Israel Engagement Award

The Israel Engagement Award recognizes an individual or an organization whose leadership is committed to making Israel Engagement a core part of its mission and vision, and to integrating Israel into all areas of institutional life. It honours excellence in cultivating deep, real, and multi-faceted relationships between its stakeholders and Israel.

Claire Sumerlus

Claire Sumerlus has extensive experience in a variety of educational roles, including that of special needs teacher, curriculum implementation teacher, vice-principal and principal. From 1998-2009, Claire was head of one of Canada’s premiere girls’ schools, Balmoral Hall, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Since 2009, Ms. Sumerlus has been the Head of School at Robbins Hebrew Academy. Claire has assumed leadership roles on a number of boards and committees, including a term as President of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools. She has also served on the boards of a variety of Jewish community organizations.


Claire holds a Bachelor of Education and School Administrator’s Certificate from the University of Manitoba. Her commitment to best practices, and a multi-disciplinary approach to education involving teachers, students and parents, creates a rich and successful learning environment.


Israel is a country that is near and dear to my heart.  It is important to educate our youth about Israel and help them develop a long lasting relationship with the State. “People to people” relationships are at the core of helping our youth develop connections and develop a lifelong love for the country.  Being involved in creating ways for students to interact and learn beside their peers in Israel is a very gratifying experience.  Creating an environment that fosters Israel in our hearts and minds is part of our school mission, vision and values.  I am honored to be the recipient of this award.