American Jewish University's students and alumni, from the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management (GSNM), Graduate Center of Education (GCE) and Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies (ZSRS), are often honored for their contributions to their communities. Most recently Emily Dubin Field, MBA '10 and Joel Charnick, MBA '11, were honored by major Los Angeles nonprofits.
Emily received the Spirit Award from Our House, a nonsectarian grief support center. She was recognized at the annual gala for her role in founding the organization's associate board and cultivating the next generation of leaders, donors and volunteers. And, when she gave the address at AJU's 2010 commencement on behalf of the graduate program, it was apparent to everyone that Emily was going to be successful.
Joel, who is in his eighth year as Camp Director for Camp JCA Shalom, was presented with the Jerry Ringerman Leadership Award which was particularly meaningful to Joel as he knew and was inspired by Jerry Ringerman, the former camp director. Joel was recognized for his leadership in building - along with his team - an atmosphere that inspires camp staff and creates a safe place for camp participants to grow. Joel, along with the fiancé he met in the MBA program, will graduate this spring.
Each year the Covenant Award (the Nobel Prize for educators) is presented to three exceptional educators nationwide who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to excellence and whose innovative approaches create a lasting impact on their students, community and Jewish education. This year one of the three national winners was GCE alumna, Beth Huppin '81. Beth has taught day school Judaic Studies at the Seattle Jewish Community School since 1995 where she is currently teaching fifth-grade. She is also a middle school and adult education teacher at Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle.
GCE was also well represented among those who received the other prestigious national award, the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Schools around the country nominate an educator, and then a local panel selects the winning teacher for that community. This year Rabbi Ruven Barkan, a graduate of AJU's College of Arts and Sciences '95 and AJU's GCE '97, and Michael Raileanu, GCE '94 were honored with the award. Barkan was recognized for his contribution as Rabbi-in-Residence; Bible, Talmud and Jewish Thought Departments at Chicagoland Jewish High School, while Raileanu was awarded for his impact as Assistant Head of School, Solomon Schechter Day School, in St. Louis, MO.
The Herman Braunstein Red Yarmulke Humanitarian Award, was presented on January 9th to assistant rabbis who make a difference for Conservative Judaism as a movement and within their synagogues. This year the committee selected rabbis who, even though they were not senior rabbis, were able to achieve these accomplishments behind the scenes. Four of the six selected are graduates of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Gary Oren of Temple Aliyah, Joshua Hoffman of Valley Beth Shalom, Susan Leider of Temple Beth Am, and Deborah Silver of Adat Ari El. Rabbi Oren has had a deep and broad impact on the Temple Aliyah community, whether working with individual congregants or with the larger vision of the entire synagogue community.
AJU alumni are providing leadership across the immediate and larger community. They are contributing to every sector of our society with their unique vision and entrepreneurial spirit.