Rachel Schwartz, middle school English department head at The Moriah School, is the northern New Jersey community’s 2017 recipient of the Grinspoon Award in Jewish Education, a partnership between Jewish Educational Services of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
“I was honored to be nominated by Moriah for this award,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “Dedicating my career to Jewish education is my passion. I teach with love and energy. I always tell my students school is what you make of it, and if you give me all of your efforts, I’ll do the same in return.”
“We nominated Rachel for this award because she is truly someone who is deserving of this honor,” said Tzipporah Boim, middle school principal at Moriah. The Grinspoon Award in Jewish Education recognizes educators in the U.S. and Canada for successful innovation in Jewish education. “Rachel has created and developed numerous innovative educational programs that have left a real imprint on her students and their families.”
Mrs. Schwartz created a sixth-grade Heritage Fair program at Moriah where students display treasured heirlooms and share the story behind these artifacts. She also runs the “Names, Not Numbers” program, which gives Moriah eighth graders the opportunity to interview Holocaust survivors, stressing the importance of eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust, which Mrs. Schwartz describes as “rewarding and humbling.” Mrs. Schwartz also developed “Moriah Reads,” a program where the entire middle school reads the same book, extending learning beyond classroom analysis while exploring a topic from multiple perspectives including a Jewish lens—for example, the role of women around the world, and Halacha and the plight of widows.
The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey will present Mrs. Schwartz and other Jewish educators with their awards at a ceremony to be held on June 7 at the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey headquarters in Paramus.
The Moriah School (Englewood), one of the nation’s premier Jewish day schools, educates more than 700 students from across Bergen County. Moriah’s mission is to deliver an academic program of the highest caliber while instilling a sense of commitment to Torat Yisrael, Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael. Our school emphasizes the use of a variety of modalities in the classroom and beyond to enable each child to realize his or her potential in the spheres of academic, religious and personal growth.