Local Day School Teacher Honored with National Award for Innovation and Impact in Jewish Education

Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Presents 2016 Grinspoon Teacher of Excellence Award to Anat Jatwes of Donna Klein Jewish Academy

Anat Jatwes from Donna Klein Jewish Academy (DKJA) is the 2016 winner of the Grinspoon Teacher of Excellence Award. The award is sponsored by the Department of Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to recognize local teachers who make a lasting impact on the lives of Jewish children, and contribute to excellence in Jewish education. Jatwes was nominated by Yafa Levit, DKJA Principal of Lower School Judaic Studies.

“The Grinspoon Award recognizes and honors innovative, highly skilled Jewish educators,” said Marilyn Nachman, the Federation’s Director of School Educational Services, who coordinates the annual award selection process. “Educator quality is one of the most important influences on student achievement. We are so proud that our community’s day schools and our Federation join with the many communities across the country that participate in this award program each year. Anat Jatwes' commitment to her students, to her work and to the community is exemplary of the type of Jewish educators we value so highly here.” “I hope that I can convey to my children the wonderful world of Judaism that I was privileged to learn from my parents and grandparents,” writes Jatwes, “My parents immigrated from England to Israel and I was privileged to have grown up in Jerusalem. Jewish traditions and education always played a major role in the home where I grew up, and in my subsequent life.”

Jatwes was active in the Bnei Akiva youth movement where she later became a counselor and a group leader. She completed her two years of national service in Yonatan, a moshav in the Golan Heights, where she worked and organized programs for the youth. Jatwes studied at the Orot College for Higher Education where she received a B.Ed degree, majoring in Tanach Yediduti and the teaching of English as a second language. Following her graduation she became a teacher at the Tali school in Jerusalem.

TALI (a Hebrew acronym for 'Enriched Jewish Studies') is a unique educational program run by the TALI Education Fund and the Ministry of Education. Jatwes moved to the United States with her husband Ari, where they are raising their two children, Noam and Erez. They are members of the Boca Raton Synagogue. Today, as well as teaching Judaics at DKJA to 4th and 5th grade students, Jatwes is the staff technology integrator at the school, introducing new teaching technologies to other educators.

“I have been blessed to know Anat Jatwes for many years,” said Helena Levine, DKJA Head of School. “She ignites a love of learning in her students. She connects with her students through her passion and commitment to Jewish education, and teaching the importance of respect and responsibility. Her students become involved through meaningful experiences which they will take with them for years to come.”

The North American Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education have recognized over 700 outstanding educators in the U.S. and Canada in the past 15 years. Today the award celebrates successful innovation in Jewish education through a partnership between the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the participating community. For additional information, visit hgf.org/teacher-awards.

The Department of Jewish Education of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is the central address of the Jewish educational community. Through collective efforts, the Department of Jewish Education develops and provides educational enrichment opportunities for all segments of the Jewish community and its institutions. Its Department of School Educational Services facilitates and supports joint activities and professional development among the community’s Jewish day schools, congregational schools and early childhood centers.

Donna Klein Jewish Academy is a K-12 Jewish Community Day School located in Boca Raton, Florida, on the Richard and Carole Siemens Jewish Campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Students learn and grow through the school’s state-of-the-art Claire & Emanuel G. Rosenblatt Technology Program K-12, comprehensive fine and performing arts offerings, competitive sports teams and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM) programming. Known for its rigorous curriculum integrating challenging Judaic and general studies, DKJA is the only K-12 Jewish Day School in the country recognized as a FranklinCovey Leader in Me School. In 2015, DKJA was honored as the only Jewish Day School in the world to be selected as a Leader in Me LIGHTHOUSE SCHOOL – a leadership model for schools internationally. This renowned designation demonstrates DKJA’s exemplary achievements as a Leader in Me School, committed to instilling in students the leadership principles synthesized in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Photo caption L-R: Yafa Levit, DKJA Principal of Lower School Judaic Studies; Marilyn Nachman, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County Director of School Educational Services; Anat Jatwes, 2016 Grinspoon Teacher of Excellence awardee; Helena Levine, DKJA Head of School