Press Releases


October 28, 2004

Five Los Angeles-Area Jewish Educators Surprised with $10,000 Awards

Milken Family Foundation presents local Jewish educators with prestigious—and unexpected—honor

Five outstanding Jewish educators in Los Angeles have been surprised with $10,000 unrestricted financial awards—the Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Awards—at schoolwide assemblies.

The surprise announcements were made by 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.

The five recipients were:

  • Rabbi Mordechai Dubin, music and fourth-grade teacher at Maimonides Academy in Los Angeles

  • Rick Hepworth, math teacher/curriculum coordinator at Yeshiva Gedolah in Los Angeles

  • Eileen Horowitz, head of schools at Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School in Los Angeles

  • Pam Kleinman, fifth-grade general studies teacher at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School West in Agoura Hills

  • Inez Tiger, third-grade teacher at the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles

"Through these awards, we seek to recognize in a very public way the tremendous contributions that outstanding educators make to the lives of their students and the community as a whole," said Sandler. "The community needs to recognize and reward excellence in our day schools where education not only helps to develop the minds of young people, but also nurtures their souls and instills in them the values of the Jewish religion."

The Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Awards were established in 1990 in cooperation with the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles as an adjunct to the Foundation’s National Educator Awards program.

Each year the program provides public recognition and financial awards of $10,000 to teachers, administrators and other education professionals who have made significant contributions to excellence in education in day schools affiliated with the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles.

By the time this year's fifth recipient is notified, the program will have presented 75 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.