Covenant Awards To Three New York Educators


Karina Zilberman, whose work reaching and inspiring young children and their families in pre-Shabbat programs at the 92nd Street Y was featured in The Jewish Week in March, was one of three winners of the prestigious 2012 Covenant Awards, announced Tuesday.

The other winners were Peter Geffen, founder and executive director of Kivunim in New York, and Gitta Jaroslawicz-Neufeld, director of education at Allegra Franco School of Educational Leadership in Brooklyn.

The awards, among the most coveted in the field of Jewish education, carry a $36,000 prize for each recipient along with $5,000 for their institutions. Zilberman, the director of Jewish Family Life and Culture at the 92nd Street Y, created a pre-Shabbat sing-a-long five years ago at the Y, called Shababa Community, which has grown in popularity with affiliated and non-affiliated families. (‘Jewish Life Can Be A Playground,’ March 16) Geffen, who has spent his career in Jewish education, founded Kivunim in1999 as a program for day school educators, bringing them to Jerusalem for summer institutes.

In 2006, the program expanded to provide experiential learning to post-high school students for a year in Israel, with visits to other countries. Geffen is also founder of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in New York and has spent his career in Jewish education.

Jaroslawicz-Neufeld has served as a role model as well as educator for Sephardic women in Brooklyn, helping to create a new cadre of women educators in a community that traditionally did not value women aspiring to higher levels of learning or careers outside the home.

The awards will be given at a dinner and ceremony in Baltimore in November, during the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.