At the Cheder Menachem Auction, more than just the “Split the Pot” winners went home with cash. The Menachem Education Foundation was there to present the Eisenberg Award, a monetary award given to exemplary teachers
The Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) is a Crown Heights based organization with the aim of raising the bar in Jewish education. Since its inception in 2008, MEF has launched a teacher training program, produced across-the-board standards for Chumash and Gemara, and launched a number of other initiatives to put professional educational practices into our community’s schools.
MEF distributes the Eisenberg Award each year to teachers who have shown excellence in implementing Data Driven Instruction – DDI. DDI helps teachers combine clearly delineated standards with frequent and focused assessments to ensure that students are progressing. This enables teachers to focus on each student’s individual learning journey within the framework of overall goals.
Rabbi Elozor Fisch, one of this year’s Eisenberg Award recipients, is a second grade teacher in Cheder Menachem. “Before DDI, I focused on ‘all the skills all the time,’ or ‘as they came up,’” Rabbi Fisch explains. “Now, my teaching and lesson planning are streamlined and focused. I am able to pinpoint what we are accomplishing – which skills are being mastered and which have to be retaught. With action plans, each child gets exactly what they need.”
Another second grade teacher, Rabbi Lipsker, was also nominated by Cheder Menachem. According to the school’s principal, Rabbi Menachem Greenbaum, “The award represents a year’s worth of collaboration and goal oriented teaching, during which these teachers ensured that the needs of every individual child are accounted for.”
The award is generously sponsored by Jerry and Sharon Eisenberg, in memory of Yaakov Velvel (Billy) Eisenberg OBM, an acclaimed educator of 33 years. “My brother was devoted to seeing every child in his classroom succeed,” said Mr. Eisenberg. “With this Teacher Award, I hope to perpetuate his legacy.”
“Teachers matter,” says Rabbi Zalman Schneur, founder and director of MEF, “and great teachers matter even more. It is an incredible honor and privilege to be able to recognize and award those who make Chinuch their Shlichus.”
MEF’s future goals include launching a Teacher Training Program for women, expanding the Zekelman Standards Project to include additional grades and subjects, and finding new ways to help schools and teachers put professional standards and teaching methods into place. For more information about MEF’s programs, visit www.mymef.org.