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Principal Sonia Newman


Sonia Newman is elated to have this incredible opportunity to engage in the vital task of partnering with parents & community to educate our children. Her inspiration is rooted in our Torah, which states: "The effects of a good education are lifelong. Parents and teachers must take careful account of the child's personality and abilities." Hillel Community Day School (HCDS) carries forward the tradition of education for all Jewish children and families. The critical partnership between teachers, parents, and the community is represented through the fostering of ethical, compassionate leaders for the present and future.

Sonia's family has a deep connection with Judaism through their involvement with the Commandment Keepers organization, founded in 1919 in Harlem, New York City.  Her grand uncle, Rabbi Ellis J. McLeod, and other leaders established the Kol Beth B'nai Yisroel Congregation in 1945. Sonia's Jamaican heritage and Jamaican Jewish traditions have greatly influenced her Jewish experience and love for Judaism and Israel. 


As a committed educator, Sonia Newman is excited about the opportunity to merge her life experiences and expertise to cultivate a strong teaching and learning environment for our students. Her extensive background includes; working with the esteemed Rochester Teacher Center, where she crafted culturally relevant curricula and designed high-caliber, standards-driven rubrics across diverse subject areas. Notably, her collaboration with St. John Fisher College faculty at Rochester City School District’s,  Chester Dewey School #14, resulted in the creation of a professional development classroom dedicated to meeting the unique needs of all students. 


Sonia possesses a wealth of knowledge in Secular Education, Special Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Her training in America's Choice, a renowned national program for standards-based education, further enhances her expertise. With a permanent certification in Pre-Kindergarten through Middle School from New York State, she holds a Master of Education from SUNY Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hunter College in New York City. 


Prior to her remarkable journey in public education, Sonia excelled in executive retail leadership and customer service in the bustling city of New York. She also spent seven years as a dedicated instructor at a nationally recognized school of modeling and personal development in both New York City and San Francisco. 


Sonia and her husband Keith are proud parents of two Hillel alumni who graduated from the school in 2010 and 2014. Hillel School provided their children with an excellent Judaic and Secular education, empowering them to make educational choices for their future. Sonia's daughter chose to attend Ora Academy, a Bas Yakov Girls High School in Rochester, while her son pursued his education at Brighton High School. Hillel’s rich legacy of Secular and Judaic education allowed both paths to successfully graduate from Yeshiva University in Manhattan.


Sonia's vision is to build upon HCDS's rich legacy of delivering the highest level of Jewish-based education. Together with our dedicated faculty & staff, she aims to ensure that our school continues to thrive for another 75 years, reaching unprecedented levels of excellence and providing an exceptional educational experience for our students. 

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