Source: The Covenant Foundation
Three outstanding Jewish educators who are taking their visions of deeply engaging Judaism and igniting them into reality - are the 2017 recipients of The Covenant Award. Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, Founding Principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, NY; Meredith Englander Polsky, National Director of Institutes and Training at Matan in New York, and Developmental Support Coordinator at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, MD; and Dr. Jane Shapiro, Co-Founder of Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning in Skokie, IL are the recipients of the Award, which is among the highest honors in the field of Jewish education.
“These Jewish educators exemplify inspired, courageous and visionary leadership,” said Cheryl Finkel, Chair of the Board of Directors of The Covenant Foundation and a former Covenant Award recipient. “Across the spectrum of educational venues, they are stimulating their students, communities, and the field to think and practice in innovative and pioneering ways. Their achievements challenge all of us in Jewish education to make our own work bolder, more ambitious, and more impactful.”
RABBI TULLY HARCSZTARK imagined a new model of what a Modern Orthodox high school could be – one balancing tradition and modernity and promoting vigorous dialogue and debate – and made it reality as Founding Principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. Under his exceptional and visionary leadership for the past 16 years, SAR High School has become a national model of Jewish education adapting to and embracing 21st century realities and equipping students and teachers in new, novel, and empowering ways.
MEREDITH ENGLANDER POLSKY is National Director of Institutes and Training at Matan in New York, and Developmental Support Coordinator at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, MD. Through advocacy and imaginative pedagogies, she has dramatically advanced Jewish communal dialogue and practices for inclusion of children with special needs and their families in Jewish life and learning.
Polsky founded Matan in 2000 with the realization that children with special needs and their families were living on the margins of Jewish education due to a community severely lacking the vocabulary, approaches, and awareness to create paths to engagement and full participation.
As Co-Founder of Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning in Skokie, IL, DR. JANE SHAPIRO is building a new model for engaging Jewish adults in the Chicago area and beyond – a holistic approach to Jewish education that is an emerging paradigm for personal and community growth.
The founding of Orot in 2014 reflects Shapiro’s entrepreneurial, risk-taking spirit and unique pedagogy. It is a milestone on her trajectory as a change-making educator within her community and the field of Jewish education more broadly.
The Foundation and the Jewish community will honor the 2017 award recipients on Nov. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, at an annual awards dinner during the General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America.
Read the entire announcement at the Covenant Foundation website.