‘Jewish Eton’ is hailed as a class act on 18th birthday

People instrumental to the establishment and development of Immanuel College, Bushey, were among more than 200 guests at the school’s 18th birthday gala dinner at St John’s Wood Synagogue.

Those present included Lady Jakobovits, widow of Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits, the school’s founder, Immanuel’s first two head teachers, Denis Felsenstein and Myrna Jacobs, and parents of past pupils. Another guest was Dr Rafael Beyar, general director of the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, the students’ chosen Israeli charity for the academic year.Lady Jakobovits recalled, “with huge emotion, the evening in my house when my husband and a small group of people dreamt up the idea of a Jewish Eton, so that Jewish children would have the same opportunities as their non-Jewish counterparts. Although many in the room thought the idea was crazy, my husband decided to call the Jewish Chronicle and announce the inception of this new school.”

The current Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, commended staff and governors for providing pupils, including his daughter Gila, with the tools for success in adult life.

Immanuel head Philip Skelker said the school ranked among the top three per cent in the country in terms of pupil admissions to the leading 13 UK universities.

Almost £200,000 was raised from the dinner towards the construction of an eight-classroom block to replace the Portakabins installed to accommodate the expansion of the school roll to close-on 500.

    Last updated: 2:01pm, May 14 2009