Source: The Covenant Foundation
Three exceptional educators from across the spectrum of Jewish life are 2011 recipients of the Covenant Award for committing to excellence in Jewish education and pursuing innovative approaches that inspire and empower students, colleagues and community. Rabbi Eve Ben-Ora, Jewish Educator at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco; Amy Skopp Cooper, Director of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack (New York) and Assistant Director of the National Ramah Commission; and Rabbi Shai Held, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar in New York City are the 2011 recipients.
The three recipients join 60 other Jewish educators honored with a Covenant Award since the Foundation established the citation in 1991. Each will receive $36,000, and each of their institutions will receive $5,000.
The Foundation and the Jewish community will honor them on Nov. 6 at a gala dinner and award ceremony in Denver during the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Rabbi Eve Ben-Ora, Jewish Educator at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) for the last five years, and Director of Jewish Education at the Jewish Community Center of Houston for ten years before that, has worked to instill formal and informal Jewish education as a living, thriving and accessible piece of the organizational landscape and has made the JCCSF the Jewish address for a pluralistic, diverse community.
As the lead Jewish educator at one of the Bay Area’s centerpiece Jewish institutions – one that serves a diverse population of 17,000 members and thousands more non-members - she has framed and designed creative and engaging Jewish education programs for a wide range of audiences.
Amy Skopp Cooper has served as Director of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack (New York) since 1997, and as Assistant Director of the National Ramah Commission of The Jewish Theological Seminary for the past seven years.
Cooper lends an overflowing energy, passion and vision to Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, which under her leadership has seen a significant increase in campers, now numbering more than 700 annually from across the spectrum of Jewish life.
Rabbi Shai Held is co-founder, Dean, and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar: An Institute for Prayer, Personal Growth and Jewish Learning, an egalitarian Torah study and prayer community based in New York City.
He is widely recognized by colleagues, students, and other Jewish educators as an inspiring and visionary teacher, leader and thinker who has put a stamp on Jewish education and engagement through an egalitarian model that not only emphasizes dissection and interpretation of classic texts, but instills in students a view of the Torah as a guide to hesed, or acts of loving kindness.
The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Foundation and the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA).