2014 Grinspoon Steinhardt Award Winner: Rochel Smoller
Rochel’s goal as an educator is for her students to feel passionate about their Jewish heritage. Her dream is for her students to grow up and be enthusiastic in their commitment to their communities- and in doing so, provide their children a Jewish education, be active in their synagogues, and support the good work of the community. This can only happen if their personal memories of their own Jewish education are rich and meaningful.
Her training began at an early age. As a young girl, she witnessed the commitment that her parents, Holocaust survivors, had for their children’s Jewish education. Both her parents worked at night, and her father even had a day job- to be able to afford to give the children a Jewish education.
As a 2nd Grade Judaic teacher at Chabad Hebrew Academy for the past 28 years, she has always worked in collaboration with the General Studies counterparts to plan strong, integrated lessons that are creative and meaningful on a daily basis. Her students are exposed to many disciplines: math, science, and history through her Torah curriculum and Jewish values. She wants her students to realize that being Jewish and knowledgeable of the world go hand-in-hand, and they can be a “light among the nations”.
"Morah Rochel does not just teach a class. She molds a community from disparate families to passionately pursue and live a life of Jewish values."
- Rabbi Josef Fradkin (Chabad Hebrew Academy, Head of School)
Pedagogic Award Winners 2013-2014
Holly Gail Baumann
Rebecca Selk Levin
Past Grinspoon Winners
2013: Shelley Sloan
2012: Geula Hebron
2011: BeLinda Singer
2010: Linda Signer
2009: Gvira Abed
2008: Annette Friend
2007: Brenda Silvers
2006: Nomi Levy, z"l
2005: Anne Spindel
2004: Elisheva Edelson
2003: Karen Rund, Kathy Scott
2002: Shoshana Stotland, Edna Yedid
2001: Janet Rosenfield
2000 Estee Sery