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What We Believe

ADRABA — a reimagined Jewish high school — educates and nurtures Jews towards deep literacy and engagement. 

Jewish values, technology and personalized learning support ADRABA’s commitment to educational innovation in both Jewish and General Studies, empowered student learning, a love of Jewish letters, affordable access and sustainable growth.

We are equally committed to our community and all of its members.  This includes but is not exclusive to Jews of all denominations and ethnicities, secular Jews,  Jews by choice, Jews of colour, LGBTQIA+ Jews and Jews from multifaith households.

Our commitment is based on three pillars of Torah, “the work,” and loving kindness and the three pillars of justice, truth and peace. 

Our commitment manifests in our ongoing work toward inclusiveness, equity and anti-racism.  It can be heard in the words and ideas we share in the classroom, or seen in the learning we pursue to expand our perspectives on Jewish histories and practices.  It is present in the development of programming and partnerships with other cultural institutions and visible by the way ADRABA is staffed and governed.

Thus, we teach our students by example to pursue justice for themselves and for others, as the Prophet Isaiah proclaimed: “Learn to do good, devote yourselves to justice; aid the wronged, uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.” (1:17)  

This work is difficult and uncomfortable, and though it is not our responsibility to finish it, “neither are you free to desist from it.”

Our approach – “Blended Jewish” – is our take on a 30 year old teaching practice  – blended learning. 

Traditionally, blended learning is a form of personalized learning where learning takes place online and in person, supporting teacher practice. 

This approach often allows students to have more control over time, place, path, or pace of learning.

At ADRABA, “blended Jewish” involves teachers, tech and personalized learning.

 

We combine face-to-face instruction, independent study, collaborative work, ḥavruta (“friend”-pair) learning, project-based learning and distance learning to personalize the experience for each student.
  

“Blending Jewish” involves learning how to use technology judiciously and appropriately.  Most importantly, it also doesn’t necessarily involve use of technology every day.

  
ADRABA has been in development since 2011 when three early-tech-adopter Jewish educators dedicated to innovation and the Jewish future met over coffee and pistachios.
  
Though coming from different places with different backgrounds and perspectives, they all agree that with traditional teaching enhanced by technology, young Jewish women and men can become literate Jews and engage with their Jewishness in active, meaningful ways.

What does ADRABA mean?

ADRABA is an Aramaic term that features in hundreds of Talmudic arguments.

ADRABA means “ON THE CONTRARY,” expressing an idea or position that is the opposite of what is expected or assumed.

Frank Samuels

Frank Samuels

BA(Hons) HDip Ed (PG), MA(Ed Admin), OCT

Frank Samuels brings three decades of administrative experience to ADRABA.  He served as Principal of Yeshiva College of South Africa, the Hamilton Hebrew Academy, the Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto and General Studies Principal at Eitz Chaim. His vision of a different educational future began the process that, together with Dan and Sholom, led to ADRABA.

Sholom Eisenstat

Sholom Eisenstat

Lead Tech Consultant

MA, OCT

Sholom Eisenstat studied for his MA in Jewish Studies at McGill and Hebrew University. He began his career teaching Jewish Studies and Tanakh in Winnipeg and Toronto. After brief stint in the nascent desktop publishing industry, he returned to teaching in the public school system, spending 25 years teaching Computer Studies, software, programming, hardware engineering and design tools in high schools. He has been an evangelist for technology integration in Jewish Studies since the early 1980s when computers maxed out at 64KB of RAM. He regularly studies and teaches Torah.

Dan Aviv

Dan Aviv

Lead Educator & Design

PhD

Since he was a wee lad, Dan has always wanted be a Jewish educator. He has taught Jews from ages 7 to 77 on three continents in practically every setting where Jewish learning takes place. Inspired by cooks and chefs, his PhD explored a new model for Jewish learning – and a lot of fine dining.  What excites him most, beyond being a father of three, is a vision of the Jewish future that is big, bold and inclusive.