PaJeS and the Jewish News welcomed 200 guests to the Jewish Schools Awards on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at JW3 in London. The evening began with a canape reception catered by Zest in the restaurant and café area of JW3, followed by the awards ceremony in the Howard Hall. The evening was generously sponsored by Marc and Emma Samuels of the Emmes Foundation and Andrew and Orly Wolfson of the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.
In October and November 2016, parents, students and colleagues submitted over 350 nominations for 130 primary and secondary school teachers in four categories. These were whittled down to a shortlist of three finalists per award, who were profiled in the Jewish News and in the Jewish Schools Awards event brochure. A judging panel had the difficult task of selecting the winners, who were announced by each of the award sponsors on the night of the awards ceremony. Our judges included Lord Winston; Sue Williamson, chief executive of the Schools, Students and Teachers Network; Alastair Falk, former head of PaJeS; Karen Harris, managing director of Intu.co.uk and Richard Ferrer, editor of the Jewish News.
Our MC for the night was the Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, Simon Johnson. He introduced the evening and called each of our award sponsors to the stage to announce the names of the finalists and the winner. A promotional film about PaJeS was shown half-way through the awards ceremony as well as a presentation to our lifetime achievement award winner, Benjamin Perl MBE. We rounded off with a keynote speech from Dame Helen Hyde DBE. The evening concluded with some closing words from Richard Ferrer.
The finalists in each category were:
Award for Emerging teacher in their first three years of teaching in a primary school
Miss Miriam Saffer, Independent Jewish Day School - Winner
Mrs Charlotte Golembo, Wolfson Hillel Primary School
Mrs Donna Lewis, Rosh Pinah Primary School
Award for Emerging teacher in their first three years of teaching in a secondary school
Miss Joanna Moses, JCoSS - Winner
Mr Dan Artman, Hasmonean High School
Ms Isla Thomson, Yavneh College
Award for Modern Hebrew teacher in a primary school
Mrs Pnina Ravid, Akiva School - Winner
Mrs Keren Greene, Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School
Ms Yifat Johnson, Eden Primary School
Award for Special Needs Educator in a primary school
Mrs Madeleine Bendell, North West London Jewish Day School - Winner
Mrs Miriam Kaye, Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School
Mrs Debbie Weissbraun, Mathilda Marks Kennedy Jewish Primary School
Award for Special Needs Educator in a secondary school
Mr Simon Bull, Hasmonean High School - Winner
Ms Claudia Giarrusso, Kantor King Solomon High School
Mrs Hannah Lethbridge, JCoSS
Award for Assistant or Deputy Headteacher in a primary school
Miss Alex Kingston, Wolfson Hillel Primary School - Winner
Miss Liza Feiner, Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School
Mr Justin Kett, Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School
All winners received a certificate and an engraved glass trophy, and £5,000 to fund a school project of their choice.
The runners up received a small glass paperweight along with signed certificates as well as £1,000 each to fund a school project of their choice.
There was a lot of social media activity before, during and after the Jewish Schools Awards, including PaJeS live-tweeting on the night of the awards and a number of guests Tweeting throughout the evening using the hashtag #jewishschoolsawards2017