Five young, passionate and exceptional Jewish educators making impact today, and holding great promise to be leaders in the field in the future, are the 2014 recipients of The Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize.
Representing a range of educational venues and approaches, recipients are: Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, Founder and Director of the Center for Jewish Mindfulness in Chicago, and Program Director for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in New York; Rabbi Michael Bitton, Director of Educational Technology and Judaic Studies teacher at Magen David Yeshivah High School in Brooklyn, NY; Talya S. Gillman, a Jewish educator and social justice advocate pursuing her M.A. in Transformational Leadership in Seattle; Oren J. Massey, Executive Director of Edah in Berkeley, CA; and Rabbi Yigal Sklarin, a Talmud and Jewish History educator at The Ramaz Upper School in New York.
The Pomegranate Prize was established in 2011 and recognizes emerging leaders in Jewish education – those in the field for 10 years or less. The Prize stands next to The Covenant Award, which since 1991 has honored three exemplary Jewish educators each year for their records of innovation and impact across Jewish education settings.
The Covenant Foundation is creating a growing network of Pomegranate Prize recipients and providing a laboratory and platform for them as they immerse themselves in foundation-supported professional development and leadership programs, peer-to-peer gatherings, mentorships and other educator initiatives. Counting the 2014 group, there are now 20 Pomegranate Prize recipients, each of whom receives $15,000 to fuel educational projects and their development as change agents in their communities and in Jewish education.
Recipients have the opportunity to connect with thought leaders and extraordinary educators from across the spectrum of Jewish life through events sponsored by the Foundation over a three-year period, and five new educators will join the cohort each year.
The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies.