3 win Covenant Awards for excellence in Jewish education


(JTA) — Three Jewish educators were named recipients of the 2015 Covenant Awards for excellence in Jewish education.

The New York-based Covenant Foundation named the recipients of the award, among the highest honors in Jewish education, on Wednesday.

They are:

* Michelle Shapiro Abraham, director of program development for the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism. Abraham also is a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp and a clinical faculty member in the HUC-Jewish Institute of Religion Executive MAJE Program.

* Sandra Ostrowicz Lilienthal, curriculum developer and instructor at The Rose and Jack Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education of Broward County in Davie, Florida.

* Amy Meltzer, the lead kindergarten teacher at the Lander-Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, Massachusetts.

The winners each receive $36,000; their institutions get $5,000.

“These dynamic Jewish educators reflect intense talent and dedication, and their inspired teaching makes an impact along the entire Jewish educational spectrum — from the classroom to summer camps to public space,” said Harlene Winnick Appelman, executive director of The Covenant Foundation. “By practice and by example, they are moving the field forward and strengthening the Jewish present and future.”

Abraham is being awarded for her multifaceted professional career, the foundation said, saying that she “has altered the educational landscape in myriad settings and for a cross-section of students and colleagues.”

Lilienthal, affiliated with Orloff CAJE since 2006, “has transformed the agency, its educational impact, and the face of adult Jewish education in South Florida,” according to the foundation.

Meltzer, a kindergarten teacher since 1997, “is proving that a small classroom in a small school in a small town can be a nucleus of inspired Jewish education and a model for the entire field,” the foundation said.

The awards will be given out at a ceremony in November at the annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

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