The 2023 Salute to Jewish Educators awards will recognize the lifetime impact of Sherry Blumberg, PhD, and the impact of many others.
The awards will be held at Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center on March 19, 3-5 p.m. The event is the annual recognition of local educators, sponsored by Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Coalition for Jewish Learning. Jewish Community Planner Tzipi Altman-Shafer leads the Coalition for Jewish Learning. RSVP at MilwaukeeJewish.org/Salute.
Blumberg is to receive the Lifetime Impact Award. She has worked in Milwaukee for many years. She started as director of education at Congregation Shalom. Since then she has worked at Congregation Sinai, Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun, Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, and the Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.
Blumberg has made a huge impact on Milwaukee’s Jewish community, according to the nomination. She has mentored teachers and taught hundreds. She asks deep questions and inspires us all, according to the nomination.
The CJL Levy Family Jewish Educator of the Year is Marilyn Franklin, a second-grade teacher with Congregation Shalom Religious School. She personifies Jewish ideals of love of learning by consistently striving to expand her understanding of Jewish symbols, texts, holidays and customs —which she teaches — as well as areas that do not fall into her curriculum, according to the nomination.
The Jerry Benjamin Inspiration Award for Informal Jewish Education is being granted to Toni Davison Levenberg, Camp Interlaken JCC director with the Steve & Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken JCC.
“Toni uses innovative techniques not just with her campers in everyday activities but also with her staff. It begins during Staff Week with trainings and team building fun with lots of laughter,” according to the nomination. “Toni has a way of making everyone feel welcome and a part of something bigger.”
The GIFT Award is being granted to Stephanie Brauner, of Bader Hillel Academy, and Rochel Leah Stein, of Friendship Circle. The award is for the project, “Towards Inclusion – Jewish Disability Awareness Month.” Prior to a guest speaker, school counselors taught students about person-first language, truths and myths about disabilities, and different types of disabilities.
The GIFT Award is also being granted to Moria Lehman of Milwaukee Jewish Day School, for a Jewish Studies elective class on Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The central theme and text was the Declaration of Independence of Israel.
Other awards to be granted include the Chai Award for Lora Vexler, Jewish Beginnings, and Debbie Intravaia, Beth El, Sheboygan. The Double Chai is being granted to Susie Rosengarten, Congregation Shalom and Milwaukee Jewish Federation.