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Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook


We are the Religious School of the Reform Congregation Kol Ami.  We offer inclusive Jewish education including a foundation in Hebrew Language.  We provide a fun, quality liberal education to children 3- 18 years old.  Our mission is to help our students develop their Jewish identity and to establish lasting connections to Kol Ami and to K’lal Yisrael.

First Day of Religious School is Sat, Sept 15, 2018

Grades JK-10

9:00am – Students and Parents meet in Sanctuary

First Day of Hebrew School is Wed, Sept 26, 2018, 5:30pm

Grades 3-7

Table of Contents


How To Reach Us (Contact Information)................................................................. 1

Program Times......................................................................................................... 2

Our Staff! ..................................................................................................................2

Youth Programs.........................................................................................................3

School Policies and Procedures................................................................................4

Overview- Curriculum across the grades – Year 1 2018-2019................................. 6

Hebrew Reading Program - Wednesday.................................................................. 7

Post-B’nai Mitzvah Programs..................................................................................  10


How To Reach Us (Contact Information)

School Phone Number
905-709-2620 ext. 4



Calls During School Hours

(Saturday and Wednesdays)

416 841 3539




Rabbi Micah Streiffer


EX 1

Director of Education            

Judy Silver


EX 4



Joanne Shinwell


 EX 3

Temple President

Elliot Miller

 416 779 0792



With Judy:

Judy’s office hours are Mon 12:00- 4:00 pm ,  Wednesdays 11:00- 8:00 pm

With Teachers:

Please make sure the teacher has your updated contact information.  If you wish to contact a teacher, please call the Temple Kol Ami office.

Program Times

Day of the Week

Grade Level




Gan (JK-K) 1-2, 3-4,

5-6, 7, 9-10(Madrichim)


9:00am -12:30pm




Grade 3- 7

5:30pm to 5:50-

Pre-ordered Pizza dinner & Snack Shack


5:50- 7:30 - Classes


Emergency School Closing or Snow Days-

Please call the Temple Kol Ami Office to 905 709 2620 ext. 4 and listen to the recording.  Check Kol Ami’s website for updates.

Our Staff!



Freida Firkser Gan- Rm 217

Allison Board- 1-2 – Room 218

Ronit Baran–3-4 /Hebrew/Hebrew through Movement Room 215

Ally Saks 5-6 Room 201

Aiden Orzech- 7/ Hebrew/TICKY  Room 202

Heather Berger - Madrichim Co-ordinator Room 203

Jared Gershon - Music

Deborah Blay -Student Support Coordinator Rm 216

Zoey Schwartz Student Support assistant Rm 216

Aron Katz – TAKAY- B’nai Mitzvah Tutor  

Lois Zoltak- Head Office Support, Office and everywhere


Judy Silver – Conversational

Rabbi Streiffer- Confirmation

TICKY - Junior Youth Group - Grades 3-7
Aiden Orzech is the Junior Youth Group advisor.  He will be in touch with parents and students
regarding upcoming events and programs!  To contact Aiden, please call the Kol Ami office at 905-709-2620 x4 to leave a message.


Aron Katz is our Senior Youth Group advisor.  TAKAY is part of the Reform Youth Movement (NFTY) and in the NFTY-Nel region.   He can be reached at:

TICKY, TAKAY events and Regional events occur throughout the year.  Please consult the Kol Ami calendar at our website for dates and times.  Individual calendars will be available for youth group members.


School Policies and Procedures



Please arrive on time!
use main entrance.  NEW – All our classes are located in the east end of the upper floor.   Wednesdays: Use  Kol Ami entrance (North side)

In addition, we have heard from you how important it is that we deliver an educationally driven program.  We pack a lot into our time with your child so please ensure that they are ready to go at the start of program. That means 9 am/5:30 pm SHARP


Early Departure - Students

The school day ends at 12:30 following SFT

If early dismissal is required, the following procedure ensures the safety of our students:

  1. A written note from parents/guardian must accompany the student to the class.
  2. Please make sure to indicate who will pick up the student, especially if it is not a parent. 
  3. The teachers will send this information to the office and a record of early departure will be made. 
  4. We will send the student to the office with a madrich/a when it is time to leave school to meet the parent/guardian who is picking them up.    


Parents - please do not go to the classroom, sanctuary or chapel yourself for early     pick up. Wait at the main office and your child will be accompanied by a madrich/madricha or teacher.


Our Admin team and teachers will take attendance each session. Frequent and/or patterned absences are tracked. We encourage and expect full participation in all of our programs. Poor attendance may affect your child’s ability to progress successfully through our program. We ask that you refrain from booking appointments and programs whenever possible during program times.  If it is at all possible, please let us know, by phone, e-mail or a written note if your children will miss class for any reason.  A postcard will be sent home when 2 absences occur in a row with a reminder of what was missed.  Follow up phone calls will be made if there is a pattern of frequent absences. 



Please ensure that snacks do not contain any of the following products: lard, shellfish or meat products.  This is in accordance with building policy and the laws Kashrut.

In addition, we have participants with severe nut allergies - we cannot permit any snacks that may contain nuts & their by-products or those products with nut oils, into the building at any time.

 If you are sending food items to school, please check with the classroom teacher to see if there are any other food allergies in your child’s class group.

SFT  - Shabbat Family T’fillah – 12:00 in the Chapel

We ask that all parents join us in the Chapel for this important time of T’fillah.  Your child(ren) will be sitting with their class or they may sit next to you.  Please arrive on time, find a seat and enjoy this half hour of prayer and song with your family.    

Collection and Release of Information

Information is collected pursuant to the Education Act.  Limited information may be disclosed beyond the scope of Kol Ami.  This may include the release of students’ names, ages and grades, photographs, artwork, writing or other school related work to the media for publicity, displays, newsletters, etc.  If you do not consent to the release of information, please inform the Director of Education in writing.

Behaviour Policy

If a teacher finds that a student is consistently unable to behave with Derech Eretz, and according to the rules of the classroom (e.g. disrupting the learning environment), the teacher will respond to small matters in class.

  1. the student shows disrespect to the degree that the learning process cannot proceed, that student will be sent to the office to talk with the Director of Education. Parents will always be informed when their child is sent to the office. In discussion with the student and the parents, the Director will decide on appropriate recourse for dealing with the student’s misbehavior. If a student is sent to the office frequently, parents and child will be asked to meet with the director and teacher. The student will not be able to return to class until a plan is in place.


Taste of Kol Ami

Non-members can register for 4 consecutive weeks during the school year for a “taste” of our school at a cost of 36.00 per student. Please spread the word if you have family or friends who might be interested in this program!

Overview- Curriculum across the grades – Year 1 2018-2019


Core Yr. 1

G'milut Chasadim Yr 1






Jk-K (Gan)

My Jewish Home

Jewish and Me Mitzvot

Our country here and there





Grade 1/2

 Jewish Heroes in B’reishit

Mensches in Training- Personal Acts of G’milut Chasadim-

Trees and fruits of Israel





Grade 3-4

Jewish Life Cycle

Acts of Holiness (Vayikra)

The Israel Museum

Grade 5-6

History of the Jews

G’milut Chasadim

Family and Friends

Project Israel

Grade 7

B’nei Mitzvah year

Becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah

What I believe, what I do in the Jewish World

Prayer and Israel, current events


All Gan-2 students participate in Hebrew learning on Saturday mornings including Hebrew Through Movement

Grade 3-7 – Hebrew is taught on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

Hebrew Reading Program - Wednesday


Students proceed through the program individually at their own rate, with the teachers assisting the students.  We have 8 levels of the Hebrew program.  Level 1 focuses on Letter/sound identification.  Level 2 on vowel sound recognition and merging the letter sounds and vowels together.  Level 3 introduces Hebrew reading rules &  cursive writing, Level 4 introduces simple grammar through modern Hebrew stories as well as individual prayer practice.  Levels 5, 6 , 7  & 8 continue with Modern Hebrew stories, grammar, dialogue and Hebrew projects.


The levelled reading program occurs twice a week – Saturday mornings and Wednesdays afternoons

Each student has their own folder containing the pages & books they are working on.  Their folders are stored in a class box at school.  Students have  access these files on Wednesdays and Saturdays .  Students read, can practice with each other or with the teacher or Madrichim. They will be assessed throughout the level work to determine their skills and abilities. 

We will have a centralized gathering of tracking each student as they progress through the levels.  We will have a baseline assessment to place the students in their initial level, a midterm assessment and final assessment that will be shared with the parents.  Two student-led conferences are scheduled in the fall and spring. 







Assessment for moving to the next level

When a student has completed a level and is ready to move forward to the next level, the director must first assess the student.   After it is determined that the student is ready to move to the following level, we will send the reading page home along with a form for the parents to sign.  The student will be asked to read the page aloud to their parents, have them sign the page and return it.  We will then advance the student to the next level. The student will be awarded with a certificate and small gift from Kol Ami when they advance a level. 

The Hebrew Reading Texts



Gan- Hebrew Through Movement and an introduction to Hebrew letters, Everyday Hebrew vocabulary– Junior Level


The Gan students will be introduced to  simple Hebrew vocabulary, and the names and sounds of the Hebrew letters.  They will respond to basic directions given in Hebrew (HTM)


Grade 1-2 – Ready Set Aleph Bet, Journeys and Hebrew Through Movement, Everyday Hebrew vocabulary – Junior Level

Hebrew School

Goals:  The Grade 1-2 students will be able to identify the letters and sounds of the Hebrew Alef-bet in a group setting.  They will continue to respond to directions given at a more advanced level (HTM).  Grade 2 students will start working in small groups or individually to prepare for the levelled-reading program. 

Hebrew School – Saturday and Wednesday

Grade 3 and up – Reading and Modern Hebrew

Level 1 Introductory/Review of the letters

Level 2- Series of 8 reading booklets – Introduction of the vowels and blending with letters

Level 3 –Hebrew reading rules & Handwriting Without Tears: (Hebrew Script)

Level 4- Shalom Ivrit Level 1- First taste of Modern Hebrew.

Levels 5, 6, 7 & 8 - Let’s Talk I and II, Shalom Ivrit 2 and 3 & Hebrew Projects.

All Levels- Hebrew Through Movement and Conversational


Hebrew Letters and Vowels: recognize the letters of the alef-bet by shape and sound

                                                 Recognize the vowels by shape and sound

                                                 Font transfer: recognize letters in other fonts (Torah, modern         

                                                      text, script)

                                                 Use script (cursive) when producing written work

Reading:                                   Reads without hesitation between words, uses commas and                                                                                 periods appropriately

Word Comprehension           Shows a comprehension of the vocabulary and stories through written and oral                                                                responses

Hebrew Through Movement  Demonstrates an understanding of the vocabulary through action






T’fillah will be introduced and reviewed in multi-grade “T’fillah Teams” using  individual booklets from the Hineni series.   The teams will explore individual prayers as a group to discover the meaning behind the prayers. The groups will have opportunities to portray prayer in a creative presentation.   The last twenty minutes of Hebrew school will be in the main sanctuary with the Rabbi leading T’fillah.  The students will be guided through  Mishkan T’fillah.  The students will be dismissed from the Sanctuary.

Grade 7 will be starting training in Torah Trope in 4-5 sessions in the fall. 


Proficiency in reading the prayers

An understanding of the meaning of the prayer in multi-grade groups

Discover and recognize the roots that are common to prayer vocabulary


Resources: Hineni Prayer booklets
Derech Hochmah – Prayer Reading Skills
Mishkan T’fillah
Tutorworks Reading Program

Ten Minute Hebrew Reader Books


Everyday Hebrew/Hebrew every day

Everyday Hebrew/Hebrew every day will be introduced to the students throughout their day and reviewed with their homeroom teacher and grade. Picture Dictionaries, games, puzzles and activities will reinforce vocabulary that will be introduced throughout the school year. 


Hebrew Through Movement

  • “Hebrew through Movement,” is a program in which students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. It starts with a foundation in modern, spoken Hebrew but has as its goal making the prayers in our siddur, as well as synagogue and Jewish vocabulary, more easily accessible as it introduces Hebrew in a playful and meaningful way.
    Hebrew through Movement is a weekly addition to our program.


Student Led Conferences

November 7 and  April 10

In lieu of classes, we will ask the parents to come in and the students guide them through their folders, read to them and engage the parents in an activity.  Parents will have the opportunity to talk to the teacher and find out more about the program.

Dinner and Snack Bar  -  5:30- 5:50

Cheese Pizza   There is “opt-in” for Pizza Dinner, which was ordered and pre-paid at the time of school registration.  We will be setting up a classroom for Pizza and Snack Bar in room   216 for all the grades. We will have a list of those who are registered for Pizza. 

Pizza and Snack Bar will be closed at 5:50.  Students eat in their grade classrooms.  Reading Level sessions will start promptly at 5:30.  Students are welcome to arrive earlier (from 5:00 on) to get their Pizza and snacks before reading time.    

Snack Shack

Each student will have the option of purchasing a snack card (that will stay with us) for 5.00 for 11 snacks, or pay .50 cash per snack.  All snacks are Peanut Free, and follow our kashrut policy.  We will not give out IOUs.

Water pitchers and cups will be available to all the students with an eye towards our “Green” initiative. 

Post-B’nai Mitzvah Programs

Madrichim Program – Grades 8-10

Our Madrichim will enjoy time in their assigned classrooms, working with our teachers to guide and teach our younger students.  Madrichim will also have the opportunity to learn about their Judaism and socialize with their peers.

Grade 8-10 will meet weekly with Heather for an hour for leadership workshops and Judaism- learning more about who they are and how to create and lead programs in and out of the classroom.  Rabbi Streiffer, Judy Silver and guest speakers will be teaching sessions throughout the year.   

Grade 10 students will delve into their personal beliefs about God, Judaism and Israel as they  study with Rabbi Streiffer when they prepare for their Confirmation service on

Saturday June 8, 2019

GRADES 11-12 – Student Teachers

Our Grade 11 and 12 students will be assigned to a class and in a paid position to work alongside with the host teacher to guide and teach our students.

Sun, June 16 2019 13 Sivan 5779