Jewish Federation Honors Part-Time Jewish Educator Sharon Serbin with 2018 Harold Grinspoon Award

Sharon SerbinThe Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh will honor part-time educator Sharon Serbin as one of the North American Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education at the June 6th ceremony held at the Jewish Association on Aging (JAA)/ Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 200 JHF Drive, Pittsburgh 15217.

The Pittsburgh recipient of the 2018 Grinspoon Award is Sharon Serbin, a part-time educator at Adat Shalom Religious School and Dor Hadash Religious School. Sharon is currently in her 20th year of teaching at Adat Shalom and in her 3rd year of teaching at Dor Hadash.

Jewish Federation’s Director of Jewish Life and Learning Rabbi Amy Bardack acknowledges Serbin for her achievements. “We are so pleased to be recognizing the dedication and skill of Sharon Serbin. Jewish educators are central to transmitting our traditions and values, and Sharon is well deserving of this honor.”

Serbin was delighted when she received the news that she was the 2018 Grinspoon Award winner.

“I am speechless. And anyone who knows me, knows that doesn’t happen often. I am deeply and truly honored. It has been a great joy and blessing to teach and to inspire Jewish youth over the years, and to come up with creative new ways to spark their interest and deepen their connection to and understanding of Judaism. With much gratitude, I thank you.”

This year, the Jewish Federation presents the Grinspoon Award as a newly designed teacher appreciation event for all Jewish educators in the community. The Grinspoon Award nominees will rotate each year among part-time congregational schools, day schools and early childhood centers, with this first year focusing on the part-time schools.

The Harold Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education recognize skilled, innovative educators in Jewish day schools, religious schools and Jewish early childhood centers. This year marks the 18th year the Harold Grinspoon Foundation has presented an award to a Jewish educator. Since 2000, the program has grown to 80 North American communities and has recognized hundreds of outstanding educators in the U.S. and Canada.

Honorees are nominated by the organizations they serve. In Pittsburgh the award is supported by the Barbara and Lester Parker Fund for a Jewish Future Endowment. This endowment is part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community Foundation.

Andrea Lieber, PhDAt the June 6 Grinspoon Award celebration, Andrea Lieber, Ph.D., will serve as keynote speaker, addressing the discussion From Camp to Classroom: A Path toward Experiential Jewish Education.

Dr. Lieber is a professor of religion at Dickinson College where she holds the Sophia Ava Asbell Chair in Judaic Studies. She is the author of The Essential Guide to Jewish Prayer and Practices (Alpha Books/Penguin 2012), numerous articles and two edited anthologies. In addition to her career in higher education, Andrea currently serves as the Educational Director at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, recently completed a 6-year term as president of the Board of Directors of The Silver Academy, a K-8 Jewish day school in Harrisburg, PA and was the inaugural director of Gesher, a collaborative Jewish part-time school.

For details or to register, contact Cheryl Johnson at 412-992-5249 or cjohnson@jfedpgh.org. To learn more or to register for the event, visit jfedpgh.org/grinspoon.

Light refreshments will be served. (Kosher dietary laws observed.) The event is free; registration is requested.

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