Family & Education

New teaching fellowships launched in memory of Lady Lira Winston

14 teachers from Liverpool to Stamford Hill chosen for leadership training course


Members of the Winston family, Lira Winston Fellows and some of the organisers of the programme (photo: Paul Lang)

A programme has been launched to train and develop the future heads of Jewish schools in the UK.

The first cohort of 14 Lira Winston Fellows, who are mostly deputy or assistant heads at Jewish schools ranging from Liverpool to Stamford Hill, has already begun meeting in a course designed to prepare them over the next 18 months for the demanding challenges of leadership.

The programme was founded by PaJeS, the Jewish schools’ network, in memory of its much-loved assistant director Lady Winston, who died suddenly at the end of 2021.

Educational leadership had been “something genuinely close and dear to her heart”, her husband Lord Winston said at the official launch in London on Sunday.

“You will be planting seeds that will last for future generations,” he said.

One fellow, Benjamin de Jong, assistant head at JCoSS, said the programme was “the best thing I’ve done in a professional capacity”.

The future of Jewish education “appears to be in very, very good hands,” he added.

Rabbi David Meyer, chief executive of PaJeS, said the launch of the fellowships marked “a quite momentous occasion in the annals of Jewish education in this country”.

The group would “create a dynamic of change in our schools,” he said.

Former JCoSS head Patrick Moriarty, who is involved with running the programme, noted its reach with fellows ranging from cross-communal to Chasidic schools.

“They are far more united than many people might imagine, despite the differences in denomination and ethos,” he said.

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