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Michal Cherrin, Jewish Educator, Dies at 66

July 29, 2014 By:
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Michal Cherrin

Michal Cherrin, 66, former head of school of the Albert Einstein Academy in Wilmington, Del., died July 27.

Long active in RAVSAK: The Jewish Community Day School Network, Cherrin taught at the Einstein Academy and led the Jewish studies program there for many years before assuming the position of head of school. Last year, just prior to her retirement, she received the Albert Einstein Academy Community Builder Award.

Born in Morocco, her family left the country at the behest of the government, which took action against them because of her father's involvement with the Zionist movement.

After traveling throughout Europe, they settled in Israel, where Cherrin, by then a multilinguist, received a bachelor's in special education and a master's in psychology from Haifa University. She taught at and then served as educational director at Kfar Tikvah, a kibbutz focused on residents with special educational needs.

At the request of the Devereux Foundation, Cherrin moved to the United States in 1977 to work with autistic children. Fourteen years later, she arrived at the Einstein Academy. She spent the next 21 years of her career there.

At the presentation of the academy's Community Builder Award, she expressed the importance she placed on Jewish rituals: "Growing up in an Orthodox family, I had a good foundation in my religion, but I grew spiritually here."

Appraising his predecessor as head of school, Rabbi Jeremy Winaker noted: "Michal left a strong legacy of pursuing justice and of appreciating the individual that students still feel today and that have given wings to alumni to fulfill their dreams and improve our world."

She is survived by her husband, Tom; and two sons, Gili and Daniel.

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