Ottawa Jewish community is thinking about sending their kids, or is hesitant to [do so], this pandemic has made me realize more than ever that this school is by far worth its weight in gold!! Thank you OJCS for instructing and guiding our children to a path of success...Good job OJCS!!!  

Margarita, parent

Such a Wonderful Event

Just wanted to extend a huge thanks to all of you, for organizing such a wonderful event for the Kindergarten group. We are all heading into September  with varied emotions from excitement to uncertainty/anxiety. Today alleviated most of those nerves for both my son and I. How wonderful he could meet his classmates and teachers and then tour his classroom. Everything appears much more familiar to him now, and my feeling is day 1 (and onwards) will be very positive. Thanks for working so hard to make this happen.

Jess, parent

Teach and Learn and Understand

One of the real benefits of going to Jewish school is that Jewish history is core curriculum not just a token announcement. Bravo to OJCS staff and students for putting effort into making learning about the Holocaust important, and adding to its impact by doing it in an interactive creative way that empowers the students! Teach and learn and understand!

Gladys, grandparent

The Right Decision

Such a great siddur party!  It really showed what the kids are learning and showed me how much more self-confidence my daughter has and how much she's blossomed this year. I can't imagine her a year ago speaking the opening line in front of strangers; but she did it today so easily. We knew that switching schools was the right decision.  But now we've seen first-hand just how much of a difference OJCS has made in her.  Kol hakavod!

Yael, parent

My children are happy at OJCS

I am pleased to write about my experiences as a parent at OJCS. I can sum up my experience in one sentence. My children are happy at OJCS. They are happy to wake up each morning and attend school (in person and now virtually). School is a fun and enjoyable place for them. Their teachers provide them with opportunities to learn in a positive environment. They feel supported and loved by their teachers and all the staff at the school. I cannot think of a more important thing for my kids to experience as they grow. OJCS is a positive, inspiring, academically challenging, Jewish environment. I know with this beginning, they are destined for greatness. The building blocks have been given to them and when they graduate they will have the ability to achieve their goals. Thank you OJCS!

Mira, parent

We have the staff of OJCS to thank

Thank you for taking those extra steps to help our family feel so welcome in the school community. As you may know, moving schools (and cities) is challenging, and the children have been going through the emotional ups and downs of leaving familiar friendships (and routines) while encountering new faces and a new school culture. The transition has gone fairly well, and we have the staff of OJCS to thank. Particularly, you [Jenn] and Ellie have really made an impression on all of us - your warmth, kindness, and welcoming dispositions are very much appreciated! Thank you!

By and large, the children have had a deeply positive experience thus far, and are (for the most part) adjusting. As a parent, I have been very impressed by the level of vulnerability expressed by teachers and staff in public forums, such as blogs and online posts. In leadership, vulnerability reflects both authenticity and responsibility, and allows for others to actively live out their own process of learning, i.e., theorizing, making mistakes, making adjustments, and succeeding. As a parent, and community member, I am struck - indeed, humbled, by the level of transparency and willingness by members of the OJCS team to own their learning journeys (as learners, teachers, and community members). It is an excellent example, one which I am thrilled to see modelled at the elementary school level. 

Anne, parent

Strong Identities as Jewish Canadians

Having two children who attended Hillel Academy [now OJCS] my husband and I are still amazed at how much knowledge they received on the history of Judaism, Hebrew linguistics and a love of Israeli song and dance.  Thanks to the diverse backgrounds of the faculty they received excellent schooling in both English, and French, along with their Jewish studies, of which we as parents are still very proud.  But most importantly are the long lasting friendships and strong identities as responsible, Jewish Canadians both our children developed during their time at school.

Yanda, parent

The curriculum is fantastic

We are so happy we made the choice to send our child to OJCS! The staff truly cares about each and every child in the school and will bend over backwards if there is any issue, big or small. The curriculum is fantastic and I love that they balance education with community involvement and Tikkun Olam. Our child is thriving at OJCS and I look forward to our younger child joining the OJCS family (and it truly is a family!) next year.

Tamara, parent

Distance Learning Program

My first time experiencing distance learning this school year I was extremely impressed with what I saw.  I love the idea of synchronous learning.  Having the kids who are home take part of the actual lessons as they take place in the classroom is such a great idea.   It was noticeable that the teachers all went out of their way to ensure that the kids at home understood what the task was and they were working hard to make sure that everyone got an opportunity to participate.  I specifically want to mention Ann-Lynn.   During her General Studies session she divided  the kids into smaller groups to assess their reading abilities.  Each group consisted of in-person students with at-home students.  Ann-Lynn navigated the meeting, including sharing her screen and addressing any questions from the kids in class, seamlessly.   I was so impressed to see that Ann-Lynn added an extra lawyer of PPE by adding the face shield over her mask while the children were sitting close by.   All in all, it was a great way for me to see how the teachers function in class and interact with the kids.    I probably don't know half of the work that went into making all of this work or the challenges that the teachers had to overcome and continue to face, but the end result is nothing short of impressive.

Yasmin, parent

A Team of Professionals

We went to the Louvre while we were in Paris.  We booked a family scavenger hunt tour of the Louvre to ensure that the kids were engaged in seeing the exhibits.  However, we only made it through 2 exhibits using the scavenger hunt, before it became clear that the children...were much too interested in the exhibits and history to pay attention to the scavenger hunt.  When we reached the Greek and Roman God/Goddess statue exhibits [the kids] immediately started identifying the statues by sight and talking about the roles and stories of each God/Goddess.  The tour guide asked how they knew all of this information and they told him that they had "learned it in school!".  Shortly thereafter another museum visitor was passing by and heard the children describing their knowledge.  She stopped to ask if the children lived in France and attended a school in Paris, as she was shocked to see such young children with a breadth of knowledge on Greek and Roman mythology.  We told her we were from Canada and that our children go to a "very good school. 

Thanks for being a team of professionals who make moments like this possible.  😉

Leanna, parent

A wonderful place on so many levels

OJCS is a wonderful place on so many levels. As a former OJCS teacher, the current PTA president and an OJCS parent, I have an unique perspective on the school. Over the last couple years I have watched the school go through an amazing transformation. When you walk through the halls the excitement for learning, from both the students and the teachers, is almost palpable. There is a sense of family and ruach that resonates through the halls. Every morning my children and I discuss what they are most excited about that day and every day I have to limit the list because otherwise we would not have time for everyone to share. I feel very fortunate to part of the OJCS family and am proud to say that my children are OJCS students.

Eliana, parent

OJCS was like a second home

OJCS was like a second home providing a safe and stable environment for my child’s learning and development. Through excellent learning opportunities in three languages (English, French and Hebrew), highly trained educators, state of the art technology and small class sizes, OJCS continued to exceed my expectations and prepared my child for high school and beyond. In addition to a high quality education,  my child was shown the warmth of our diverse Jewish Community and his role in continuing to develop his place as a Jewish Leader and community member. 

Nikki, parent

You got such a great education

The foundation of education that I got, really prepared me for university, which ultimately catapulted me to where I am now. That was a huge foundational element...I was so well prepared for university.  I was with an incredibly smart group of students and we challenged each other...personal attention...small class sizes...you got such a great education that I feel that that's what gave me the foundation to succeed and want to pursue a master's...and then another master's.

Tamara, alumna

The Right Choice

I feel the best gift Jewish parents can give their children is the gift of Jewish education. Times are tough, but I know I will not regret the investment I have made in my children's future. OJCS offers my children the best possible education.  My children learn about their heritage in a nurturing environment while still getting the highest quality secular education. OJCS was the right choice for our family.

Dr. Mira, parent

Found a Hidden Gem in JK

I enrolled my daughter at OJCS…this was the best decision for her and our family! The JK environment was everything you could ask for. It was a small group of 7-8 kids and 2 teachers. The children had so much individual attention. My daughter's academic skills blossomed. Seeing now (end of year) the workbooks they come home with has been astonishing. But most of all, I know that the Morahs viewed these children as their other children. They were truly in their second home in JK. When they had birthdays these kiddos were thrown the most amazing parties. They were snuggled and loved each and every day. The Morahs could see their individual strengths and challenges and tackle them head on. They read books in baskets and napped after lunch if needed. The teachers were so communicative, always open to any concerns. Just the other week something had come up and one Morah spoke to me that night at 5pm while juggling her own children, insisting she was happy to do so. The kids were also walked over to the JCC and went to swim or do sports or music and had tons of fun. Finally, and perhaps the most advantageous this year - was the infectious factor. Given they were in a school with masked children for the most part, and a smaller classroom environment, for 4-5 year olds, the kids missed minimal school due to illness. There were less bugs circulating and my kids have not yet had Covid. So really, I can not say enough good things. My daughter's confidence and academics have flourished. It feels like we found a hidden gem in this new program.

Miriam, parent

So Fortunate

We are so fortunate that we found OJCS for our son! Although he was coming in as a brand new 7th grader with no prior day school experience, he was welcomed with open arms from the day of our tour. He blossomed at OJCS, individually, academically, and in his Jewish identity. The teachers quickly got to know him, encouraging his strengths and raising him up where needed. The school challenges its students while at the same time supporting them - a difficult balance that they do very well. Our son quickly bonded with his classmates, and we think they'll remain friends for a long time. He loved OJCS, and he'd definitely be there for 8th grade if it weren't for our move out of the area

Reva, parent

We could not imagine a better environment

I am a parent of three children who are students at OJCS.  Our kids have all thrived at school academically and socially.  As parents we love the community that they get to be a part of and the small class sizes that allow learning to be tailored to their needs. Our recent trip to Israel showed us how connected they feel to the country, the language and the history of our culture.  We could not imagine a better environment for them to grown up in.

Joanne, parent

The importance of growing up with a Jewish education

I have always attributed my personal connection with the Jewish community to my 11 years at OJCS.  As a graduate of Hillel Academy [now OJCS], I value the importance of growing up with a Jewish education and being in a Jewish environment. As a brand new teacher, I had many different career paths available; the public school board, a private school, and of course a Jewish day school. Being in OJCS on Yom Ha'atzmaut is what lit up the only path that I was interested in pursuing. Seeing the students' ruach and watching them celebrate Israel's independence reminded me why I love Jewish education and why I feel Jewish education is the greatest gift we can give our children. I feel blessed and honoured to have the opportunity to teach the future leaders of our community!

Lianna, alumna and current faculty member

Great School

Great school.  Very happy as a first year parent.

Howard, parent

We chose OJCS

We chose OJCS because we want our girls to receive a challenging and meaningful education grounded in Jewish values and immersed in community. OJCS provides the important and necessary tools for our children’s future success while fostering long-lasting relationships

Leila, parent

OJCS is clearly meeting his needs

My priority with respect to a good school fit for my son has more to do with the character of the school (its warmth and respect for children and families) than with the academics. I wanted the option to provide my son with a fluent bilingual education. But his emotional well-being came first. And so OJCS was "on the table" this past fall, as an option I felt we needed to explore.

My son rated his happiness last year (at his previous school) as a 2/10. In the fall of 2019, at that same school but with a new teacher, his satisfaction was rated 5/10. I told my son I thought he deserved to enjoy school more than 5/10, and wanted him to see some options. He told me “There’s no use mom, I’m just a kid who doesn’t like school”. I felt very sad and hoped to prove him wrong.  My son had a trial day at another private school which offered him the opportunity to achieve full bilingualism, and it was abundantly clear that this was not a good fit. By contrast, it was obvious that he truly enjoyed himself at his two brief trials at OJCS.  OJCS's teachers and curriculum, of their own accord, had a lot to do with his enjoyment; but I credit Jennifer G. for making his trial an over the top success.  She showed compassion and flexibility to accommodate some requests that, as a child who is painfully shy in new situations, would help my son feel at ease during his OJCS trial.  Changing schools can be very nerve wracking.  However Jennifer put my son and me at ease; she was so warm and welcoming, and made sure to introduce us to lots of people at the school on our tour.  OJCS could not have a better person working in admissions.

I truly don’t think any school can be everything to everybody, but I really like the direction that I see OJCS is moving in.  One week after my son started OJCS I asked him for his rating of his new school; he told me OJCS scored 7/10.  This is a big relief to me as OJCS is clearly meeting his needs much better than they have been met elsewhere.  Two months into OJCS, my son is engaged and has apparently been a teacher’s dream.  OJCS is not the road we initially thought we would take for our son, but we have been very pleased with our decision! 

Sandi, parent

A warm and haimish place to learn and grow up

A warm and haimish place to learn and grow up. It is at Hillel Academy and from my teachers that I fell in love with Israel and the Hebrew language. My trilingual education helped make me what I am today.

Nomi, alumna

A Part of my life

OJCS (aka Hillel Academy) has been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember. My spouse and I have included OJCS in our Life and Legacy plans because we want to ensure that Jewish education is a strong and thriving part of the Ottawa community now and long into the future.


Enrolling your child at Ottawa Jewish Community School is one of the best decisions you will ever make for their future.  Contact us today for enrolment opportunities.