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Back to School – The Rabbi Herman Abramowitz Educational Annex


This Fall will mark 75 years since the Rabbi Herman Abramowitz Building (Educational Annex) was formally dedicated. As we gear up for back-to-school we’re looking back on the day the school building was officially opened.



The educational centre was a longtime the goal of Rabbi Herman Abramowitz, who was a strong advocate for Jewish education. In the years leading up to it’s opening, the Shaar’s Westmount building (which had been built just 26 years prior) was already bursting at the seams and the need for additional space for the synagogue’s educational activities was abundantly clear. While World War II did delay progress, by the time the Shaar’s centennial year in 1946-7 the necessary funds were secured.



On October 31, 1948, the building officially opened following a beautiful dedication ceremony during which then Shaar President Moses J. Heillig was presented with a commemorative silver trowel



(The trowel reads: Presented to M. J. Heillig, Esq. President of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim on the occasion of the laying of the Corner Stone for the Rabbi Herman Abramowitz Building. Oct. 31st 1948. 23rd Day Tishrei 5709)



Unfortunately, Rabbi Abramowitz would not live see the building’s completion as he passed away after a long illness in October 1947. However, his legacy of dedication to Jewish education as the building was dedicated in his name. 


Read the programme from the dedication service

Monday, June 17, 2024 11 Sivan 5784