The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is pleased to announce the winners of its First Annual Young Jewish Educators Award, an honor granted by JTS's William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education to draw attention to a new generation of Jewish educators. This year's winners were Eliana Light, a student from Brandeis University, who received the first-tier award for her essay about making synagogue congregants smile; Erin Fligel, a student from Pace University, who received the second-tier award for a submission about teaching Jewish values to kindergarteners; and Chana Yichye, who earned her third-tier award with a piece on bringing together diasporas in her role as an English language teacher. All three award winners received cash prizes, as well as a signed copy of Finding Our Way: Jewish Texts and the Lives We Lead Today by Dr. Barry Holtz, dean of The Davidson School and Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education at JTS.
JTS, one of the world's leading centers of Jewish higher education, integrates rigorous academic scholarship and teaching with a commitment to strengthening Jewish tradition, Jewish lives, and Jewish communities. Part of this vision includes innovating Jewish education to pave the way for the future. The JTS Young Jewish Educators Award is open to current college students or recent graduates of any school who work as Jewish educators, and have submitted essays about their recent accomplishments in Jewish education to The Davidson School of JTS.
"It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of Jewish life in America depends, at its deepest core, on the education of the next generations," says Dr. Holtz. "These awards celebrate talented young people who understand the importance of the mission of Jewish education, and offer us all hope about the future through their interest and dedication."