New York, NY – October 24, 2021 – Three Jewish educators joined a collective of remarkable Covenant Award recipients this evening, bringing the cohort total to 90 strong, when they received the 2021 Covenant Award at the Foundation’s virtual Awards celebration.
HELENE DROBENARE-HORWITZ, Executive Director, Young Judaea Sprout Camps, New York, NY; ANNA HARTMAN, Director of Early Childhood Excellence, Jewish United Fund, and Director of the Paradigm Project, Chicago, IL and JUDITH TURNER, Senior Program Officer for Volunteer Services and Intergenerational Program Engagement, DOROT, New York, NY are the recipients of the Award, which is among the highest honors in the field of Jewish education.
“Helene, Anna and Judith are all involved in work that engages people across the spectrum of age and generation,” said Barbara Goodman Manilow, President of The Covenant Foundation Board of Directors.
“Whether it’s camping, early childhood or intergenerational programming for older adults and teens, their work as educators is essential for the strength and continuity of the Jewish community, and we are thrilled to welcome them into this cohort of outstanding Covenant Award recipients.”
The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies and members of the Crown family, including Steven Crown, Jordan Goodman and Danielle Rudas Goodman, introduced the three recipients and presented the Award. Each of the 2021 recipients received $36,000 and each of their institutions, $5,000.
Established in 1991 to honor and celebrate those who have made an impact on Jewish life through innovative educational practices and models, the Covenant Award is given to three educators every year after a rigorous selection process. Recipients have transformed the field in countless ways, including through social action, informal education, camping, inclusion, early childhood education, intergenerational programming, technology, day school leadership, professional development, and more.
HELENE DROBENARE-HORWITZ is the Executive Director of Young Judaea Sprout Camps in New York.
As the Executive Director of Young Judaea Sprout Camps, Drobenare-Horwitz has revitalized camp culture by inspiring campers and staff members towards acts of chesed and tikkun olam. She began her tenure with Sprout camps as Director of Young Judaea Sprout Lake in 1999, and has since spearheaded a new day camping paradigm through her leadership at Sprout Brooklyn and Sprout Westchester, where intentional year-round Jewish programming for families accompanies traditional summer day camping. In 2019 at Sprout Lake, she piloted the Yedid Nefesh program, an initiative of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, in which mental health professionals create a safe space for staff cohorts and train staff members to support campers’ emotional and mental health needs.
Accepting the Award from Jordan T. Goodman, Drobenare-Horwitz said, “Camp’s experiential educational model allows children to ignite their internal navigation system. We are teaching our children every summer to live the way the world should be, so that one day it will be. Camp is the place where every child has a voice, and each child feels heard.”
ANNA HARTMAN is the Director of Early Childhood Excellence at the Jewish United Fund, and the Director of the Paradigm Project, in Chicago, IL.
Since 2015, Hartman has served as Director of Early Childhood Excellence at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF), where she leads the visioning, strategy, and professional development planning for Jewish early childhood education (ECE) across Chicagoland. In 2011, Hartman cofounded, and has since directed, The Paradigm Project, a network of practitioner-activists that facilitates gatherings to empower educators with vision, tools, and a vital network of colleagues. In 2011, Hartman received a Pomegranate Prize for emerging leaders in the field of Jewish education from The Covenant Foundation.
Accepting the Award from Danielle Rudas Goodman, Hartman remarked, “Imagine a future in which early childhood education is a highly regarded profession, where teachers are compensated competitively, and where our programs top every list of America’s best workplaces. I invite us all to boldly imagine a world where teachers, children, families, and all of us are free to do our best work and our best version of living; a vision like this has power, the kind of kinetic energy that can enable a paradigm shift in this generation.”
JUDITH TURNER is the Senior Program Officer for Volunteer Services and Intergenerational Program Engagement at DOROT in New York.
In her role at DOROT, where she has worked since 2001, Turner established the educational pedagogy and best practices for intergenerational and service-learning programming. She also oversees the departments of Volunteer Services and Intergenerational Program Engagement, which annually engage more than 6,300 volunteers to meet the needs of older adults. Turner also created the landmark DOROT Jewish Summer Teen Internship, a program that brings together Jewish high school students and older adults to explore Jewish values and communal responsibility through volunteering and service-learning.
Accepting the Award from Steven Crown, Turner said, “During the pandemic, DOROT teen interns studied texts and built relationships with older adults on Zoom, and shared their own sense of isolation and distance. They gained a deeper understanding of what seniors experience continually and appreciated the sense of community that this learning program afforded them. This is exactly what I strive for as a Jewish educator: both facilitating learning on the level of study and understanding, but also, as a means of helping others build the relationships of intimate community.”
To view full biographies of current and past Covenant Award recipients as well as guidelines for nominating an educator for the 2022 Covenant Awards, please visit www.covenantfn.org. The deadline for nominations is November 17, 2021.
The Covenant Foundation is a program of the Crown Family Philanthropies.