BUILDING FOR TOMORROW

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

For over 100 years, Eitz Chaim has proudly served the Torah community of Toronto as a center of חינוך excellence for both academics and מידות development.  As we enter our second century, we are embarking on a change project to ensure Eitz Chaim’s vibrancy and continuity. Though transitions are not easy, they will strengthen the education we offer and the impact we have on our children, families, and the entire frum community of the GTA.

What is Eitz Chaim’s long-term consolidation plan?
Starting for the 2019-2020 school year:
  • There will be Early Childhood centers through Grade 1 at both the Viewmount and Spring Farm campuses.  Boys and girls will be in separate classes for Grade 1, and the boys will have a rebbe.
  • Eitz Chaim Boys in Grades 2-8 will move to the Spring Farm campus so that we can strengthen our relationship with Kollel Ohr Yosef (“The Thornhill Kollel”).  Opportunities for joint initiatives with the Kollel will have great benefits for our boys both in רוחניות and in academics.
  • Eitz Chaim Girls in Grades 2-8 from both current campuses will join together in our Viewmount Campus
  • We are pursuing the future sale of our Patricia campus (475 Patricia Avenue), and will be engaging a third party to manage the public listing and related inquiries.
  • For the 2018-19 school year, all campuses will remain open with their current configurations.
What is the current financial situation of the school?
The school’s fiscal state has reached a point where operating three campuses is no longer financially viable.  There are many factors underlying the school’s fiscal state. Among them are:
  • Tuition dollars cover less than 50% of the actual cost of education, and approximately 65% of parents receive some level of subsidy. The average subsidy granted by Eitz Chaim covers approximately 60% of full tuition.
  • Upgrades in diverse areas such as Ministry-licensed Early Childhood education, special education, behavioural health, and infrastructure maintenance and improvements have added expenses to the school’s budget.
  • The rising costs of education throughout the GTA and beyond  significantly outpace our inflows of tuition and development revenues.
  • The projected annual deficit for next year approaches $4 million.
What are some of the projected benefits of merging the girls’ branches?
We look forward to a joint girls’ branch that can unify our communities, incorporate the instructional and cultural strength of each school for the benefit of all our girls, and allow for efficiencies that will free up resources to modernize and update our girls’ division.
What other funding and cost-cutting measures have been, and are continuing to be, pursued?
  • The Board’s Development Committee seeks to create an endowment fund for Eitz Chaim and raise money to fund our future through the endowment.
  • The academic leadership is striving to streamline wherever possible, without impacting the core educational mission of Eitz Chaim.  By managing class sizes and sharing resources, we have identified several hundred thousand dollars of potential cost savings for the 2018-19 school year.
  • The school has implemented an across-the-board tuition increase of $850 per student for the upcoming school year.
How will the Viewmount Campus accommodate all the girls from both current branches?

We have located  multiple areas within the Viewmount North (1 Viewmount) and Viewmount South (2 Prue) buildings that can accommodate additional students.  We have also identified ways to utilize existing classrooms more efficiently.

Will there be busing for students who now need to travel further?
Eitz Chaim will provide subsidized busing for students traveling from other neighborhoods. Details will be determined over the coming months.
How will the girls’ merger impact staffing?
2019-20 staffing levels for both faculty and administration will be determined by student population numbers, ensuring optimal student:teacher and student:administrator ratios. We will be working hand-in-hand with our teachers’ unions to ensure as smooth and seamless a transition as possible.
How have the UJA and other organizations been involved in Eitz Chaim's planning?

The UJA’s Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education, along with Prizmah, SLF Accountants, and a range of community rabbinic and lay leaders, has been a vital source of advice and guidance.  The insights of each group have been integral to our strategic planning process, and we are grateful for their contributions.

I have many questions about the NextGen initiative. Whom should I ask?

We are eager to hear your feedback and questions.  Please reach out to us in the following ways:

  • E-mail your questions to thefuture@eitzchaim.com. We are planning to share a digest of follow-up FAQs twice monthly.
  • Call, e-mail, or meet with members of the Eitz Chaim lay and professional leadership. Rabbi Schwartz, Eitz Chaim board members, and the Academic Leadership team welcome your input and look forward to considering your ideas and perspectives.
  • As part of our commitment to transparency, we have launched a Parent Ambassadorship Committee. This committee will provide a platform for you to productively pose questions and share your feedback with dedicated parent liaisons. Please feel free to reach out to the Committee at param@eitzchaim.com.
I want to be part of Eitz Chaim’s future. How can I get involved?
  • Please inform us of the talents you can contribute to Eitz Chaim. If you can offer professional expertise from your line of work  in areas such as marketing, public relations, or business operations, or have the desire to serve on a parent committee, please reach out! The best kind of team building, partnership, and mutual trust is developed when parents and school personnel collaborate jointly to raise the Eitz Chaim flag.
  • Feel free to constructively share your perspectives, suggestions, and feedback with us so your voice will be heard.
  • And, as always, daven to Hashem for the success of our children, families, school, and community!