Press Releases


November 21, 2003

Five Outstanding Jewish Educators Surprised with $10,000 Awards

Five outstanding Jewish educators in the Los Angeles area were taken by surprise this month with individual, unrestricted $10,000 awards during the 14th annual Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Award notifications.

Milken Family Foundation Executive Vice President Richard Sandler, together with Dr. Gil Graff, Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles, presented the surprise awards at schoolwide assemblies throughout the Southland.

The honored educators are:

  • Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, dean and executive director, Yeshiva Ohr Eliyahu, Culver City;
  • Shulamith Y. May, assistant principal of Jewish Studies, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Beverly Hills;
  • Jan Navah, art teacher, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles;
  • Tamar Raff, principal and director of Judaic Studies, Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School, Encino;
  • Aliza Dallalzadeh, kindergarten Judaic studies teacher, Emanuel Academy, Beverly Hills

"Jewish educators have a dual role," said Mr. Sandler. "They must not only help students develop a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in preparation for their lives ahead, but they must also instill within them the values and heritage of the Jewish religion. The five recipients of this award have carried out these objectives in a truly exemplary manner."

The Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Awards were established in 1990 in cooperation with the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles.

Each year, the program offers major financial recognition to teachers, administrators and other education professionals who have made significant contributions to excellence in education in day schools affiliated with the BJE.

Including this year's five recipients, the program has presented 70 awards to Los Angeles-area educators. The Milken Family Foundation also provides Jewish day school scholarships annually to hundreds of children.

Selected by a committee of educators and community leaders who have a long-standing concern for and involvement with education in Jewish schools, award recipients reflect the highest ideals of Jewish and secular education, fostering the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and nurturing a value system that can guide students through adulthood.

They also demonstrate an outstanding ability to develop Jewish children's understanding of the connection between religion, classroom activities and life outside of school.

The mission of the BJE is to ensure present and future generations of knowledgeable Jews who are committed to their religious, cultural, and national heritage. Through promoting lifelong Jewish learning and love of Israel, the BJE plays a vital role in fostering meaningful Jewish continuity and strengthening contemporary American Jewish life.