The Program annually offers four awards of $15,000 each to educators based upon their demonstrated excellence as teachers, administrators or other education professionals who work directly with students and other teachers.
The award recipients are selected by a committee of educators, professional and lay leaders from the Jewish community who have a long-standing concern for and involvement with education in Jewish schools.
To be eligible for consideration, educators must teach a minimum of 15 hours per week at the K–12 level and they must have been teaching for a minimum of seven years in a BJE-affiliated school.
The criteria considered for the selection of Jewish Educator Award recipients include:
- Exceptional educational talent and promise, as demonstrated by outstanding practices in the classroom, school and community.
- Evidence of originality, dedication and capacity for leadership and self-direction.
- Commitment to influencing policies that affect children, their families and schools.
- Strong long-range potential for even greater contribution to children, the profession and society.
- Distinguished achievement in developing innovative educational curricula, programs and/or teaching methods.
- Outstanding ability to instill in students character and self-confidence.
- Outstanding ability to develop Jewish children's understanding of the connections between their religion, their classroom activities, and their activities beyond the classroom.
- Commitment to professional development and excellence and the continuing Judaic and/or secular study necessary for it.
- Personal involvement in responding to the needs of the Jewish and secular communities.
- Criteria for administrators also include outstanding ability to attract, support and motivate committed education professionals.