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Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto

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Yeshivat Or Chaim & Ulpanat Orot
Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto logo.png
Or Chaim - 159 Almore Ave., M3H 2H9
Ulpanat Orot - 45 Canyon Ave., M3H 3S4

Downsview, Ontario
School type Jewish Private
Religious affiliation(s) Modern Orthodox, Religious Zionism
Founded Yeshivat Or Chaim (1973)
Ulpanat Orot (1975)
Staff Mrs. Nicki Kagan (General Studies), Ya'akov Novak (General Studies), Mrs. M. Chocron (Science Studies), Mrs. Sara Erlich (Hebrew Studies), Dr. Shlomit Levy (Science Studies), Mr. Gerald Lazar (General Studies), Rav Yair (Spiritual Guidance)
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment Yeshivat Or Chaim - 122 students
Ulpanat Orot - 96 students
Language English, Hebrew, Arabic
Colour(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Malachi David (2016-2017)
Team name YOC Knights, UO Knights
Last updated: 2012

Yeshivat Or Chaim boys school (ישיבת אור חיים) and Ulpanat Orot girls school (אולפנת אורות) are two Canadian Orthodox Jewish high schools affiliated with Bnei Akiva located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Educational philosophy[edit]

Both Yeshivat Or Chaim (founded 1973) and Ulpanat Orot (founded 1975) identify with the religious Zionist movement and Bnei Akiva. Students are encouraged to regard Israel as the center of their spiritual life and to spend the year after graduating learning in Israel at a religious seminary. Yeshivat Or Chaim is the only Bnei Akiva yeshiva located outside of Israel.[citation needed]


Both schools have a dual curriculum of religious and secular studies for grades 9 through 12. Secular classes are held in English, and Judaic studies classes are taught in both English and Hebrew. In both schools, the day begins with prayers. Following prayers and breakfast, the boys have 3 Judaics periods followed by 2 periods of General studies and then learn Judaic studies, while the girls learn secular studies, and after lunch they switch. The day ends at approximately 5:30pm for boys, and 5:15pm for girls.

Charity Program (Chesed)[edit]

B'nei Akiva Schools has been running a charity program since the beginning of its establishment, named "Chesed" after the Hebrew word "חסד", meaning kindness. Activities have included "Pink Day", involving charity and wearing pink, for the sake of breast and cancer awareness. Another significant activity done was visiting old age homes in Toronto, giving the elderly a fun Hannukah activity with singing and dancing. From 2013–present, two grade 11 students have been dubbed as "The Waffle Men", working on an activity involving selling waffles to the students and giving a percentage to charity. The waffle program has been a success so far and continues to go on twice a week.[1]


All Bnei Akiva Schools teams go by the team name "Knights". Or Chaim has a varsity and junior varsity basketball team that plays in the TDCAA. The varsity knights, coached by Gord Skarott, are led by a core that consists of Yaakob Bendayan, Armando Abitbol, Jacob Herman, Ilan Shields and Liam "Pablo" Sone. The junior varsity team is coached by Avishai Gasner and the captains of the squad Sammy Balsam and Yakir Magence. The Ulpana Knights play in the private school league and continue to dominate each year thanks to the hard work and hustle led by Adina Sabovich. Skill runs through the Sabovich blood as Or Chaim Knight legend, Shlomo Sabovich, carried his team to the finals of the TDCAA, despite the fact that they were undermanned all year and only had a 7-man roster. Or Chaim also has a soccer team, a cross country squad and runs basketball intramurals during lunch time, which is organized by the convenor (currently Shual Harris). Ulpana has a volleyball team and a cross-country team. Every year the schools send a team to run the Jerusalem marathon. They fundraise money for the organization SHALVA. Itai Weisz is the captain of the initiative alongside Rav Yair.


External links[edit]