Rabbi Howard Finkelstein of Congregation Beit Tikvah has founded Yeshivat Tikvah, a new afterschool program for high school students. The program will explore Judaic text, based on contemporary issues and Jewish law.
Rabbi Finkelstein told the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin his intent is to “fill the hole that has been created in the Ottawa Jewish community by the absence of Yitzhak Rabin High School.”
Rabbi Finkelstein was the Judaic studies principal at Rabin from its inception in 1995 and became dean of Judaic studies when Rabin and Hillel Academy merged in 2009 to form the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS). The high school program at OJCS was phased out at the end of this past school year due to enrolment levels that were not sustainable.
Yeshivat Tikvah will not be competing with existing programs already in the community for high school students, Rabbi Finkelstein said. Rather, the new program will add more intensive text-based study to what is already available and noted there could be collaborative efforts with Torah High, NCSY’s afterschool program for public high school students.
Guided by analyzing Jewish texts and laws, the Yeshivat Tikvah program will create discussion surrounding contemporary issues in Canada, topics of interests to the teens, and the examination of secular sources.
The intention of the program is to educate students on how to utilize different approaches to reach their own conclusions, he said.
Weekly hour-long classes will be held Thursdays, beginning September 10, at 4:15 pm.
The Yeshivat Tikvah program is for both male and female high school students. Tuition is free of charge for members of Congregation Beit Tikvah. Tuition is $250 for associate members of Beit Tikvah and $500 for non-members.
For more information about Yeshivat Tikvah or to register, contact Rabbi Finkelstein at 613-723-1800 or