Prior de Toledo HS recipients include Tammy Shpall, Benny Ferdman, and Dr. Bruce Powell, who welcome Yoav into their ranks.
Yoav has created a vision for de Toledo H.S. to be present and involved throughout the Jewish world. Yoav created the Short Israel and Extended Israel Exchange Programs at dTHS (SIEP and EIEP). This is the power of Yoav’s vision. That Jewish peoplehood is one of the most important values we can transmit to our students, and it can not be transmitted through books or classes or living in hotels, but with their feet on the ground living in the homes of their buddies. The success and the power of our Israel exchange programs has led Yoav to expand our footprint to multiple other Jewish high schools around the world. From exchanges over the years with schools in Mexico City, Uruguay, and Budapest, our students learn that Jewish peoplehood is worldwide and that there are so many connections and similarities between Jewish teenagers, regardless of their home country.
In addition, in 2018, Yoav created the first virtual global Jewish classroom, connecting 6 Jewish high schools from around the world (schools in the U.S., Israel, Mexico, Uruguay, and Turkey). In 2019, these schools met at a conference conceived by de Toledo High School and Paideia (the European Institute for Jewish Studies), programmed by Yoav, and hosted here in Southern California, which resulted in a worldwide collaboration on the questions of “the context, concepts, and challenges of global Jewish peoplehood.”
Beyond our exchanges, Yoav’s continued vision has led us to participate in a scientific collaboration between our school and Israeli high school, Gymnasia Herzliya. Our two schools collaborated over 3 years in the science and specifics of growing the superfood Spirulina. In March/April of 2020, students from both schools had planned to meet in Mbale, Uganda, to teach the Abayudaya (Jewish) community in Uganda how to grow it themselves with the goal of this community becoming more food sufficient. The trip was canceled due to the pandemic, but plans are in the works for this trip during the coming school year.
Our Jewish day schools have Israel and the Jewish people as a central tenet of our missions. Yoav, through his unique and passionate vision, has connected the worldwide Jewish people together in a way that is extraordinary and unprecedented. The connections our students have created with their Israeli and Jewish counterparts around the globe are deep and rich and even more substantial because they lived in each other’s homes. Yoav has created, built, and sustained programs that are equally emotional, educational, and spiritual, all at the same time.
What Yoav has done over his career, especially at dTHS, is the deepest and truest expression of the mission of de Toledo High School and the Jewish Day School community as a whole.
Head of School