It is with deep pride and admiration that we congratulate Nesiya family member Ilana Ruskay-Kidd on receiving the 2016 Covenant Award. As the founder and head of The Shefa School, a pluralistic Jewish day school in New York for children with special needs, Ilana has deepened her enhancement of and impact on Jewish education and the greater Jewish community. This month, Ilana’s work has been recognized by The Covenant Foundation with their prestigious award which honors three exceptional leaders in Jewish education. The Covenant Foundation writes on their website:

“With the founding of The Shefa School, and its continuing growth, Ruskay-Kidd has emerged as an advocate for Jewish day schools to more effectively recognize and support children with learning challenges. In the last year, she has convened over 150 professionals from more than 40 Jewish day schools in an effort to change the communal conversation on serving this population of students and their families.”

Ilana’s devotion to the Jewish community shows through in all of her work, with The Shefa School and formerly with the JCC of Manhattan. Ilana has a long history with Nesiya, as well. As a 1987 Nesiya alumna, and 2014 Nesiya parent, Ilana wrote:

“I keep telling my friends and family that to send your daughter to Israel and see her literally growing in front of your face and hearing her developing those muscles to be open minded and hold multiple truths and perspectives is the most important lesson a person can ever learn- for work, for family, for friendship, for marriage, and for peace.”

We are very proud of Ilana and offer our deepest congratulations. Kol HaKavod!