October 14, 2014
SANTA MONICA, CA (Oct. 14, 2014) – Heading into school today, little did two LA-area Jewish day school teachers know that they would each end the day $15,000 richer! The wealth wasn’t just monetary, however, as they were honored with the Milken Jewish Educator Award before their entire schools for being role models of excellence for students and colleagues at Valley Beth Shalom Harold M. Schulweis Day School (VBS) in Encino and Brawerman Elementary School in West Los Angeles.
During all-school assemblies at each campus, Milken Family Foundation Executive Vice President Richard Sandler involved students in the presentation, together with BJE Executive Director Dr. Gil Graff. Two more educators will receive the award in the weeks to come.
In summing up the important message of the day’s first notification event, Valley Beth Shalom Rabbi Ed Feinstein told the chapel full of VBS Day School students and faculty that “according to the Torah, the most special thing you can do in the world is become a teacher.”
The Jewish Educator Awards initiative was established in 1990 by the Milken Family Foundation, in cooperation with BJE: Builders of Jewish Education, to provide public recognition and unrestricted $15,000 cash awards to teachers, administrators and other education professionals in the Greater Los Angeles area who have made significant contributions to excellence in day schools affiliated with BJE.
According to Sandler, “The Jewish Educator Awards call upon others in the profession to emulate the high standards of those we honor today—educators whose intelligence, scholarship, creativity and compassion help guide children to greater success, while preserving the heritage that gives meaning to that success.”
Award recipients are selected by a committee of educators, professional and lay leaders from the Jewish community. To be eligible for consideration, educators must teach a minimum of 15 hours per week at the kindergarten-through-12th-grade level; they must have been teaching for a minimum of seven years in a BJE-affiliated school; and they must hold a class "A" or higher scale rating (for Judaic teachers) or a state teaching credential (for general studies teachers).
Criteria considered for the selection of Jewish Educator Award recipients include:
Recipients, together with their families and community leaders, will be honored during an awards luncheon in Los Angeles on December 16, 2014. The event is known for its inclusiveness, bringing together people from the most secular to the most Orthodox in the Jewish community.
For more information about the Jewish Educator Awards, visit www.jewisheducatorawards.org.
CONTACT: Bonnie Somers, (310) 570-4770 or firstname.lastname@example.org