Many parents have expressed this concern, reflecting on their own past experiences at Sunday school. Every curricular unit and family education program at Oraynu has as its central objective: “to positively identify” with the Jewish topic and theme at hand. At the core of our program is the desire to promote the enjoyment of our Jewish journey. Our staff engages the children using teaching methods and adjuncts including field trips, dramatic simulations, music, and various art projects to promote involvement and pleasure in the exploration of Jewish culture.
Yes, most certainly. The curriculum contains within it a spiral matrix. This means that topics are revisited throughout our program. Additionally, the experiential learning and cultural exploration we promote is not a linear process. It is accessible to all who are interested.
Yes, with one notable exception. Our B’nai Mitzvah (group) program is a two-year program, requiring a child’s participation in both Grades 6 and 7. Exceptions may be made, at the discretion of our staff, if a child has participated in Jewish education at a day school or has attended another supplementary school for Grade 6. Please contact the office administrator and/or the school principal directly if you would like to enrol a Grade 7 student who has not attended Oraynu previously.
Basic vocabulary connected to the curriculum and the holidays, as well as basic literacy skills in Hebrew, are taught up to and including Grade 4. For those who are interested in conversational Hebrew, a multi-level Enriched Hebrew class is periodically offered as an elective in addition to regular instruction at Oraynu.
We do not teach prayer. Our school motivates young people to celebrate Jewish identity and culture consistent with a humanistic philosophy of life, independent of supernatural authority. We affirm that each child possesses the power and responsibility to shape his or her own life independent of supernatural authority and that ethics and morality are developed through practical means.
We welcome interfaith families with the dignity and respect accorded to all people. Many Jews who are in interfaith/cross-cultural marriages experience a loss of connection to the Jewish community. At Oraynu, we emphasize our shared history and increase feelings of acceptance in the Jewish community, encouraging a sense of identification with and participation in Jewish community. We advance the sharing of Jewish history and values with interfaith children (i.e., the exploration of their children’s Jewish identity). We provide support to parents in our school and congregation as well. We are a welcoming Jewish community that honours and respects dual (or multiple) cultures in each family.