Recognizing Innovative Local Educators
who make a Lasting Impact on the Lives
of Jewish Children


Celebrate the 2015 Award Winners

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation is delighted to acknowledge the 2015 recipients of our Excellence in Jewish Education Awards. These talented educators are wonderful examples of engaging 21 century learning skills in their classrooms and programs, they are helping to shape the future of Jewish education while honoring the richness of our tradition.

2015 Awardees were honored at New CAJE 6 in Hartford, CT. August 2-5, 2015.


2016 Nomination process will open October 2015.

North American Awardees

Elisheva Erlanger

Rabbi Eliezer Kessler
Yeshiva Torat Emet
Houston, TX

"Rabbi Kessler takes a whole-person approach to teaching, focusing on producing well-rounded students who are eager to learn and grow, and his genuine enthusiasm naturally passes on to his students."

- Rabbi Yerachmiel Garfield (Head of School)

David  Harris-Gershon

Howard Rothbort
Yeshivah of Flatbush, Joel Braverman High School
Brooklyn, NY

"Howard's care and concern goes well beyond simply teaching the curriculum; it extends to instilling a love for Israel, developing an understanding of Zionism and most importantly teaching his seniors how to advocate and lobby for both Jewish and Israel concerns."

- Mica Bloom (Colleague)

Ellie Goldman

Michal Cahlon
Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
Overland Park, KS

"In an age where Jewish experience seems to eclipse Jewish intellect, Michal by example makes the case that the intellect is the spirit in a fashion that makes her students appreciate the Jewish tradition of learning. She doesn't teach about Torah, but rather, she teaches Torah."

- Rabbi Avi Weinstein (Supervisor)

Jill D. Eisen

Jill D. Eisen
Berman-Lipavsky Religious School at Beth El Congregation
Baltimore, MD

"Jill understands the future of American Jewry, and she is an active part in increasing Jewish education amongst the non-affiliated. Jill's passion is contagious, and she brings exceptional energy into our programs."

- Eyal Bor, Ph.D (supervisor)

Maria Gonzalez Griffith

Maria Gonzalez Griffith
Temple Beth Shalom Children's Center
Needham, MA

"Maria's selfless dedication to her craft, to our children, and to their learning has inspired many, she is the kind of educator who makes a long lasting impact on the Jewish lives of our children."

- Rabbi Todd A. Markley (parent of former student)

Rabbi Elazar Bloom

Rabbi Elazar Bloom
Brauser Maimonides Academy
Fort Lauderdale, FL

"Rabbi Bloom's inspiring personality, complemented by his deep knowledge of Judaic sources and text has had a profound impact and influence upon hundreds of BMA students. His unswerving commitment and passion for the academic, social, and emotional success of our students, is admired and celebrated by all."

- Dr. Chaim Y. Botwinick (Supervisor)

25 Regional Awardees

Ellen Berman

Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains NJ

Scotch Plains, NJ

Nicole Brackman

Hebrew High School of New England

West Hartford, CT

Lynda Brown

Temple Sholom of West Essex Religious School

Cedar Grove, NJ

Keren Elkoubi

Hebrew Foundation School

Dollard Des Ormeaux, QC

Leah Falik

Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls

Hewlett Bay Park, NY

Randi Fox Tabb

Keshet Preschool at Temple Beth El

Rochester, NY

Erin Gailor

Westboro Jewish Montessori Preschool

Ottawa, Ontario

Marsha Gottlieb

East Brunswick Jewish Center

East Brunswick, NJ

Rabbi Janie Grackin

Temple Shaarei Shalom

Boynton Beach, FL

Anna Greenfield

Akiva Hebrew Day School

Southfield, MI

Rabbi Nossin Hoen

Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

JCC Manhattan Team

Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School

New York, NY

Jake Marmer

Kehillah Jewish High School

Palo Alto, CA

Vita Moldavsky

Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov/ Ohr Eliyahu

Los Angeles, CA

Amy Rosenbaum Shorashim

Temple Israel Center of White Plains

White Plains, NY

Tova Rottenberg

Hebrew Academy of Cleveland

Cleveland Heights, OH

Moshe Sanders

Yavneh Academy

Paramus, NJ

Fiona Schicker

Temple Sinai

Houston, TX

Michal Smart

Bi-Cultural Day School

Stamford, CT

Rabbi Mordechai Smolarcik

Hillel Day School of Boca Raton

Boca Raton, FL

Mojdeh Soleymani

Temple Emanuel ECC

Beverly Hills, CA

Phyllis Spool


Worcester, MA

Elana Stern

Schechter School of Long Island

Jericho, NY

Debby Stone

Temple Solel

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA

Sara Weiss

Seattle Hebrew Academy

Seattle, WA

 Faces of Excellence in Jewish Education 2015

Nora Gorenstein
(413) 276-0832