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Akiva School


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At Akiva, we celebrate differences, and our teachers foster the unique creative spirit inherent in each of our children. We welcome diversity with the same enthusiasm that we embrace halacha and minhag Jewish law and tradition, allowing our students to find their place in the Jewish people's rich heritage.

Our robust English, French, and Hebrew program is taught with warmth, enthusiasm, and creativity by our talented team of experienced educators. Our supportive and nurturing classroom environment fosters social and emotional growth, allowing our students to thrive academically. At Akiva, we know that happy students are successful students investing in our children's well-being is the best way to ensure that they embrace their studies with joy and confidence.

At Akiva, we encourage a strong partnership with the home and promote active parent participation in our students' school life. The result is a feeling of family that permeates our halls. We welcome you to experience the joys of being part of our Akiva family. The Akiva School community all share a clear sense of purpose and a standard set of beliefs as defined in our school vision and mission statements:

A community that inspires lifelong learning, spiritual growth, an enduring connection to the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and a commitment to making the world a better place. We are a Jewish elementary school committed to each student's academic success, personal growth, and development of Jewish identity. Through a partnership of school and home, Akiva School fosters a nurturing and collaborative learning environment. Our students develop a love for learning and become independent, creative, and critical thinkers.

The core values that guide us are rooted in Jewish tradition. They are expressed for our community in the form of Five Promises I promise:

  • To respect me and others
  • To treat others with kindness
  • To respect my property and the property of others
  • To be responsible
  • To give my best

Akiva was founded in 1968 by Rabbi Dr. David Hartman z's l and a group of parents to provide exciting, idealistic Jewish education. This tone was set by David August and strengthened by Dr. Howard Rosenblatt, the first administrator, and it remains a guiding principle.

In 1988, Akiva moved to the school building of the Shaar HaShomayim, a warm, inviting synagogue in a large, greatly improved facility. Concomitantly, Cookie Levy became Head of School, and soon Akiva sustained its most substantial enrollment increase ever.

In 2002, Akiva accepted two incoming classes and began the journey to doubling enrolment and increasing opportunities for students and parents by becoming a two-stream school. The decision to do this was in response to encouragement from many members of the Jewish community for increased access to the Akiva experience and, within the existing Akiva community, to share that experience with more families. That expansion was completed in 2009 with 350 students in grades K – 6.

Akiva's founders wanted all families, regardless of their place on the spectrum of Jewish observance, to be comfortable and able to grow Jewishly in Akiva's respectful, stimulating environment. Their original vision remains fresh and will serve Akiva well into the twenty-first century. Home to a growing student population and, as always, an outstanding staff, Akiva is a premier Canadian school.

As a community school, we encourage all those interested in Jewish education to explore Akiva, attend our Open House, meet with us in person, and learn about our core values and our approach to education. We accept applications from all interested parties; however, space constraints often prevent us from accepting all who apply. Siblings, and those families who share Akiva School's vision of education and Jewish education, are given priority. Decisions reflect our commitment to creating classes that reflect an appropriate balance of boys and girls and the varied cultural and religious orientations of the Montreal Jewish community.

At Akiva School, we believe that every child can succeed. Our academic program is vibrant, dynamic, and rigorous. Our teachers inspire our children to develop a lifelong love of learning and engage in relevant, meaningful learning activities that promote the critical skills for success in the 21st century. We are committed to varying instructional strategies that speak to the strengths and needs of each child.

Akiva School offers a vibrant school life to our students. School and homework together provide a range of student services, extra-curricular activities, and holiday celebrations for the entire Akiva school community. The Akiva School Ethics and Religious Culture program are given in French to all grades. Within the Ethics and Religious Culture program, we familiarize students with the diversity in Quebec society and the global world.

We teach students about other religions and cultures around us. At the elementary level, students learn to reflect on ethical questions using simple and familiar situations. Students are asked to consider such topics as the needs of people and the demands of being a part of society. The Jewish religion is taught throughout all the cycles as well. Other religions are covered throughout a cycle, depending on the interest and needs of the class. Our goal is to guide students to question and evaluate their options concerning:

  • How to be socially responsible in our world
  • How to have constructive dialogues with an open mind.
  • How to recognize and appreciate diversity in our world.

Our students are taught to reflect and be mindful of all different religions and cultures that make up the fabric of the society around us. Topics such as racism and prejudice are explored to reinforce our students' roles in social justice and becoming productive citizens in today's world.

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