2012 Educator Recognition Program Award Recipients

The Sam Kahan Distinguished Educator Award and the community selection for the Grinspoon‐
Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education

Rabbi Shmuel Krawatsky teaches Judaic Studies in the Middle School at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

He writes, “I was inspired by my 6th grade rabbi, (Rabbi Simcha Cohen) and I pray that I can do the same to many others. There is nothing more precious than to see Jewish kids sparked by Torah and Judaism…This has shown me how important it is to make Jewish learning and teaching the most positive
of lights.”

Zipora Schorr writes of Rabbi Krawatsky, “…it is the passion which infuses each aspect of his personality, and which speaks so loudly to his students and his colleagues. His colleagues know he respects them and learns from them, though they learn so much more from him. And his students know that his high
expectations are high because he believes in them.”

The Rabbi Herbert Birnbaum Award for dedication to the Jewish people and distinguished service to
Jewish Education

Sarah Bohn has been teaching at The Day School at Baltimore Hebrew for 17 of her 43 years as an educator. She teaches middle grades Judaics, general, and social studies.

Gerri Chizeck writes, “Sarah Bohn is an outsanding educator who has dedicated her life to teaching and inspiring students. While she has anadministrative degree…she has chosen to teach full time because it is her joy and her passion.”

The Nathan and Ruth Lipsetts Award for creative teaching skills and a role in the life and affairs of the
Baltimore Jewish Community.

Caela Kaplowitz teaches 4th and 5th grades Judaics at Beth Israel Congregationand 5th grade Hebrew at Bnos Yisroel.

Rachel Glaser writes, “Morah Kaplowitz has a way of drawing out each child in her class. Her students never know if she will begin class by posing a riddle, by asking a challenging question, or by wearing a costume. But they do know that they will be immediately drawn into the lesson, as they eagerly await
the adventures that take place during the next two hours.”

The Samuel Glasner Creative Teaching Excellence Award for the epitome of creative, quality Jewish
teaching.

Elisheva Erlanger teaches 5th and 6th grade Judaics at Ohr Chadash Academy and 3rd and 4th grade Judaics at Bath Tfiloh Dahan Community School.

Noam Davidovics writes, “Mrs. Erlanger has been fearless in her embrace of new tools and new methodologies, pushing the boundaries every day in her classroom…She is a pioneer in Blended Learning techniques and differentiated instruction for Judaic Studies and has lectured to other
educators across the country about her methods.”

The Rabbi Joseph Braver Award for Excellence in Jewish Education honors an educator who has exhibited outstanding performance and leadership.

Elaine Meiseles teaches 6th and 7th grade Jewish History and Israel at Har Sinai Congregation, BEIT-RJ, and Beth Israel Congregation.

Sheila Mentz writes “Mrs. Meiseles is an excellent history teacher. She has a wonderful magical way of conveying Jewish American History and Holocaust studies to the students and parents alike…she has written her own curriculum…that she has used at Har Sinai, Beth Israel, and BEIT-RJ.

The Early Childhood Teaching Excellence Award for creative teaching and nurturing of young children with an integrated curriculum and developmentally appropriate methods.

Devorah Ryback teaches 4-year-old children at the Talmudical Academy.

Beily Rosen writes “Devorah is incredibly dynamic and is a master at making the Jewish experience come alive…She can frequently be seen acting out the weeks’ Torah portion…She also mentors all of our incoming staff…Devorah’s spunk inside the classroom and out is a tremendous asset to our team. Her willingness to help others shows her genuine interest in a proper education for all of our students.

The Special Education Award honors an educator who displays dedication and advocacy for his/her students as well as creative and effective methodologies for reaching all learners.

Rivky Danziger teaches kindergarten through 5th grade for SHEMESH at Talmudical Academy.

Faye Friedman writes, Mrs. Danziger demonstrates “an unwavering commitment to growing professionally and the recognition that her students deserve no less than the best. Rivka’s strengths as a special educator have always included flexibility, creativity, and compassion…(she also demonstrates) strong leadership, the ability to train and supervise special education staff and the capacity to embrace and implement positive change.”

The CJE Teen Educator Award honors outstanding teens who commit time to supporting the Jewish classroom and have grown as Jewish educators.
(2 winners in 2012)

Emma Danoff supports Hebrew classes in all grades at Beth Israel Congregation.

Rachel Glaser writes “Emma has been one of Beth Israel’s Teen Madrichim since September 2007. She has been a dedicated member of our teaching staff, growing and learning each year. (She has taken a lead role organizing) a monthly evening event for a group of special needs young adults….becoming a mentor to the younger teens interested in working with this special group, guiding them in planning the activities.”

Nathan Lawless assists the 6th grade classroom at Temple Emanuel.

Shauna Leavey writes “The teen educators at Temple Emanuel are exceptional and Nathan leads the pack. He completed an Eagle Scout project at Temple last year, building an outdoor chapel that is a welcome addition to our sacred spaces.

The CJE Teen Special Educator Award honors an outstanding teen who has impacted the life of a special needs student in our community.

Danny Offermann shadows a third grader with Autism at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

Brad Cohen writes, “Danny helps her develop a love for Judaism and engage in the work she is doing in the classroom. He is always asking questions and finding new ways to interact with her.”

Novice Teacher Award honors an educator with exceptional promise in his/her first five years of teaching.

Kayla Helfman teaches 4th grade at Temple Emanuel and is an assistant kindergarten teacher at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School.

Shauna Leavey writes “Kayla continually makes sure that all of her students are reaching their learning goals…She is committed, thoughtful, and kind. She communicates well with parents and encourages Jewish learning and life at home for all students.”

General Studies Educator Award honors an educator who demonstrates exceptional commitment to teaching in a Jewish Day School environment.

Dean Whitfield teaches Physics, Calculus, Forensics, Probability and Statistics, and Chess and is the chair of Math and Science and the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at the Shoshana S. Cardin School.

Rabbi Stuart Seltzer writes, “Dean distinguishes himself not only in his knowledge and thoroughness of preparation for whatever he is teaching, but also his originality and creativity…one year for Rosh HaShanah, he taught a lesson on sound waves to demonstrate how a deaf person might experience the vibrations of the shofar.”

Congregational Educator Award honors an educator who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to students and families in part-time Jewish schools.

Debbie Boches teaches 2nd grade at Beth Israel Congregation and kindergarten at Krieger Schecter Day School.

Rachel Glaser writes “Debbie’s classroom is about much more than learning new skills. Upon entering the room, one hears and sees Hebrew language everywhere, sees children engaged in joyful learning with partners or in small groups, discovering how to build a community of Jewish learners.”

Youth Educator Award honors an educator in an informal setting who is dedicated to the whole life of young Jews.

Samson Wach is the Youth Director at Ner Tamid Synagogue and teaches third grade at Beth El Congregation.

Dr. Suzanne Keilson Friedman writes “He is able to create fun and energy out of nothing and on a shoestring budget. He has a great depth of understanding of the world of middle-schoolers and teens…He makes Yiddishkeit feel natural, fun, and full of pride with ease.“

Collaborative Teaching Award is a special recognition to celebrate the creative, out of the box experience generated by a group of educators with a shared program.

Leah Sherizen-Berry, Laura Gilman, and Samantha Kahan teach the Praying with Our Feet Service Learning course at BEIT-RJ. Samantha also teaches 6th grade at Temple Emanuel.

Student Sarah Narrow writes, “Leah, Laura, and Sam are able to teach the class about very serious social justice issues with a relation to Judaism in an extremely engaging and creative way. One of our first offsite projects was to Weinberg Park Assisted Living. The class before… we were presented with glasses with Vaseline on the lenses and latex gloves…We found (simple tasks) difficult to do with our sense of sight and touch taken away from us. Our teachers informed us that these obstacles are something that the people we would be helping face every day.”

Enduring Impact Award is a special recognition of an educator who has made a unique impact on multiple generations of Jewish families in Baltimore.

Helene Mintz teaches 6th grade at Bais Yaakov, where she has been teaching for over 40 years.

Rabbi Naftoli Hexter writes, “The students love Mrs. Mintz’s class because she is a mature embodiment of the Torah she teaches and is full of life…Whatever it takes to help a child come closer to realizing her potential, Mrs. Mintz will happily do…O’ that every teacher be as dedicated, happy, and skillful as Mrs. Mintz…She is an inspiration to all of us.”

CJE is an agency funded by THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. www.associated.org