Emily grew up in Toronto, the daughter of an Israeli father who was the Principal Cellist for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and an American-born mother who taught high school music in Toronto and the US for more than 40 years and was the music director at Temple Emanuel for over 25 years. Emily and her husband, Daniel, have three children – Ayla (9), Naiya (7) and Zakai (who will be 4 in May) – who, naturally, will be attending VTT in the fall. Daniel is also an educator for children with special needs, and a certified firefighter. Emily and her family are excited to fulfill a family dream of moving to Vancouver and taking advantage of all the West Coast has to offer.
Prior to joining Bialik in 2016, Emily served as a teacher, guidance counselor, Community Service Coordinator and Advanced Placement (College) Coordinator at Colegio Nueva Granada (CNG), a private K-12 co-educational day school delivering a U.S. oriented college preparatory education to more than 1800 students in Bogota, Colombia. Before that, she held similar positions at Riverdale Collegiate in Toronto, as well as American international schools in Bangkok and Paraguay. Emily is fluent in Spanish and French and is working on her Hebrew.
Emily’s leadership philosophy is built on strong relationships, open communication and a belief that a good leader nurtures leadership in others. She feels a responsibility to prepare our students for the future -- Jewishly, academically and socially. She believes in fostering student leadership, investing in professional development, and that VTT should be a hub for the broader Jewish community beyond our walls. Emily’s educational philosophy is built on the idea that students, parents and educators should work in partnership to individualize and promote student growth in an environment that encourages innovation, curiosity, community service and social responsibility. In her application for the Head of School position, Emily wrote:
“In a Jewish day school, we should take advantage of cross-curricular connections to achieve the seamless and effective integration of Jewish studies and Ahavat Yisrael with the provincial curriculum. It is our responsibility to inspire in our students a deep connection with their Jewish identity, while preparing them to be successful in a future we cannot yet fathom. The values we explore through Jewish education are timeless and should be paramount and fully integrated in our program.”
The Board’s primary goal for Emily’s first year is to invest her time in getting to know all of you – our students, our faculty, our parents and our community – as well as getting to know all that makes VTT special. As part of that process, we know Emily will be joining VTT’s leadership team, faculty and stakeholders in the ongoing discussion of how best to continue enhancing VTT’s Judaics program and overall educational offering.
As we prepare to welcome Emily to VTT, we also want to take a moment to recognize Cathy Lowenstein for her extraordinary contributions to VTT over the past 17 years. VTT will be preparing to say goodbye to Cathy over the next few months, however we wanted to take this moment to thank Cathy for shepherding VTT through some remarkable accomplishments during her 17 year tenure at the school, including the largest capital campaign in the history of Vancouver’s Jewish community, the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility, and advancing VTT to the final stages of obtaining CAIS accreditation, earning VTT a place among Canada’s top independent schools. These and other accomplishments were the product of an extraordinary amount of teamwork and support from VTT’s leadership team, faculty, Board, alumni, donors and other community organizations who have supported and continue to support VTT today and for the future.
Thank you to all of our parents, faculty, leadership team members, donors, community partners and students for participating in the Head of School search process and helping us select someone who the Board believes will be an outstanding leader as VTT moves into its second year of its second century. The Board is very grateful for all of your time, support and love for VTT that has been evident throughout the search process and we know that VTT is blessed to have so many engaged and passionate supporters.
We anticipate that Emily will be visiting VTT over the coming months, and we hope you will join us in wishing a warm ברוכים הבאים (
) to Emily and her family when they officially arrive in Vancouver in July.
We look forward to working with Emily, and all of you, to ensure VTT’s continued development and success. From strength to strength.