Beit Shvidler Primary School rounded off its 10th anniversary year this week with a gala fundraising dinner at the Kinloss Banqueting Suite in Finchley. The dinner, whose theme was “The Next Chapter”, was attended by over 200 parents, family and friends and raised over £60,000 for the school.
Throughout the dinner guests were invited to reminisce about the achievements of the school’s first decade via a photo exhibition and heard from Dan Wynne, chair of governors, and Rabbi Jonny Spector, the school’s new headteacher, who outlined the aspirations for the school’s next decade. Guests were entertained by the new school choir and from internationally acclaimed guest speaker, Rabbi Jonathan Rietti.
Chair of Governors Dan Wynne stated: “Ten years ago, our school was transformed from a radical idea into a reality. An extraordinary group of volunteers did an extraordinary thing; they opened a brand-new school. Whilst many new Jewish schools have opened since, ten years ago we were the trailblazer.”
The theme of the dinner, “The Next Chapter”, was evident when the school’s headteacher, Rabbi Jonny Spector, asserted, “I am so pleased to have joined Beit Shvidler at this point on its journey. When I started, I could sum up what I saw in two words – opportunity and potential. Beit Shvidler has enormous potential and it is my role to enable, develop and then maintain that potential to ensure we deliver the best possible education to our children.
“This school has wonderful children and families, a fantastically supportive governing body, a principal who cares deeply about the school, an incredible school building and a group of talented new teachers joining in September. The time is right for the school to go to the next level. My focus is looking forward to the future, to start the Next Chapter”.
Guest speaker, educator Rabbi Jonathan Rietti who has been an educational consultant for eighteen years and directs a teacher training programme, ‘Breakthrough Chinuch’ in Brooklyn, New York, as well as lecturing across the U.S. for the Gateways Seminar Programme, amused the audience with an engaging speech about the challenges of raising our children in a difficult world. Earlier that day he visited the school and inspired pupils in assembly, robustly tackled difficult kodesh questions from Year 6 pupils and delivered teacher training for staff.
The fundraising appeal, led by grandparent Suzy Richman, appealed to guests to remember how a positive and supportive community can affect change in the school, in the same way that the school affects change in the lives of the children who attend.
Other 10th anniversary events for the school have included a visit to the school by Chief Rabbi Mirvis, a PTA-hosted event with a theatre company show and a community kiddush sponsored by the school’s link-shul, the Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation (EAYC).