Federation’s School Educational Services Director Presents Prestigious Grinspoon Award to Hillel Day School Educator

Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Smolarcik of Boca Raton is the recipient of this year’s Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. The award recognizes talented educators who utilize 21st century skills in their classrooms and programs that help to shape the future of Jewish education. Marilyn Nachman, Director of School Educational Services for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach’s Department of Jewish Education, presented the prestigious award at the Opening Meeting of Hillel Day School of Boca Raton faculty and staff on August 19, 2015.

Smolarcik, a faculty member of Hillel Day School for 11 years, is the school’s Talmud & Technology Chair and a Middle School Judaic teacher. He has been involved in Jewish education for over 30 years and has a doctorate in clinical Psychology.

Rabbi Adam Englander, M.S. Ed., Head of School, noted that “Rabbi Dr. Smolarcik’s commitment to Jewish education and the achievements and innovative teaching methods he has developed, including a Toshba program which received a $50,000 grant for Hillel, are secondary to the long-lasting impact he makes on the lives of his students.”

“The Grinspoon Award recognizes and honors innovative, highly skilled Jewish educators,” said Nachman, whose Department coordinates the annual award selection process. “Educator quality is one of the most important influences on student achievement. Rabbi Smolarcik’s commitment to his students, to his work and to the community are exemplary of the type of Jewish educators we value so highly in our community.”

Rabbi Smolarcik’s name is now proudly displayed on the Grinspoon Award at the Federation. He was presented with a check for $1000 from the day school community of South Palm Beach County, as well as an additional $500 check from the Grinspoon Foundation.

Photo caption: Rabbi Adam Englander, Hillel Day School Head of School; Rabbi Smolarcik, 2015 Grinspoon Awardee; Marilyn Nachman, Director of School Educational Services for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach’s Department of Jewish Education