The building on Brunswick Street no longer exists, but memories of Talmud Torah, the forerunner of Associated Hebrew Day Schools, still remain in the hearts and minds of a group of students from the graduating class of 1954. Time and circumstances have led them into vastly different directions, professions, and even countries. However, this unique group of students re-connected six years ago and now get together regularly.
Like the children who attend AHS today, these former day school pioneers came from a wide spectrum of Jewish backgrounds.While some of the children came from families who were not religious, others had orthodox roots, while still others lived with parents who were Labour Zionists.
Honey Mitchell and Beverley Gould (Handler) agree that the education from Talmud Torah provided them not only with Hebrew language skills, but also the ability to feel comfortable with prayer and an awareness of the then newly formed State of Israel. Sam Izenberg admits, to his surprise, that "the lessons I had learned so many years ago continue to infiltrate my thinking, my stories and metaphors. Talmudic traditions, even today, form a fairly regular stream of consciousness and help give me perspective."
Several students from this group maintained a connection with the School after graduation. Elsa Skuy's (Snider) mother, Jennie Snider, was the first principal of Associated. In addition, Paul Shapiro not only sent his three children to AHS, but his daughter, Jennifer Gotkin, teaches at the Danilack Middle School. Moreover, his grandchild will attend the school next year.
The late Aviva Heller (Frisch), who taught at CHAT for many years, also sent her children to Associated and her grandchildren now also attend the School. Stronger than the mortar that held the bricks together, the bond of friendship that has endured is a testimony to the years these men and women spent together learning at Talmud Torah.