Covenant Foundation honors emerging Jewish educators


(JTA) — The Covenant Foundation unveiled a new award recognizing five promising Jewish educators from across the United States.

The Pomegranate Prize, which was presented Sunday in Denver during the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, was established to honor and nurture exceptional, emerging Jewish professionals.

The recipients, representing a range of educational settings and approaches, are Rabbi Marc Baker, head of school at Gann Academy-The New Jewish High School of Greater Boston; Robert Beiser, Campus/JConnect Repair the World director at Hillel at the University of Washington in Seattle; Anna Hartman, director of early childhood education at Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta; Gilah Kletenik, congregational scholar at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York; and Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“We know that encouragement early on in a person’s career can make all the difference in their success,” said philanthropist Lester Crown as he introduced the Pomegranate Award and its first recipients to hundreds of Jewish lay, communal and educational leaders at the event.

“Our goal with this new prize is to provide the means for these already remarkable educators to further develop their skills, fulfill a dream or two, and have the chance to get to know others who, like themselves, are bringing fresh new ideas and abundant energy to the field of Jewish education.”

The foundation’s Covenant Award since 1991 has honored three exemplary Jewish educators each year for their records of innovation and impact across Jewish education settings. The new prize goes to those in the field for 10 years or less.

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