The Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) has announced the 2018 winner and finalist of the Natalia Twersky Award for Educators. Awarded to educators who use primary sources to incorporate the voices and stories of Jewish women into their teaching, this year’s Twersky Award goes to Julie Rezmovic-Tonti. The finalist (second-place winner) is Rachael Cerrotti. The Natalia Twersky Award confers cash prizes to both winner and finalist.
Julie Rezmovic-Tonti teaches middle-school Jewish history and serves as Outreach Coordinator at Gesher Jewish Day School, a K-8 pluralistic community day school in Fairfax, Va. Her winning lesson plan, “The Life and Legacy of Glückel of Hameln” introduces students to a little-known historical figure who is most notable for leaving behind extraordinary diaries, which cover everything from mundane matters to financial obligations, work dilemmas, public health issues, anti-semitism, local politics, and childbearing.
Finalist Rachael Cerrotti is a documentary photographer, writer, and educator based in Boston, Mass. Her storytelling focuses on narratives of resilience, with a unique interest in family history. She submitted and won for her long-term project, “Follow My Footprints,” retracing her grandmother’s journey of displacement during and in the wake of World War II.
Begun in 2012, the Twersky Award is named for Natalia Twersky, a champion of Jewish education and the mother of JWA founding executive director Gail Reimer. Educators may nominate themselves or others for the annual award, and candidates undergo a rigorous application process, that includes submitting an original lesson plan. Winners are selected by an outside award committee, and winning lesson plans become part of JWA’s curricula on jwa.org, offered to educators around the world. To learn more, visit: jwa.org/twersky.