November 03, 2014
SANTA MONICA, CA – What started out as a typical school day turned into the surprise of a lifetime for two Los Angeles Jewish day school educators – Cheder Menachem head of school Rabbi Menachem Mendel Greenbaum and Shalhevet High School math teacher Katya Malikov. Each was honored with the Milken Jewish Educator Award as an exemplar of excellence before cheering students and colleagues. The accolade comes with a $15,000 unrestricted prize.
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.
During packed assemblies at each campus, Milken Family Foundation Executive Vice President Richard Sandler discussed the importance of talented educators not just to schools, but to our greater society. “To me, the most elegant title one can be called is ‘teacher’ because teachers change the world.”
Greenbaum and Malikov join the ranks of 2014 Jewish Educator Award recipients along with kindergarten teacher, peer mentor and technology leader Ariela Nehemne at Valley Beth Shalom and physical education coach Barry Schapira at Brawerman Elementary School West. The four will be celebrated, together with their families and community leaders, during an awards luncheon 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.
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: