Dear Members of the Akiva Community,

I am happy to announce, on behalf of the Board of Directors, the appointment of Akiva’s new Head of School – Rabbi Eric Grossman.

Rabbi Grossman comes to Akiva School with over 20 years in Jewish day school education and leadership.  Originally from Toronto, Rabbi Grossman has worked in a number of Jewish day schools across North America including being Head of School of Frankel Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield, Michigan, where, during his tenure, the school achieved its highest enrollment.  Most recently he served as Head of School of The Ramaz School, a K-12 Manhattan Yeshiva Day School.

Receiving his rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem, Israel in 2006, Rabbi Grossman studied at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) from York University in Toronto.    A published scholar, Rabbi Grossman has written many articles on Jewish education, Torah study and Judaism, and has been recognized with several educational awards including the Claus Nobel Educator of Distinction Award.

A passionate and forward thinking Jewish educator, Rabbi Grossman shares the Akiva School vision of a student-centric approach to education in which the underpinnings for all learning are based on Jewish values.  Rabbi Grossman is also a strong advocate for professional development and exploring new educational initiatives based on cutting edge pedagogy.  Rabbi Grossman remarked:

 “I was very drawn by Akiva School’s deep understanding and emphasis on a “whole child” focus within the framework of a Jewish education. I believe that a school exists for the sake of the student; therefore an educational ideology must always begin with the student. I am very excited to be part of this remarkable team of educators committed to this same philosophy and mission.”

Over the past 6 months, our Search Committee, working in conjunction with a leading recruitment firm, conducted a focused, international search.  Based on the vision of the leadership qualities and qualifications required for our school, several candidates underwent a rigorous interview process during which it became clear that Rabbi Grossman was the perfect choice for our school.    Recommendations were made to the Board of Directors and based on these recommendations, the Board of Directors voted in favour of naming Rabbi Grossman as the new Akiva Head of School effective August 1, 2018.

Leading up to taking over officially as Head of School, Rabbi Grossman will be working closely with Cooki Levy, Interim Head of School, to ensure a smooth transition. In that context, Rabbi Grossman will be visiting the school in May and June to meet with teachers, staff and parents.  We will be advising the Akiva community of upcoming opportunities to meet Rabbi Grossman during these visits.

As we prepare to move into a new era at Akiva School, I would like express our deep gratitude to Cooki Levy, Interim Head of School, who returned to the helm this past year to help guide us with her wisdom and insight through this transitional time.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Aaron Akerman, Akiva’s Vice President and Karen Sigman-Laxer who co-chaired the Search Committee, the entire Search Committee for their tireless efforts and dedication and the Board of Directors for their commitment and professionalism during this process.

Finally on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank the school staff, our parents and our entire Akiva community for your support and trust in our leadership over the past couple of months.

Please join me in welcoming Rabbi Grossman, his wife Karynne and their two sons, Ezra (14) and Max (12), to Montreal and to the Akiva community.  We look forward to working together with Rabbi Grossman and our amazing team at Akiva School to continue the 50 year Akiva legacy of providing a unique, second-to-none Jewish education to our children.

Best regards,

Patrick Essiminy