#ItsHappening is Still Happening

by | Nov 26, 2018 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

For those of you that missed out on some quality cookies at Lipa Green last night, they were delicious.  (For those of you that came, you clearly did not eat enough.  This is not a bad thing per se.  I took the extras home. 😄)

There is no substitute for tasty baked-goods.  This is an axiom as true as anything Euclid formulated.  Nevertheless, if you chose to remain at home last night, you can watch the rebroadcast at ADRABA’s Facebook page at any time.  You can even pause reading this newsletter RIGHT NOW and go to www.adraba.ca and watch #ItsHappening happen on the home page.  (My daughter’s Maayan’s colour commentary is an added bonus.)

When we began planning #ItsHappening, we had no idea if anyone besides our immediate family would come.  We did not set up a mechanism to track RSVPs because it is easy to click “Yes” or “Interested” when you actually mean “No.” 

All of this is to say that I was very heartened by the attendance IRL (in-real-life) and online.  And, as I said, the cookies were good.  (You can see me eating two in the rebroadcast.)  That’s a win-win.

The word is out about ADRABA – and Sholom, Frank and I are hearing both kudos and queries about our plans for Toronto’s first 21st century blended-learning Jewish high school. 

Dr. Sylvia Solomon (sylviasolomon.ca), one of ADRABA’s more enthusiastic advocates, spoke last night about how the time has come for a whole new set of skills and habits to contend with the challenges of the new learning landscape and work place.   Blended learning creates a space where learners can acquire those skills and habits. “[F]inally there would be a true 21st Century school in Toronto,” she declared.  “And a Jewish high school to boot!”  For our community, that is a win-win.

Dr. Solomon promised a list of links to some of the research on blended learning.  It is attached below.   Frank, Sholom and I have delved deep into this body of literature over the past seven years to ground ADRABA’s thinking on administration, education, learning, teaching, what it means to be a learner in the 21st century.   We’ve thought a lot about this – but we are also open to discussion and tweaks and new takes.

This is where y’all come in.

Sholom concluded his presentation last night with a call to action. 

At ADRABA, we are all about personalized learning.  But we are also all about personalized recruitment. 

ADRABA isn’t for everyone – and as much as we’d like to talk to everyone about September 2019, there are not enough hours in the day or cups of coffee to achieve this goal.   

There is a cohort of Grade 8 students out there who are walking the halls of a day school or public school in our city RIGHT NOW who would clearly thrive at ADRABA. 

(I say this with confidence because I’ve spoken with at least three dozen individuals who have told me “If only ADRABA existed when I was in high school…!!!”)   

Maybe these young folks haven’t heard about us or their parents heard the name or saw an item in a school newsletter, or our brochure at United Bakers or at shul.  Maybe they saw the CJN article. 

Maybe they heard that there’s a new Jewish high school in Toronto, but considering how busy all of our lives are, they didn’t have time to follow up. 

Why not gently ask them if they might be up for a phone call or a cup of coffee to discuss ADRABA?

If each of you asked three relevant people about potentially meeting with the ADRABA team, it would keep us busy for sure – but also get the word out in the best, most reliable way possible.   If you’re up for hosting a meeting at your house with these three relevant people, we’ll bring the coffee and cookies! 

#ItsHappening happened last night, but ADRABA’s work in reimagining Jewish high school in ongoing. 

Will you join us?

Dr. Sylvia’s sources:

How Can Technology Improve School Education?  (2015)  Andrea Armani, World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/10/how-can-technology-improve-school-education/

Learning in the 21st Century: Teaching Today’s Students on Their Own Terms. https://www.certiport.com/Portal/Common/DocumentLibrary/IEAB_Whitepaper040808.pdf

Shifting Minds.  (2010) Canadian Education Association. http://www.c21canada.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Summit-design-English-version-Sept.-26.pdf

A Mixed Method Case Study of Student Engagement, Technology Use and High School Success (2011)


Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology (2010)  U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology 


The 10 skills you need to thrive in the fourth Industrial Revolution (2016)


Does having digital skills really pay off? Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2015.