United Talmud Torahs of Montreal
is a private Jewish day school
system that includes an elementary
and a high school
on two campuses; One located in the Saint Laurent
borough, the other in the Snowdon neighbourhood of the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
borough in Montreal, Quebec
. Its high school is known as Herzliah High School
. An additional elementary school campus existed in the Côte-Saint-Luc neighbourhood, but was consolidated with the Snowdon campus. Another campus in Chomedey, Laval, closed in the 1980s.
Founded in 1896 by Rabbi A. Ashinsky, classes were initially taught in Yiddish, but later switched to Hebrew. In 1917, six individual Talmud Torah schools merged as the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal. In 1962, the elementary school in St. Laurent was opened. The high school was opened in 1946.
Arson in the elementary school library
In April 2004, a fire was set in the UTT (the elementary) St. Laurent campus' library. At the time, this received worldwide attention. Two 18-year-old Muslims and a Muslim woman in her 30's were later charged. The men were charged with arson and conspiracy. The woman was charged with being an accomplice after the fact. One charge was later dropped against one man in October 2004. In January 2005, the man was sentenced to 40 months in jail. The man's mother is still awaiting trial.
Donations from across Canada, the United States and Israel helped to re-build the library which re-opened in December 2004. Russell Crowe made a donation after hearing about the incident.
Notable alumni and employees
- Robert Libman, former Member of the National Assembly of Quebec.
- Stephanie Azrieli, wife of David Azrieli, was a former librarian of the St. Laurent elementary school.
- Ernest FJ Block, MD, EMT-P; world famous trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist. Student at UTT Snowdon and then Herzliah.
- Irwin Cotler, human rights lawyer and former Justice Minister
- Leonard Cohen, singer, poet, novelist