This years Chinuch Awards are underway, and it is exciting to see so many new nominations coming in.
All it takes for a teacher to have a chance to win is for someone to nominate them. Did you know that if the teacher you nominate wins, they receive a well-earned and well-deserved $3,600?
If you’re having trouble thinking of a teacher, we are sharing the profiles of last year’s two remarkable winners for some inspiration!
Rabbi Zalman Schapiro, Ohelei Torah, Brooklyn, NY.
It is very hard to find a Mechanech who is both a consummate professional while retaining a Chasidish varmkeit in loving each of his students. Rabbi Schapiro is one such man. An organized, efficient and professional educator who brings a wealth of experience to the table, Rabbi Schapiro is also a beloved father-like figure to his students, caring for their individual needs. In addition to covering an expanse of learning material, he is a Mechanech who appreciates that success may look different for each child and cares for each child’s emotional wellbeing down to the last detail. And the children know it as they feel that they matter and are cared for, gaining the confidence they need to learn and grow.
Rabbi Shapiro is known to utilize a review system that ensures knowledge and learning are maintained throughout the school year to the extent that one could “spot check any child and he will know everything from the beginning of the year.” Not only does Rabbi Shapiro rely on rigorous learning standards, he constantly expresses his love for his students in various ways, from bending down to a child’s level when speaking to him to conference calling a boy who is out sick to make him a part of the class.
Acting as a Dugma Chaya and Mashpia for his students Rabbi Shapiro “believes in the Neshama of every child”. With his Chasidishe Hanhaga he stresses that the children should value Ruchnius rather than Gashmius, Farbrenging with the students so that the lesson becomes a part of the children’s belief system. Both in and out of the classroom, Rabbi Shapiro leads his life in a way that inspires his students for years to come. As some have described him “Chinuch is not his job, it is his life.”
Mrs. Miriam Gerber, Cheder Chabad Philadelphia
A beloved Morah at Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, Mrs. Gerber was the leading visionary that founded the now successful school in her own basement. Her lifelong dedication to Chinuch was realized as the school grew and prospered, with Mrs. Gerber playing a key role in developing exceptional learning goals and extracurricular activities for the school community.
In addition to being a pioneer in building the Cheder from the ground up, Mrs. Gerber is a noted Mechaneches who goes out of her way for every student’s complete success. Dedicated to instilling skill-based learning in each of her charges, parents say that no one leaves her class without knowing how to learn Chumash independently. As one student recently put it, “When we learn the Pesukim and Rashi’s by ourselves it is hard work, but then we understand and can explain it so much better!” Mrs. Gerber leads by example, striving to help each child “find a way to make Torah meaningful to them.”
Mrs. Gerber also incorporates vital social and emotional skills into her lessons and even developed a complete Middos curriculum that is used to teach practical manners and Chassidishe behavior. With unmatched creativity and a sincere love for each student, Mrs. Gerber “leads by example… striving to help each child find a way to make Torah meaningful to them.”
Nominate this years winner right here: mymef.org/thankyou
MEF’s annual Chinuch Awards will be given this year to a teacher who stands out for their CARING AND CONNECTION. Anyone can nominate a teacher, and have the chance to say thank you to a teacher who cares!