SPRINGFIELD – The Harold Grinspoon Foundation has announced the four winners of the local Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education.
These outstanding educators received surprise visits from community representatives bearing flowers and balloons: Esther Benari-Altmann, Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield; Rabbi Yosi Eisen of the OU-JLIC Program at UMass Hillel, Amherst; Chelsea Smith of Heritage Academy, Longmeadow; and Dr. Nicole Brackman, Hebrew High School of New England in West Hartford Conn., who received the additional distinction of being named the Regional Awardee for the North American Awards Program. In the past 15 years, more than 700 educators in the Pioneer Valley and throughout North America have received the prestigious award.
All Regional nominees were feted in January at a catered reception at the home of Harold Grinspoon and Diane Troderman. Reflecting on the difficult job of selecting winners from among 44 nominees, one judge commented: “The efforts of these educators to make a lasting difference in the lives of Jewish children is inspiring.”
The Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education will be presented at an Educators’ Gala at Temple Beth El, Springfield, on May 28, hosted by the Grinspoon Foundation. The event celebrates all the area educators who commit themselves to changing the lives of Jewish students.