The Jewish Education Project
Young Pioneers Award 2012 FAQs
For Media Inquiries, contact Press@JewishEdProject.org or Beth Silver at email@example.com or 212.472.4340.
For more information on the award, please visit our FAQ page.
Celebrate With Us!
The winners of the award will be recognized at The Jewish Education Project “Celebrate Our Future” Cocktail Reception Fundraiser. Sponsorships and tickets available here.
Who is The Jewish Education Project?
The Jewish Education Project (formerly BJENY-SAJES) sparks and spreads innovations that expand the reach and increase the impact of Jewish education. We empower the next generation of Jews to live as actively engaged members of the Jewish community. Our work touches 200,000 children in 800 partner programs including Congregational Schools, Day Schools and Yeshivot, Early Childhood Centers, and Teen programs, across New York City, Westchester and Long Island. We are proud to have been selected by Slingshot ‘11 –‘12 as one of North America’s 50 most innovative Jewish nonprofits. The Jewish Education Project is a beneficiary agency of UJA Federation.
What is The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award?
The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award celebrates five forward thinking and innovative educators, under the age of 36, who are creating 21st century Jewish education for children, teens and families.. The winners each demonstrated a personal and professional commitment to new ideas, and proven use of technology or other innovative approaches to inspire students and families. They stood out by designing or implementing new educational initiatives, and by engaging and motivating colleagues as well as their leadership to also embrace new ideas. The winners were chosen out of nearly 50 nominees throughout Greater New York, from across the educational, regional and denominational spectrums. Winners were chosen by a Selection Committee of Lay Leaders and Educators in the field, and advised by The Jewish Education Project staff. The winners of the award will be recognized at The “Celebrate Our Future” Cocktail Reception to benefit The Jewish Education Project on June 4th, 2012 at Columbia University.
Who applied for the award?
This year, The Jewish Education Project received 50 nominations for educators aged 36 or below from across New York City, Westchester and Long Island. Nominees and institutions ran the spectrum from Reform to Orthodox, from preschool and secondary school to community programs. Each educator was nominated by a colleague or supervisor and each nomination contained an extensive rationale as to why their nominee should be chosen. Many nominees had no idea they had been nominated.
Who are this year’s recipients and why were they chosen?
This year’s recipients represent leaders from Congregations, Day Schools, JCC’s and Camps. The common thread amongst each of these honorees is their ability to think beyond the status quo and bring new ideas and initiatives into their educational setting that meet the changing needs of today’s children and families. They are reaching new Jewish children and families, engaging students in entirely new models of learning, or using technology to maximize the impact of Jewish learning taking place. They are also leading the way within their institutions or fields and helping other educators embrace their new methods and ideas. All of our honorees have successfully and passionately motivated their communities to incorporate Judaism into their life and to want more for themselves and their families. Their collective work truly represents The Jewish Education Project’s mission of leading the Jewish community with the tools and resources needed to spark and spread innovations that expand the reach and increase the impact of Jewish Education.
The recipients of The Jewish Education Project 2012 Young Pioneers Award are:
Michael Witman, Temple Beth El of Great Neck (Congregational Learning): As Director of Education, Michael has led the way in redefining the Religious School experience for TBE members. He has created a passionate and inspirational vision of what a Congregational education can look like, and has translated that into powerful learning experiences for children and families. Michael's attention to relationship is paired with an ability to use technology, including using Facebook to bring trips to Israel alive for the whole congregation and creating YouTube videos to teach the weekly Torah portion. Michael “brings a contagious enthusiasm and 'outside the box' spirit” to TBE. The result is an entirely new model of learning that has increased student literacy, garnered more family involvement and increased membership at the congregation.
Alison Schulman Stamm, Temple Sinai of Roslyn (Teen Education and Engagement): Alison has successfully engaged the teens at her synagogue, keeping them involved in Jewish learning and in leadership roles post Bar and Bat Mitzvah. By developing innovative programs such as alternative seders, service-learning overnights in New York City and teen lobbying trips to Albany, she has empowered the congregation’s youth to grow in character and confidence and to remain connected to the Temple community. Through her efforts, high school enrollment has become the “thing to do” and grown to over 115 students. Alison is currently an active participant in The Jewish Education Project’s Long Island Jewish Teen Directors Network.
Jacqueline Marks, The JCC in Manhattan (Early Childhood and Family Engagement): Jacqueline’s role at the JCC Manhattan transcends from the Nursery school on and leverages on the interpersonal attention needed for each age group. Jacqueline’s expertise lies in documentation and in sharing student learning that takes place in the classroom with parents. She is a master at capturing and sharing the wonder of learning with children, families and colleagues. Jacqueline’s enthusiasm for experimentation is infectious and her work in this area is now being replicated throughout the institution. Through her work in and out of the classroom, Jacqueline is changing the landscape of family engagement.
Yoni Stadlin, Eden Village Camp (Open Space): Yoni is the Founding Director of Eden Village Camp, the only Jewish farm or "Green Dream" of Jewish camp. Eden Village is the only camp that grows and serves organic, local, homemade gourmet food and maintains a holistic and integrative perspective. The camp has succeeded in drawing a cross-section segment of the Jewish population, including Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox, Renewal, and Reconstructionist Jews, many who had previously been choosing secular camps. Yoni starts with the learners interests - in animals, art, organic cooking, or natural science - and brings Jewish context, values and rich experiences to those areas.
Rivke Pianko, Westchester Hebrew High School (Day Schools): Through her work as a Judaic Studies teacher, Rivke uses technology to create a link between the historical implications of text and the modern world that our students are confronted with daily. She uses technology to create lessons that engage students and encourage them to become active participants in the learning process. Rivke took it upon herself to become the WHHS technology staff consultant, changing the whole school culture, and to submit 77 top-notch Smartboard lessons to the Legacy Heritage Fund which spreads her work throughout the rest of the field. Rivke is also an active member of the DigitalJLearning network which support online learning in Jewish classrooms (a joint program of The Jewish Education Project, JESNA and The AviChai Foundation). Rivke’s lessons bridge thousands of years of history and bring the messages of the text to life in a way that is concrete, entertaining, and impactful.
Why is The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award so important?
The world around us is changing at a breathtaking pace. Jewish educational methods must adapt and grow in order to keep up and ensure that today’s children feel the relevance and importance of Judaism and its values. We celebrate the young innovative educators who are ensuring that Jewish education remains relevant and compelling for today’s children and families, and whose innovations are enhancing the quality of learning in their individual communities. By celebrating the accomplishments of these educators and their institutions we help spread their innovations to other institutions throughout the Jewish educational system and reinforce the mission and goals of The Jewish Education Project.
What will each winner’s achievement allow them to do?
• Each honoree will be recognized at the Celebrate Our Future Cocktail Reception and receive two complementary tickets for the honoree and a guest.
• Each honoree will receive a $360 Professional Development Stipend.
• Honorees will be introduced to other leaders in their respective fields and be provided with the opportunity to share their work with a wider audience.
• Each honoree will receive a complimentary ticket to the 3rd Jewish Futures Conference on June 4th at 3:30 pm.
We hope each honoree will feel pride in what they have accomplished, will experience the gratitude expressed by the community, and will continue to strive to create Jewish educational experiences that engage and inspire today’s children, teens and families.
What is The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Circle?
The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Circle includes other distinguished Jewish educators and leaders throughout the Greater New York area who were nominated for The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award. When we created the award, we expected to recognize five winners, but after reviewing the nearly 50 nominees, we were so impressed that we decided to invite the inaugural year of nominees to join The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Circle. It is thrilling to see how many inspiring educators are working with our children in innovative and exciting ways. We are very excited to celebrate all of their accomplishments!
How will winning this award help the institution?
While each institution will have a unique response, we believe the award will help highlight the amazing work and staff each institution is showcasing. Each of the individuals and their institutions have proactively made the decision to look at Jewish education in an innovative and exciting manner and to support experimentation and new ideas.
If you would like to speak with a specific winner or institution, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to know the winner to attend the Celebrate Our Future reception?
The Celebrate Our Future Cocktail Reception to benefit The Jewish Education Project will be held on Monday, June 4th 2012, 7:15 p.m. at the Faculty House of Columbia University. The reception is open to anyone would like to purchase a ticket to the event. Tickets are $360 and proceeds will benefit the Jewish Education Project and support its many initiatives to strengthen the impact and expand the reach of Jewish education in New York and across the country. Tickets can be purchased at www.JewishEdProject.org/celebrate . Members of the press who are interested in attending can contact email@example.com .
How can I learn more about the Jewish Education Project and the Young Pioneers Award?
To learn more about The Jewish Education Project, please visit, www.JewishEdProject.org .
To learn more about The Jewish Education Project Young Pioneers Award, please visit www.JewishEdProject.org/YoungPioneers. If you would like to connect with The Jewish Education Project, we are on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/JewishEdProject and Twitter: www.twitter.com/JewishEd and @JewishEd
What are the details?
Monday, June 4, 2012 - 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Columbia University Faculty House, (Faculty House is located on Columbia University’s East Campus on Morningside Drive, north of 116th Street.)
Registration fee; $360 . Educator Discount: $180
To register, please visit www.JewishEdProject.org/celebrate