LEO BAECK DAY SCHOOL TO FORMALLY DEDICATE NEW CAMPUS
Dignitaries will be on hand to formally dedicate The Leo Baeck Day School’s much anticipated new South Campus, the renovated former Arlington Middle School, on Thursday, October 4, 2012.
Civic and community leaders will pay tribute to the new addition of a major institution in Jewish Toronto cultural life, to its 21st Century architectural design, to the evolving growth of the Reform movement’s only day school in Canada, and to the revitalization that the new school brings to the community at large in midtown Toronto.
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism took note of the momentous occasion: “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Leo Baeck Day School for your work in enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may further enrich the Jewish community and our country.”
In attendance at the dedication will be:
- The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament for St. Paul’s and Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
- DJ Schneiweiss, Consul General of Israel in Toronto
- Eric Hoskins, Member of Provincial Parliament for St. Paul’s
- Joe Mihevc, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 21, St. Paul’s West
- Elizabeth Wolfe, Chair of UJA Federation’s Board of Directors
“The campus will create spaces and relationships for all kinds of creative community endeavors that will enrich the lives of us all,” says Mihevc, who called the new Leo Baeck “a point of revitalization for both the Jewish community and the local neighbourhood.”
Leo Baeck bought the Arlington facility after the Toronto District School Board declared it surplus last year. An over $5-‐million renovation has transformed it into a state-‐of-‐the-‐art educational and cultural facility, allowing the school to open its doors again, not only to the students, but also to the community at large for meetings, gym rental, art space, and theatrical and musical performance.
The first outside user will be the Koffler Centre for the Arts, which will use the new venue to run its family ceramics program on Sundays starting in mid-‐October, and may use the venue to host performances or lecture events.
From dream to reality
Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanu-‐El Congregation was present at the school’s inception in 1974. As Honourary Chairman of the Board, and recent recipient of the Order of Canada, he recently stated, “I couldn’t have dreamed we’d be opening a second campus, certainly one as beautiful as this. I’m just so grateful for everything I’ve been a part of and that has been a part of this community.”
“The new Leo Baeck campus offers opportunities for the larger Jewish community, as a community centre providing programming outside school hours,” according to Elizabeth Wolfe -‐-‐ Chair, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and Past Leo Baeck President. “At a time when new campuses are being developed in the northern part of the GTA,” adds Wolfe, “the new Leo Baeck campus will be readily accessible in midtown and will serve our community for generations.”
Leo Baeck had been leasing space for its South Campus in nearby Holy Blossom Temple for the past 21 years and still maintains close ties to all five Reform congregations in Toronto. The opportunity to purchase Arlington translates into four times the school’s previous physical space.
“The school has grown so dramatically in this part of the city,” says Eric Petersiel, Head of School, “that we’ve outgrown our facility and have found that this new facility sits in the heart of a vibrant and underserved young Jewish community seeking to reconnect with its Jewish roots.”
The Campus Dedication will take place:Thursday, October 4 – 7:30 pm The Leo Baeck Day School’s new South Campus, 501 Arlington Avenue.
About Leo Baeck Day School
Founded in 1974, Leo Baeck is the only Reform movement day school in Canada, the only Jewish I.B. (International Baccalaureate) World School in Canada, and the largest Reform day school in North America. The school serves students across the GTA, operating a North Campus in Thornhill, as well as the new South Campus on Arlington. Avenue.