On Tuesday 11th February, PaJeS, together with the Jewish News, celebrated five years of the Jewish Schools Awards where we once again recognised, outstanding and inspiring school staff in Jewish schools across the UK.
This year’s respected event differed from past ceremonies as we were not only applauding and acknowledging the exceptional work of our teachers in Jewish schools but we introduced a new competition, ‘The PaJeS Pitch’.
The Pitch was a unique opportunity for students to win a substantial amount of money for a special project within their school. PaJeS asked schools to nominate teams of up to four students who came up with the best, brightest and most creative ideas to benefit their school. Teams submitted the projects to PaJeS and a panel of judges’ shortlisted six finalists. We were blown away by the high quality applications that we received. There were cash prizes on offer to the teams with a maximum of £8000 available for the winning secondary school team and £5000 available for the winning primary school team. We were enormously appreciative of the kind generosity of the Genesis Philanthropy Group for their sponsorship of the awards and without whom the PaJeS Pitch would not be possible.
The finalist teams presented excellent pitches to four esteemed judges, Chana Kanzen, CEO of Jewish Interactive, Alejandro Okrent, Chief Global Officer of Moishe House, Leo Noe, Executive Chairman and Founder of the Noe Group and Anthony Wagerman, Former CEO of Travelex and PaJeS board member. The judges were wowed by the brilliant efforts made by the teams and they then conferred as to what to award each team.
With over 250 people in attendance, the night was also an opportunity to celebrate the excellence in teaching and the contributions of non-teaching staff. PaJeS received over 250 nominations this year, which were then narrowed down and judged by an expert panel.
The panel which was made up by Ms Kate Goldberg, Dr Michael Markiewicz, Mrs Naomi Greenwood and Mrs Leonie Lewis MBE really struggled to decide which of the worthy finalists should be crowned the winners.
Each award winner received £5,000 and each finalist received £1,000 to spend on a new project of their choice within the school. The awards proved again to be a wonderful opportunity to recognise teachers who often don’t get the credit they deserve and to celebrate their dedication and determination.
The evening included a tribute to the Central Specialist Crime team of the Metropolitan Police. PaJeS has been supporting the work of the Central Specialist Crime team to communicate with Jewish schools following a response to a serious case. In addition to setting up critical new communication groups between Headteachers, PaJeS has also run a series of Parents Awareness Evenings across London and Manchester. This has been one of the most far reaching parent education programmes in the Jewish community and the largest parent programme that the police have ever run.
Finally there was a special presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to our very own Lira Winston for her substantial contribution to Jewish Education. Lira, who is assistant director at PaJeS, has spent 25 years ensuring the success and growth of education within the Jewish community. There could not have been a more worthy recipient of the award.
WINNERS AND FINALISTS:
Curriculum Collaboration in a Secondary School
Mrs Naomi Amdurer, Immanuel College - WINNER
Mr Benjy Myers, Manchester Mesivta School
Mrs October Wright, King David High School Liverpool
Curriculum Collaboration in a Primary School
Rabbi Joshua Conway and Mrs Bilha Cohen, Nancy Reuben Primary School - WINNERS
Mrs Lucy Potts and Mrs Shana Burton, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School
SLT Members, Manchester Jewish School for Special Education
Beyond the Classroom in a Secondary School
Mrs Ofrit Selby,The King David High School, Manchester - WINNER
Mr Ben Gordon, Yavneh College
Madame Sarah Perlberg, Immanuel College
Beyond the Classroom in a Primary School
Rebbe Dovi Colman, Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Primary School - WINNER
Mrs Rosie Cohen, Mosaic Jewish Primary School
Mrs Wendy Hilliar, Hasmonean Primary School
Mrs Claire Zinkin, Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School - WINNER
Mrs Allegra Benitah, Nancy Reuben Primary School
Mr Graham Morris, North West London Jewish Day School
PaJeS Pitch Finalist Teams
Menorah Foundation School JOINT WINNERS
Team: Maayan Maurer, Milly Freedman, Jesse Freedman and Amalia Conway
Sinai Jewish Primary School JOINT WINNERS
Team: Noah Petar, Talia Kutner, Leah Greenfield and Katie Cahill
Team: The Chitah Class
Broughton Jewish Primary School
Team: Gavriel Lurie, Chavi Fleischer, Yehudit Greenhouse, Ilana Fagleman
Kantor King Solomon High School WINNERS
Team: Harrison Pinkus, Mia Hooper, Emily Kinzler, Elisha Rosenberg
Team: Millie Ash and Milly Bryk