Jewish Journal

The Circuit: Jewish Family Service, BJE, Lainer Distinguished Educator Award

by Adam Wills

March 1, 2011 | 6:08 pm

From left: JFS CEO Paul S. Castro, JFS board member Abby Leibman, honoree Sheila J. Kuehl and JFS board president David O. Levine.

The Jewish Family Service (JFS) Family Violence Project raised funds and awareness on Jan. 27 during its second annual Empowerment Celebration, which honors the birthday of Abby J. Leibman, co-founder of the California Women’s Law Center and newly named CEO of MAZON, and the memory of Nina C. Leibman, who was murdered by her husband in 1995 just after a court order had gone into effect to force him to move out of her home. At the event, JFS recognized former state Sen. Sheila J. Kuehl for her decades of work to help victims of domestic violence.

From left: BJE Executive Director Gil Graff with Lainer honorees Andrea Leonard (Temple Adat Elohim), Simin Imanuel (Yeshivat Yavneh), Lois Bell (Adat Ari El) and BJE Early Childhood Education Services Director Esther Elfenbaum. Photo by David Miller Studios

From left: BJE Executive Director Gil Graff with Smotrich honorees Carolyn Rosenfeld (Temple Adat Elohim), Tara Farkash (Temple Adat Elohim), Vivian Belmont (Adat Ari El), Tali Soffer (Adat Ari El), BJE Early Childhood Education Services Director Esther Elfenbaum and honoree Orly Hershtik (Gan Israel, Tarzana). Photo by David Miller Studios

BJE, formerly the Bureau of Jewish Education, honored three teachers with the Lainer Distinguished Educator Awards in front of more than 300 educators at the 31st annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute on Jan. 10. BJE also presented Smotrich Educator Awards to preschool teachers who created innovative curricula.

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