Jewish Education Night, 2012

by | May 25, 2012 | Uncategorized

Jewish learning—its teachers and administrators of all the community Jewish schools were honored at this year’s Jewish Education Night on May 14 at the Simon Family JCC. Many awards and recognitions were given to deserving teachers and youth.

Annabel Sacks, chair of the United Jewish Federation Education Council, opened the evening with welcoming remarks. She thanked the UJFT and Tidewater Jewish Foundation for their support of Jewish Education Night.

Cantor Gordon Piltch of Congregation Beth El led singing of the National Anthem and Hatikvah, followed by a D’Var Torah by Rabbi Jeff Arnowitz of Congregation Beth El.

Greetings were also delivered by Alvin Wall, president of the UJFT, and Sandra Porter Leon, president of the Simon Family JCC. Leon’s message to the educators was to build partnerships and grow outside each group’s usual realm. She reminded the educators that partnering with the JCC is a great way to promote their own programs, while also collaborating in a way that helps bring the community together in new and different ways.

Rabbi Mordechai Loiterman, principal of Toras Chaim, presented Youth Awards to young people who work or volunteer in area synagogues and schools.

Alene Jo Kaufman, director of Strelitz Early Childhood Center, presented four special awards. One was to Gail Bachman for her 46 years of service to the Religious School of Ohef Sholom Temple. Another went to Leah Schwartz for Chai (18) years of teaching in various schools in the community and one was given to Rabbi Susie Tendler for her years of involvement in Jewish education at Congregation Beth El and the Florence Melton Adult Mini- School. She is moving to Chattanooga, Tenn. to lead a congregation there. The fourth award was given to Zena Herod, outgoing head of school for the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater.

Kitty Wolf, Religious School educator of Ohef Sholom Temple, presented Continuing Education Certificates to all educators who devoted at least 10 hours during this year to Jewish learning and teaching outside the realm of their “official” jobs.

Ina Mirman Leiderman presented the community’s annual gift to each educator, a CD of a high school boys’ acapella singing group from New City, N.Y. called Trey Kaley. In addition to the CD, each person received a sheet with the words in Hebrew and English of all the songs on the CD.

Kevin Tabakin, the 2011 Jewish Educator of the Year, called up a stunned and delighted Lorna Orleans to the podium to present her with the 2012 Jewish Educator of the Year award. Orleans has taught for many years at the Strelitz Early Childhood Center, as well as at Temple Israel’s religious school. The award recipient for this annual award is a surprise until the announcement at Jewish Education Night.

Miriam Brunn Ruberg, director of Jewish Life and Learning for the Simon Family JCC, thanked the large crowd for attending and for their passion for inspiring others to learn and grow from their Jewish knowledge.

After a closing prayer by Rabbi Michael Barnett of Temple Emanuel, a dessert reception took place, while education displays from each school in the community were viewed.