Meet Our Alumni

Elliot Eslamboly '00: Family Fan, Mountain Climber, Lifetime Learner

Elliot Eslamboly was at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro when he got a satellite call from his mom. “You better get back to the States now,” his mom said over the phone, “your sister is having her first baby.”
Elliot knew he would miss the birth, but he was determined not to miss the bris. And so, he began a rapid descent, making the trek back to basecamp – something that might take the average climber four days to make – all in a single day.

The opportunity to welcome a new addition to his family and to the Jewish nation was simply not an occasion he was prepared to miss out on.

Since then, Elliot has enjoyed watching family climb to their own “life summits” – including now watching his three nephews continue their journeys at Sinai Akiba Academy. The boys are thriving under educators such as beloved and seasoned faculty member Frida Eytan, who has been at the School for three decades, and who also taught Elliot in 2nd Grade.

It’s the promise of L’Dor V’dor, the passing of tradition and excellence from generation to generation, in action. “Part of why Sinai Akiba is so successful is the confidence it gives to children in academia and beyond,” Elliot said. “Confidence to do what they think is right.”

A seasoned traveler and adventurer, Elliot folded that strong sense of compassion and the desire to do what’s right into his work, bringing medical care to villages in Tanzania, Kenya, and Darfur in Sudan, where Elliot assisted on a surgical team while exploring the culture of local villages.

“Sinai Akiba was always teaching about helping others, so after graduating college I spent a year in Africa,” he said. Giving back to those less fortunate became a part of Elliot’s identity long before college — the seeds were planted early on in the classrooms of Sinai Akiba.

Using the Swahili term “Pole Pole” (pronounced polay polay), or “slowly, slowly,” Elliot recalls the advice that is often given to those like him, who attempt to scale the tallest mountain in Africa for the first time.

Making a gradual ascent (slowly, slowly) is actually what enables the climber to succeed. Athletes who try to scale the slope too swiftly don’t make it to the top. Elliot sees this nugget of wisdom as analogous to his education at Sinai Akiba. Only through daily, gradually absorbed lessons about Judaism and Jewish living was he able to internalize the message of Tikkun Olam.

“Akiba was and remains a playground for Jewish ingenuity and accomplishment,” he said. Teachers like Rivka Shaked, Ahoova Zeffren, Heather Lipman, Renee Kraus, and so many others helped to create that powerful playground for Elliot and his classmates.

A graduate of UCLA and Southwestern Law School, Elliot also fondly remembers Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin, former Headmaster at Sinai Akiba, encouraging students to find a teacher and ask more questions.

“As a lawyer now, it’s my job to ask questions in depositions, so I’m using that curiosity daily,” Elliot said. With a thriving law practice and expertise in real estate litigation, Elliot has journeyed on the path to success and made it to the top of his own personal mountain.
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About Sinai Akiba Academy

Sinai Akiba Academy is a private Jewish day school in Los Angeles, serving students in Early Childhood through Grade 8. We also offer a variety of parenting classes and programs for children through our Parenting Center. A Sinai Temple school.

Notice of Non-Discriminatory Policy As to Students

Sinai Akiba Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.