Kantor King Solomon High School was in a celebratory mood on Wednesday night as it welcomed Dr Moshe Kantor to a renaming ceremony held in his honour.
Dr Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress since 2007, has supported the school over the past two years with generous financial donations.
His sponsorship has enabled the Ilford school to make significant improvements, including expanding its Jewish studies department and providing every sixth form student with a laptop.
Opening in 1993, Kantor King Solomon is a voluntary aided Jewish comprehensive based in Barkingside, but provides places for children from all faiths. It is currently 30% Jewish.
Distinguished guests at the ceremony included the Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush, and former special envoy to the Middle East Lord Michael Levy.
The Israeli Ambassador to the UK praised Dr Kantor for his commitment to Jewish education:
“By you giving critical support to Jewish education, you are demonstrating the most sacred Jewish values- a sense of community, spirit and commitment to the Jewish future.”
“You are making a tangible difference to the lives of thousands of children. Everyone here should thank you.”
Addressing the audience of 200 people, Dr Kantor reflected on the importance of education.
“Education is not just about knowledge and academic attainment,” he stressed. “It is about shaping individuals who can be both proud of their culture, and their identity, while being comfortable contributing to a diverse society like Britain.”
The school has recently celebrated a record breaking year of academic merit.
The latest GCSE results were the best in Kantor King Solomon’s history, with 77% of pupils achieving A*-C, including English and Maths. Two exceptional pupils, Zach Igielman and Jack Palmer, achieved 11A* each.
Dr Kantor is a prominent public figure, international philanthropist and scientist. His distinguished career includes turning Acron agrochemical company into one of the world’s leading fertiliser producers and distributors, becoming President of the International Luxembourg Conference on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, the largest non-government expert institution of its kind, and founding and presiding over the World Holocaust Forum Foundation (WHF).
“We are on a journey to outstanding status and Dr Kantor’s generous assistance has been invaluable to us,” concluded Matthew Slater, the school’s headmaster.