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Ara Morris

Brock Corydon School

Ara Morris, Principal of Brock Corydon School Says Hebrew Bilingual Program is Thriving-Enrollment is up for Next year

by Rhonda Spivak, May 25, 2022

Ara Morris, Principal of Brock Corydon School says that the Hebrew Bilingual program, which is the only one of its kind in all of North America,  "is thriving." She notes that this year the Hebrew Bilingual program has 200 students , and  there are already 211 students registered for next year. Notwithstanding that enrollment on the Hebrew Bilingual program is stable with an increase for next year, Morris points out that there are still factors that have affected enrollment in the Hebrew Bilingual program.


The first factor that has affected enrollment, according to Morris, is Covid. "As a result of Covid, more parents have home schooled, we have not had newcomers who have immigrated from Israel, and  some families have chosen to go to the school that is right by where they live  for fear that there could be remote learning." The second factor that has affected enrollment is that "Many newcomer families who have immigrated to Winnipeg initially  have moved out of the city. Most families have moved to Ontario due to better job prospects."  Finally, as Morris explains, since the price of housing in River Heights is astronomical, newcomer families find it difficult to find a home in River Heights. Morris notes that there is a family who comes from Transcona (where they have a home) every day to Brock Corydon school. They began living in an apartment in River Heights but bought a home in Transcona which was affordable to them)


Morris, who has been Principal of  Brock Corydon school for ten years, says that the maximum capacity for the school as a whole is 350, and "there is space in the English program as well as the Hebrew Bilingual program." She  explains that in the Hebrew bilingual program "We are not teaching religion. We teach Hebrew language, reading, writing and speaking. We celebrate all of the holidays from a cultural/historical perspective. " Morris adds "We teach about Jewish identity, including a connection to Israel, traditions, history and current events."  Morris explains that "Our goal is to ensure that when a child graduates from Brock Corydon that child  has the basic tools to speak  Hebrew and is able to read and write in Hebrew." 


Morris notes that "on Yom Ha'atzmaut, the entire Hebrew bilingual program came together as a culmination of learning where we sang, and danced and ate felafel  and cupcakes, and we had a jeopardy type game."  The Hebrew Bilingual program has a Hebrew sing along once every  two weeks led by Morah (teacher) Sherri Wolfe Elazar. "Sherri led our whole Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration along with our own teachers," Morris points out. 


As Morris explains, Brock Corydon School's Hebrew bilingual program has a personal connection with its partner school, Ramat Korazim School in Upper Galilee in Israel. Partnership 2gether (P2G) is an exciting project that builds a “living Bridge” (gesher chai, in Hebrew) between Jews in the Diaspora and Jews in Israel.  P2G involves a variety of Living Bridge programs developed to strengthen Jewish values and to foster a connection among students and teachers in the Galilee Panhandle and in Canada.  Brock Corydon School  maintains frequent contact with it partner students in the Galilee through email, letters and visits (visits which took place prior to Covid), such that the students are learn more about each other and each another's countries. P2G  fosters the concept of a world Jewish Family.


Morris notes that "Our grade 5 class shares the same book as that of our partner school in Israel. The resource was created by the P2G program to deepen the partnership connection. It is neat for kids  to know that they are learning exactly the  same thing as kids in Israel."


Currently, the teachers at Brock Corydon have been looking at the curriculum and "what we believe are best practices and what we need to do to improve it", and "we are creating a new document that is a Hebrew pathway for learning."


Morris relates that she is proud of the Hebrew Bilingual program's accomplishments. "Children leave here with a Jewish identity, as well as a sense of social justice, human rights, and sustainable development."






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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.