November 05, 2001
These recipients had no idea they were even considered for the honor until Foundation officers Dr. Julius Lesner and Richard Sandler announced the first four at surprise assemblies held on October 24 at each educatorís school, joined by Dr. Gil Graff of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles.
Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken surprised the final recipient at Shalhevet School on November 1, marking the 60th presentation of this Award in the programís 12-year history.
"Every day, Jewish educators nurture the development not only of their students' minds, but also their character and identity," said Mr. Milken. "These Award recipients hold the standard of excellence high so that both religious and secular societies may respect and share in it, and students may value and aspire to it."
The honored educators are:
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 childrenís understanding of the connection between religion, classroom activities and life outside of school.
"Jewish educators nurture inquiry and exploration, and encourage the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of skills," Dr. Graff said. "These educators also model and convey such values as integrity and responsibility, respect and concern for others and for the world of which they and their students are a part."
The Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Awards were established in 1990 in cooperation with the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles (BJE).
The program offers public and financial recognition to education professionals who have made significant contributions to excellence in education in BJE-affiliated day schools.
Nearly 10,000 students are enrolled in the regionís 35 BJE-affiliated schools, and more than 20,000 students attend part-time religious schools or early childhood education programs.