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Students protest at Kimel campus. Photo: CIJnews

Town Hall meeting to discuss decision to close TanenbaumCHAT’s Kimel campus

Rabbi Lee Buckman, Head of School at TanenbaumCHAT Kimel Family Education Centre (known as TCK) in Vaughan, Ontario sent out an invitation to the TCK student community to partake in a town hall meeting to discuss the decision to merge the Kimel campus into a single campus in the Wilmington location effective September, 2017.

“Join members of the Board of Directors and Administration for a Town Hall meeting where you can share your thoughts and questions with us. We will meet in the cafeteria at TCK on Tuesday, March 14 at 7:30 pm,” wrote Buckman.

Parents, students and staff members who oppose the decision are planning to participate in the upcoming town hall meeting in a last ditch effort to save the Kimel campus.

As of March 12, 2017 more 1,000 people signed a petition that asks TCK administration “to hold off on such a drastic decision as shutting down an entire school and to give it a chance.” The petition reads the following:

On March 6th 2017, Tanenbaum CHAT announced it will be closing its Kimel campus, with its students being sent to the south Wallenberg campus instead. This announcement came out of nowhere without a warning, mentioned as an afterthought in an e-mail that seemed more focused on the donations the school would be receiving rather than the unique school spirit and outstanding teachers it would be losing.

Jewish education is crucial for the survival of Jewish identity in the Northern suburbs of Toronto. As a TCK graduate myself, I can affirm that my experience in this Jewish high school has given me the tools to be a stronger member of the Jewish community at the University of Toronto, as well as an overall more informed member of Toronto’s community. Should the Northern campus shut down, many students and teachers will find themselves in an extremely difficult situation, with the latter likely losing jobs with little to no warning, and the former finding it difficult or impossible to commute to Toronto and back every day.

To Rabbi Lee Buckman, Mr. Daniel Held, and Ms. Ray Rubin: We, the TCK community of students and alumni, ask you to hold off on such a drastic decision as shutting down an entire school and to give it a chance. Up until now, you have not communicated the urgency of the enrollment situation to the student and parent body of TCK. Now that we understand how serious the situation is, let TCK work for a few more years. With the donations from Jesin-Neuberger Foundation and the anonymous donor, it should be possible for TCK to work as independent campus with reasonable tuition. See if this change causes a rise in enrollment, and then make your decision. The best decisions are those that are made with communication to those it affects.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Executive Director of the Julia and Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education at UJA Federation, Daniel Held

  • Head of TanenbaumCHAT, Rabbi Lee Buckman

  • President of TanenbaumCHAT’s Board of Directors, Ray Rubin

On March 6, 2017 The Anne & Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (TanenbaumCHAT) and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto announced that merging the two campuses alongside with receiving $15 million in donations will help to ensure the affordability of the school by reducing the tuition fee to from nearly $28,000 to $18,500 beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

On Tuesday, March 7, 2017 dozens of students protested the decision and called for saving TCK. CIJnews was told that students at Wilmington campus are also not satisfied with the planned merger of the two campuses. Some even used offensive language to express their anger by posting the following: “Thornhill people are the devil”, “Char people will be second class citizens” and “This is the only time in my life that I’ve been anti-immigration.”

Meanwhile rumors are running wild within the parents about “mismanagement” and the “high salaries” of the administration.

The Anne & Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, provides official information about its annual budget, including the salaries.

2015

In 2015 (the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2015), Chat’s total revenues reached $29,562,542, of which $2,808,527 were received from other registered charities. The total expenditure in 2015 on all compensation was $21,245,079 (71.8 percent of the revenues).

The compensation cost of 159 permanent and full-time employees totalled $18,395,290, which means an average of $115,693 for each employee.

The amount of $2,849,789 was allocated for salaries of 61 part-time or part-year employees who were paid on average $46,717.

According to the official report, the highest paid employee at Chat earned an annual salary ranging between $250,000 – $299,999, the second between $200,000 – $249,999 and the third between $160,000 – $199,999. Six employees were paid between $120,000 – $159,999.

2016

In 2016 (the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2016), Chat’s total revenues reached $28,462,598, of which $2,405,432 were received from other registered charities. The total expenditure in 2016 on all compensation was $19,828,841 (69.6 percent of the revenues).

The compensation cost of 141 permanent and full-time employees totalled $16,974,827, which means an average of $120,388 for each employee.

The amount of $2,854,014 was allocated for salaries of 63 part-time or part-year employees who were paid on average $45,301.

According to the official report, the highest paid employee at Chat earned an annual salary ranging $350,000 and over, the second between $200,000 – $249,999, two were paid $160,000 – $199,999 and five received $120,000 – $159,999.

The salaries at TanenbaumCHAT Kimel Family Education Centre are similar to those paid at Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. According to official information provided by Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto, the highest paid employee earned in 2016 an annual salary ranging $350,000 and over, the second between $200,000 – $249,999, two were paid $160,000 – $199,999 and four received $120,000 – $159,999.

According to official information provided by the Jewish schools, the highest paid employee in Bialik Hebrew Day School (2016), Netivot Hatorah Day School (2016) and Robbins Hebrew Academy (2015) earned an annual salary ranging between $250,000 – $299,999.

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About CIJnews Staff

CIJnews Staff
CIJnews is an independent, dynamic and reliable online news source that serves the Canadian Jewish and Israeli communities and provides an uncensored platform for the spectrum of voices.

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