Among Jewish communal professionals, there is no greater honor than receiving a Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. Nominated by colleagues and vetted by a rigorous examination of a lifetime of achievement on the front lines of the field by the leaders of the Covenant Foundation, the fifty-four educators who have been selected during the first eighteen years of the program represent the very best practitioners from across North America. Serving all types of Jewish educational settings in all denominations of Judaism, the stories, motivations, and aspirations of the Covenant Award winners are now collected in a new book, A Covenant of Dreams.
Edited by Diane Tickton Schuster with photographs by Zion Ozeri and a documentary DVD by filmmaker Pearl Gluck, A Covenant of Dreams celebrates Jewish education in an unusual format. Seeking to uncover the “common characteristics of an uncommon group,” the book presents brief insights from the Covenant awardees detailing why they chose to enter the field, what they do to create personal connections with their students, when they have pushed boundaries with bold new ideas, how they value inclusivity, where mentors have played a role in their development, and what they dream for the future of Jewish education. Illustrated by photos and enhanced by a DVD of the educators in action, this beautiful coffee-table book is inspirational reading for any professional or lay leader who seeks models of excellence in the field.
In this slim volume Harlene Winnick Appelman, Executive Director atCovenant Foundation, and her team have done far more than catalogue the achievements of fifty-four Jewish educators. They take seriously the mandate set out by Susan Crown and Barbara Goodman Manilow — the visionary funders from the Crown family who established this extraordinary foundation: to realize the promise of Jewish education to inspire, teach, and deepen Jewish knowledge, identity, and commitment. A Covenant of Dreams is a testament to their unwavering dedication to elevating and celebrating this vital work. This book is available for the cost of shipping and handling.
Ron Wolfson, Ph.D., is Fingerhut Professor of Education at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community and God’s To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God’s Work on Earth (both Jewish Lights Publishing). Ron is also co-founder and president of Synagogue 3000, a national institute for catalyzing excellence in synagogue life.