Meet Our Head of School

I came to Israel as a teenager from St. Petersburg, Russia (then known as Leningrad). It was 1987, the year when an exhausted group of prisoners and long-term “refuseniks” had finally succeeded in breaking through the iron curtain of the disintegrating Soviet empire to fulfill their dream of living in Israel.

I grew up in a household where the intensity of Zionist sentiment was proportional to the intensity of persecution and destitution that my family experienced in the USSR. We considered living in Israel a great privilege, and the hope that I would one day get to do so is a hope that I cannot remember living without. p

An excellent education and education for excellence were top priorities for my family, in spite of the extreme poverty that we lived in for many years. For my parents, being highly educated was a part of their Jewish identity, and a tool for survival in a deeply anti-Semitic society. p

The high value that my parents placed on education encouraged them to overcome multiple hurdles and send me off to the United States in pursuit of my doctoral degree at New York University. There I embarked first on an academic career in the performing arts, eventually joining the faculty at NYU, and then completed my education with an MBA from Columbia University. I maintained my connection with Israel by working as a spokesman for the Israeli consulate in New York, until the demands of my growing biotechnology company pulled me away. Although a career in business was far from my training as a concert pianist, I viewed it as a means to the end of returning to Israel and contributing to the transformation of our country from a shelter to a magnet for the Jewish people. p

It is to this end that I founded Zarkor, a non-profit organization that aims to promote excellence in Israeli society. I believe that the qualitative edge of our people is our best tool for survival in an often hostile world. In addition, like my parents, I understand that an education for excellence must start at the youngest age to be effective. This is why Zarkor’s first major project was founding a school for children ages 4 through 18 that incorporates the best educational tools and resources known both in Israel and abroad. p

Israeli children deserve an outstanding educational institution, a school that will educate and prepare them, as future leaders, for the many challenges facing our country. I invite every Israeli family that values quality education to join us and experience what Zarkor has to offer. p

!Warm Regards

Dr. Michael Friedman