TORONTO, June 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Claire Sumerlus, Head of School for Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA) was awarded the prestigious Israel Engagement Award on June 6, 2018 at the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of Greater Toronto 13th Annual Volunteer Awards Night.
This honour recognizes Claire's dedicated leadership and volunteerism in integrating Israel into the fabric of curriculum and student life at Robbins Hebrew Academy and in Toronto. One of RHA's core values is "Israel is in our hearts and in our souls."
Alan Perlis, Chair of the Board of Directors, comments, "Volunteerism is a defining trait of Toronto's Jewish community. RHA is delighted that Claire's contributions to connecting Israel so meaningfully at our school and within the community are being recognized by the UJA Federation."
Some of the groundbreaking initiatives led by Claire include becoming an early adopter of the Shinshinim Program, which brings two young Israelis within the school community to become part of daily life and create a live exchange of culture and a deeper understanding of Israel. The students live with host families and undertake a wide variety of activities within the school and community.
Earlier this year, Claire attended the first Head of School Mission to Israel, reimagining Jewish day schools' relationship to contemporary Israel. Through Claire's vision, RHA has also integrated STEM exchange with a twin school in Israel, bringing cross-cultural learning into international classrooms in real time.
Jenny Frisch, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors states, "Claire's commitment to enriching RHA through Israel engagement allows our children to appreciate and love Israel in many forms."
Claire is a highly respected educator in Canada. She has been Head of School at Robbins Hebrew Academy since 2009. Previously, Claire was Head of School at Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg, and has served as the President of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).
Robbins Hebrew Academy (formerly USDS or United Synagogue Day School) was founded in 1961 and is Toronto's first Jewish day school accredited by CAIS. RHA provides a full integrated Judaic and General Studies program to students from Nursery through Grade 8.