Talmud Torah Society

“I like that Talmud Torah feels like an extended family for my kids - there is a true sense of community and connection within the school. I really appreciate that my son’s teacher is invested not only in his academic progression, but also his development as a human being and citizen. I have been so pleased with how my son’s teacher has been able to support his learning in an individualized way.”

-Jennifer Coppens, TT Parent

Driven By Our Core Values

The guiding principles by which Talmud Torah Society aligns its community involvement.

Jewish Identity
זהות יהודית - Zehut Yehudit

The Talmud Torah Society strives to ensure that there is a place where our students can learn about and be immersed in their heritage, traditions, Hebrew language, culture, history, and religion. We inspire our students to find meaning and belonging in Jewish life and are guided by the desire to preserve and further this legacy for our community.

Safe Space
בטחון לכולם - Bitachon lekulam

As owner of the Talmud Torah School building and in the Talmud Torah Society's stewardship role, Talmud Torah Society values the safe physical, emotional and spiritual space that we provide for our students.

Educational Excellence
מצוינות בחינוך - Metzuyanut Bechinuch

We believe in the importance of lifelong learning grounded in a robust academic and Judaic program. Through their studies, students develop sound character and responsible citizenship while nurturing their intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. The Talmud Torah Society values educating each student according to their needs and abilities, and inspires students to achieve their own personal excellence in all aspects of their lives.

קהילה -Kehila

The Talmud Torah Society values the relationships that make life meaningful. We are committed to our role in creating connections within and between Talmud Torah, the Edmonton Jewish community, "Klal Yisrael כלל ישראל ) " the Jewish People), the State of Israel, and the community at large. Grounded in Jewish values and a sense of social responsibility, our students become empowered community members who strive to make a positive difference in the world, Tikkun Olam עולם תיקון.

הכללה - Haklalah

We strive to create a "kehillah kedosha קהילה קדושה ) " sacred community), a community that genuinely cares about the people who form it, and makes room for everyone to feel welcome and participate. We are a pluralistic, non-denominational Jewish institution that welcomes, respects and values all families regardless of Jewish affiliation, financial situation, ability, gender identity and orientation, or family circumstances.

Stewardship, Trust, Transparency
ערבות הדדית- Arevut hadadit

The Talmud Torah Society Board is entrusted with the careful and responsible management of the Society. We commit to ensure sound financial practices and decision-making that allows the organization to be passed down "mi dor l'dor לדור מדור) "from generation to generation). The Board strives to lead in a way that builds trust through transparency and open communication with our stakeholders.

Our Mission

Talmud Torah Society fosters an inclusive place of learning and community rooted in Jewish history, traditions, and values.

Our Vision

To deliver a high quality foundation in a pluralistic Judaic and secular education that inspires students to achieve their personal best.

To build a rich environment where our students develop a strong Jewish identity and a feeling of commitment and lifelong belonging to the larger Jewish community – Klal Yisrael.

To enrich Edmonton Jewish life by being an essential and foundational place of learning, community and connection for generations to come.

Talmud Torah Society Membership

As per Talmud Torah Society Bylaws (2022), a member of the Society is defined as:
Any parent or guardian of a child who attends the Society’s school or preschool or daycare, or is registered to attend the school or preschool or daycare for the immediately following school year (individually a “Parent”, and more than one Parent shall be “Parents”) is a member of the Society.

Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older and who contributed or on whose behalf a contribution was made to the United Jewish Appeal or to the Edmonton Talmud Torah during the Society’s fiscal year is a member of the Society for that fiscal year.


Find answers to common questions about the Talmud Torah Society.
What if I do not pay my TTS fees?

From time to time the Society experiences situations where, after repeated reminders, families that have the means to pay fail to meet the obligation of what they owe in program fees. The Edmonton Jewish community strongly values Jewish education and since the school’s founding in 1912, has recognized that without these fees we could not provide our program at TT and therefore would cease to exist. Failure to pay required fees also shifts responsibility and places an extra burden on other families to cover these costs. In order to ensure a sense of fairness, we, therefore, seek ways to ensure the collection of all funds from all families 

Why am I eligible for a charitable tax receipt?

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) allows charitable societies that operate religious schools to issue official receipts for income tax purposes. The receipt is for the provision of religious education. This does not mean that the fees for the K-6 day-school program should be thought of as a donation. This is a special consideration the CRA makes for religious schools and is a benefit to our parents. This does not mean that fees to the Society are optional. The benefit of this is that the after-tax cost of the fees is significantly less, resulting in nearly half the total tax savings of fees paid.

What do the Talmud Torah Society fees go towards?

Note: The fees are based on the average of first child, additional children, and Kindergarten rates. Costs are based on the current year, subject to change in Fees. (Last updated February 2nd.) 

Allocation  Portion of fees $  Percentage of fees %
Fees Collected  $4,257  100%
Costs to run Alternative program: 


iTALAM proprietary program 

Siddurs, Torahs, & other specialty texts JS/Hebrew teaching resources, supplementary material, hands on activities 

Supplies for Jewish holidays and celebrations Jewish and Hebrew library resources 

Professional development 

Additional minutes to deliver program 

HLA literacy support

$1,522  35%
Society Administration Salaries  $550  13%
Defaultant Families  $482  11%
Other Administration Costs

Audit and legal fees

● Advertising 

Building costs 


Bank charges 

Memberships and licences

$430  12% 
IBP Supplementation  $428  10%
Judaic Studies Coordinator  $428  10%
Literacy Support  $365  8%
Total  $4,205  99%
Surplus reinvested in Society 

Reinvested in building fund for future capital projects 

Strategic Initiatives

$52  1%
Do other alternative programs charge fees?

As mentioned in both the Alberta Education Act and the Alternative program handbook, parents are to expect a cost for sending their children to an alternative program. 

As examples of other alternative programs charging fees: 

  • Victoria performing arts school charges fees for their optional programs. Depending on which art stream a child is enrolled in, there are additional costs 
  • Donnan Athletic school charges fees for their alternative sports program
    • AAD Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - $1,900.00
    • AAD Hockey - $3,800.00
    • AAD Sport Fit - $1,900.00
  • Edmonton Christian Schools charges a Christian program fee to deliver their alternative faith curriculum o $950 for kindergarten
    • $2,055 for grade 1-12 
  • LOGOS Christian schools’ Alternative faith-based program is funded through donations raised by the Edmonton Logos Society. The schools charge a nominal fee as membership to the society and the society covers the rest of the alternative program through its fundraising efforts. 
  • Meadowlark Christian School charges fees to deliver their Alternative faith-based program:
    • Kindergarten is $630
    • Grade 1-9 $1,620
  • Millwood’s Christian School charges a Millwoods Christian Society School fee in addition to any EPSB levied fees 

Given the economies of scale, for our student population and donor population it is not feasible to rely solely on community donations to fund our program. Student bodies at the aforementioned schools reach up to 1,485 students compared to our 140 students. This results in costs incurred being covered by a smaller group of people, which drives up the per-student cost.

Are the fees optional? What if I can’t afford to pay?

Talmud Torah fees are NOT optional. The TT society has always charged a fee for students to attend school. These fees are mandatory and not discretionary. 

The Talmud Torah Society believes that no child within the Jewish community should be denied access to Jewish education due to a family’s financial needs. Through the support of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, the Integrated Bursary Program (IBP) exists to support these families. All those who apply through the IBP are assessed based on financial need and subsidies are fairly distributed. Please see the TT Society website for further information on how to apply. 

How does EPSB support our alternative program?

Our previous Assistant Superintendent, Leona Morrison has stated: “There is no other alternative program in Edmonton Public Schools that is completely comparable to the Talmud Torah program. This said, in one other school where there is a language-based program that also has a religious component interwoven into instruction, the Society for that program also contributes funds to support staffing for specific components of the program as determined by their specific memorandum of understanding.” 

Our Memorandum of Understanding with EPSB states that the religious portion of our school program cannot be funded using public money and as such we are expected to pay for that component. At TT our religious program is largely taught through JS (Judaic Studies) and HLA (Hebrew Language Arts) studies, however, it has always been Talmud Torah’s approach to view our alternative program delivery being interwoven and integrated with other subject areas including those in the secular program in order to make meaningful connections, immerse our students in their learning and build a stronger and deeper Jewish identity.

What does the Alberta Education Act say about charging fees?

Section 19(5) of the School Act states: “If a parent enrolls a student in an alternative program, the board may charge that parent fees for the purpose of defraying all or a portion of any non-instructional costs that: 

(a) may be incurred by the board in offering the alternative program, and 

(b) are necessary for the delivery of the program, and 

(c) are in addition to the costs incurred by the board in providing its regular education program.”

The use of the term non-instructional is somewhat ambiguous, however, examples given of fees to cover noninstructional costs in an alternative program include resources specific to the alternative program, and instructors, clergy, and teachers providing instruction for the alternative portion of the program. We have interpreted non-instructional fees as non-instructional related to the comparable program. This means that instructional costs related to the alternative program can be defrayed through fees. 

This means we have the ability to charge fees to cover these extra costs. These are costs associated with our alternative program. We do not charge a Society membership fee; we charge an alternative program fee to cover the additional costs of our program. Without these fees, it would be impossible to continue to deliver our program.

How is Talmud Torah Society’s annual budget set for the K-6 Alternative program?

This is an annual process. Through collaborative discussions with our principal, we review the needs of the school for the upcoming school year. We first ask the principal to optimize the School’s EPSB budget. This means that an annual plan is developed where 95% of EPSB funds are allocated towards staffing, while the other 5% go towards supplies, equipment, and services (SES). For the 2022/2023 school year, due to budget cutbacks, the principal received special permission to use 96% of his budget for staffing. 

We then review the remaining needs of the school, taking a variety of factors into consideration, including additional costs for Judaic studies components (e.g. extra teaching minutes, curriculum development), Jewish holiday events and celebrations, and Hebrew and Judaic books and supplies, etc. We also consider other parental priorities for learning enhancements such as literacy and classroom makeup and size. It is important to note that, as a rule of thumb, based on EPSB funding models, it costs approximately 25 students per classroom to fund 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent) teachers. Therefore, in situations when our classes are smaller than this, it requires top-up funding to prevent multiple joint classes. 

Why does the Talmud Torah Society (TTS) charge fees for the K-6 Alternative program?

The Talmud Torah School is operated in partnership between the Talmud Torah Society and the Edmonton Public School Board as an alternative program. As such, the school receives funding as per the typical EPSB funding model for a 3-year rolling average of students enrolled at the start of the school year. This funding is intended to provide the comparable program that is offered throughout all EPSB schools. The alternative program we offer is supported by fees charged to families. This covers the cost to operate the Society, top-up minutes and educational costs to EPSB to deliver the alternative program, as well as support supplies and celebrations related to our alternative program.

What is an Alternative program within EPSB and what is the role of a Society (like TTS) in an alternative program?

Talmud Torah School is an Alternative program within EPSB. “Section 21 of the School Act defines alternative programs as education programs that emphasize a particular language, culture, religion, or subject matter or use a particular teaching philosophy.” 

Societies affiliated with alternative schools are encouraged to provide advice and input to school administrators, central services, and EPSB on matters related to the program as a whole. Consultation can occur in both formal and informal ways, i.e. meetings, phone calls, committee involvement, involvement with interviews, etc. Areas in which EPSB and the Society may consult include: 

  • Nature, content, and intent of the program. 
  • Staffing of the program, including the appointment of principals. 
  • Other issues of significance to the entire program. 

Under section 19 of the Education Act, Societies may also charge fees related to the delivery of their alternative programs. 

Our History


“On December 22, 1912 thirteen Jewish men gathered together in the basement of Beth Israel Synagogue on 95th Street and Rowland Road in Edmonton. They were immigrants who had fled the pogroms and destitution of Czarist Russia. They earned their living as merchants, supplying and servicing the farmers, hunters and trappers of the Edmonton-based agriculture and fur industries. They had abandoned many of the trappings of shtetl yiddishkeit, but they had remained committed Jews. That evening they elected officers, formed several committees and began fulfilling the biblical directive that “all your children shall be taught of the Lord” (Isaiah 54:13). This was the first Board of Directors of the Edmonton Talmud Torah.” – Ronald Pascoe, Edmonton Talmud Torah: the first Seventy-Five Years, 1912-1987.


Edmonton Talmud Torah (Talmud Torah Society) began its full-day school program in 1933. It was the first of its kind in Canada. Located on 103 Street and Jasper Avenue, TT not only offered day school classes, but a kosher lunch program.


With growing enrollment to 400 students, in 1953 Talmud Torah moved to its new location at 132 Street and 106 Avenue.


It was at the 132 Street and 106 Avenue location in 1975 that the Talmud Torah Society established its relationship with the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB). Together, they created the version of Talmud Torah School that still exists today: an EPSB alternative program school whose Judaic content and financing remains the responsibility of the Talmud Torah Society.


Talmud Torah’s current location in West Edmonton broke ground in 1997. From 1997 until June 2018, Talmud Torah was a K-6 elementary school, as well as a 7-9 Jr. High school.


The Jr. High program has been on hold since September 2018. We are hoping that interest for Jr. High will eventually lead to a Jr. High program once again. Since September 2018 we have run a K-6 day school, alongside an out of school care (OSC) program, and an ages 1-5 early learning centre (ELC). Enrollment in our elementary school has continued to increase and for the 2022-23 school year we are anticipating 145 students.

TTS Bylaws Handbook

Please click on the link below to access our up-to-date Talmud Torah Society Bylaws Handbook
Talmud Torah Society HAS ActED As A Steward Of Jewish Learning In Edmonton Since 1912
“Having a pluralistic non-denominational school that ensures immersion in Jewish education and Judaic values is fundamental to the future of our community. Talmud Torah has been a pillar of our community for over 100 years. The Society ensures that the foundations of a strong Jewish identity and involvement in the greater Jewish community are in place."
-Stacey Leavitt-Wright, 
CEO Jewish Federation of Edmonton

Community Links
Talmud Torah Society
6320 - 172 ST NW Edmonton, AB T5T 6H1
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