The following finalists were nominated for the Chinuch Awards: Caring and Connection by parents, students, fellow teachers and members of the administration. They were chosen based on their exemplary way of teaching and interacting with students and parents.
These Mechanchos are role models for our children and anyone who is affected by Chinuch. They personify what Chinuch is, and the beautiful future that Chinuch has with them in our classrooms.
Morah Henny Bartfield, 1st Grade, Hebrew Academy of Margate
Known for her loving and warm demeanor and her use of innovative teaching techniques to engage her students, Morah Henny Bartfield has become one of Southern Florida’s most treasured Morahs. Despite her extensive experience, she never rests on her laurels or becomes stagnant in her teaching, constantly striving to stimulate her students with exciting and engaging lessons.
A dedicated advocate for her students, Morah Bartfield manages to relate to each of her young charges in his own way. Taking the time to ensure that each student doesn’t just learn Chumash but truly enjoys what he is learning, Morah Bartfield facilitates her students’ connection to the Torah and Hashem by providing them with the skills to grasp, understand and be inspired by the Pesukim they are learning.
One of the first mechanchos to incorporate the use of Smartboards and other exciting materials into her lessons, the tech savvy morah also produces original and high quality classroom materials that are worthy of publishing. By encouraging learning through active participation, she engages students with various learning modalities so that her students “don’t just learn because they love her, they learn because she stimulates them and they love the learning.”
As one parent put it, Morah Bartfield’s teaching “really emphasizes the importance of care for Mitzvos, mirroring the Rebbe ‘s influence on the importance of Chinuch.”
Ms. Chanale Chanin, Bnos Chomesh Crown Heights
A mechaneches par excellence, Ms. Chanin is a teacher who does not just teach her students how to learn, she teaches them how to think. Insisting on exceptional rigor and pushing her students to think critically of their subject, Ms. Chanin regularly delves into the “why” of what she is teaching. One student explains that she came out “knowing how to use my brain instead of just memorizing.” With unmatched dedication to her students, Ms. Chanin is known to take a posuk of Chumash “and turn it into a living, breathing lesson that her students remember far beyond their high school years.”
Exceptionally devoted to her students, Ms. Chanin dedicates untold hours and resources to helping her students succeed. Students feel personally cared for as she goes out of her way to make sure everyone receives the help or guidance that they need. Almost any day of the week, Ms. Chanin can be found staying two or more hours after school tutoring a single or group of students in almost any subject.
Hosting farbrengens in her own home, Ms. Chanin regularly addresses real life issues and inspires her students to increase in their observance of Mitzvos. As one parent shared, “Her students strive to emulate her conviction and many have taken on hachlatos tovos as a result of her living example and her encouragement.”
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 Rashis 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 chasidishe 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.
Mrs. Nechama Tauber, Lubavitch Educational Center, Florida
Mrs. Tauber is far from a conventional frontal teacher. Creative and inventive, she is constantly innovating in her classroom, implementing new and exciting ideas that are then shared with others and incorporated schoolwide. Involved both in hands-on learning and numerous extra-curriculars, Mrs. Tauber’s classes and activities are “interesting and fun, as they encourage the girls to figure out the material on their own.” Parents are quick to point out that not only does she teach, but she “lives and breathes Torah, chassidus and middos.”
Each of Mrs. Tauber’s lessons are brimming with interesting, fun and interactive activities that encourage her students to discover the material on their own. Making sure to differentiate instruction to cater to students on every academic level, Mrs. Tauber implements exciting projects that draw each student in and teach not only Chumash skills, but a love for Torah and “a unique pride in being a Lubavitcher Chossid.” A true Dugma Chaya, Mrs. Tauber uses her many talents to strengthen her students’ skills and connection to Hashem.
Morah Baylie Vail, Beis Rivkah, New York
Morah Baylie Vail is an exceptionally devoted and beloved mechanches who constantly gives of her own time, money and resources to shower her students with the best introduction to Chinuch possible. With an innate ability to reach every single student, and an inner drive to do whatever is needed to ensure their success, Morah Vail helps her students blossom in an environment of unconditional acceptance and joy.
Widely admired for her ability to be completely aware of each student’s individual needs, Morah Vail helps each girl grow and maximize her potential. While one parent explains that she felt like her daughter “was the only one in the class,” another emphasized that it is Morah Vail’s “ability to relate and understand each child that is a gift to all her students.”In addition to setting the foundation of her student’s Chumash learning journey, Morah Vail instills “major Jewish pride” with a love of Yiddishkeit that is imbued in every lesson and activity. Morah Vail teaches her students with the same passion with which she lives her own life, thereby setting the ultimate example of Middos, Ahavas Yisroel and Tznius. “She expects from them no less than for herself.”