Shoresh

Shoresh Outdoor School

The Shoresh Outdoor School bridges meaningful Jewish learning with hands-on, nature-based experiences!


Give your kids the gift of Jewish learning…in the great outdoors!  Through urban wilderness experiences, students (JK-grade 4) will explore Jewish holidays and cycles, mitzvot and rituals, and ethical teachings, while being active, building community, and experiencing moments of deep nature connection.  The Shoresh Outdoor School is pluralistic and open to the many ways that our community members live and learn Jewishly.


New Opportunity!
Now in its 6th year, we are taking the Shoresh Outdoor School to the next level! We are launching a year-long option in certain locations in an effort to deepen our students’ learning experience through the seasons. Guided by Shoresh educators, participants will move through the seasons and Jewish cycles, building deep connections with Jewish teachings and the natural world. 

The price for the full year is $600, or $216 per 6-week session. 

If you’d like to sign up for Fall, Winter or Spring rather than the entire year, simply click on the Register Now links below.


Sundays in Williamson Ravine

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

FALL:  Sept 11, 18, (break for Jewish holidays), Oct 23, 30, Nov 6, 13
WINTER: Jan 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, (no program on Family day weekend), 26, Mar 5
SPRING: Apr 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14 (no program on Victoria day weekend), 28

REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.

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Mondays at Bickford Park

Time: 4-5:30pm

School pickup/before-care (3:30-4pm): $10/week ($180/year)

FALL:  Sept 12, 19, (break for Jewish holidays), Oct 24, 31, Nov 7, 14
WINTER: Jan 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, (no program on Family day), 27, Mar 6
SPRING: Apr 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, (no program on Victoria day weekend), 29

REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.

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Tuesdays at Cedarvale Ravine

Time: 4-5:30pm

School pickup/before-care (3:30-4pm): $10/week ($180/year)

FALL:  Sept 13, 20, (break for Jewish holidays), Oct 25, Nov 1, 8, 15
WINTER: Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
SPRING: Apr 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, (no program on May 23rd), 30

REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.

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Tuesdays at Nordheimer Ravine

Time: 4-5:30 pm

School pickup/before-care (3:30-4pm): $10/week ($180/year)

FALL:  Sept 13, 20, (break for Jewish holidays), Oct 25, Nov 1, 8, 15
WINTER: Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
SPRING: Apr 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, (no program on May 23rd), 30

REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.

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Wednesdays at Trinity Bellwoods

Time: 4-5:30 pm

School pickup/before-care (3:30-4pm): $10/week ($180/year)

FALL:  Sept 14, 21, (break for Jewish holidays), Oct 26, Nov 2, 9, 16
WINTER: Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1

SPRING: Apr 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, (no program on May 24th), 31

REGISTER NOW to secure your spot.

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If you have any questions, please email Ellis at ellis@shoresh.ca.

TESTIMONIALS:

 

The girls LOVED their time in the garden yesterday! [They] talked to me about the forest this morning on our walk to school. They both wished that Shoresh Outdoor School could be every day, all day long!  Thank you for putting so much energy into creating and implementing such a wonderful program. WOW!”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participants

“[My child] has enjoyed every moment of the program and is so eager to share what she’s learned each week.”
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant

[My child] has been loving outdoor school. And it is so exciting to watch how much he has already learned. He told us about how the water in the ravine is going to Lake Ontario (and asked lots of questions about other rivers/ravines and if they are going to Lake Ontario). On a hike this weekend he identified garlic mustard and ate some!
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant

“[My child] had THE BEST time yesterday and really really appreciated Tiferet’s idea to make the nest together and ease her into the group. ‘I can’t wait until next week and I wish everyday was Shoresh’, were some of the things [she] mentioned on the way home.
-Parent of Shoresh Outdoor School Participant 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What does Jewish outdoor education look like at the Shoresh Outdoor School?

The Shoresh Outdoor School is designed to bridge Jewish learning with hands-on, nature-based activities.  Through time spent in the great outdoors, students will explore Jewish holidays and cycles, mitzvot and rituals, and ethical teachings, while being active, building community, and experiencing moments of deep nature connection.  Our daily schedule is based on the FLOW Learning Model designed by acclaimed environmental educator Joseph Cornell, allowing our educators to provide structure while following the natural interests and passions of our students.  

What is Jewish Pluralism?

The Shoresh Outdoor School is a pluralistic program that welcomes Jews of all different backgrounds and affiliations. While learning about Jewish ethical teachings, holidays celebrations, rituals, and prayer, we will be open to the many different ways that our community members interpret these traditions and how they choose to live and learn “Jewishly.”  As well, we create space for honouring the other cultural, religious, and spiritual identities that participants may be bringing to our programs.

Why do Jewish Education outdoors?

Please read our blog posts on Why We’re Starting the Shoresh Outdoor School and why we think it’s important to Take Jewish Education Outdoors.

Who are the staff?

The Shoresh Outdoor School is staffed by an allstar team of educators! All staff have undergone hands-on training in outdoor Jewish environmental education and are truly gifted at communicating the awe and wonder they experience relating to the natural world.   At the Shoresh Outdoor School, our staff:child ratio is 1:6.  All staff are first aid trained and certified.

What happens in the event of rain or inclement weather?

Please note that the Shoresh Outdoor School is strictly an outdoor program.  We will NOT have an indoor programming space on site.  As such, children should be dressed in full rain gear and/or lots of warm layers so that they can comfortably be outside for the full duration of the program.

In the event of rain, our educators will make use of naturally sheltered areas in the ravine.

In the event of extreme weather, such as lightning storms, extreme cold alerts, or any other situation that the Shoresh staff deem unsafe for Shoresh Outdoor School staff and participants to be outside, the program will be rescheduled.

What should students bring with them each day?

  • Healthy, litterless snacks
  • A full water bottle!!!
  • Closed-toed shoes, ideally somewhat waterproof for muddy days
  • Rain coat, rain pants, rubber boots and/or snow pants, winter coats, hats, mittens, winter boots
  • Medications, inhalers, epipens, etc.
  • Small backpack
  • Mask and hand sanitizer

*Please remember that the Shoresh Outdoor School is an outdoor nature program and your child will be spending time playing outside rain or shine. Please dress your child in weather appropriate clothing that can get dirty.

Is there a washroom on site?

There are public washrooms available in most of our programming spaces.  AND, washrooms in parks and ravines are not always open.  We ask that you ensure participants have used the washroom before meeting up with their Shoresh educators.

How are ensuring everyone’s health and safety in the age of COVID-19?

In order to ensure the health and safety of Shoresh Outdoor School students, staff, and their families, we are following the city of Toronto’s guidelines for after school programs and will update you if there are any changes. We are grateful for your support and patience as we work together to keep our community healthy and safe, at the same time as continuing our educational programs.

While participating in Shoresh Outdoor School:

  • Participants and educators are encouraged to wear face masks when inside public washrooms and during drop-off and pick-up
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to wear a mask when dropping off and picking up their children
  • Participants will be washing or sanitizing hands before eating 

What if we need to miss a program because of illness?  What if the Shoresh Outdoor School must shut down due to COVID-19?

Click here to read our cancellation policy.

What is your vaccination policy?

We do not have a vaccination policy for participants. All of our staff, educators, and adult volunteers are fully vaccinated (have received at least 2 doses) against COVID. We recommend that participants (including Leaders in Training) who are eligible and able to, also receive the COVID vaccine.

Are program subsidies available?

Yes, limited subsidies are available from the Michelle Kopman Memorial Fund for Nature-Based Education. This fund was set up in 2018 by the family and friends of Michelle Kopman (z”l) to help support our work offering children meaningful opportunities for nature-connection, rooted in Jewish values and teachings. To apply for the subsidy, please call us directly at 416-805-8382 or email risa@shoresh.ca

Wait! I still have more questions!

Not a problem! Please contact Ellis at 416-805-8382, or ellis@shoresh.ca.

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