Former prominent Quebec real estate developer Sylvan Adams has donated $15 million to Herzliah High School for the establishment of an endowment. The school says it is the largest endowment created for one institution in the history of the Montreal Jewish community.
“I believe that the Jewish high school experience is crucial to ensure Jewish continuity in our youth,” Adams, who made aliyah late last year, said in a Nov. 17 statement announcing the donation. “If our new Herzliah High School is the best school out there, it will be the easy and natural first choice of students.”
A new Herzliah is presently under construction next to the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA. The Y was recently renamed in recognition of a large donation Adams made to it.
The new school is a $50-million project, including a goal of establishing a $20-million endowment. The Azrieli Foundation contributed $15 million to the construction, and Herzliah and its elementary wing, Talmud Torah, are now officially called “Les Ecoles Azrieli Schools.”
The new Herzliah is scheduled to open during the 2017-2018 school year. It will be called the Sylvan Adams Campus. Herzliah is currently located on St. Kevin Avenue.
The school said the endowment will enable it to enhance all aspects of its programming, not just academics, but also physical education and sports, and the arts.
“When choosing where to attend high school, we want students and their families to aspire to attend Herzliah as the best high school in Montreal,” said Adams. “Note that I didn’t say best ‘Jewish’ high school. This investment will afford Herzliah the tools to be that school, the one that Jewish families will choose in preference to all others, Jewish or otherwise.”
Herzliah presently has an enrolment of about 450 students. The new building will be able to accommodate 550.
Adams was one of the founding donors to Federation CJA’s Generations Fund, which was established to ensure the community has the ability to maintain its institutions well into the future, especially in Jewish education.
Herzliah head of school Larry Kutler said called Adams’ gift “transformational.”
“Funds from this endowment will ensure that Herzliah will proudly take its place at the forefront of private education in Montreal.”