The Toronto Heschel School was founded in 1996 by experienced and specialized educators who chose Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as the religious and philosophical inspiration of the school, to impart to the children the spirit of awe, thanksgiving and wonder. Our Jewish Day School opened its doors in September 1996 with 52 students, from JK to grade 3, in the educational wing of Beth David Synagogue in Toronto. In 1999, The Toronto Heschel School applied and received a grant from PEJE (Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education) to expand its Junior High Programme at the Adath Israel Synagogue Building. In 2006 the school proudly moved to its current home and amalgamated the two campuses into one 45,000 square feet building located on 6.2 acres of green space. The Toronto Heschel School includes 20 large classrooms, a Beit Midrash, a computer lab, an art studio, a large indoor gymnasium, a library and two music rooms.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) descended from two illustrious Chassidic families and was a respected scholar, eloquent speaker and prolific writer. He made a unique contribution to Jewish thought by emphasizing Judaism as a unifying force among Jews and the personal relationship between people and God. Rabbi Heschel believed in applying Jewish ethical values to every aspect of life. He believed that in order to be a good Jew, one must first be a good human being, concerned with justice. In this spirit, students at The Toronto Heschel School learn to apply the teachings of the Torah into their daily life both in the school community and within the community at large. Following the teachings of Rabbi Heschel, students learn to find spirituality in the natural world that surrounds them, to worship God by respecting and caring for each other, and to pray in a manner that expresses their thanksgiving and their trust in God. They also learn to view the world around them with awe and a sense of wonder.